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[Page 325]

Institutions, Movements
and Organizations


Municipal Institutions

by A.M. Weisbrot

Translated by Ala Gamulka

Prior to WWI, town council members were elected by property owners. For that reason, most of those elected were Christians, in spite of the fact that they constituted a minority of the population. The Jewish population, a majority, was represented by wealthy Jews who were approved by the authorities.

During the German-Austrian conquest, Mr. Mendel Kossovsky, z” l, was elected as mayor. He did his best to help the Jews of the town, but his authority was limited. The real power was in the hands of the Germans. Still, the mayor succeeded in canceling some harsh decrees by the Germans, towards the Jews.

The Germans had some respect for religious representatives. Rabbi Yitzhak Shaul Krauza, z” l, endangered his life many times when he brought requests and demands for the good of the Jews. One time the Germans announced a decree which the Rabbi was unable to cancel. He walked out of the office of the town commander and slammed the door. It was said that the Rabbi would be arrested because of this action. However, the Germans looked into the matter, weighed the pros and cons and, in the end, decided not to arrest him.

When the Poles entered town and took over, they appointed Mr. Mordechai Verba, z” l, as vice-mayor. He did not dabble in politics and was a wealthy man. In public life, he prayed for the good of the government. He always strove not to irritate the authorities, but, still, the Jews were able to, through him, bring up their concerns. Often, the Jews were successful.

Towards the end of 1925, democratic (more or less) municipal elections were announced. There was active participation in the elections of all parties. By then I was already in Eretz Israel. I heard that the number of Jewish council members was considerable. Thus, the authorities were obliged to allow the Jews to be part of administrative decisions. Mr. Moshe Perl, z” l, head of the Zionist Union at that time, was one of those elected as a member of town council.

During the time of Mr. Perl's activity, there was a change in the administration of the town council. The authorities began to listen to the demands of the Jews. There was considerable support for institutions and schools. The influence of the Jews on the town administration was apparent.

In subsequent elections, the Jews again had good representation in the town council. Mr. Perl did his best to help the Jews- whatever he could salvage from a group consisting of known Anti-Semites (followers of Pilsudski).

The town council, a general municipal institution, took care of all residents. In addition, there was the Jewish community council. Polish law allowed it special rights in dealing with purely Jewish matters.

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The first head of the Jewish community was Mr. Mendel. In those days the members of the executive committee were mainly wealthy members of the synagogues.

It was only in a later period that the members of the committee were elected democratically. The power was then handed to the Zionist groups. They constituted the majority of the Jewish population of Kovel. When it came to electing the chairman of the executive committee of the community, it was evident that a Zionist would be the one. Indeed, Mr. Moshe Perl, z” l, was the chairman. The secretary was Mr. Moshe Pugatch, z” l. When the Zionists joined the committee, this institution became Jewish-Zionist in atmosphere and there were many special activities in that vein.

On the Taz Institution in Kovel

by Sonia Margalit

Translated by Ala Gamulka

I remember well the activities of the Taz from 1928. I began, then, to work as its secretary. At that time the institution had great difficulties. There was a large deficit. The various departments of Taz did not work continuously. Fortunately, at the time, many of the town leaders joined in the effort of helping the institution develop. They had much influence among their acquaintances and soon the results were quite positive.

The lively moving spirit of Taz then was Dr. Kerner (in Israel today). He was a gentle person and he felt the difficulties of the Jewish children of Kovel who needed to be cared for according to their needs.

Until 1929 there was a semi-camp in Kovel. It was an open field where the children spent their time and were fed until the afternoon. These were the first steps, but it was not enough.

The first regular summer camp was arranged by the new leadership. It was in a pine forest in Horodlitz, 7 k”m from town, in private homes of farmers. It was a simple arrangement, but it was supervised by the committee with great devotion. The happy laughter and shouts of joy of the children, liberated from the narrow, filthy home in the slums, filled the village and echoed far away. The children came from Matseyev, Ludomir, Krutka, Shkolna, Mishtchanska, etc.

