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[Page 188]

Agudas Yisroel

by Yisroel Trum

Translated by Jerrold Landau

The Agudas Yisroel of today used to be called Shlomei Emunei Yisroel (Those at peace with the faith of Israel). It was founded in our city, Sanok, in the year 5680 (1920) by my father Reb Avraham Trum, Reb Moshe Moritz and others. With the growth of the number of young people in 5688 (1928), they took the leadership into their hands and became Tzeirei Agudas Yisroel (Agudas Yisroel Youth), headed by Moshe Schapira, Yacov Zeidel, Aharon Moritz, Yisrael Kurtz, my brother Moshe Trum, and, may he live, Mordechai Babad.

They also founded a house of worship in which all the followers of the movement worshipped. Some residents of the neighborhood would come as well. This continued until the Holocaust.

Aside from the house of worship, they established regular Torah classes each day.

The youth of the Aguda were the finest of the Orthodox youth of the city. Most came from Hassidic households, and did a great deal to strengthen tradition and religion in the city.

Members of the Aguda stood at the helm of the Beis Yaakov educational institution, which imparted religious education to girls. It was the only such institution in our city. The alumnae of this school absorbed the spirit of Judaism and tradition, and remained faithful to the paths of Torah and commandments. Several of them continued their education in the seminary in Kraków and became teachers in other cities.


Beis Yaakov in Sanok
To the right of the teacher (center of the middle row) is Mrs. Dorlich, and to her left is Mrs. Babad


[Page 189]

From Jewish Sporting Life in Sanok

by Moshe Rabbach

Translated by Jerrold Landau

The oldest Jewish sporting organization in Sanok was Rdifah, founded in 1922.

Dr. Schildkraut was the president of the organization. From among the organizers who stood at the head, we should note Yacov Alster and Shimon Kimmel (living with us today in the Land), M. Silber, Munik Reis, Meir Tieger, Izik Lerner, Eliahu Tenenbaum, Karl Weiner, and Leon Gottdank (the business head of the organization).

The players of the organization were:

Unterricht Yosef Poritz
Pini Alster Yehoshua Fink
Izik Epstein The Frei brothers
Bildinger Kazik (a Ukrainian Christian)
Brandsteter (Sergeant, a Polish Christian) Shimon Kimmel (lawyer)
Shimon Gershon Mendel Rauch
Mordechai Wilner Shimon Rauch
Yehoshea Wrobel Moshe Rabbach
Chaim Katz Hoenig brothers
Izik Lerner (physician) Moshe Rosenbaum
Yisrael Lerner Monik Reis (lawyer)
Zeinwil Lefel Shmuel Ripp

As has been noted, the players during the period of 1922–1939 were Jewish, except for two gentiles: the Polish Christian Brandsteter who served as a sergeant in the Second Brigade stationed in Sanok, and the Ukrainian Christian Kazik.

The group played in competitions with various Jewish and gentile football [1] teams. I recall the games with the football team of the Second Brigade of the Polish Army in Sanok, with the Sokol organization, the San Organization, Czarny from Jasło, a group of Christian soldiers from Lwów, and with many other teams in the area, such as Hagibor from Rymanów, Gidon from Krosno, Maccabee from Jasło, and Hagibor from Przemyşl.

There were also sensational events in sporting life in Sanok. I still recall one of these: the Rdifah team once beat the group of Soldiers in a competition with a score of 2:1 on the Blonie sports field. Thousands of people were present at the game, including the captain of the brigade of soldiers, Corporal Czepak!

The two goals were scored by one of the players of the group, who played the role of pioneer in this game. By coincidence, this was – the writer of these lines!

