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The Communal-Political Life
- Organizations and Parties


Lutsk after the First World War

Yehuda Papir, Washington

Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund

In January 1921 I was delegated to travel to Lutsk by the Washington division of the Lutsker Landsmanschaft [organization of people from the same city or town] for Relief Work in Lutsk and its surroundings. As a result, after an absence of 14 years, I was given [the opportunity] to visit my birth city where my parents, Yankl Grober and Chana Slawa, lived, along with my brother Shmuel Papir and his wife and children, my sister and her family and many uncles and aunts and their many branched families. I lived in deep longing for the beautiful landscape of Lutsk and its surroundings where I had spent many happy satisfied years, despite everything during the time of my 14-year separation from my old and dear home. Baked deeply in my heart were the Lutsk rivers and forests where, in summer, I swam and spent much time on various excursions in the area; and in winter – I skated on the ice, for which I was given slaps and warning by my father, of blessed memory, that I should not do what Hasidic boys were not permitted to do.

On the way to Lutsk, I spent several weeks in Warsaw where I arranged the appropriate formalities that were connected with transferring money that American relatives had sent to their families in Lutsk. This matter was connected with the issue of money and the transfer of dollars into marks – in agreement with the existing financial laws in Poland. A great deal of money designated for the Lutsker victims to cover the transportation expenses for immigrating to America remained in the possession of the Joint [Distribution Committee]. The rest of the money in Polish currency was transferred to the remaining victims in Lutsk. All together, this made a round sum of around a hundred thousand dollars. Around 40,000 dollars were exchanged to Polish currency at 610 marks to the dollar. This money was packed into a large crate, which took up the entire area of the Joint auto. I had to sit on the crate and this drew attention to me from the Jews in the Warsaw streets on which we had to drive on the way to Lutsk. The Nalewker Jews particularly marveled at this picture of an American Jew sitting in an auto and his head reaching heaven. At the last minute I understood the comedy of the situation, exited the auto and traveled to Lutsk by train. Later, it appeared that I should goyml bentshn [a prayer of thanks said after completing a dangerous journey], because outside of Koval, the auto was shot at by bandits, who suspected that there surely had to be a large sum of money in the crate. If I had traveled with the auto, my head surely would have been a good target for the bandits' bullets.

I arrived in Lutsk around 12 o'clock at night. The night was very dark. At the train station I was taken by an izwoszczik [coachman] – a convert [to Christianity] who I knew from my childhood years. He also recognized me. We drove into the city and began looking for the house of my parents. However, the darkness was so great that this was not so easy for us. We drove around the same place many times and were completely unable to find the right place. With luck, my parents heard our voices and they ran out to welcome me. Understandably, the joy of our meeting was very great after such a long time of having not seen each other.

I spent many months in Lutsk, during which I had the opportunity to see the terrible post-war need of the majority of the Jewish population in Lutsk. It demanded an

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extraordinary strength of endurance and much human understanding for the suffering of the Jews in Lutsk.

On the second day, the vehicle with the chest of money also arrived. Because of the need for security, I did not bring the chest into my parents' home because this would have put them in danger of being attacked by bandits and looters, but I took it to the building of the kehile [organized Jewish community] where there was an iron safe. Two nightguards were placed there who watched the money to which the hundreds of Jewish families in Lutsk had turned with hope.

In the course of my three-week stay in Warsaw, the concerned families were informed about the money transfers that I had brought with me. On the first day of my arrival in Lutsk, my parents' house was besieged by hundreds of Jews. There also was great jostling at the kehile building. The payments of money took place under the rigorous supervision of the distinguished Jewish men of the city. Because of the great jostling around the table where the payouts at the kehile took place, the kehile-shamas [community caretaker] began to drive them out of the premises. However, I immediately intervened, calmed the crowd a little and asked them to behave in a way that the payouts could take place in an appropriate atmosphere. The payouts lasted several weeks. But, alas, many remained unsatisfied. As the American saying: “Try to satisfy everyone and you will surely satisfy no one.” Thus it was in this case. Each one of the institutions present in Lutsk claimed leadership and precedence. However, the monies were distributed with impartiality and this was the way the distribution had to take place. Everyone had to be satisfied.

The reason for the dissatisfaction lay in the instability of the Polish currency. Several Jews actually wanted us to distribute dollars, not believing that the Joint, according to the existing law, had exchanged the dollars for marks. Even now, several tens of years after my mission, I want to make use of the opportunity to again assert that I carried out my work perfectly. My conscience has remained clear to this day.

After finishing the payment came the second part of my mission: completing all formalities that were connected with the immigration to America of the Jews from Lutsk and the surrounding areas. All of the Jewish immigrants had to assemble from various small cities and shtetlekh [towns], with their families, of which many children had ringworm on their small heads and they had to be cured. They were sent to the hospital in Warsaw. Much effort and energy was used in preparing the trips and passport formalities in the Polish offices. No less effort was placed with the American consul, who after my profuse sweating in various Polish offices, began a new investigation. He suspected that the money [I brought] for emigration was from a somewhat unclean source and it was connected with a certain intrigue. With great effort, I worked to persuade him that I had been involved in a communal mission and with humanitarian help.

After spending seven months in Lutsk, I succeeded in gathering 50 children from various parents. I rented a special train car for them and transferred them to Warsaw. Their parents traveled on separate trains. Obtaining the visas and passports took a great deal of time and took place accompanied by many bizarre situations. The instructions of the American relatives were such that the monies were designated only for emigration. In a case when someone [decided not to go], the money had to be sent back. Older girls, whose relatives wanted to bring to America, saw it as a suitable opportunity to get married. Matches and weddings actually quickly took place to which I was invited more than once. This caused me great embarrassment.

* * *

A particularly interesting chapter of communal and cultural work took place then. In addition to private money, I had 9,000 dollars that I had to distribute among various institutions.