In order to emphasize the need and importance of the Taz activities, the following examples can be given:

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Executive Committee of Taz in Kovel

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In order to recognize the children, to know their conditions and to decide on their urgent needs, it was necessary to visit their homes throughout the year. Those visiting were Sara Havkin, daughter of the respected Erlich family (they passed their beautiful two-story house when they walked to “town”). The sister of the director of the Jewish-Polish high school Klara Erlich, saw her work as that of a responsible person. Her devotion did not depend on anyone. In her mind, all the children were important and all needed to go to summer camp. They paid the minimum – 3 zloty per month. She was quite enthusiastic and sentimental and did not think of the budget… I had the opportunity, several times, of joining her on her visits. In one home on Matseyev, far from the center of town, the father was a carpenter and he traveled weekdays in the villages. The mother sold fruit in the market and had to rise at dawn. There were four young children in a small, narrow room. In all parts of the room, even under the beds, there were piles of fruit. In the corner there was a crib with a baby in it. It seemed as if he wore black because there were swarms of flies around him. It was fortunate that the baby was wrapped in muslin rags and that deterred the flies from eating him alive.

In a second house, in the basement of Mrs. Kartoflie, lived a tutor. He taught seven children. They were all skinny, pale and hungry, lacking sunlight and air. Among them was one who was mentally challenged. In contrast to his sad friends, he laughed non-stop- a wild laughter. This tutor also was hired to learn Mishna when wealthy people died. He refused help of any kind. He always smiled and said: “Thank God! Things should not be worse.”

There are many such memories that remain. Taz received children from these homes and the children, under Taz, enjoyed special care. They were given good nourishment, clothing, medical help, etc. The tots who attended the kindergarten run by Taz constituted another group. They were children of craftsmen and small businessmen. These parents were unable to send their children to summer camps.

The administration of Taz, encouraged by Dr. Kerner, decided to erect a building for the summer camp of Taz in Horodlitz. At that time, the administration was in the hands of Dr. Kerner (still with us), attorney Felix, Dr. Shemshtein, V. Pen, Yoel Hayat, Yehiel Shtein, Lipa Hayat, Yosef Weis, Shmuel Milshtein, Leibel Shteinman, Mrs. Sara Havkin, Dr. Shatz, dentist Dr. Baruch, Shlomo Shamash, Melamed (Stoliar), etc. They all were convinced it was a difficult task, but they were determined to do all they could.

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I recall the first outing to Horodlitz together with contractor Haim Forshteler (he, too, contributed to the building fund by agreeing to receive his payments in installments over several years). Dr. Kerner wanted a building surrounded by sunlight. The contractor said it was impossible. Dr. Kerner spread his arms and said: “This is how you will build it! It does not matter how it looks from the outside. There must be sunlight and air for the children”. When the children were sent the first time to the new building, Dr. Kerner and his wife (she was active in the women's auxiliary) walked on Shabbat evening in order to spend the night with the children and to check on the amount of sunlight and air.

The craftsmen of Kovel were helpful, as best they could, in the construction of the building. They invested much love and toil in it. They gave extra hours of their own free will, not to receive a reward. Unfortunately, I do not remember the names of all of them, especially the carpenters. Yehiel Shtein, a barber, worked not far from Taz. He would often make his customers wait while he did a good deed for a poor woman or a child. Lipa Hayat was a stern Jew. However, for the good of Taz he would often neglect his business. Shmuel Milshtein, Yosef Weis, Shteinman were all members of the Bund and were committed, heart and soul, to Taz. Most of the work of Taz was organized in the barbershop of Shteinman and in the workshop of Weis. They were all lovable, generous and admirable. They were aware of the needs of the poor in town and were ready, at any time, to save a Jewish soul in Kovel. Shteinman was also a town councillor and he did a great deal there for the benefit of his poor brethren. The tailor V. Pen, a respected Jew, aristocratic in looks, Yoel Hayat, Shlomo Shamash- they took time from their hard work to do good. The Jewish doctors and dentist- all added to the institution called Taz.

