Czyzewo Memorial Book
(Czyżew-Osada, Poland)

52°48' / 22°19'

Translation of Sefer Zikaron Czyzewo

Edited by Shimon Kanc

Published in Tel Aviv, former residents of Czyzewo in Israel and the USA, 1961




Project Coordinator

Jennifer L. Mohr


Donated Translations

Article by Seymour Moncarz translated by Dr. Jerry Sepinwall;
donated by Dr. Harriet Sepinwall and Family

Prawda family articles donated by Jane Prawda;
translated by Chana Pollack and Myra Mniewski

Article donated by Andrea Bolender
in loving memory of Benek Bolender


This is a translation from: Sefer Zikaron Czyzewo, Czyzewo Memorial Book,
Ed. Shimon Kanc, Tel Aviv, former residents of Czyzewo in Israel and the USA, 1961

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

Purchase details for a printed copy of this translation can be found at

This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without JewishGen, Inc.'s permission. Rights may be reserved by the copyright holder.

JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.

Project Notes

If you have not seen the original book, you might be interested to know that this treasure of writings, photos and artwork fills a total of 603 pages in all. Each page is divided into two columns, each column with it's own number. When the Table of Contents indicates that an article begins, for example, on page 1000, it is actually found on page 500, column 1000.

Also, the Table of Contents in the original book does not list all the articles. I have taken the liberty of adding the missing ones.

Transliterations of Yiddish and Hebrew words remain scattered throughout the writings. The first time each of those words is used, the English translation appears after the word in parentheses. We have used Polish spelling for proper names of people and towns.

Though the town name is currently Czyzew-Osada, we have kept the same spelling used in Sefer Zikaron Czyzewo to honor the Czyzewo our families knew.

Please feel free to contact me for any reason.


Special Thanks

Fifty-two people have contributed financially, enabling us to translate this book into English and three of those people donated translated articles as well. Their generosity is deeply appreciated and has allowed us to keep alive the memory and stories of our loved ones.

Arlene Ancona Arlen Hollis Kane of the Kon/Cohen family Thelma Ross
Freda Attinson Val Katz Marian Rothstein
Gloria Berkenstat Freund Reeva Kimble Hazel Sandow Boon
Judy Baston Doris Klein Martin Schwalberg
Gila Blume Steven Klein Judith Ceranka Segal
Andrea Bolender Adele and Irwin Lipton Pauline Senders
Deborah Bornstein Daniel Marks Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall
Gail and Alfred Bryman of the Lepak family Carole and Abe Mohr Harriet Sepinwall
Victoria Cantor Jonathan Mohr Brock Shamberg
Sheldon D. and Jacqueline S. Chizever Fanny Moncarz Robert Shlasko
Harold Chizewer Jerry Moncarz Martin Silver
Julie Chizewer-Weill Lisa Ness Joan Sohn
Nicole Czarnecki Gary Palgon Edward Stubin
Marcia Sherman El-Baz Jane Prawda David Winter
Libby Gurian Morton Rochman Beth Wolfson
Rafael Harpaz Chaim Yosef Lepak Rosenblit Moti Zahav
Cynthia Ittleman Steven Rosenwasser David Zaremsky
Grace Ittleman

Many thanks, also, to the translators who painstakingly translated every last word, allowing those of us who don't read Yiddish or Hebrew to access information about our families.  Judie Ostroff-Goldstein, Gloria Berkenstat Freund, and Jerrold Landau lent their incredible skills and many hours of time to help us complete this project.  Jerrold also, it should be noted, spent many more hours creating a name index, ultimately making it easier for us to find mention of our family members.    

Lastly, much appreciation to Yizkor Book Manager, Lance Ackerfeld, and his team of HTMLers for their dedication and technical prowess.  Putting these yizkor books online allows for people all over the world to view them, which is a gift.

Jennifer L. Mohr
Project Coordinator

(This image found on the front cover of the book)