There then existed in Lutsk various institutions of a diverse character. There were Zionist, Hebraist and Yiddishist institutions that had their specific needs and problems. It really demanded great tact in order to find the correct balance in the appropriate distribution of the 9,000 dollars that were at my disposal. I held many conferences and consultations with the representatives of the interested institutions to analyze the labyrinth of their tasks and their practical needs. Each of the Lutsk institutions claimed authority and merit. However, the money was sent completely impartially and that is how the distribution had to take place. Everyone had to be satisfied.

This was just then erev [the eve of] Passover. The great need because of the war threatened that hundreds of Jewish families would remain without matzos and other requirements for Passover. They demanded that I distribute a certain sum for this purpose. At that time, there were a considerable number of newly rich war-wealthy men who did not excel in the good traits of the pre-war wealthy men. They kept their purses closed under lock and key

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and did not feel any responsibility to their fellow Jewish citizens who found themselves in need. Therefore, I demanded that these rich men should first tax themselves for this purpose and then I would contribute the same sum that they would collect. And thus the Jews were provided with the necessities for Passover.

The Jews who came to the Lutsk Jewish kehile for matzo for Passover made a frightful impression on me. I once knew them as good looking, rich and middleclass people. They were ruined by the war operations and had to stick out their hands for help. These scenes were etched so deep in my memory that I cannot forget them even today.

The city synagogue in Lutsk was found in very sad condition. Because of the war operations in that area, it was severely damaged. The back fence was completely ruined and open, because it actually served for an unclean purpose… I appropriated a certain sum – and the fence was erected, and other necessary repairs around the synagogue, were completed.

The two above-mentioned communal actions took a thousand dollars from me. The remaining 8,000 dollars were divided among the various institutions in Lutsk. Today, I cannot remember exactly how much each institution received. The Kultur-Lige [Culture League] was taken care of with two beautiful houses for its schools. A considerable sum also was distributed for the gymnazie [secular secondary school] and for the Tarbut [Zionist Hebrew language] schools. The pictures of these institutions were given to the museum in Bat Yam during my visit to Israel. I photographed all the Jewish institutions in Lutsk before departing from Lutsk. These pictures, which are found in the museum at Bat Yam, are a memorial of a once ebullient and lively Jewish community in Lutsk, where there is now only the mass grave of our dearest and nearest, annihilated by the Hitlerist beasts.


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The attempt of Lutsk Jews
to acquire land in Eretz Israel

Binyamin Groschewsky, Tel Aviv

Translated by Sara Mages

In 5684 [1923/24], a group organized in Lutsk to buy land for settlement in Eretz Israel. The group numbered thirty-seven members, a sum of one thousand and two hundred pound sterling was collected, a committee was elected and I was appointed secretary. Two of the group members (Benger and Einbinder) traveled to Eretz Israel to purchase the land. They merged with other groups from Bialystok and Grodno and together bought the village of Menashih, a settlement between Haifa and Acre - an area of thirteen thousand dunams at a price of three pounds per dunam[1]. They paid nine thousand pounds on account, and the balance had to be paid at the time of receiving the title deed.

However, it turned out that the groups of buyers could not meet their obligations. At that period of time the Polish government, with Grabski[2] at its leader, imposed a heavy burden on the Jews, oppressed them financially and extorted heavy taxes from them. On the other hand, many administrative difficulties piled up in the execution of the sale. The land owners could not transfer the land to the buyers because it previously belonged to the Turkish government. After the [First] World War the British government took possession of the land and sold it at auction to the French Consulate. Because of all the complications, it was impossible to get the title deed and all the money that was paid as deposit was lost. Indeed, the matter was handed over to the lawyer, Eliash, but he was unable to get the money back. He received five hundred pounds as a fee, and nothing came of it.

This is how the attempt of Lutsk Jews to acquire land in Eretz Israel ended…

Translator's footnotes:

  1. A unit of land area, used especially in the State of Israel, equal to 1000 square meters or about ¼ acre Return
  2. Władysław Dominik Grabski was a Polish National Democratic politician, economist and historian, and served as Prime Minister of Poland in 1920 and from 1923 to 1925. Return

The Jewish Kehile in Lutsk

Sh. Szlajfsztajn

Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund

According to certain historical sources, the Jewish kehile [organized Jewish community] in Lutsk arose in the 13th century. However, given that the rights of the Jews in that era were strongly limited, there was no talk of any communal life. The Jews were forced to live in a nearby village that is still today called Zhydychyn [zhyd is Jew in Ukrainian]. In later years, the situation improved and the Jewish population organized into a legally recognized body – the kehile. Outwardly and inwardly the kehile was the representative of organized Jewish life. The large synagogue that was built in the 16th century, during the reign of Zygmunt the Third, is one of the historical signs of this development.

After Poland lost its independence and the Russian tsars ruled in Lutsk, the Jews were robbed of all rights. God forbid that there would be something to carry the name “Jewish kehile.” The interests of the Jewish population at this time were represented by “intercessors” who had connections to the “upper crust” and helped out during an emergency. There also were those who made use of their access to those then in power for personal use and dominated the Jewish population. The taxes and other sources of income were in their hands, which they would hold in lease jointly with the local Russian “functionaries.” The so-called korobka [community tax on kosher meat] that was designated to cover the needs of the Jewish kehile, profited from the income of the bale-takse [the person responsible for the government tax on kosher meat]. The money also succeeded in creating something of lasting value, as for example, the Jewish kehile building neighboring the old cemetery. This building had previously been designated as a trade school for Jewish children.


The History of the Kehile Building

It was in 1912. No real Jewish representation existed then. There were

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a select few Jews, dedicated communal workers, who undertook this building task. One of them was Reb Avraham Gliklich. He approached bringing about this plan with stubbornness, having the double task of building the trade school for Jewish children and [making use of] the korobka money, although a portion [was] for the cemetery.