For several years, the Taz members worked in great harmony, until Dr. Kerner and his family left Kovel. There was a crisis in the activities of Taz. The headquarters became smaller and smaller until they were housed in two small rooms in the apartment of Gershonovitz. The furnaces were heated by seeds donated by the Zuperfein brothers with some additional oil. Matters reached a point where Dr. Volman, chief secretary of Taz in Warsaw decided to visit Kovel. He was a busy man and was seen using two telephones at the same time, but he had a special place in his heart for the wonderful work done in the Kovel Taz. After Dr. Volman came (he is now in the United States), the activities increased to a new height. Important and energetic people and some who had not participated before were approached. A special importance in the new activities of Taz was the addition of Dr. Ziskind, z” l.

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He was one of the original founders. A most productive and bright period in the history of the institution followed. It was the Ziskind period. Unfortunately, it did not last long. New administration members were: Dr. Ziskind, Dr. Tsachnovitz, Dr. Shemshtein, Klara Davidovna-Erlich, Dr. Lechel, Moshe Perl, attorney V. Pomerantz, V. Pen, Yoel Hayat, Mrs. Baruch, Sh. Milshtein, Sh. Shamash, Mrs. Sara Havkin, Mrs. Kobrinsky, Meir Kritz, Mrs. S. Kleiner, N. Olshetsky, Dr. Vidra, dentist Eisenberg. Dr. Ziskind was elected chairman. He took his work at Taz seriously. The clerks at Taz used to come to work at 8:30 am, but Dr. Ziskind was already there from 8:00 am. Dr. Ziskind also approached all the involved women in town and influenced them to organize themselves around the Taz activities. His wife was well-versed in all his public work and she, too, devoted herself to the work at Taz. She led her friends.

Dr. Ziskind, z” l, was energetic and full of good ideas. He did not accept defeat. All his practical suggestions were received by the majority. He once almost lost his life. I must tell the story.

The first thing that the Taz administration thought was important was the enlargement and renovation of the building in Horodlitz. It was planned to use the money obtained from town hall with the help of two members- Moshe Perl and attorney Pomerantz, z” l. There was also a general collection that brought good results. Everyone, even those who did not benefit from Taz activities, contributed as best they could. However, the total amount was still not enough. The dining hall of the building had a roof that was not plastered.

In June, at the opening of the summer camp, Dr. Horodlitz went to check the new building. It was a hot day and Dr. Ziskind was worried that the children would suffer from the heat in the dining room. He was so worried that he forgot to go to the hospital where his patients were waiting. He tried to find a solution.

He consulted other members of Taz on the telephone and he became even more excited. He returned home and fainted. For about an hour he did not come to. After this he spent many weeks in bed. His doctors forbade him to speak about Taz matters or to meet people who would remind him of Taz.

When he recuperated, he, of course, returned to his Taz activities. The work progressed. Bricks were obtained for large sums of money. The number of breakfasts in schools was increased.

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Children in the Horodlitz Colony

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Meals were served in the Talmud Torah. That year, the General Meeting of Taz was attended by the intelligentsia of the town as well as all small businessmen and craftsmen. Jewish Kovel had never seen such a meeting.

The nursery and kindergarten in town were also enlarged. It almost had the look of a governmental institution. Taz looked after children in the main. It was as if a magic wand was waved. Breakfast food was wrapped in white paper and was distributed by the teachers to the children during recess. Clothing was available before the holidays. Nuts and sweets were wrapped in colorful paper and this became a festive occasion. The tables were decorated with flowers and there was good order and cleanliness everywhere. The children felt like members of a large family. Dr. Pomerantz came in direct contact with the work of Taz. He was a sentimental man and was keenly interested in the children. One child who was presented as a very sickly one was taken by Fania, Mrs. Pomerantz, to her home. He became like a son to her. She took him to movies and other places. He enjoyed life with her.

