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[Page 559]

Lutsker in the United States
by Perl Marantz

Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund

Perl Marantz is one of the most popular and noblest figures from the Lutsk Jewish community in the United States. She is deservedly called “the mother of the Lutskers in New York. She can also rightfully be called the pioneer of communal activity by the Lutsker landsmanschaft [organization of people from the same town] in New York.

Born in Kowel and came to Lutsk as a child. There she married Eliezer Marantz, a son of an old and many-branched family. After a time, Eliezer immigrated to America. A short time later, the two oldest daughters also left.

In 1910, she prematurely lost her daughter, Liza, in America and her husband, Eliezer, in America.

Perl summoned her courage and with her own means left for America with her four children and two orphaned grandchildren. She went through an enormously difficult time; however, she showed real acts of strength. Alone, with her own strength, she managed to feed her six children, but also to give them an education – something that was not so easy at that time. However, even more, it is worth underlining that even then she found the time and strength to take part in communal activities among the Lutsk landsleit [people from the same town] in New York. Almost every Lutsk immigrant found a home, consolation, help, encouragement with Perl Marantz until they could stand on their own feet.

Her house became the center of the communal movement of the Lutskers in New York. The various Lutsker institutions and organizations, such as the Society, the Lutsker branch of the Arbeter Ring [Workman's Circle], the Relief Committee and so on, were organized and led for many years in her house. Her children helped her in the work and were devoted to Lutsker matters.

After returning from a visit to Lutsk in 1935, her activity among the landsleit in America increased even more on behalf of those in need in the old home.

Her son, Yosef, helped her in the work of sending packages to various camps and to Israel, but all of her children helped her collect clothing, food and money. Her very successful daughter, Rozlyn, excelled the most in this. She helped with large sums of money for the fund and also for the [Yizkor] book.

This devoted activity of Perl Marantz has lasted for over 50 years.


Sam (Shlomo Meir) Guz, may he rest in peace

Born in Lutsk in 1897. Came to America after the First World War with his wife and two children. A short time after arriving, he became an active member of the First Lutsker Society, where he was selected as its chairman over the course of three terms of office. After the Second World War, he became active with still other Lutsker landsleit, in the revived Relief Committee. He helped to collect larger funds thanks to which it was possible to send significant help to the surviving refugees from Lutsk. He helped send aid to the D.P. [displaced persons] camps and to Poland. [He sent] many packages with clothes, food and even ritual objects. In the very midst of the fervor of his communal activity, he was torn away from us in 1951.

The deceased wrote a wonderful page in the history of the Lutsker communal workers in America.


Yakov Grinsztajn, may he rest in peace

Born in Lutsk in 1885. Received a traditional upbringing and learned a trade: typographer. Right before the outbreak of the First World War, Yakov traveled to America. His wife, Dvoyra and his two children remained in Lutsk. In 1920, he succeeded in bringing them to America. In 1932, Yakov and his wife became active in the Lutsker Society to Feed the Poor, which was founded in his residence. Dvoyra became the recording secretary and he was elected as treasurer. Yakov was a member of the Lutsker quintuplet: B. Forer, S. Zinger, Y. Grinsztajn, Y. Borenbaum and N. Firer, who traveled around every Sunday, year in and year out, visiting the Lutsker landsleit and collecting money for Relief until the Second World War.

Yakov Grinsztajn died in 1955, in the wintertime.

[Page 560]

Binyamin Fidel, may he rest in peace

A Lutsker, born into a middle-class home. Came to America during the last years of the First World War. Learned the trade of sewing children's clothing. Became ill and had to leave his trade. He then became an insurance agent. In 1932, he became active in the Lutsker Society to Feed the Poor. He, therefore, neglected his own business and devoted himself to the idea of creating help for his unfortunate Lutsker landsleit in Lutsk.

He became very ill and died in 1951. The Society erected a headstone for him.


Yosef (Joe) Rot, may rest in peace

Born in Lutsk in around 1872. A son of the legendary Shlomole Rauter, the Nikolaiever soldiers [named for Tsar Nicholas I] (were dragged off as children somewhere into deep Russia and returned after serving the tsar for 25 years; he knew no Yiddish, yet maintained his Yidishkeit [a Jewish way of life]). Yosef Rot came to America in the years 1903-4. He learned a trade: house painting. A man with intellectual skills in Jewish texts and their study, with oratorical abilities, he very quickly became a leading strength among the Lutskers in New York. Was active on behalf of his landsleit who found themselves in America. He was always ready to help a friend in need. He was particularly active after the Second World War and became the chairman of the newly revived Lutsker Relief Committee. He was very popular and beloved by the Lutsker landsleit for his 50 years of activity.

Died in 1952.


Moty (Mordekhai) Diment, may he rest in peace

Came to America from Lutsk in 1932, not because of need, but on a mission for his hungry brothers and sisters who had remained in Lutsk. A watchmaker by trade. Immediately, on his second day after his arrival, he found several Lutsker, such as Shike Zinger, Yosef Blusztajn, Dvoyra and Yankl Grinsztajn, Binyamin Fidel and so on. And he went with them from door to door looking for Lutskers and collected immediate help for those who were in need of it. After long efforts, the planning group succeeded in calling the first founders meeting and created the Lutsker Society to Feed the Poor, which set as its task to send help to the Beis Lekhem [house of bread – organization providing aid to the poor] in Lutsk. His mythical work lasted a year in order to concentrate the aid work in one organized aid organization. Finally, he succeeded and with the help of the Lutsker Worker Branch, this activity became widespread.

In 1938, he went on a visit to Lutsk. The hardship and the governing need there in the old home made a strong impression on him and, returning to America, he tried to influence his landsleit.

When the Second World War broke out, he worried greatly about the hardships that had begun to fall on the heads of his brothers and sisters left behind in the old home. He became very ill. When I visited him at the Municipal Hospital in Brooklyn, he showed great concern about the Jews in Lutsk.

Who knows, he said, if there is anyone who has remained alive after the Hitlerist hell? And if someone will remember me?

Yes, we will not forget such a dear comrade and friend!


Sam (Shike) Zinger, may he rest in peace

Sam Zinger, may he rest in peace, was born in Lutsk in 1879. Came to America with his family in 1903. His children received a Jewish upbringing from him. Shike was active all of his years in Lutsker communal life. Was a member of the First Lutsker Society for all 48 years that he lived in America. Very active in 1932 in the Society to Feed the Poor of Lutsk. From the year mentioned until the outbreak for the Second World War, he was the continual chairman of this society. After the war, he again became active in the revived Relief Committee until the last day of his life. He devoted a great deal of time to the Lutskers who were spread over the entire world.


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