Written and Translated by Rebekah Blaustein-Shwalb, Tel-Aviv
The family Blaustein is one of the oldest settlers in Yeserna. They were always landowners. Jews who lived according to tradition; honest and respectable people.
My father, David Blaustein, was a landowner; he possessed great stretches of fields. He was also the owner and director of the Bank Zaliatchkave. He was a philanthropist alms to the poor and aiding them in their troubles; he was active in the social life of the town, at one time as the head of the community and also as councillor.
When the population of Yesierna returned from their flight, after the first world war, and found their synagogue burned down he helped financially in rebuilding it and donated a Holy Ark. He also donated a lot for the building of a Yeshiva.
We were five sisters and one brother. I live in Israel and so does my brother in law Teomim and his son, the engineer (architect); my son, who is a physician, lives in the United States, and so does my brother's daughter Dusie.
All other members of the family lost their lives during the great holocaust of the Second World War.
by Yitzhak Charap
Translated by Talila Friedman
The family Charap, was one of the largest families that resided in Jezierna for a long period of time . When they first settled there, who was the first, and where he came from this I don't remember and I don't know. I do know that my grandfather's name, alav hashalom (may he rest in peace), was Binum Charap, and his brother was named Yaakov. Binum had three children: Shlomo, Avraham and Lantzi.
My father Shlomo Charap had five sons and one daughter: Hersch, Lipa, Yakel (Yaakov), Aharon, Haya, and me, writing these lines.
Hersch had three children: Shlomo, Klara and Mindol.
Lipa had two children: Yakel and Sarah.
Only my father, alav hashalom, had the privilege of seeing three of his children immigrate to Eretz Israel Aharon, Haya and me. Aharon passed away in Israel. My two daughters are teachers and they educate the young Israeli generation.
My grandfather's brother Yaakov had 2 children: Shalom and Tova.
Shalom had six children: Moshe, Naftali, Simcha, Berish, Reizel and Riva.
Tova had two daughters: Ester-Malka and Babtche.
Indeed, it was a family with many branches, and much is recounted about it in this book.
by Azriel Zamora, Haifa
Translated by Simon Godfrey
Jezierna was a small town which, from the point of view of technological development, even in the context of the second decade of the century, was quite a failure. But for the people who lived in the town, breathed its air and grew up in its spiritual atmosphere and interpersonal relationships of the Jews there, this small town provided a wealth of experiences and deep connections at family, traditional and nationalistic levels.
For as long as I can remember, experiences and longings are intermingled as landmarks.
In 1914 the First World War broke out and most of the families of Jezierna and the surroundings dispersed ahead of the Russian invaders to various parts of the AustroHungarian Empire. My own family also moved to Hungary and afterward to Slovakia.
During their absence from the town they all hoped to return home. In fact, at the end of the war in 1918 the majority of families returned from all parts of the destroyed Empire to their origins their town. Even those who had ‘built their houses and settled’ [quote from prophet Jeremiah] returned sooner or later.
My father Majer ben Avraham Zamojre, of blessed memory, an expert in trees, even though he had a good and secure income, did not want to remain in the foreign and intermixed environment of Slovakia. And despite the pleadings of my mother Etel, of blessed memory, and her six siblings, the children of Berl Feiering who had lived in America for many years he did not want to follow in their footsteps and emigrate; he decided to return to the town in 1924 in order to ensure the Jewish education of his children.
Thus, despite growing up in Czechoslovakia from the age of one year under favorable conditions, when I arrived in the small, dark and muddy town I immediately felt that I had returned home and was amongst my warm family. It was like a giant tree with all its branches and divisions comprising the families Feiering, Zamojre, Czaczkes, Gottfried, Lachman, Herzog and Pulwer who formed a substantial proportion of the local population. They mostly lived in Railway Street, ‘Bahn Gaas’, in houses adjacent to each other. At their head was my grandfather Reb Berl (Dov Ber Avraham) Feiering, of blessed memory, who was involved in public service, taking care of the poor, the sick and needy without rest, and who knew how to involve close and distant relatives to help the individual, the congregation and the public as a whole.
As a gabai [warden] in the synagogue, head of the burial society, sick visitation committee, fund for poor brides, righteous deeds charity, he knew how to involve not only his general business friends, but also his entire family in his charitable works. He was a traditional warmhearted Jew, honest and a lover of mankind. This legacy of love for his fellow man and performance of good deeds between men he managed to instill in all his children near and far.
My family, like most of the Jewish families of Eastern Europe at the start of the century, demonstrated within it all the same types of problems of those Jews. They were deeply rooted in traditional Judaism on the one hand and felt the attractions of modern America on the other hand religious studies, manual labor and business side by side. Old and new did not always fit in with the gentile and hostile environment which was always present, and as time went by the Land of Israel became more of a factor. The young people in the town and some members of the family attempted to translate the Land of Israel of the Bible into that of the Zionist movement, that is, to the idea of Aliya and fulfillment. As a result of this, a small group was saved from the grasp of the Nazi murderers.