This did not happen easily. It led to a struggle internally and also externally. The tsarist regime was afraid of every step that could bring the country closer to the European west and, therefore, it was not in a hurry to issue razresheniye [permission]. This also was resisted internally, that the money should go to building a modern worldly school and, mainly, they were against the building on the area of the old cemetery. When they came across human bones during the digging of the foundation, there was a terrible outcry; they issued a decree ordering a community fast and tore their garments [in mourning]. However, the activists were not frightened and the work continued – and there arose the well-known kehile building, a beautiful monument of the terrible times.

However, the First World War broke out and everything was destroyed. The school had not even graduated its first artisans. In general, all of community life ceased.


The First Democratic Elections

After the crumbling of Tzarist Russia, Lutsk provisionally became a component of the Ukrainian independent land. On the basis of a law from the “Central Council of the Ukrainian Government,” the first democratic fivefold elections took place for the Jewish kehile in Lutsk. This was an election “with all of the flourishes.” The Jewish population was influenced by the democratic mood and went to vote en masse. Among others, the following episode confirms this:

There was a list of artisans among the large number of lists that were presented. So many votes went to this list that there were not enough candidates.

However, the democratically elected kehile did not appear to do anything. The organization of the voting was incomplete and the kehile managing committee did not know what its authority was. Therefore, the managing committee saw, first of all, a necessity to develop regulations and a program. But they were so occupied by the program that…a new upheaval arrived and the rights of the kehilus [organized Jewish communities] were limited. Nevertheless, the first managing committee emerged. Dr. Pemow was elected as chairman of the council and Dr. Avraham Lender as chairman of the managing committee. The meetings were carried out really democratically and in the Yiddish language.

Yiddish came into style and whoever could not speak the language well made Russian expressions more Yiddish sounding. It was said that once when only a few people came to a kehile meeting, the chairman turned to those assembled [and declared] with such a “Yiddish”: Gospoda tak the bolshenstvo [Gentleman, as the majority] of the city council otsutstvuyet [is absent], I am announcing the zasiedanye [sitting] is zakrite [shut].*

*[Translator's note: the “Yiddish” sentence was spoken using Russian, Ukrainian and Yiddish words. The Yiddish words have been translated into English and the Russian and Ukrainian words recorded with their translations in brackets.]

During the term of office of the same managing committee, the following curiosity took place: once, when the city was without a father, a certain colonel who had declared himself as Komendant Goroda [city commandant] appeared. This person, a strong money-grasping soul, informed the half-official kehile that he demanded a large sum of money and for it he would arm a certain number of Jews to keep order and protect the Jewish city.

Alas, we had to give money when the commandant demanded it, but the “gift” evoked a deep discussion: do or do not meet the demand. The end was that those saying yes won. The commandant kept his word and sent the kehile 60 rifles with which the group adorned itself and dared even to go out on the balcony.

At the same time, several Cossacks “fortuitously” rode through and, noticing the “armed ones,” went up to the kehile and not asking anything, they began to beat the “armed ones” with rifle butts. They took away the rifles. It was later said that the same commander had sent the Cossacks.

In 1919, when the Polish regime entered Lutsk, it did not recognize the kehile managing committee. On the other hand, the American aid organizations did recognize this body and through it distributed help and fulfilled other missions.

After the death of A. Lender (1921), his place was taken by Kheykl Wajc. Thanks to the fact that at that time Kh. Wajc knew the Polish language well, he was a mediator for the kehile and he appeared as the official representative of the Jewish population with regard to the Polish regime which, as mentioned, did not recognize the kehile as official.


The Village Elder Arranges Voting

At the beginning of 1927, the kehile received a letter from the Lutsk staroste [village elder] that the kehile committee was being dissolved. The representatives of the Polish regime designated

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a new provisional managing committee with the Rabbi, Reb Moshe Gliklich at the head. Simultaneously, the village elder decreed that its kehile election had to take place in June 1928. Boris Raszba was designated as chairman of the election committee.

The result of the voting (August 1928) was that elected to the council of the kehile were Kalman Friszberg – chairman of the council, Yosef Czitin, Y. Barzach, Moshe Bliak, F. Breyer, M. Libuber, Dovid Lender, Sh. Silkis, Sh. Poliszuk, M. Koziol, A. Klimburd, A. Y. Szapira, Sh. Sznajder and M. Waksman.


Boris Raszba


The council elected a managing committee of the following people: Lazar Dal – chairman; Lawyer Y. Bakszt – representative; Ykh. Einbinder, B. Nik, Y. Dau, A. Flach, Asher Szapiro and Moshe Sznicer.

Both bodies, at first, set as their task to work jointly and reform Jewish communal life on a modern basis. They had many tasks for themselves. However, they faced no end of difficulties of a routine nature and the local relations disturbed the work.[a]

The work of the new managing committee not only had light, but also shadows. During the term of office of Kh. Wajc, the kehile building was occupied by the Zionist organizations along with their branches. A large number of rooms were occupied by Beis Lekhem [organization providing bread for the needy], the artisans, the orphans home and kindergarten, as well as a Tarbut [secular Hebrew language] school. The new kehile managing committee began creating order and began to empty the premises. One beautiful morning, the Zionist library and the Palestine office were evicted. This caused a stir for a time in the relationships among the managing committee members.

A separate chapter involved the Polish regime, which decided to confiscate the building from the kehile because there was no evidence of a mortgage. However, this was not successful.

The kehile managing committee was very worried because of the financial situation. The law did not give the kehile the opportunity to earn income and, therefore, the kehile could not develop any widespread activity. Having the regime's assurance that the matter would soon be settled, the kehile took out loans until a solution was found – the community tax. A budget was then adopted in the amount of 231,000 zlotes based on an income from the community tax of 100,000 zlotes. At that time, it was decided, among other things, that the kehile would take over the ritual slaughter of cattle and of poultry. Much higher prices were designated for the slaughtering: 30 groshn for poultry; 60 groshn for a goose and one zlote for a turkey.

In 1929, they took the metrical duties from Rabbi Gliklich, which had been in his hands since the tzarist times.

