Rzeszow, Poland
Rzeszow Community Memorial Book

50°03' / 22°00'

Translation of
Kehilat Raysha sefer zikaron

Edited by: M. Yari-Wold

Published in Tel Aviv, by Former residents of Rzeszow in Israel and the USA, 1967 (H,Y,E)



Project Coordinator

Marian Rubin (emerita)


With appreciation to Mrs. Klara Ma'ayan, Tel Aviv, president of the Rzeszow (Reisha) Landsmanschaft, for granting permission to translate the Reisha Yizkor Book and put it on the JewishGen website, and with thanks also for his consent to Mr. Stanley Low, New Jersey, whose father, Irving Low, played a major role in publishing the original book.

With appreciation and thanks to Aliya Middleton (nee Senensieb) and Eda (Ester) Senensieb (nee Kraut) for their generosity with their skill and care in proof-reading, beginning in late 2000.

This translation is funded by contributions from the following people: Jonathan Ansell, Robert Atlas, Eleanor Bien, Ilan Blech, Michael Franzblau, David Geller, Gary Goffin, Sally Goodman, Eden Joachim, Nancy Koretz, Joerg-Rein.Kropp, Robert Lebowitz, Harry Low, Stanley Low, Ryan Luft, Charles Reich, Robin C. Rodney, Marian Rubin, George Salton, Joel Shield, Pearl Shottenfeld, Robert Silverstein, Carol Skydell, Renee Steinig and Claude Trink, Alfred Amkraut, Susana Leistner Bloch, Louis A. Fine, Steven Hellinger, Molly and Roman Nadel, Gedalia Sharon, Perl Wohlfeld.


This is a translation from: Rzeszow, Poland: Kehilat Raysha; sefer zikaron (Rzeszow community; memorial book),
Editors: M. Yari-Wold, Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Rzeszow in Israel and the USA, 1967 (H,Y,E, 762 pages)

Note: The original book can be seen online at the NY Public Library site: Rzeszow

Please contribute to our translation fund to see the translation of this book completed.

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Introductory remarks

from the coordinator of the Rzeszow Yizkor book Translation Project, Marian Rubin:

Mrs. Klara Munzberg Ma'ayan, Tel Aviv, president of the Reisha Landsmanschaft, has dedicated her life to the remembrance of the Reisha community. Mrs. Ma'ayan arranges the annual yahrzeit (memorial) service for the Reisha community in Israel each year. She initiated a project resulting in a beautiful memorial site in the woods of Glogow where approximately 5,000 Jews from Reisha and nearby towns were murdered by the Nazis. Mrs. Ma'ayan spoke eloquently at the ceremony to dedicate the memorial site on June 26, 1995. In June 1998, Mrs. Ma'ayan and some members of the Landsmanschaft attended a ceremony in Rzeszow to dedicate a plaque placed in the synagogue in memory of their lost community.

Mrs. Ma'ayan and her husband Artek Ma'ayan, who died in Israel in 1994, and whom Mrs. Ma'ayan speaks of in her story, have three children, and several grandchildren.