[Page 190]

The second event that I remember with respect to Rdifah was a competition with the Czarny team from Jasło, at which Dr. Yehoshua Thon [2] of blessed memory, the eminent Zionist leader of


Z.K.S. Rdifah 6/9 1925


Z.K.S Rdifah team of Sanok


[Page 191]

Polish Jewry was present in the audience. He was greatly revered, especially within the academic intelligentsia circles of Galicia. This was just before the elections to the Polish Sejm [parliament], and Dr. Thon came to Sanok be present at an election rally of the Zionist camp. As a Zionist leader, Dr. Thon felt it appropriate to be present at a game of a Zionist sports team. Anyone who knows and remembers what Dr. Thon was for our Jewry (the Ahad Ha'am of Galicia) will understand how and why this day was for us – aside from the Zionist event during his visit – also an important sporting event for all the Hebrew sporting youth of Sanok and its area.


Rdifah Z.K.S. team of Sanok


Maccabee basketball team, 1934


In 1933, a second sporting organization, called Maccabee, was founded in Sanok, headed by Eliahu Tenenbaum. It separated from Rdifah for reasons that I no longer remember. This organization was also composed of players with a Jewish–national consciousness, completely imbued with the spirit of enthusiastic Zionism. Some of them were also active in various communal arenas, and involved in Zionist life in the city. The official uniforms of the two sporting organizations in Sanok, worn during their game was – blue and white! [3].

Translator's Footnotes

  1. Soccer in North America. The spelling used here could be confused with the Hebrew term for basketball (which has one less letter resh, but otherwise spelled the same), but from the context of this article, and the spelling in the next article, football / soccer is meant. return
  2. See http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Thon_Ozjasz return
  3. The colors of the Israeli flag. return

[Page 192]

Jewish Sporting Activities in Sanok

by Yosef Markus–Birndorf

Translated by Jerrold Landau

I joined Rdifah in 1931. It had three groups: football, skating, and ping pong. We competed with Jewish and gentile teams from the near and far area, including Lesko, Rymanów, Jasło, and Krosno. We often contributed to the expenses of the trips, each of us privately, due to the lack of a budget. We rented wagons for our journey.

There were also cases of strife with the gentile teams, who took the opportunity to pour out their anti–Semitic venom when they lost games to us. On occasion, Jewish players had to be taken off the field, beaten and wounded by the Christian crowd who could not “digest” the success of the Jews.

During that time, the club was headquartered in Posada, before the ascent to the mountain (next to the old cemetery). It later moved to the Peretz Hall (which ceased its existence), where it remained until the outbreak of the war. This club provided a gathering point for the Jewish youth, and developed a sporting spirit within them, which helped and encouraged them to fight the battle of life and to not be overcome by pressures. Thanks to the talent of several of the sporting youths, they were later able to withstand the many tribulations that overtook them during the war, and to save their lives during the Holocaust.

The Rdifah organization did not have any support. It maintained itself through membership dues, income from parties and dances, etc. A schism arose within Rdifah in 1933, and the Maccabee organization was founded.

Many youths from all the Zionist organizations gathered around the Maccabee. It participated in all areas of sports, such as gymnastics, football, table tennis, skating, and wrestling. Dr. Eliahu Tenenbaum, Dr. Gruber, Chaim Katz, Wolf Loeffelstil, and Dr. Shimon Kimmel headed Maccabee.

Maccabee also maintained itself from membership dues, movie nights and parties that were arranged to ensure income, but the coffers were always empty. The reason for this was that the Jews did not want to pay entrance fees for competitions, even though many were fans. This was because of the lack of a positive educational connection toward all matters of sport. The gentiles, of course, boycotted us completely. We had a gentile gymnastics trainer in 1936 but he was fired after he insulted us and called us derogatory nicknames.

The football team took a place in League 3, but failed the test to get into League 2. The skating team was under the direction of Moshe Rosenbaum. It also included girls. Skating excursions took place. The table tennis team also played in League 2 in the district of Kraków. The table tennis team organized various tournaments and enjoyed enormous success.

The sporting endeavors in Sanok displayed a large and increasing level of activity, until the outbreak of the Nazi war, which put an end to the activities and most of the participants.


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