During the same era, a struggle took place over the election of a kehile rabbi. Among others, Moshe Gliklich was a candidate for this post. There also were candidates from other cities and the application of the Rabbi Zalman Koroczkin, who had sat on the Lutsk rabbinical seat until the outbreak of the war, was accepted.

It is worth remembering what happened




Notices in Yiddish and Polish

Translation from Yiddish:


With this, we remind you that Monday, the 20th of June (Torah portion Beha'aloscha – “When you ascend…”) this year, the term for paying the 50 percent community tax ends. In order to be able make use of the discount, the remainder should be paid pro-rated.

We remind the community tax payers to pay 50 percent by Monday, the 20th, in order to spare themselves of additional costs (interest and enforcement costs).

The kehile office is open every day from 9 to 2.

Managing committee of the Lutsk Jewish Kehile.

Lutsk, the 20th of June 1932.


Translation from the Polish:

The board of the Jewish community in Lutsk hereby reminds you that on Monday, June 20, the deadline for paying 50% of the municipal contribution and taking advantage of the installment relief is due.

Reminding the members of the commune about this, the management board calls on taxpayers to pay half of the due contributions and thus save themselves unnecessary fees (penalty for delay and enforcement costs).

The commune's cash desk is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Board of the Jewish religious community in Lutsk.

Lutsk dated the 12th of June 1932

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at that time: a certain German, a houseowner, left 1,500 zlotes in his will for poor Jewish children. The kehile managing committee dedicated several meetings to the question of memorializing the name of the German donor.

* * *

The kehile managing committee was the representative of the Jewish population. When the poet and Zionist leader, Leib Yaffe, visited Lutsk at the beginning of 1929, the kehile managing committee and the council participated in the magnificent welcome that was arranged in his honor by the population. Yaffe came to a special meeting of the management committee and Kalman Friszberg greeted him. At the same time, a welcome was arranged for Rabbi Z[alman] Sorotzkin on his arrival.

The same winter, the kehile managing committee carried out a wood and matzah campaign for the poor and hidden holy men. In the summer of 1929, Av 5689 [July-August], when the Jewish public all over the world was agitated because of the events in Eretz Yisroel [Land of Israel], the Lutsk kehile provided its strong opinion. At a meeting of the council and the managing committee dedicated to the memory of the martyrs of the events mentioned, the strong protest of the Lutsk kehile was heard and the resolution that was proposed by K. Friszberg was adopted unanimously.

Here is the text of the resolution:

“The council and managing committee of the Lutsk Jewish kehile, which took place on the 27th of August 1929, expressed their deep sadness and outrage at the recent events in Eretz Yisroel where the Jewish blood of our brothers and children was spilled. The Lutsk Jewish kehile calls on the Warsaw kehile as the representative of the largest Jewish community in Poland to urge the Polish government to take steps at the League of Nations for the Palestine Mandate to be abided by appropriately. We bow our heads for our brothers who bravely defended Jewish honor in the historic Mandate.”

It was decided to form a committee to help the victims of the events. Later, when a meeting of all of the kehilus took place in Warsaw to protest against the English government, against permitting the pogrom in Eretz Yisroel, against closing the gates of the country to Jewish emigrants, the Lutsk kehile delegated its representative – Cukernik.

The kehile managing committee also had to endure a fight with city hall, which took a piece of land from the cemetery at Boleslewa Crobrego [Crown of Boleslaw] Street in order to build a protective wall against flooding. The city hall took 1,400 square meters [about 15,069 square feet]. This deed created bad blood in the relations between the kehile and city hall. After long negotiations, city hall promised to give the kehile the same area from the dried fields. However, the promise was never kept.

As has been said, the kehile managing committee was particularly involved with solving financial problems. In 1932, the kehile was finally able to put together a real budget. The managing committee estimated the community tax in the amount of 100,000 zlotes, while the debts reached more than 208,000 zlotes. The council came out against such a high community tax, pointing to the difficult economic situation of the Jewish population, which was so burdened by high taxes. The council's stand created resentment among a number of the members of the managing committee, which rejected the council's politics in connection with the impending new elections. The struggle sharpened and created discord among very close friends. The council won. The budget was reduced to 168,000 zlotes and the income from the community tax was lowered to 50,000 zlotes. A similar struggle was repeated in 1933, but then the council and the managing committee were dissolved.

* * *

On the 4th of April 1933, elections took place for the second term of office of the council and managing committee. However, these elections were not crowned with any success. There was a lot of dissatisfaction with the outcome of the voting and there were protests from all sides to the supervisory regimes. Meanwhile, the council did its work: gathered and, according to Jewish law, chose a managing committee and the latter gathered and began to organize itself. However, there were great differences of opinion and, as a compromise, the Rabbi Z. Sorotzkin was chosen as chairman and Layzer Berger as his representative. The supervisory regime did not certify the election for the usual reasons and ordered new elections for chairman and vice [chairman]. Layzer Berger was then elected as chairman and Moshe Grafman as representative.

However, the managing committee still did not manage to do anything, so that one morning, the news arrived from the provisional regime, dated the 2nd of March 1934 that the kehile elections had not taken place in an orderly manner and they had been invalidated. The regime simultaneously designated a provisional kehile managing committee with the following composition: Kalman Friszberg as chairman; Eliezer Berger as vice chairman and members: A.Y. Szapiro; V. Sznajder; M. Vaksman; Sh. Elbirt; A. Chicz; B. Lupin and M. Mandelbaum. The managing committee did not satisfy everyone. The elected managing committee submitted an appeal to the Interior Ministry and those who

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had earlier requested the invalidation of the voting also remained unsatisfied with the composition of the nominees. Especially dissatisfied were the Zionist organization and the Hitachdut [Zionist labor party], which had enjoined its members not to accept a mandate through the nominations.