Hebrew Section

Contents   5
Photographs   8
A Note by the Publication Committee   10
Editors' Foreword   11
Lament Shlomo Tal 13
Reisha Berish Weinstein 14
Map of Rzeszow & Vicinity   16
The History of the Jews of Rzeszow Dr. N. M. Gelber  
Note from translator
Chapter 1: The Development of the Town   17 - 24
Chapter 2: The Beginning of Jewish Settlement in Rzeszow Until 1772 25 - 31
Chapter 3: Occupations and Livelihood of the Jews   31 - 36
Chapter 4: The Community   36 - 42
Charper 5: The Rabbis of the City   42 - 45
Chapter 6: The Cemetery   45 - 47
Chapter 7: The Period of Austrian Rule, 1772-1848   47 - 54
Chapter 8: Rzeszow from 1849-1919   55 - 63
Chapter 9: Rzeszow from 1919-1939   63 - 64
The Goldsmiths of Reisha Dr. Moshe Yaari Wald 65
Pages of History Dr. Henry Y. Wachtel of New York 66 - 67
Jewish Reisha Zvi Simha Leder 68
Faith & Tradition in Rzeszow
Rabbis of Rzeszów   71
Rzeszów Abba Appelbaum  
The City and its Rabbis Rabbi Moshe Kamelhar 72
A. The Early Kehilla
B. The Rabbis of the Community of Rzeszów
C. The Rabbi and Gaon Rabbi Shmuel HaLevi and his sons
D. The Gaon Rabbi Aryeh Leib the son–in–law of the “Chacham Tzvi” and his Sons   80
My Grandfather Rabbi Nathan Lewin Rabbi Dr. Isaac Levin 82
Traits of Rabbi Nathan Levin Shlomo Tal 85
The Rabbi, Reb Aaron Levin Rabbi Dr. Isaac Levin 86
My Father, Rabbi Dr. Ezekiel Levin Isaac (Kurt) Levin 91
Rabbi Nathan Levin and his Bet Din Rabbi Moshe Kamelhar 93
My Father, Rabbi Yekutiel Arieh Kamelhar Rabbi Moshe Kamelhar 95
Rabbi Nahum Reuben Felsker Rabbi Issachar Berish Halperin 100
Rabbi Berish Steinberg Rabbi Moshe Halevi 100
Reb Joseph Reich Shlomo Tal 101
Hassidism in Rzeszow    
Rzeszow in Hassidic Circles M. Sh. Geshuri 103 - 107
Hassidic Courts Rabbi Moshe Kamelhar 107 - 115
The Rabbi of Blazowa and His Dynasty Shlomo Tal 115 - 118
Religious Education in Rzeszow
Yeshivot in Reisha M. S. Geshuri 118
Shamashim (Synagogue Attendants) Rabbi Moshe Kamelhar 119
Cantors and Synagogue Music in Reisha M. S. Geshuri 120
Meir Diener Pessah Diener 123
Cantor Dov Menachem Konwiser (1887–1936) Herzl Konvisser 123
Prayer-Leaders for the Days of Awe   124
Synagogues in Reisha Eng. David Davidovitch 125
In the Haskala Press   128
Before and Between the World Wars
Rzeszow in the Past Leon Weisenfeld 132
During the Interregnum Dr. Moshe Yaari Wald 134 - 136
The Chaos of 1918 Rabbi Moshe Kamelhar 137
The Pogrom of Rzeszow Naftali Hakhel 137
The Sejm (Parliament) Committee, and the Ministers from Rzeszow Dr. Yechezkel Lewin 138
The Morgenthau commission in Central Galicia Yosef Storch 140
Organizations and Factions
“Hashachar” in Rzeszow Dr. N. M. Gelber 141
“Shulamit” Dvora Abramowitz 142
A. General Zionists in Rzeszow Dr. Moshe Yaari-Wald 143
Untitled Shlomo Alweis 144
B. The First of Poalei Zion   145
History of Poalei Zion in Rzeszow Michael Walzer-Fass of Hod Hasharon (Hadar Ramataim) 146
“Hashachar” “Haivria” and “Hechalutz” Alter Tishbi (Sitz) 151 - 153
Organizations and Societies in Rzeszow David the son of Avraham Tuchfeld 153 - 157
Religious Parties Naftali Hakhel of Tel Aviv 157
The Founding of the Mizrachi Rabbi Moshe Kamelhar 158
The History of “Mizrachi” in Rzeszow M. S. Geshuri 160 - 171
“Agudas Yisrael” Shlomo Tal 164
Revisionist Movement (its beginning and development) Avraham Mussinger 165
Organization of Jewish Academics in Rzeszow Yehoshua Alexander Rosner (Keller) 169
Youth in Rzeszow during the 1930s Pepa Wachspress-Lisak Tuchfeld 170
The Birth of Hashomer Hatzair Meir Yaari 172
“Hashomer Hatzair” in Rzeszow from 1924 Abraham Mussinger 173
The “Hashomer Hatzair” Chapter in Rzeszow That Shaped Me Sara Altman (Batist) 175 - 177
Hashomer Hatzair Members Make Aliya Eva Kirsch 177
Rzeszow Emigres in Hashomer Hatzair Kibbutzim Tuvia Yaari 177
In Memory of the “Hechalutz” Chapter Lotka Kleid (Schlisselberg) 178
Years of Setback Marcus Dornfest 179
Jewish Members of the Communist Party in Rzeszow Dr. Moshe Yaari 180
The “Noar Tzioni” Yehoshua Strassberg 181 - 183
Between the Years 1924-1939 Klara Ma'ayan (Munzberg) 183
The Hebrew School Professor Yitzhak Weiss 186
Once Upon a Time There Was a School Sabina Schneeweiss 187
The Nucleus of the Hebrew School Dr. Mauricy Ungar 188
Sport In Rzeszow Lawyer Alexander Joshua Rosner-Keller 189
The “Bar Kochba” Sport Association Avraham Ungar 191
The Society for the Preservation of Health Dr. Mauricy Ungar 192
Workers' Children's House in Rzeszow Louis Estherman 193
Beit Haam and the Hospital in Rzeszow Michael Walzer-Fass 195