It is impossible to remember everyone. Especially when one recalls that these enthusiastic and kind leaders of public life are no longer alive. Let those few that I did remember be an eternal memory for all those who were acquaintances and friends.

Finally, I wish to give details about the Women's Auxiliary that included: Mrs. Sara Havkin, Dina Ziskind, Golda Perl, Bluma Schwartz, Fania Pomerantz, Busha Gendler, Grinberg, Markiter, Tania Kutzin, Mrs. Dr. Shatz, Sonia Kleiner, Dr. Eisenberg's wife, and , still with us, Mrs. Kobrinsky (in Israel), Mrs. Darabaner- I met her after the war- and Mrs. Dr. Tsachnovitz.

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The Orphanage

by Yaacov Teitelkar

Translated by Ala Gamulka

Before WWI, Jewish life in Kovel was normal and the number of orphans was reasonable. The issue of orphans was not a problem, at all. The residents of Kovel were not disturbed by the need to feed the orphans. The orphans did not feel that they were carrying a heavy load. They felt comfortable with the care given to them by everyone. It reminds one of the story, by Shalom Aleichem, “Motel Feisi, son of Hune” which reflects honestly life in a Jewish shtetl during that period. The orphans were under good influence, charitable deeds and the exaggerated worries expressed by everyone. They would say: “Life is good. I am an orphan!” Neighbors and other residents saw it as their duty to bring an orphan home to be with the family and to provide him/her with a warm atmosphere and education as they did for their own children.

The situation changed after WWI. The bloody war, the pogroms and the killing of Jews in the towns and villages of Volyn, decimated and destroyed many families. There was a trail of mourning and orphaning. There was a great increase in the number of orphans from the villages around Kovel who came to town for shelter. This was a heavy burden. The people of Kovel themselves were in dire straits. The economic life of Kovel during the war was ruined. It was difficult to care for the orphans on an individual basis as there were so many of them and there was a lack of funds within Kovel. Hurriedly, the Folks Kitchen was established by the Assistance Committee organized in town by representatives of the various synagogues. The committee distributed aid received from the Joint to all those who needed it.

One of the most active women in the Folks Kitchen was Reitze Levin. She was one of the first to recognize the great need of the poor orphans. They had nothing more than the meal given to them in the Folks Kitchen. She, by herself, arranged for some of the orphans to be taken in by families. They needed a home, humanitarian conditions and for someone to look after them.

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(They were called Children of Reitze at all times). The number of orphans that streamed in from surrounding villages grew constantly and there were not enough private homes to accommodate them. There was no other solution, but, Reitze and others, decided to organize an orphanage. It was to be a place of shelter and rest, special and permanent.

Reitze Levin headed the effort by Mrs. Tsachnovitz, Misha Armernik, Shimon Eisen, Klara Erlich, Mrs. Havkin, Batya Armernik, Dr. Shemshtein, Dr. Tsachnovitz, Dr. Vitman, Gurin and Yaakov Borak. In 1918, the first apartment was rented in the shacks of Antin, on Lutske Street and it became the location of the first orphanage in Kovel. The committee members began to do earnest, organized work. They made sure that the poor orphans were bathed, dressed in nice, clean clothes, were fed, were calm and had spacious rooms. The basic needs were financed by assistance from the Joint. It had quickly served the Jewish communities that had been impoverished and nearly destroyed by WWI. An important department of the Joint was the one that dealt with help to orphans of war and pogrom.