However, on the 22nd of March 1934, the nominated managing committee went to work. First of all, they tried to solve the financial problems. It was not an easy task. The normal expenses could not be reduced and the obligations did not permit them to breathe freely. The officials were not paid for months. In as much as the salaries were not small, the debt reached in the thousands. In addition, they were responsible for the sick fund and the tax office. Together, the debt reached the colossal sum of 20,000 zlotes. In addition, this was before Passover and they had to do something. First, they proceeded to rework the budget for the year 1934. This was done very carefully. They had to consider the general Jewish situation and everything for which the Jewish taxpayers were responsible.

First of all, they carried out a reduction in the salaries. Then they eliminated other positions that were less sensitive. The budget amounted to 120,000 zlotes, with an expected income from the community tax of only 40,000 zlotes. Efforts were made that year to stick to the budget and not increasing the deficit. In the winter of 1934, the kehile managing committee turned to the population to take part in the wood campaign with the promise that the money would be considered [as part of] the community tax.

* * *

In the beginning of 1935, the village elder carried out an examination of the kehile activities and found that everything was in the best of order. At that time, the position of the kehile began to stabilize. That the kehile had taken over the slaughter of poultry gave an impetus for purchases. Income from the community tax was seen as satisfactory at the beginning of 1935. It was later shown that 1935 was a difficult year. The kehile had assumed the budgets of a certain number of schools and had to pay 5,000 zlotes to cover the deficit of 11 schools. The budget for 1936 was decreased even more and came to 108,750 zlotes with 47,000 zlotes income from the community tax. For the first time, the kehile budget designated a sum of 500 zlotes to support emigrants. The sum was distributed among halutzim [pioneers] who emigrated to Eretz Yisroel [the Land of Israel]. In the same year, the kehile provided large sums for renovating the large synagogue. The renovations were done according to the requests and instructions of the provincial regime that also gave a large sum of money for this purpose.

The managing committee was not destined for any quiet work. At the end of 1936, the bill to ban ritual slaughtering had a strong influence on the work of the kehile. True, it was not a local question, but Lutsk had more to do with the question than others. Firstly, the provincial regime was located there and the surrounding kehilus turned to Lutsk for intervention with the regime against the local Polish officials who, in the isolated corners, usurped the mitzvah [ended ritual slaughter]. Secondly, the Lutsk Rabbi Z. Sorotzkin was very active in the fight against the edict and he would often travel to Warsaw.

At the beginning of 1937, the kehile began to erect two new slaughter houses for poultry. During the same year, the regime exerted pressure and the kehile had to pay tax debts. They were forced to create a supplementary budget of 12,000 zlotes.

The same year, the kehile managing committee carried out elections to a new council and managing committee. The decree to carry out elections was given out in the month of July. However, the kehile managing committee indicated that during the summer a large number of those entitled to vote were outside the city. The village elder accepted this statement and the election was postponed until after the Days of Awe [Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur].

At the beginning of the election campaign, several community activists began to try to create a bloc of all of the Jewish civic groups, except for the Bund. Meanwhile, four different voting lists were entered in the election. At the last moment, however, a united list [was created] with leaders from both blocs at the head: Kalman Friszberg and Dovid. It was designated which members were to enter the newly elected kehile organs. The list did succeed; the Bundist list was invalidated.

The result was that protests were activated against such a manner of carrying out elections. The village elder invalidated the kehile elections and again demanded new elections.

At the end of 1937, the kehile managing committee employed six rabbis headed by the Rabbi Z. Sorotzkin, 18 shoykhetim [ritual slaughterers], five grave diggers and 15 officials. The kehile managing committee through its budget supported the old age home, in which there were 28 old people. The kehile provided subsidies for the Beis Lekhem [bread for the poor], Linas haTzadek [society to care for the sick], TOZ [Towarzystwo Ochrony Zdrowia Ludności Żydowskiej – Society to Protect the Health of the Jews], the Hebrew Tarbut [secular Hebrew language] school, the Talmud Torah [free primary school for boys from poor families], the Beis Yakov yeshiva [religious secondary school] and the interest-free loan fund.

A sum of 5,000 zlotes for trade education was anticipated in the last budget. However, given that there was no institution in the city that could provide trade education for the Jewish youth, the amount was eliminated.

Original footnote:

  1. Sh. Szlajfsztajn makes an error here: by suggesting after the Polish regime drove the Zionists from the kehile and staffed it with non-Zionist elements, it continued to cause difficulties for Jewish autonomy in its chartable and communal work. – the Editorial Board. Return

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The Voting Lists for the Kehile Elections in 1933

Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund

List Number 1

Name and Family [Name] Occupation Age
(date of birth)
1 Kalman Friszberg Merchant 1885 Jagiellońska 15
2 Eliezer Dal Apothecary 1881 Kordeckiego 9
3 Avraham-Yudl Szapria Merchant 1880 Plocka 18
4 Avraham Chicz Merchant 66 Zakopanska 12
5 Yosef Czitin Merchant 1881 Bal. Chrobreno 66
6 Euzial Binder Merchant 1883 Sienkiewicza 12
7 Chaim Eliezer Szifris Merchant 1876 Czerwony Krzyż 18
8 Yakov Waldman Merchant 65 Kosciuszko 17
9 Shmuel Ranc Merchant 1883 Sienkiewicza 12
10 Zalman Shoykhet Merchant 1882 Karaimska 5
11 Shmai Brodecki Merchant 1884 Karaimska 27
12 Mordekhai Wajsman Merchant 1888 Konopnicka 4
13 Eliyahu Langer Merchant 1879 Rymarska 6
14 Avraham Warkowicki Director (of school) 1867 Bal. Chrobreno 27
15 Mordekhai Dik Merchant 1900 Skorupki 9
16 Avraham Marszalkowicz Shipping clerk 1881 3rd of May 4
17 Chaim-Hersh Tikewicz Merchant 1880 Wesola 3
18 Berl Barzach Merchant 1882 Jagiellońska 21
19 Yeheil Einbinder Merchant 1872 Sienkiewicza 10
20 Hersh Eizengard Merchant 1859 Domba Gnidow 1
21 Yakov -Mordekhai Bresler Broker 71 Orzeszkowa 6
22 Yehosha Gersztajn Merchant 1901 Gnidowa 5
23 Yisroel-Moshe Goldberg Merchant 1884 Krziczowa 13
24 Moshe-Leib Garin Mill owner 1897 Gnidowa 16
25 Borukh Kit Merchant 61 Przechodnia 3
26 Ahron Komer Merchant 1894 Gnidowa 20
27 Lipa Goldberg Merchant 1894 Krziczowa 52
28 Avraham Kliepacz Merchant 1892 Bazyliańska 4
29 Avraham Zilberman Merchant 1889 Gnidowka 12
30 Avraham Werbe Merchant 1891 Jagiellońska 41


