Table of Contents

Translator's Note

The Pochayev Yizkor Book was written in Yiddish. An asterisk preceding a page number in the Table of Contents indicates that section has been translated and is included in this document. In addition, page numbers for translated sections have been formatted as hyperlinks. Clicking on them will take you to that section of the document.

It was not possible to maintain pagination as it appears in the book. However, we have indicated actual book page numbers in square brackets just before the first line of text that appears on each physical page of the book. This should help those who are using hypertext or search features to jump to the page they seek. In some cases, placement of the page numbers may not be exact because we tried also to maintain continuity of text. So we caution you to examine contiguous pages for the text that you seek.

In translating Yiddish proper names, we have tried to use YIVO standards, although we have spelled place names as they appear in modern usage. Thus, the proper modern spelling for our shtetl is Pochayev , but the Yizkor Book uses Pitchayev . The Yiddish spelling is pey-yud-tes-shin-komets alef-yud-ayen-vov-vov.

Transliterating personal names from Hebrew and Yiddish to English is beset with difficulties, many of them stemming from the lack of explicit vowels in printed and handwritten materials. The Hebrew letter vav, for example, may be translated as a /v/, or as the vowels /o/ or /u/. Thus the Hebrew name mem-nun-vov-samekh could be Manos or Manus . Which transliteration is “correct” depends on how the letter sounded in the area the person came from, at the time the person lived. Feldblyum indicates that the Manos spelling is found in Baltic and Polish areas, and Manus is found in Lithuania and Volhynia. Since Pochayev was in Volhynia (which was part of Poland in the interwar years) until it became part of modern day Ukraine, Manus is the more likely spelling. We have used similar reasoning, and Feldblyum's book (Feldblyum, Boris. Russian-Jewish Given Names, Teaneck, N.J.: Avotaynu, 1998) on other names appearing in this translation. Rabbi Gorr's book (Gorr, Rabbi Shmuel. Jewish Personal Names: Their Origin, Derivation and Diminutive Forms, Teaneck, N.J.: Avotaynu, 1992) was used to supplement Feldblyum.

Sometimes we had to deviate from YIVO and Hebrew standards to bring names closer to common English spelling. And sometimes, the lack of “pointing” or diacritical marks in Hebrew and Yiddish can make an English transliteration ambiguous. Thus using YIVO rules, the name shin-tes-tsvey yudn-nun could be transliterated to English in any of four spellings: Shteyn, Shtayn, Steyn, or Stayn. The problem with this name is two-fold. Is the first letter an /S/ or /Sh/ sound? Is the double yud an /ey/ sound as in 'grey', or an /ay/ sound as in 'sky'? Or, deviating from YIVO rules, but applying common English usage, the name could be spelled Stein, where /ei/ is pronounce like 'y' in sky. In this particular case, A.S. Stein is the original Editor of one of the Kremenets Yizkor Books, and his name is spelled Stein in current English bibliographies. However, in both the Cyrillic and Hebrew vital records for Kremenets, a in a proper name like beys-ayen-reysh-nun-shin-tes-tsvey yudn-nun always represents an /sh/. The vital records also indicate that the Ö in such names represents an /ay/ sound. Thus, in the absence of vowel and consonant “pointing”, we transliterate the name beys-ayen-reysh-nun-shin-tes-tsvey yudn-nun, and similar names, as Bernshtayn.

Some people use the presence of double vav and double yud in texts as indicators of Yiddish rather than Hebrew text. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Hebrew texts sometimes use double vav and double yud in medial positions in words when the letters are consonants . Thus in Hebrew, a double yud would have a /ya/, /ye/ or /yaw/ pronunciation, but in Yiddish, it would transliterate to either /ey/ or /ay/. We have tried to discern the proper transliteration from context and from the names in Gorr's and Feldblyum's books, but the reader should be aware that we might have erred in some cases.

A single yud may be a vowel (short /i/) or a consonant (/y/). We have transliterated a yud appearing in the middle or at the end of a word, /i/. However, a yud at the beginning of a word typically is a consonant, /y/.

A vav-yud combination transliterates to the diphthong /oy/.

The double vav (tsvey vovn) also presents a problem. Typically, it represents a /v/ sound. However, in some geographic regions it represents a /w/. Kremenets is in a border region where either sound may be correct. The Cyrillic and Yiddish/Hebrew vital records for Kremenets clearly indicate that usage at the time the records were created calls for a /v/. Consequently, we have standardized on transliterating tsvey vovn as /v/, except where context or common usage requires a /w/. Thus the name tsvey yudn-alef-kuf-mem-alef-nun is Vakman, not Wakman. Other letters also raise difficulties.

There are no guarantees that the 'rules' we have applied in this translation are 'correct', but we have tried to be consistent in applying them, and we have tried to apply them in a way that allows the reader to work backwards to the original Hebrew or Yiddish (whoops, make that Yidish) spelling. As Translator, I take full responsibility for changes I have made to our translators' work. And, I welcome any comments, criticism, and suggestions for improving this work.
If you identify any errors in the translation, or if you take issue with the way we have transliterated specific surnames please advise me of them so that we can get them corrected. You can contact me at

  Ronald D. Doctor
Editor, Kremenets Yizkor Book Translation Project
Co-coordinator, Kremenets Shtetl CO-OP
Portland, Oregon USA

Table of Contents

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