In the summer of 1920, there was stop to the independent activities of the committee when Kovel saw the arrival of the Bolsheviks. Although they had various projects, they did care for the abandoned and orphaned children. They opened a Yiddish school (on Lutske Street in an Antin shack) and they provided space to these children in it. The well–known pedagogue, Bilov, was the principal. The teachers, male and female, were: Sarah Blumenfeld (now in Israel), Klara Segal, Sonia Danziger, Sonia Rubinstein, Sonia Liublinska, Hershel Nitzberg (son of Rabbi Nitzberg). The house mother was Sara Havkin. The orphans received an education, good care and were fed (paid for by the Joint). This arrangement did not last long as the Bolsheviks fled from the Poles in the summer (on the eve of Rosh Hashana). Life in Kovel, including that of the orphans, returned to its former routine. There was much work as there were close to 500 orphans under the responsibility of the committee. There were 195 boys and 290 girls (of those there were 160 full orphans and 325 with one parent still alive). The full orphans were billeted thus: 75 in the orphanage, 55 with relatives and 30 in private homes. The relatives and the private people received clothing and food for the orphans, in addition to a decent payment for their work. The orphans who still had one parent were given food and clothing in their homes. The committee also paid full tuition in the town schools where the orphans studied.

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Establishing a cornerstone for the orphanage named for the late lawyer Appelbaum

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Full tuition paid for these orphans was a substantial donation for the maintenance of the Hebrew schools. The Polish authorities did not fully subsidize them.

The value of the orphanage was high. Many saw it as a redemption. It is interesting to note that many mothers of semi–orphans who did not need the orphanage and even just ordinary mothers worried about the future of their children. They came to the committee to ask for advice. They were not turned away and the committee found a way to send the children to various youth institutions in other countries. This is how the children were able to build an independent life for themselves. There were several missions: 2 went to Eretz Israel, 19 to Argentina, 12 to Africa, 28 to Canada, 13 to England, 11 to the United States, 4 to relatives– for a total of 109.

A secondary curiosity. In spite of the great efforts of the committee to look after the orphans who required their help, the number of orphans in the orphanage grew. This was a suspicious matter and an investigation ensued. It tuned out that there were about twenty “orphans” who had both parents and who “infiltrated” the list. The parents were worried about their children and were jealous of the orphans who were receiving good care and an excellent education and were prepared for a positive independent future. This is why these parents were ready to commit this sin and to deny their own existence…

According to regulations of the Joint, these children were to be dismissed, but the committee decided otherwise. The committee undertook to continue to support these “orphans” in various ways. It considered the situation and decided that these were unusual circumstances.

The orphanage continued to develop. There was help from responsible and settled community leaders: Michael Roizen, Mr. Shapira, Michael Rosenblatt, Mina Tolier (in Israel now), Shalom Klonitsky and others. The work of the committee expanded. Soon the Kovel orphanage became a central facility. All other orphanages came under its jurisdiction.

During this great time of pride and growth of the institution, surprising news came from the Joint. It was obliged to stop its activities in subsidizing orphanages and the committee would have to do it on its own.

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The orphanage building, named for Dr. Yaakov Appelbaum


The committee now had to carry a heavy load. In addition to its direct subsidy, the Joint now was beginning to cut down its basic support– 25% at a time. This “retreat” of the Joint was well thought out in advance and its aim was to make the orphanages be self–sufficient.

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In 1923 the Joint completely withdrew and the Orphanage committee in Kovel had to face the facts.