List Number 2

Name and Family [Name] Occupation Age
(date of birth)
1 Yitzhak Daw Merchant 1889 Bal. Chrobreno 9
2 Shmuel Sznajder Merchant 1892 Wesola 7
3 Shimeon Elbirt Merchant 1889 Strzeszewskiego 7
4 Yosef Sztajnsznajd Merchant 1900 3rd of May 19
5 Hersh Tine Merchant 1893 Krzyżowa 17
6 Yosef -Chaim Mandel Merchant 1898 Koszciuszko 92
7 Lakric Pesakh Merchant 1896 Strzeszewskiego 7
8 Volf Szulc Merchant 1887 Miedrzana 6
9 Berger Eliezer Merchant 1889 Gnidowska 12
10 Moshe-Hersh Kit Merchant 1899 Chiebna 12
11 Hirsh Szectistrow Merchant 1895 Skorupi 3
12 Fingerhut Avraham Merchant 1890 Lonczna 4
13 Rozenfeld Shlomo Merchant 1887 Pilsudskiego 9
14 Rotniawski Shmaye Merchant 1888 Joselewicza 8
15 Geler Ben-Tzion Merchant 1895 Koszciuszko 17
16 Fidel Moshe Mechanical Workshop 1887 Karmelicka 10
17 Yisroel Wajsenberg Mechanical Workshop 1873 Koszikowa 6
18 Fajnsztajn Yitzhak Mechanical Workshop 1889 Joselewicza 24
19 Korsower Yakov Mechanical Workshop 1896 Sienkiewicza 3
20 Gersztajn Kheikl Mechanical Workshop 1902 Krzyżowa 11
21 Cimbal Avraham Mechanical Workshop 34 Joselewicza 22
23 Dovid-Benyamin Dik Mechanical Workshop 1893 Kopernika 33
24 Ezriel Fiszman Mechanical Workshop 1895 Szabia 1
25 Leib Firer Mechanical Workshop 1899 Krzywa 42
26 Fajersztajn Asher Mechanical Workshop 1891 Pilsudskiego 113
27 Dovid-Volf Bajczman Mechanical Workshop 1892 Strzeszewskiego 2
28 Majzlisz Eliezer Mechanical Workshop 1889 Domikanska 26
29 Tajtlbaum Yosef Mechanical Workshop 1871 Koszciuszko 16
22 Yisroel Mordekhai Dobrowodka Mechanical Workshop 1889 Koszciuszko 7
30 Tenenbaum Dovid Mechanical Workshop 1873 Konopnicka 44


List Number 3

Name and Family [Name] Occupation Age
(date of birth)
1 Yosef Czimau Industrialist 50 Bal. Chrobreno 80
2 Meir Bak Director [of a school] 45 Sienkiewicza 30
3 Yosef Zeltzer Merchant 50 Sienkiewicza 12
4 Pinkhas Atlas Merchant 50 Sienkiewicz 12
5 Pinkhas Fefer Merchant 46 3rd of May 7
6 Yeshayhu-Leib Bar Merchant 54 Bal. Chrobreno 91
7 Hersh Szajnman Merchant 50 Bal. Chrobreno 93
8 Borukh Mindeles Merchant 46 Czirawia 3
9 Yehuda-Volf Fajersztajn Merchant 45 Pilsudskiego 47
10 Moshe Wajner Tax collector 60 Niecala 3
11 Meir Ejznberg Merchant 42 Bal. Chrobreno 79
12 Chaim-Yosef Feldenkrajz Merchant 52 Svietlana 13
13 Moshe Kozial Butcher 38 Jagiellońska 84
14 Avraham-Chaim Kuperman Merchant 50 Miedszana 2
15 Hersh Fajfer Merchant 56 Bal. Chrobreno 89
16 Yakov Ekber Merchant 46 Konopnicka 8
17 Zalman Kliger Merchant 42 Konopnicka 50
18 Mordekhai Baril Broker 52 Bal. Chrobreno 82
19 Efroim Mindelis Industrialist 60 Bal. Chrobreno 159
20 Shimeon Gergis Merchant 58 Bal. Chrobreno 40
21 Ezrial Chamisz Merchant 60 Kowalska 17
22 Leibish Libuber Butcher 60 Bal. Chrobreno 113
23 Motl Fatiche Teacher 52 Bal. Chrobreno 101
24 Avraham-Yudl Szapira Merchant 1880 Plocka 18
25 Benyamin Blecher Merchant 53 Gdanska 15
26 Yehiel Kaude Cantor 52 Konopnicka 40
27 Ahron Feldman Employee 1876 Miedszana 7
28 Avraham Lorber Merchant 1901 Targowa 3
29 Yosef Langer Merchant 1894 Rymarska 6
30 Arya Kac Shipping clerk 1877 Jagiellońska 17

[Page 152]

