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[Page 131]

The Khotyn Jewish Community

Khone Rayss

Translated by Yael Chaver

Each generation, each period has its figures. This is a gift from heaven. Any Khotyn native you talk to will mention Khone's name. Everyone is proud of him. He really was the representative of the town at one time, like the biblical righteous man Noah in his generation.[1]

Who was this Khone Rayss, whom all Khotyners still mention with such enthusiasm?

His marriage was not successful, and he soon divorced his wife. From then on, the entire town of Khotyn became his beloved, and he dedicated his life to it. He was greatly appreciated, first of all for his efforts and devotion, as well as for his financial assistance. He was like a father to the children of Khotyn, and strove to make sure they had everything they needed and deserved.

Khone was exceptional among the five sons and daughters of Mendl Charnes Rayss and his wife Sore. His mother, was proud of her lineage as a descendant of Mendele Moycher Seforim.[2] Mendl Rayss, the father, was, like many other Jews in various periods, a money-changer. Jewish life was very restricted and limited to the Pale of Settlement, locked into a ghetto.[3] You couldn't walk here, you coldn't live there. Jews were not allowed to own land. So Jews set up small tables near the stores and became money-changers, working with currencies. Walking through the main Khotyn street, from Esther Freydls to the cart depot, you could see small Jews sitting in mid-street, like the money-changers of old, dealing in currency of neighboring countries such as Austria, as well as in gold and silver, and lending money for interest. Reb Mendl was lucky, and became wealthy. He followed the advice of the sages: “A person should divide his money in three ways: cash, property, and possessions” and did that with his fortune. He invested one-third in cash, one-third in fields and forests, and one-third in goods. If there should be a misfortune or a crisis, God forbid, he would lose only one-third of his fortune.[4] Mendl Charnes had cash, mills, fields, and forests. He even owned an entire village, Karpach.

When Mendl's children inherited their father's fortune, they became large-scale bankers. They also expanded their businesses and wealth on their own, though lacking an academic education. The only exception was the daughter, Charne Rayss, who became a chemistry professor at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.[5] Khone (Karl Emanuelovich) did not have an academic education, either, but he was widely read. He owned one of the finest libraries, with thousands of books, in which he immersed himself. He broke free of his father's businesses and did not join his brothers; he dedicated himself entirely to the Jewish community of Khotyn. Khone's goal was to improve conditions in the Khotyn Jewish community, for individuals as well as for the general public. He started from the foundation – young people. The older generation, “the generation of the desert,” was beyond improvement, due to the hardships of life as well as other reasons.[6]

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Rayss acted properly towards everyone. He was a traditional Jew and came to the synagogue often. Through legal action with the authorities in Chisinau, he was able to receive forty thousand rubles from the candle tax.[7] Thanks to this stroke of luck he built a fine synagogue in 1900 to replace the old one which was practically in ruins. He also built the Choral Synagogue, with an elementary religious school; the building was considered one of the handsomest structures in Khotyn. Everything he saw abroad, during his annual trips, he tried to apply to Khotyn – the best and finest. He attempted to build the Circle Club in the western European manner, as he had witnessed in Berlin, with the aim of creating a social-cultural center–a spiritual haven for the young people of Khotyn; and he succeeded. He knew how to attract the young folks who attended synagogue, by bringing in the best cantors and organizing a choir with a good conductor. He arranged literary evenings and set up a fine library. In 1904-1905 he organized a wind orchestra and brought in 45 instruments from Leipzig. He opened a synagogue and a talmud-toyre, in which the children had to do sports and gymnastics. He also bought the necessary equipment. In light of his achievements, there was no point to the primitive kheyders. Everything worked like clockwork, and he himself was a model to all. Everything happened in the Circle Club, in the small synagogue, in connection with the orchestra, the choir, and Khone Rayss. It was a unified cultural body of work, in which everything was important.