The situation of the orphanage was difficult and dire, but the committee did not give up. The recognition that they were responsible for a large number of poor, miserable and lonely orphans pushed them to continue the work in a larger and more independent manner. Their efforts multiplied. All those who looked after the orphanage were seen by Kovel residents as a big family called orphanage with strong ties. The secretary of the committee, Asher Erlich, a bookkeeper by profession, was also an excellent counselor to the orphans. He looked after all their needs, material and spiritual. Although his political views were far left, he was well liked and appreciated by the committee. They were mostly all Zionists. They completely trusted him. It was natural for Reize Levin to be seen as the mother of the orphanage. She had given up her private life and was totally devoted to the institution. She spent days and nights there. No one was surprised that Mina Tolier– then the treasurer of the orphanage–used her own funds to pay the milkman and the grocer because the cash register was empty. Shalom Klonitsky invested all his strength in educating the orphans and in leading them in artistic endeavors. He was also the representative of the children in the school where he had sent them. He was always involved in activities for their benefit. It was not surprising that his own parents complained that he was rarely home. Fasha Leiner, an aristocratic and delicate woman (granddaughter of the Rabbi from Radzin), came to the orphanage as house mother and a counselor (she replaced Sarah Blumenfeld). She gave her warm motherly heart to the young orphans. No one was surprised when she refused to remarry after the death of her husband. She had found her purpose in the family of the orphanage.

Thanks to the dedication of these loyal people, there were always activities for the good of the orphanage. They were usually successful. The committee always felt that they were not abandoned and that the entire population was behind them. This encouraged them to try even harder. An important contribution was made by the Kovel Relief Ladies Club in the United States. They sent considerable amounts of money from time to time. They also sent 100 gold coins every month for bread.

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Committee of the Orphanage with the orphans

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In addition, they arranged for the purchase of two dairy cows so the children would drink milk. Thanks to the help from all sides, there was almost no sense of loss because of the Joint withdrawal. The orphanage remained open for new orphans who would arrive.

In 1925 the conditions of the orphanage worsened. Expenses were high and new efforts were required. It was decided to include Lawyer Yaakov Appelbaum in the enterprise. The elderly Appelbaum was still full of energy and he accepted the call to become Chairman of the Board. He was excited about his contribution and he dedicated himself to the task, ready for any sacrifice. He decided to perpetuate his work for the orphanage. He was an experienced community leader and he knew that if the orphanage had to move often to new locations, paying extra costs, it would not be possible. Failure would be the result in spite of all efforts. He wanted to prevent this from happening and he bought a lot with an old building, without the knowledge and agreement of other board members. He decided to raze the building and to build, in its place, a proper orphanage. He knew the difficulties ahead and that is why he was careful not to present his plan openly. He did not want it to be refused. After some struggle, he decided to pay for the building out of his own pocket in order to fulfill his dream.

In 1929, the old building was taken down and the construction of the new one began. By the end of that year, the orphans returned from summer camp to a magnificent, spacious new edifice, erected by their “grandfather”, Yaakov Appelbaum.

In 1930, Appelbaum had a new idea: to create a day camp for the orphans in the village of Horodlitz. Since he no longer had extra funds, he asked for assistance from the orphanage board. There was much deliberation, struggling and aggravation until Appelbaum succeeded in the fulfillment of his idea. Finally, with the help of the central office in Rovno, a summer camp was arranged for the orphanage. Not only orphans enjoyed the camp, but also children of poor, sick and needy parents. There was enough food for dozens of children and they returned from summer camp healthy, wearing new clothes and shoes.

In time, because there were always new orphans added, as well as their growing up, the orphanage was obliged to establish a semi–boarding facility. This was urgently requested by poor, wretched parents for their offspring who came back from school hungry.

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These children were semi–boarders, were fed well and did their homework under the supervision of a licensed teacher. They stayed there till evening when they returned home to sleep.

All the orphans who finished their studies were placed by the orphanage in various shops to learn trades. Those orphans who showed exceptional talents were given the opportunity to go to the high schools in town. When the training was completed (until 1938 at least 368 orphans took part), special parties were given in their honor. They were then to take their first steps independently towards their future as useful citizens.

Many of these orphans who grew up in the orphanage and were trained by them managed to occupy important positions within society and remained in Kovel. Their emotional bond with the orphanage continued. They always enjoyed visiting the orphanage to see their teachers and counselors. Those who made Aliyah were given money for travel expenses as well as clothing and other needs– just like those who had families.