List Number 4

Name and Family [Name] Occupation Age
(date of birth)
1 Eizenbinder Yehiel Merchant 1872 Sienkiewicza 18
2 Eizenberg Ahron-Moshe Merchant 1882 Krzyżowa 42
3 Perkal Zebulun Merchant 50 Skorupki 17
4 Papir Shmuel-Mordekhai Merchant 1880 Monczna 6
5 Berger Eliezer Merchant 1889 Gnidowka 12
6 Friszberg Kalman Merchant 1885 Jagiellońska 15
7 Braugal Yehosha Merchant 1882 Szosa 2
8 Tine Hersh Merchant 1893 Krzyżowa 17
9 Frajzinger Mordekhai Merchant 1880 Kozia A/8
10 Jewelewicz Chaim-Dovid Merchant 1879 Sienkiewicza 11
11 Szacman Yehiel Merchant 1889 Konopnicka 4
12 Krasner Shmuel Merchant 1880 Miedszana 6
13 Szajter Alter Merchant 1870 Jabotinski 7
14 Winik Yosef Merchant 53 Koszciuszko 40
15 Starec Yerakhmiel Merchant 1871 Przechodnia 3
16 Kac Arya Merchant 1879 Jagiellońska 17
17 Szapiro Asher Merchant 69 Strzeszewskiego 2
18 Bulmasz Yitzhak Merchant 1892 Bazyliańska 32
19 Bokowiecki Ben Tzion Merchant 1882 Ngidowska 22
20 Birman Ayzyk Merchant 1869 Ngidowska 17
21 Khumish Nakhum Merchant 46 Sienkiewicza 2
22 Kornblit Leibish Merchant 1870 Wesola 9
23 Bresler Yakov-Mordekhai Merchant 71 Orzeszkowa 6
24 Wajsman Moshe Merchant 1902 Skorupki 3
25 Goldberg Shimeon Merchant 1890 Krzyżowa 15
26 Gercberg Moshe Merchant 1871 Szeroka 7
27 Zajd Yakov Merchant 1870 Tenczowa 4
28 Eizenberg Yehuda-Mikhl Merchant 1882 Koszciuszko 38
29 Wajdman Yosef Merchant 69 Karaimska 7
30 Widelgaz Yisroel-Yoal Merchant 1879 Koszciuszko 19


List Number 5

Name and Family [Name] Occupation Age
(date of birth)
1 Waksman Motl-Hersh Merchant 1881 Kr. Jadwigi 14
2 Mandelbaum Menakhem Merchant 55 Bazyliańska 16
3 Goldberg Nakhemia Merchant 1876 Koszciuszko 28
4 Szapiro Yisroel Pharmacist 1894 Sienkiewicza 1
5 Nul Eidl Merchant 1870 Koszciuszko 23
6 Gutman Arya-Leib Merchant 1871 Bal. Chrobreno 18
7 Cwitman Ahron Merchant 35 Koszciuszko 21
8 Grausbird Moshe Merchant 1893 Sienkiewicza 2
9 Rachmilczuk Yizroel Merchant 1883 Jagiellońska 52
10 Swalb Ahron Merchant 1884 Czackiego 10
11 Sode Yitzhak-Eliezer Dyer 1885 Dominikanska 52
12 Grinszpan Mordekhai-Hersh Merchant 1883 Czackiego 12
13 Marmor Volf Merchant 61 Slowackiego 22
14 Eizenberg Yehuda-Mikhl Bookkeeper 1882 Koszciuszko 38
15 Rozewski Yoal Merchant 1875 Jagiellońska 51
16 Zoslowski Yakov Merchant 1869 Koczikowa 1
17 Szpigel Borukh Merchant 1874 Pilsudskiego 83
18 Brener Yosef Merchant 1879 Bal. Chrobreno 115
19 Widelgaz Yisroel-Yoal Merchant 1879 Koszciuszko 19
20 Frajzinger Yakov Merchant 1854 Rymarska 2
21 Fefer Shimshon Merchant 1883 Koszciuszko 9
22 Kit Ahron Baker 1871 Koszciuszko 5
23 Egber Shmuel-Hersh Merchant 1873 Wesola 1
24 Taplia Leib-Yehuda Merchant 1874 Wanska 2
25 Traub Avraham Merchant 70 Przecze 5
26 Rudman Yehosha Merchant 1872 Orzeszkowa 7
27 Tsziczik Nakhman Merchant 1861 Kardeckiego 9
28 Machlies Avraham-Eliezer Seller of cooking oil 1872 Gnidowka 15
29 Graupn known as Afen Yakov without occupation 1880 Bal. Chrobreno 7
30 Rajn Moshe Teacher 1891 Koszciuszko 57


(There is no list number 6)

List Number 7

Name and Family [Name] Occupation Age
(date of birth)
1 Bajaner Ruwin-Ber Confectioner 1884 Sienkiewicza 40
2 Lupin Berl Tailor 1889 Jagiellońska 56
3 Kapit Ahron-Shlomo Hairdresser 1894 Szeroka 2
4 Krajmer Moshe Tinsmith 1897 Konopnicka 43
5 Bliak Moshe Baker 1890 3rd of May 9
6 Goldenberg Shimeon Merchant 1872 Koczikowa 1
7 Ronciker Yosef Merchant 1871 Skorupki 4
8 Basiuk Sholem Office 41 Jagiellońska 42
9 Ejnbinder Moshe Mason 41 Biala 2
10 Bronfn Hersh-Leib Office 1862 Plocka 8
11 Majzner Noakh Porter 1889 Monczna 10
12 Tajtlbaum Yona-Mordekhai Baker 1877 3rd of May 25
13 Milman Hersh-Yosef Brushmaker 1885 Niecala 17
14 Feldman Avraham Mason 1896 Przechodnia 3
15 Dichter Sholem Housepainter 1870 Sienkiewicza 26
16 Milman Zorekh Employee 1897 Kopernika 1
17 Zander Moshe Confectioner 1895 Bal. Chrobreno 31
18 Melimewker Leib-Volf Mason 1889 Pilsudskiego 54
19 Bas Shmuel Teacher 1858 Szopena 9
20 Royter Yisroel Housepainter 1869 Sienkiewicza 6
21 Ajzen Ahron Bookkeeper 1896 Jagiellońska 57
22 Cinker Hersh Tailor 62 Jagiellońska 61
23 Sztilman Yitzhak Mason 38 Pilsudskiego 54
24 Kerzner Yakov Merchant 1888 Jagiellońska 49
25 Szczerbate Dovid Broker 1889 Policeina 9
26 Kafe Khona-Yosef Hairdresser 1886 Pilsudskiego 3
27 Goldfarb Tsal Merchant 64 Trauguta 12
28 Berger Meir Merchant 1886 Trauguta 11
29 Gitelman Mikhl Mason 1897 Pilsudskiego 54
30 Pausak Moshe Tailor 1880 Jagiellońska 57