The Publishing House of M. Goldberg Lotka Goldberg 198
Demographics of Rzeszow Jewry in the Year 1939 Manes Fromer 199
Memories and Experiences
A Portrait of Rzeszow at the Beginning of the 20th Century Dr. Moshe Yaari Wald 201
Some Memories Dr. Shlomo Horowitz 225
A Heritage from a Reisha Home Meir Yaari 228
Childhood in Reisha Anda Amir Pinkerfeld 228
Rzeszow Jews and Censuses Ben Zion Fett 229
Reisha at the End of the 1st World War 1914 - 1918 M. Ungerfeld 232
Early Years in Reisha Irving Low 234
One in a Thousand Uzzi ben Moshe and Ronni Wechsler 235
Reisha in the First World War S. An-ski 238
Reisha Professor S. I. Penueli 239
Maskilim and Writers
From “the Sages of the City” Gershon Bader 243
1. Moshe David Geschwind   243
2. Abba Apfelbaum   244
3. Isaac Holzer   244
4. Oswald Henigsmann   244
5. Leon Wiesenfeld   244
6. Moshe Wiesenfeld   244
7. Asher Simha Weissmann   245
8. Wilhelm Turteltaub   245
On Abba Apfelbaum:   245
1. Writer and Communal Worker Raphael Rosenzweig 245
2. Founder of the Teudat Israel School Dr. Ovadiah Barshal 246
3. Historian and Scholar Dr. Moshe Alter 248
Dr. Moshe Alter   248
Naphtali Ashriel-Glicksman Hanina Mizrahi 249
My Father Hayyim Wald Dr. Moshe Yaari Wald 249
My Brother Moshe Leon Wiesenfeld 252
Leon and Esther Wiesenfeld Michael Walzer Fass 253
Berish Weinstein Professor Dov Sedan 256
Berish Weinstein Moshe Starkmann 257
Berish Weinstein and his Reisha Nathan Yonathan 258
Dr. Henry Isaac Wachtel E.P. 259
Dr. Benjamin Schlager Simha Seiden 259
Zwi Simha Leder Leon Wiesenfeld 260
On Professor S. I. Penueli G. Kressel 260
Simha Seiden Zvi Simha Leder 261
Ben-Zion Fett Isaac Estreicher 261
The Violin of Nahum Sternheim Manes Fromer 262
Personalities And Characters
Reisha Personalities Dr. Moshe Yaari 264
1. Jacob Alter
2. Meshullam Davidson
3. Dr. Felix Hopfen
4. Dr. Aaron Arthur Wang
5. Asher Juda Silber
6. Levi-Leon Hayyim
7. Dr. Zvi Henryk Kanerek
Meshullam Davidson Tuviah Yaari 271
Naphtali Tuckfeld
Anna Kahana Leon Wiesenfeld 272
Elimelech Katz M. S. Geshuri 272
Irving Low David Ben Joseph 273
My Father Shlomo Minzberg Klara Maayan 274
Rabbi Dr. Zvi Koretz Simha Seiden 275
Jacob Elimelech Knecht and his Wife Isaac Estreicher 276
Joseph Sheinblum Zeev Zohar 277
Moshe Wang Abraham Wang 277
Isaac Estreicher Leon Wiesenfeld 278
1. Motish Eckstein's Family   280
2. The Mintz Family Shlomo Tal
Jewish Judges Moshe Reich 281
Personalities Naphtali Hakhel 282
The Uniqueness of Moshe David Ashriel Zvi Livneh 283
Eliahu Ashriel (Gluksman) E. P. 284
Yehoshua Ashriel (Gliksman) E. P. 284
Personalities and Occasions Rabbi Moshe Kamelhar 285
Reb Menachem Mendel Reich Rabbi Moshe Reich 289
My Brother Yisrael Rabbi Moshe Kamelhar 289
The dear ones of Rzeszow Yitzhak Isaac Nebenzahl 290
The Holocaust
Pour Out Thy Wrath (Drawing) Menahem Ronn 291
In the Face of the Holocaust Meir Yaari 292
Remember Klara Ma'ayan 293
The Martyrdom of the Reisha Community Dr. Asher Alexander Heller 294
The End of the Reisha Community Mala Krischer Munzberg 307
Majdanek G-d! Berish Weinstein 311
I Shall Not Die, But Shall Live Lotka Goldberg 312
During the Nazi Occupation Klara Ma'ayan Munzberg - Tel Aviv 322 - 325
I Escaped Death Dr. Michael Schneiweiss 326
Attempts at Resistance in Reisha Dov Zucker 331
The Last Jews of Reisha M. Hoffstetter 332 - 333
Memories of the Occupation Lola Weiss Immerglick 334
Reisha Women in Auschwitz Dinah Strassberg Einhorn 335
Hava Wuszka Jolles, A Girl Who Fought Menachem Levenstein 336
Reisha in 1946 Marcus Dornfest 338
Reisha's rebellious daughter M. Weinstein Lazer 339
Gola (Golda) Mire, an Anti-Nazi Fighter Dr. Moshe Yaari Wald 340
The Fate of Reisha Jewry, 1939 - 1944 Franciszek Kotula 342
Synagogues and Cemeteries   342
Some Memories   346
The Catacombs of Reisha (How Jews Vanished a Day Before the Liquidation of the Ghetto)   348
Polish Evidence on the Extermination of Reisha Jews Jan Forczek 350
Memories Professor Juliusz Kyas 352
Map of the City Abraham Mussinger 352
A Walk Through Reisha Abraham Mussinger 361
Small Towns and Villages in the Reisha District Dr. Moshe Yaari Wald 365
The Liberation Moshe Reich 367
Reisha Revisted in 1962 Haya Shlisselberg Tamari 367
Five Hundred Years; A Summing Up Manes Fromer 368
Abraham Altman Sarah Altman Batist 369
Abraham Teitelbaum   370
Mordechai Ben Elhanan Lipschitz   371
Simha Ben Mordechai Lipschitz   371
Eighteen Years of the Organization of Rzeszow and the District in Israel Isaac Estreicher 372