Article Title Author Page
Title Pages   5
Preface to the Book   17
Song Of The Murdered Jewish People Yitzchak Kacenelson 21
Introduction Shimon Kanc 29
Let Us Remember!   37
Remember What Amalek Did To You The Editorial Board 45
So We Started Czyzewer landsmanschaft 49
The History of the Town
Once, Once…   69
A Tear For A Generous Friend I. Dawidowicz 74
An Overview of the Development and Growth of the Jewish Community in Czyzewo Dov Gorzalczany 76
A Small Detail Arthur Szrajer 107
The Development and Growth of Czyzewo Dov Gorzalczany 109
Community Life
The Jewish Kehila Dov Gorzalczany 129
The Cooperative Bank Dov Gorzalczany 143
Gmiles Khsodim (loans without interest) Dov Gorzalczany 149
Linat Hazedek, Bikur Holim, Hakhnasas Orhim Dov Brucarz 153
“Centos” – The Organization That Helped Jewish Children Dov Abu Szmuel 157
Hasidic Shtiblach (prayer houses) Dov Brucarz 181
My Great Father Freidel Levinson 193
The Ger Shtibl Gerszon Gora 215
My Aleksander Shtibl Berl Szajes 225
The Amszynower Congreation in Shtetl Pinchas Frydman 237
The Fire Brigade Yitzchak Bursztajn 241
The Daf-Yomi Ended Yitzchak Bursztajn 243
A Day in Czyzewo Shmuel Abarbanel 245
A Maskil (enlightened man) Among Hasidim Gad Zaklilowski 253
The Great Quarrel Hyman (Anshel) Kowadla 259
The Great Peace A. Wiewiurka 265
Hassidim in the Town aron Jablonka 273
The Gaon Reb Szmuel Dawid of Holy Blessed Memory Rabbi Levinson 281
Rabbi Szmuel Dawid Zabludower of Holy Blessed Memory Gerszon Gora 285
The Rabbinate of Czyzewo Gerszon Gora 293
My Grandfather Gerszon Gora 303
One of the Five Gerszon Gora 307
Reb Zebulun Grosbard aron Tapuchi 313
The Admor Rabbi Boruch of Czyzewo Rabbi Tankhum Rubinsztajn 317
Youth Movements and Political Parties
Youth Organizations and the Zionist Movement Yitzchak Szlaski 329
The Mizrachi Organization in Czyzewo Eliahu Gora 355
Memories from the Hachsharah Kibbutz in Czyzewo Aryeh Porat 361
The Zionist Organziations in Czyzewo Yitzchak Szlaski 367
The Movement for “A Working Eretz–Yisrael Malka Szejman 371
Freiheit Leah Dimentman (Bursztajn) 379
My Father's Agony and Ecstasy When Organizing the Mizrakhi Matisyahu Prawda 383
Agudas Yisrael Gershon Gora 387
I Say Goodbye to the Shtetl Gerszon Gora 395
The First Buds of Communism Yitzchak Gora 400
Communists Dov Gorzalczany 405
Bundists Dov Gorzalczany 412
The First Flash of the Yiddish Theater in Czyzewo Dov Brukarz 421
Days and Nights on the Magic Stage Simcha Gromadzyn 425
The Third and Last Period of Yiddish Theater in Czyzewo Dov Gorzalczany 433
The Library – The Center of Cultural Life Dov Gorzalczany 437
We Build a Beis Am[1]   445
Way of Life
Jewish shtetlekh in Poland Chaim Grade 457
Our Guardians aron Jablonka 461
They Come and Demand Their Due aron Jablonka 465
The First Strike Dov Brukarz 471
Khederim, Schools, Teachers and Melamdim Dov Brukarz 473
A Ray of Light from Past Years Dov Brukarz 477
New Winds Dov Brukarz 483
A Regular Market Day Dov Brukarz 489
My Melamdim Dov Brukarz 503
Types in the Shtetl Dov Brukarz 511
Czyzewo's Tzitzis Maker Dov Brukarz 517
Reb Binyamin the Tailor Arya Gorzalczany 531
Yitzchak-aron – the Modest Man Dov Brukarz 535
The Purim Shpiler Dov Brukarz 537
A Visit to the Shtetl After Thirteen Years Dov Brukarz 539
In the Days of the Polish–Bolshevik War Dvora Brukarz (Dwasza) 545
How Cossacks Arrested Me as a German Spy Simcha Glina, Tel Aviv 553
My Good Father Simcha Prawda 559
My Homily Simcha Prawda 567
The Holy Billy Goat Simcha Prawda 571
Czyzewo Klezmorim (musicians) Avraham Yosef Ritholc (New York) 579
Gentle Souls and Kind Hearts of My Little Town Czyzewo Chaikeh Cikrovich (Prawda) 587
