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[Page 396]


A Group of the Drohitchin Branch – Administration and Executive in 1949

First row, seated from right: Dovka Gold, Adel Kohn, Leizer Warshavsky (chairman), Sheindel Dvinsky, Nechama Dvinsky and Ida Kohn.
Second row, standing from right: Chaya Shevinsky, Lana Lambert, Binyamin Shederov, Frieda Warshavsky, Chana Goldberg, Lana-Reizel Goldberg, Meita Eisenstein, Frieda Myers, Yehudit Hoffman, Beila and Morris Levy (vice-chairman).

Third row, from right: Zalman Shevinsky, (finance secretary), Baruch Gold, Bluma Gutov (protocol secretary), Berl Lopatin, Alter Dvinsky (Histadrut chairman), Sam Kohn, Louis Myer, Chaim Hoffman (vice-chairman).

Last row from right: Sam and Heska Match (vice chairwoman of the National Jewish Fund branch), Yosef Feldman, Mordechai Gutov, Yitzchak Yonah Goldberg, Hersh Leib Eisenstein (organization chairman), Sender Dvinsky, Aharon Kohn, Neiten Lambert.

Missing are Morris Dubin (treasurer), Yisrael Aharon Tennenbaum (Jewish National Fund chairman).

[Page 397]


The first Drohitchin Aid Association in Chicago was created at the beginning of World War I under the title of Aid Committee. Thousands of dollars were sent to Drohitchin after the war to assist the community and needy individuals. American dollars made possible the reconstruction of the burned-down town, Houses of Study, Talmud Torah school, public bath and ritual bath/mikvah. People in need of food were fed, and businessmen and workers who lost their income were assisted in meeting their needs.

        In the mid-1920s, the economic situation of the Jews in Drohitchin improved significantly, and thus there was no need, except for unusual cases, to offer assistance from the United States. So the American Relief Committee was disbanded. However, with the onset of Nazism and Hitler's anti-semitism in Germany, Polish anti-semitism also began to raise its ugly head socially and economically. Polish government bodies in Drohitchin and everywhere else in the country started breaking the economic position of the Jews. Government taxes applied the screws, and extracted the last bit of income from the Jewish worker and merchant. Jews in Drohitchin then started alerting their relatives and friends in the United States regarding the catastrophic economic situation.

        In 1933 there was an extraordinary large meeting of émigrés from Drohitchin held in the Kehilat Yaakov synagogue, which established the Chicago Drohitchin Support Association to be headed by David Eisenstein as president. During its lifetime, the Aid Association sent thousands of dollars to Drohitchin to be distributed for Passover and the High Holidays among hundreds of Drohitchin needy and many former businessmen who lost their businesses. This money supported the Houses of Study, the hospital, the Talmud Torah school, the Health Assistance Fund and Hospice program. Orphans were fed and clothed, and poor brides were helped with expenses. Wood for the poor was also provided in the winter.

        The Support Association later changed its name to the Aid Society, and continued to exist until the destruction of Drohitchin.


On the left is a photo of the Aid Society banquet honoring David Eisenstein in 1940.

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