In 1938, the orphanage celebrated its 25th anniversary. A special edition of an internal newspaper called “Our 25th anniversary newspaper” was issued. Those who prepared it were: Rabbi Moshe Nahum Tversky, Rabbi Efraim Kirszner, Rabbi Moshe Bratt, Rabbi Moshe Asher Landa, Rabbi Yaakov Yankelevich, A. Baruchin, Miriam Lerner, Asher Erlich and the author of this article. In this newspaper was described the huge painstaking work done by community leaders to achieve their goal. They speak of the importance, value and role of the institution from a social, national and religious point of view. The difficult circumstances of the present are also discussed and there is a plea to the population of Kovel to help in maintaining the orphanage in the future.

In the fall of 1939, when the war between the Germans and the Poles ended, the Bolsheviks again entered Kovel. The shining period of the orphanage ended. The Bolsheviks quickly caused a socialist revolution in Kovel. All educational and public institutions were under Communist control and changed completely. Soon the orphanage suffered its fate. All the children who had studied in Hebrew schools in Kovel were transferred to Yiddish schools run by the Bolsheviks. In addition, the Polish orphanage was annexed to the Jewish one. The original, nationalistic–popular look of the orphanage was erased under the new authorities.

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The Ort School

by Baruch Bork

Translated by Ala Gamulka

One of the important and beautiful institutions in Kovel was the ORT school. It educated a working and productive youth. The ORT school was founded in the 1920s with the active initiative of several community leaders from among the trades people. They were headed by Avraham Glass.

The school was located in a private, rented apartment and had several departments. The first principal was the teacher Azriel Figelman, z”l.

All the needed equipment was provided by the ORT center in Warsaw. The school had a good reputation and this caused much interest among the Jewish youths in Kovel and surroundings. The school developed and continued to succeed. Graduates found work in local shops. Many of them eventually worked for themselves. Exhibitions of the creations of ORT school received much recognition among the people of Kovel. The school was especially famous for its decent and artistic work. The tailoring section, directed by Mrs. Hayat and Mrs. Fogelson, was well–known and was always busy with orders.

The ongoing budget of the school was mainly covered by the central office and by tuition paid by the students, income from sales of works, donations, etc. The financial situation was never satisfactory. There were many crisis occasions. The teachers never received their full pay and there was also a group of volunteer leaders, headed by Dr. Sokolovsky. This is how the school could continue its existence. From time to time there were campaigns for funds for the school and the citizens of Kovel were generous. In addition, the students, together with the Drama Club of Kovel, presented plays. Any income went to the school. There were also flower days which brought in some funds. In general, there was a need for a devoted group of friends who would help in the activities of Dr. Sokolovsky– loved by all. Occasionally, representatives of the central office came to help with various projects for the good of the school. All these activities allowed ORT to disseminate trades learning and education among the poor sections of the Jewish population of Kovel. There were also special courses in sewing for women. They had an excellent reputation. Many ORT graduates are now living in Israel and work in their trades. Among the ORT leaders in the last years were: Dr. Sokolovsky, Asher Frankfurt (principal of Tarbut school in Kovel), Avraham Glaz, Yehiel Stein, Israel Gortenstein, Shlomo Shames, wife of Dr. Tsichnovits, wife of Dr. Vitman, wife of Dr. Eisenberg (dentist), Pinie Sheinboim, Volf Penn, Yankel Schwartz, Yitzhak Sheynkar and Shieke Friedman.

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A group of ORT female students with their teacher Ts. Yucht


The one who contributed the most to the existence of ORT school was the important community leader– a tradesman– Avraham Glaz. He did not bother much with his shop and so deprived his family of income. Day and night, he continued his demands from his colleagues to help out. He traveled to Berlin to the National conference of ORT in order to obtain something for his special project– ORT school. He is now in Poland. It is incumbent upon us to give him the hearty thanks in the name of hundreds of ORT graduates who had a decent life because of his efforts, devotion and volunteering for the institution.


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