Khevra Mishnius Simcha Gromadzyn 593
The Bridge Elihu Gora 597
Bright and Dark Days M. Szczupakiewicz 599
My Shtetele Arya Gorzalczany 611
Chaim–Judel Tracz Arja Gorzalczany 613
Yudel Wapniak Arja Gorzalczany 615
Yitzchak, son of Bunim Arya Gorzalczany 623
The Testament of Leyzer, the son of Yosl Arya Gorzalczany 629
The Nightmare Persecutes Me Malka Lubelczyk-Malinowicz 633
What My Grandfather Said -The Apothecary's Friendship Malka Lubelczyk-Malinowicz 636
Nuska Szejman Yitzchak Szlaski 637
My Mother – the Teacher Yitzchak Szlaski 641
The Light From Our Home Berl and Chantsha 649
The Pogrom in Czyzewo Described in the Yiddish Press of That Time   667
The Scroll of Blood Gerszon Gur 695
Once Upon A Time There Was A Shtetl Yitzchak Bursztajn 699
A Walk Through Czyzewo's Streets Gerszon Góra 713
Water Carriers Dov Brukarz 751
The Dear and Naïve Water Carriers aron Jablonka 755
People and Personalities
Meyer Richter Yisrael Wajntraub 763
Reb Yechiel Asher Prawda D. Gorzalczany 765
Reb Alter the Sofer Stam of blessed memory Y. Szlaski 769
The Shofar Blower G. Gora 776
Reb Alter Wolmer Dov Gorzalczany 781
Reb Szmuel Zeev and Lea Kandel Kandel sons 785
The Lithuanian G. Gora 786
The Waker G. Gora 789
The Cantor of the Town G. Gora 795
In the Sukkah of Reb Itzel G. Gora 798
The Prayer Leader G. Gora 804
Shmuele the Walker G. Gora 809
Flocks of Holy Ones G. Gora 812
My Parents Isachar Okon 817
Our Parents Ch. Kirszenbojm 821
Reb Mendel, the Son of Israel–Shlomo D. Gorzalczany 825
Reb Fishl Lubelczyk Bat–Sheva and Shlomo 829
The Jewish Town that Was Destroyed Yerucham HaLevi–Kopiec 833
Czyzewo – One Among Many Pinchas Frydman 836
My Town on Weekdays and Festivals aron Jablonka 838
The Bridge Eliahu Gora 845
The Footsteps of the Early Ones Yerachmiel Eliasz 847
My Small town Dalia Schneiderman 849
Father! Rachel Wengorz (Gorzalczany) 852
Destruction and Holocaust
The Death of the Jewish Population in Czyzewo Shimon Kanc 855
During the “Quiet” Days Yitzchak Worona 859
Desolate Days and Nights Yentl Kitaj 863
The Walk Through Every Hell M. Kitaj 891
The Road of Suffering I. Nowinsztern 913
In the Valley of Lament and Fear Etka Cukerman 967
How I Smuggled Food into tho Zambrower Barracks I. Wyprawnik 977
In the Circle of Death's Agony Sz. Moncarz 979
In the Ghetto and On The Way to Auschwitz Shmuel (Wajsbart) Ben Zahavi 989
I Escaped from Auschwitz Sura Ben–Ari 995
In the Abyss of Terrible Death Moshe Rajczik 999
Across Rivers of Tears and Seas of Blood Yisroelke Fenster 1017
In the First Days of Burning Hate Avraham Kandel, Chaim Belfer & Arya Gorzalczany 1021
My Experiences during the Years of the Second World War Mirl Wolmer-Biderman 1029
Through Flames and Smoke B. Bolender 1039
Czyzewo – Siberia – Canada Moshel Blajwajs 1049
Propelled by Fear of the Swastika Freidel Levinson 1063
Years of Banishment Sheva Lubelczyk 1079
Blind Fate D. Saba 1089
Majdanek Gershuni 1095
After the Deluge
A Look At My Destroyed Shtetl Ch. Gromadzyn–Gotlib 1099
On the Ruins of Czyzewo Dov Saba 1103
Czyzewo – Today On the Vestiges of a Disappeared Jewish Life Y. Dawidowicz 1121
Czyzewo Jews – Where Are They? I. Dawidowicz 1135
We Will Guard Your Holy Memory in Our Hearts Dov Gorzalczany 1141
Czyzewo Benevolent Association Itsl Kirszenbojm 1147
Activities of the Czyzewo Landsmanschaft in Israel D. Aba Yitzchaki 1149
Dedicated to the Anonymous Donor Editorial Board 1155
Memorial Candles - list   1157
Memorial Candles   1159
Index of Names in the Cyzewo Yizkor Book


Translator's Footnote:

  1. This entry does not apear in the original table of contents of the book. return

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