Memorial Book of Sokolka
(Sokółka, Poland)

53°25' / 23°30'

Translation of
Sefer Sokolka

Published by: Encyclopedia of Jewish Diaspora, Jerusalem, 1968



Project Coordinator

Ada Holtzman z”l


Our sincere appreciation to Dina Feder and Ellyn Mocowitz for their
kind donation of the book translation to be placed on the JewishGen web site.


This is a translation from Sefer Sokolka (Memorial Book of Sokolka),
Published by: Encyclopedia of Jewish Diaspora, Jerusalem, 1968, (768 pages, H, Y).

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

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Memorial Library of Jewish Communities

The Book of

(By The Sokolka Organization in Israel)

Das Buch Fon

Editorial Board: Ester Miszkinski, David Yardeni, Ben-Zion Hasid, Yekutiel Chinski

Published by “The Encyclopedia of the Diaspora”, Jerusalem 1968

(To the children of our American Town-People)


Memorial Book of Sokolka – wersja polska


Table of contents translated from Hebrew and Yiddish by Ada Holtzman

Note: Unless credited otherwise, the translation of the articles was
carried out by Selwyn Rose and edited by Elah Feder and Ada Holtzman

Translator's caveat    
Introduction The Book Committee of the Sokolka Organization in Israel Ester Miszkinski and David Yardeni 9
Foreword   11
On Your Destruction Sokółka David Yardeni 13
Words from Haifa (for the Remembrance Day Abraham Donski 15
List of Contents   17
Chronicles of the Jews of Sokółka M.S. Geshuri 21
   Chapter I:     In the Dim Light of History    
   Chapter II:    Sokółka, offspring of Grodno    
   Chapter III:   The Chronicles and Evolution of Sokółka    
   Chapter IV:   Sokółka and the County under the Russian Government    
   Chapter V:    Rabbis and the Rabbinate in Sokółka    
   Chapter VI:   The Population of Sokółka, the Town and the Surroundings    
   Chapter VII:  Peace Reigns between the Hassidim and the Mitnagdim in Sokółka    
   Chapter VIII: Sokółka in the eyes of visitors    
   Chapter IX:   The Zionist Movement in Sokółka    
   Chapter X:    The Odelsk Community    
A) The Rabbis of Sokolka M. Cinowicz 55
   Rabbi Ephraim Fischel    
   Rabbi Avraham Ha-Cohen    
   Rabbi Joseph (Yossele)    
   Rabbi Ze'ev Wolf Weizćcker    
   Rabbi Ya'acov Moshe Margolin    
   Rabbi Shraga Feivel Sarna    
   Rabbi Tsvi Hirsch Direktor    
   Rabbi Shmuel Goldin and his son Rabbi Haim    
   Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Rabinowitz    
   Rabbi Yitzhak Ha-Levy Schuster    
B) The Distinguished Persons of Sokolka M. Cinowicz 73
   Rabbi Meyer Marcus    
   Rabbi Shimshon Katzenellenbogen    
   Rabbi Shmuel and his son Avraham    
Sokółka Mirrored in the Hebrew Press   79
The Holy Community of Sokola Dawid Yardeni 97
   The Kuryły River    
   Market Day    
   Medical Assistance    
   The Modest Folk    
   Educational Institutions and the “Tarbut” School    
   Shabbat in Sokółka    
   The Days of Awe    
   Erev Pessach    
   The Bakers - Little Pasca and Ud'keh the Baker    
   The Fire Brigade    
The First World War David Yardeni 123
   1. The Separation    
   2. The Retreat of the Russian Army    
   3. The Capture of Sokółka by the German Army    
   4. The Community Council Elections    
   5. German Schools    
   6. The Drama Society    
   7. The End of German Domination    
   8. The Polish Capture of Sokółka    
   9. The Polish Army Advances into Russian Territory    
   10. The Capture of Sokółka in 1919 by the Russian Communist Army    