List Number 8

Name and Family [Name] Occupation Age
(date of birth)
1 Brajer Pesakh Baker 1892 Bal. Chrobreno 25
2 Koziol Mendl Tailor 42 Wesola 4
3 Abramowicz Efroim Butcher 1891 Gnidowka 12
4 Melimewker Leib-Volf Mason 1889 Pilsudskiego 54
5 Melamer Dovid Carpenter 34 Towarowa
6 Gelman Borukh-Yakov Mason 1892 Czerwoni Kczicz 14

[Page 153]

Name and Family [Name] Occupation Age
(date of birth)
7 Leibowicz Moshe-Ahron Housepainter 1888 Bal. Chrobreno 119
8 Rafel Yakov Tinsmith 1878 B. Joselewicza 23
9 Brik Ezra Hatmaker 38 Jagiellońska 13
10 Nugler Gdalye Carpenter 1896 Kodreckiego 5
11 Sznajder Khona-Yakov Tailor 1879 Wolnoszcz 6
12 Kuszniecz Yitzhak Tailor 1876 Chliebna 12
13 Alserman Berl Tinsmith 55 Monczna 12
14 Say Hersh-Ber Blacksmith 1872 Bal. Chrobreno 7
15 Sigal Chaim-Yakov Carpenter 1891 Rolna 26
16 Ranc Velvl Tailor 1890 Jagiellońska 54
17 Korczak Moshe-Volf Worker 1885 Monczna 3
18 Gurman Eidl Tailor 1880 B. Joselewicza 38
19 Kos Mordekhai Shoemaker 1896 Jagiellońska 47
20 Soyfer Nakhum Hairdresser 1888 Pobrezne 1
21 Sztilerman Herc Carpenter 1888 Wolnoszcz 5
22 Rimarczik Avraham Stamp Maker 1899 Anskiego 3
23 Kifer Asher Tinsmith 1874 Kowalska 3
24 Szampanier Avraham Saddlemaker 1889 Towarowa 39
25 Morgel Avraham Tailor 1878 Krulowei Jadwigi 21
26 Wajnsztajn Yitzhak-Yakov Tailor 1892 Sloneczna 19
27 Nutin Moshe Carpenter 1877 Kopernika 39
28 Cwitbaum Berl Tailor 38 Lonkowa 4
29 Golajde Shmuel Tailor 1873 Domigikanska 29
30 Szwarc Yakov Locksmith 1888 Bal. Chrobreno 27


List Number 11[1]

Name and Family [Name] Occupation Age
(date of birth)
1 Yona Fridman Miller 1894 Kopernika 34
2 Kamieniecki Mark Dentist 1892 Tarnowa 1
3 Gartibel Naftali Merchant 1901 Szopena 5
4 Dovid Lerner Merchant 1880 Jabotinski 1
5 Shmuel Moshe Gecht Merchant 1888 Slowacki 7
6 Wajntraub Shmai-Heshl Merchant 1895 Domigikanska 15
7 Goldberg Avigdor Benzion Merchant 1892 Karaimska 7
8 Blumenkranc Yehuda Merchant 1874 Trauguta 13
9 Libhaber Mordekhai Miller 1876 Jagiellońska 2
10 Kohos Kercman Miller 1898 Bal. Chrobreno 5
11 Klajnburd Chaim Miller 1880 Domigikanska 18
12 Grajnic Yakov-Mordekhai Miller 1879 Zakopianska 16
13 Mechlis Shlomo Watchmaker 1896 Bal. Chrobreno 88
14 Goldfeder Berish Insurance Agent 1883 3rd of May 15
15 Najter Perec Merchant 1893 Karaimska 5
16 Szuster Yehuda-Ber Teacher 1879 Anskiego 3
17 Braunsztajn Hersh-Leib Merchant 1895 Karaimska 37
18 Glajzer Avraham Baker 1889 Jagiellońska 45
19 Gitelman Leib Shoemaker 1893 Kopernika 5
20 Gordon Avraham Merchant 1882 Trauguta 19
21 Starec Yehezkiel Merchant 1898 Karaimska 29
22 Paltorak Yosef Dentist 1889 Jagiellońska 15
23 Nul Yekutiel Merchant 1873 Domigikanska 13
24 Wajner Eli Merchant 1894 Pilsudskiego 41
25 Szpigel Shimeon-Leib Merchant 1896 Aczeszkowa 7
26 Sztilman Yitzhak Mason 1891 Pilsudskiego 44
27 Fridbaum Ahron Merchant 1902 Slowackiego 12
28 Slajf Shmai Merchant 1893 Krulowei Jadwigi 35
29 Braunsztajn Hersh Office worker 1885 Fabriczna 8
30 Cwitman Sholem Office worker 1902 Koszciuszko 29

Translator's footnote:

  1. There are no lists numbered 9 and 10 Return


The election commission gives notice that every voter can give his vote to one of the above-mentioned candidate lists. Simultaneously, it is made known that [the following] have been combined:
  1. The list number 1 with the lists number 3, 4, and 5.
  2. The list number 2 with the lists number 7 and 8.
The combined candidate lists are considered as one candidate list in relationship to other lists.

Lutsk, the 30th of March 1933

Election committee of the Lutsk religious kehile [organized Jewish community] at the elections for a council and managing committee.


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