Another example of the unbroken connections of my Jezierna family in America is the way they formed a family society ‘FeieringAvner’ and established joint ventures, the basis of which was mutual help amongst themselves and for those who remained in the town. In addition another two organizations of former Jezierna residents were established in New York.
I cannot forget the visit to the town of two of my uncles from America, my mother's brothers, Isser and Binyomin Feiering. They were very emotional about ‘sitting together with their brothers’ and remembered events from every corner of the town. It was a tradition of those who left the town to return to their former home and to give generously to the local institutions and to help the needy families.
We in Israel also united with all those who came from the town, which was manifest by meetings when they arrived on Aliya, to exchange memories of the past. The connections became stronger after the bitter fate which overtook all the families without distinction during the Second World War, which this book is modestly designed to echo. We hope that this echo will reach the ears and the hearts of the descendants of Jezierna in future generations.
The Feiring family was one of the largest in Jezierna. The greatgrandfather of A.Z. Avraham Feiering had 16 children. They dispersed over the entire world they succeeded greatly in the United States, in Vienna and in Germany.
In Israel [Kibbutz] Bet Yizhak is named in memory of Yitzhak Feiering.
Standing: Meir and Etel Zamojre, Zlata Lachman
Dina Katz, Bat-Yam, Israel
Translated by Ornit Barkai
May the following words be in commemoration of my father-in-law Somer (Itamar) Katz and his family who perished in Jezierna with the other Holocaust victims in town.
I was born in Warsaw, but became related to the Katz family in 1936 when I married one of his sons, Moshe (Munya) Katz, zl, who came to Israel as an illegal immigrant. Also, I knew his sisters who immigrated to Israel earlier. From our many conversations I absorbed many details about the town in general and about my late husband in particular.
Somer (Itamar) Katz zl was a wealthy real estate owner and among the town's most respectable folk. His home was open to many friends and he was known for helping the needy. He and his family held Jewish nationalistic views and were among the first in town to emigrate to Israel. The father himself came as a tourist to explore opportunities for settling in the country, but the raging war which started in 1939 severed all ties with Israel and prevented him from doing so.
In 1941 the German slaughterers entered Jezierna and annihilated most the town's Jews, including my father-in-law Somer (Itamar) and his three daughters, their husbands and children; the eldest daughter Sarah and her husband Yaakov Bik; the second daughter Sabina and the third one Adela and their husbands and children.
It was the tradition of nationalism in my father-in-law's home and the spirit in which the members of his household were all brought up that moved my late husband Moshe (Munya) Katz to come to Israel, build a family and teach his children to follow in his footsteps.
After arriving in Israel, he volunteered for guard duty in the Dead Sea area, which he performed for 12 years. He was injured twice while serving in this dangerous duty: in 1936 after the Arab disturbances against Jews broke out, and again in the 1948 War of Independence. As a result of his severe injuries, which caused prolonged suffering, he passed away at the age of 54.
His forefathers' legacy of patriotism took root in his sons' hearts as they continue their father's tradition to this day, serving in the Israeli army in protection of the country and the revival of Israel.
|Rebbe Schlomela Charap and Ester|
|Naftali Charap and Rivkale|
|Yaakov Eliezer Charap and Tovah|
|Scholom Charap||Ester-Malka Charap||Lena Charap||Miriam-Bachtz'eh Charap|
|Bracha Charap-Babad||Hersch Barer||Moshe-Isser Zeidman||Eizik-Yitzchak Schwam|
|Moshe Rivka||Zeida Naftali||Rivka Avraham||Frima Yaakov|
|Naftali Simcha||Rayzel||Naftali Anch'el||Beile Yoel|
|Berisch Rayzel||Leah Barer-Korngold|
From the Building Committee of the Jewish Community House in Jezierna
Translated by Pamela Russ
To all our fellow Jezierners,
If we want our youth to live with cultural independence …we must strive to build a Jewish Community Building, a Jewish meeting house.
We have decided to build a new Community House which will include a reading room and library, a sports room, a meeting room, a large hall for public meetings, and a small place for prayers.
Brothers! Remember! Without your assistance our plans will never materialize!
In the name of the Building Committee:
Chairman: Pharmacist Ludwig Mintz; Vice Chairmen: Beryl Feiering, Shevach Baron, Beryl Bernstein.
Members of the Building Committee: Nachum Fuchs, Itamar Katz, Avraham Fuchs, Ben-Zion Blaustein.
In the name of the Community Management Committee: Avraham Paket, Head of the Community.
Community Councilmen: Moishe Hochberg, Yakov Czaczkes, Mordechai Marder.
In the name of the Hatikva Union: Avrohom Hochberg, Chairman.
Committee Members: Shlojme Glas, Yakob Zamojra, Yitzchok Charap, Wolf Fuchs, Shimon Kritz.
In the name of the Merchants Union: Moishe Heliczer, Chairman.
Committee Members: Michel Zilberman, Moishe Wieseltier, Yisroel Olexyncer.
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