   11. The Russian Army Retreats    
   12. The Balfour Declaration    
   13. A Profile of Yisrael Lipczer    
My Town Meyer Kaplan 151
Memories Avraham Shuali 152
Sokółka in the year 1933 David Yardeni 165
Ulitzki (The Street) Yitzhak Kunsht –Amnoti 167
The Journey to Palestine Gedaliah Weismann 168
The Final Examinations of the Pedagogical Course in Grodno M. Tzinowitz 169
“On me and on my neck” Benjamin Even 171
Lag B'Omer in the Forest of Buchwałów Tova Putzkover (Gittel Kunsht) 175
Snippets of Memories Yitzhak Benjamin Even 175
Musings and Memories Ya'acov Wohlgill 177
To My Family Chaya Shaked 179
A Page of Memories from My Childhood During World War One Bezalel Dunski 184
In the Twilight Hours Menachem Zaharoni 186
Memory of Kolonia Izaaka Menuchah Shmilovitz (née Eckstein) 191
Where are you my Shtetl? Reuwen Mendelberg 195
Moshe Mishkinski   195
Mulling over Memories of Sokółka Benjamin Dombrowski 209
The Shteibl of the Kotzk Hassidim Yekutiel Chinski 211
The “Suburb” The “Suburb” 219
In those far-off days… Eda Levine-Gershoni 219
Motel'eh the Water-carrier Gedaliyahu Weismann 220
The Gentile Houses' Fires Gedaliyahu Weismann 221
Two Who Were an Excellent Example for Us All Gedaliyahu Weismann 221
What is the “Tarbut” School? Avraham Chinski 222
The “Tarbut” School Shalom Zamir 229
   The teacher Nathaniel Kaplan    
   The teacher Benjamin Lazdan    
   Summer Camp in the Forests of Buchbolowa and Szyszki    
   Organ Grinders    
   Military Maneuvers    
   Nahum the Crazy    
   Demonstrations and Marches    
   “The Siege and the Battle”    
   Theft in the Name of Heaven    
Our Shtetl Moshe Menaszewicz 255
Sokółka in Ordinary Days and Holidays (Recorded by Tsvi Nafkha) Haya Leah Kaplan 257
Moshe Ze'ev Even (Rabbi Moshe Walwel Stein) Benjamin Even (Stein) 269
My Mother, Rachel (Z”L) Benjamin Even (Stein) 269
Haim Leib Reiskind   271
Our Siblings Schachna and Sarah Krannt Rivka Krannt-ben Haim and Golda Krannt-Gilbowski 273
Dr. Ben-Zion Gilbowski Yehuda Gilboa (Gilbowski) 275
Altear the Gabbai (the Treasurer of the Synagogue) Gedaliah Weismann 275
The Korekt Family Hanna Korekt-Margalit 276
An Unlikely Couple Yitzhak Even 277
Kalman ben Yehezkiel Tarlowitz Haya Tarlowitz 279
Meyer Tarlowitz Ben Zion Pomerantz 279
Nahum Dov Kundst Benny Kundst (Amanuti) 280
The Teachers of Sokółka Gedaliahu Weisman 281
   Der Deretchiner Melamud    
   The teacher Yosef Haim    
   Der Shtabiner Melamud    
The Kantor Family   283
   Avraham Kantor    
   Pnina Kantor (née Wilanski)    
On Rabbi Shimshon Katzenellenbogen Mordecai Bonim z”l 287
Rabbi Haim Meyer Schmul T. Yardeni 289
Talmudists and Men of the Torah M. T. Tsinnowitz 289
   Rabbi Eliyahu and his son-in-law Rabbi Hillel Moshe Gelbstein    
   The First Cooperative Factory Processing Leather    
Rabbi Haim Berl Stein Esther Mishkinski (great-granddaughter) 292
Haya Efrati Esther Reiskind 292
In Memory of Leah Perlstein z”l Itca 295
In Memory of Leah Perlstein z”l Pnina Saperstein 298
Nathaniel Kaplan z”l Meyer Kaplan 299
My Sister Hai'inta Zippora Schmidt-Weisbol 299
Mascha Chinski   300
The “Freiheit” Movement Avraham Fuchs-Shuali 305
The Fire Brigade Yitzhak Even 306
Leinat Tsedek Baruch Hayot (Lavendik) 309
“Young Zionists”, “Kadima”, “He-halutz Avraham Chinski (Yitzhak Even) 311
Libraries in town Avraham Chinski and Baruch Hayut 319
Leinat Ha-Tsedek Hinda Galkin (Trasches) 321
Zionist Youth Movements Shalom Zamir 321
The First Hebrew School in Sokółka Nahum Kundst 323