Yiddish Section

After a Thousand Years Berish Weinstein 376
I. On The History of the Jews in Rzeszow
Pages on the History of the Jews in Rzeszow Dr. Abraham Chomet 377
The History of the Rzeszow Cemetery Dr. Moshe Alter 423
II. Before and Between the Two World Wars
From Beginning to End Simha Seiden 426
Jewish Rzeszow Zvi Simha Leder 428
Bygone Rzeszow Leon Wiesenfeld 449
Poalei Zion in Rzeszow Michael Walzer Fass 466
The Jewish Workers' Children's Home in Rzeszow Louis Estherman 472
The Bar Kochba Sports Society Abraham Unger 475
Hassidim of the Rebbe of Dzikow Mordechai Sacher Sternberg 476
The Tailors' Synagogue Dr. Aharon Rosenbaum 476
A Meeting with the Hebrew Teacher of my Old Home Town Berish Weinstein 477
Memories of the Past Dr. Aharon Rosenbaum 478 - 480
My Home Ticzin   481
Memories of the Past Joseph Falk 483
Rzeszow Jews Jacob Beller 484
Ballad of Radiant Grandsires Berish Weinstein 486
III. Figures
Some of our Figures Zvi Simha Leder 488
Naphtali Tuchfeld David Tuchfeld 492
The Seventieth Jubilee of Abba Apfelbaum Simha Seiden 493
The Philosopher and Poet Dr. Benjamin Schlager   494
Mrs. Anna Kahana Leon Wiesenfeld 495
My Brother Moshe   496
Zvi Simha Leder   497
Irving Low Joseph Ben David 502
Berish Weinstein Moshe Starkman 505
Berish Weinstein's Birthday A. Tabatchnik 506
Nachum Sternheim Jonas Turkow 508
IV. The Destruction
Meidanek, God Berish Weinstein 512
The First Days of the War Joseph Laufban 513
The History of the Destruction of the Rzeszow Jewish Community Dr. Asher Alexander Heller 515
From Rzeszow by way of Wroclaw to America Israel Beck 537
What I saw in the Old Jewish City of Rzeszow Dr. Haim Shoshkes 538
Rzeszower & Province Landsmanschaft of Montreal   543
In Memoriam - Memorial Tributes to Families   545-620
Index of Names ( Names from pages translated. More will be added as translation proceeds.)

There is also an English section of the book.

Rzeszow Yizkor Book Overview
Notes from the translator
Overview of Hebrew section of Rzeszow Yizkor Book


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