Memories of the “Heder M'tukan Avraham Chinski 324
Sokółka as a Center of Learning   326
Musings, (10th of Tevet) Moshe Monaschwitz 337
Yizkor Moshe Monaschwitz 338
Poem of Grief about the Destroyed Sokółka Nachum Dow Kunst-Amanuti 341
The German Invasion of Sokółka Sonia Miller (Wohlgil) 342
Sokółka Under the Nazi Yoke Aleksander Kantorowski 343
   The First Occupation    
   The Second German Occupation 1941    
The Last Days of Jewish Sokółka (Testimony of Tsvi Nafkha-Kowalski August 21st 1946) Chaja Lea Kaplan 346
In the Ghetto (Testimony taken in February 10th 1960) Benjamin Kotler 354
Sokółka – Without Jews (Visit in Sokółka at 1944) Nissan Tichoczynski, attorney 355
A memorial candle for my parents (z”l) Tzifra Heiman 369
To the Memory of my Entire Family Yehudit Pazniak-Parzina 373
Rabbi Baruch Tsvi ben Shalom Halevi (z”l) “Sat”m” Y. Zamir 374
Avraham Yardeni (z”l)   376
Yizkor Abraham Zak (Buenos Aires) 381
To Remember the Martyrs of Sokolka Mosze Monaszewicz 385
The Dates of Sokolka   393
The History of Sokolka M. Sh. Geshori 397
Sokolka by the End of the 17th Century Z. Hanik 407
Sokolka in the First World War Y. Szlajmkowicz 413
Sokolka in the Light of the Newspapers Y. Cinowicz 425
   R' Yehoshua Cwi SARNA 1881, 1889    
   Szmuel ZONENSZAJN 1882    
   Yecheskel SIDRANSKI 1883    
   Lajb PODOLSKI 1884    
   Rober FRIDBERG    
   Michael LIPSZYC 1884, 1888    
   Ger Toshav 1887    
Sokolka of My Youth M. Hakohen Sinai 433
The Gaon and Zadik R' Yosele ztz”l M. Sh. Geshori 437
MEMOIRS (Yiddish)
My Memories about Sokolka Mosze Miszkinski 449
My Sokolka Ben-Zion Hassid 457
A Poem Mosze Monaszewicz (Moshele Malach) 465
Episodes Ester Miszkinski 473
Sokolka in the Expulsion Moshele Kremer (Brazil) 477
Memories about Sokolka Abraham Fridberg 481
Memoirs Rachel Dunski (Kaya Halpern) 487
The Past of Sokolka Abraham Stanislawski 489
IMAGES (Yiddish)
Becalel TERKEL   497
The Feldcher (aid-man) Chaim SZMUKLER Israel Szmukler 499
My Brother Iczel Riwl Szapira-Melcberg 501
Extermination Rachel Malski-Tykocinski 513
The Kelbasin Lager Symcha Lazar 523
Testimony Bracha Friedman-Barawik 525
Testimony Icchak Kotler 531
Memorial Candle Ester Holcman 533
Survival during the War Times Abraham – Aleksander Kantorowski 537
Diary of Suffering and Pain (1943) From German: M. Turek 543
Icchak GOLDSTEIN - Fighter in the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt Meilech Neustadt 547
MISCELLANEOUS (Yiddish & Hebrew)
Sokolkers in America   553
Sokolkers in Israel Ben-Zion Hassid 565
Messiah in Dream and in Life (a Ballad of the Old Home) Father! I searched for it in the map of world, your hometown Sokolka, but I have not found it… Mosze Monaszewicz 569
“Di Kolonye Izaaka” Sarah Chinski 577
To the Memory of the Odelsk Martyrs Itka Broida 583
The People of Sokolka in Israel – The Founding of Kfar Malal Gedaliyahu Weismann 587
Protocols of the Community Committee of Sokolka in 8 January – 22 October 1919 (Hebrew Yiddish)   593
“Elections Campaign” to the Community Committee (“Vaad Hakahal”)   697
List of People From Sokolka in Israel Today (As of 1968)   721
List of People From Sokolka in the Diaspora   739
People From Sokolka Who Died in Israel   745
List of the Martyrs - Necrology   751
R' Moshe Lajb and His Wife   769
Tombstone in Shoah Cellar Mount Zion Jerusalem   771
Seven Trees in the Forest of the Martyrs Jerusalem   773
Errors List   775
Introduction in English   778

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