However, Khone Rayss did not confine himself to the corner that he had created. He was active in every field that benefited the Jewish population of Khotyn. He was a trustee of all the philanthropic institutions, supported the hospital, the Old Age Home, the travellers' hostel, and others. Sanitary conditions improved in all these institutions. He would go from one house to the next, and send repairmen to fix broken drains. If he saw someone barefoot in the street, he would take that person to a shoemaker and order a pair of boots. Once a year, he would give each talmud-toyre student a pair of boots and a cap. He would distribute suitable seasonal uniforms to each student twice a year. Before Passover, he would make sure that the poor had matza, potatoes, and sometimes even a few rubles. Nonetheless, right after the Revolution there were those who remembered him unfavorably. It was even said that these comments led to his untimely death. Rayss also demonstrated his experience immediately after the First World War, when Jews were driven out of the surrounding villages. He quickly organized help and, together with the Petrograd Committee, resettled the victims. He headed the Charitable Society, and during elections to the first Duma was selected as the Khotyn delegate to the Chisinau conference that elected the Bessarabian delegation.[8]

Khone Rayss died in 1920 at age 52. His spiritual successor in the Charity Society was Meir Landviger. Rayss's house, with its rich library, became part of the community's property, especially its Jews. The Jewish community of Khotyn has been almost completely eradicated, but Khotyn Jews everywhere remember the shining figure of Khone Rayss with inspiration and respect.

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Excerpts from the pinkes of the Khotyn Jewish community, 1927-1933[9]

The hostile attitude of the ruling majority toward the poor Jewish minority led to the establishment of self-help institutions to ease the need. In the absence of official permission and community control, the money was wasted uselessly. In 1917, a community council was created on a democratic basis, to gather the Jewish institutions under a central leadership, for the benefit of the entire Jewish population of Khotyn. The council's goal was to satisfy the need of the local Jews for cultural and economic change, and to represent the Jewish population before the authorities.

The Khotyn Jewish community was the first in Ukraine to answer the call of the Zionist Congress to create community councils. A council was immediately formed, headed by Elkhonon Rayss, and including M. Shur, Y. Grinberg Y. Apelboym, Ayzik Barag and A. Shaynberg. Difficulties prevented the council from carrying out normal organizational work in the environs of Khotyn as well. The council renewed its activity in 1924, according to the regulations formulated by the congress of Bessarabian activists. The great participation of people in the elections indicated the extent of public interest in the council. In the elections of 1927, 92% of Jews eligible to vote participated. All factions and groups were represented in the community. The following parties took part in the elections: 1) Democrats; 2) Tradesmen; 3) Mizrachi; 4) Merchants; 5) Zionists; 6) Independents. The work was divided among committees: financial committee, headed by Miron Derzhi; juridical committee, headed by Yisroel Bordeynik, advocate; charity committee, headed by Zushiye Bornshteyn; health committee, headed by M. Shur; burial committee, headed by Leybush Ludmir (later, by Vaysodler); cultural committee, headed by M. Shur (later, by Yoysef Apelboym); committee for religious issues, headed by Rabbi Nohem Strakovsky. In order to facilitate speedier work, women were included in several committees: Golde Brodski – administration; Chave Tsimerman –health issues; Sore Barag – finance; Zive Entelis – culture; Betye Tulchinsky – social assistance.


Social Assistance

The dedicated work of Zushiye Bornshteyn was highly effective. He did not spare his efforts. When the number of those in need increased and the fund was short of money, he would take out personal loans from private parties in order to help those who needed it. In 1929, the Central Committee in Chisinau sent out a call to all communities to help the starving of southern Bessarabia. The Khotyn community's fund for social assistance sent 72,482 lei; of this sum, 50,090 went to southern Bessarabia and the rest to other needy persons. They supported OZE, and made sure that poor children were clothed and able to go to school free of charge.[10] The annual amount in circulation was 1,875,106 lei in 1929; 1,195,042 lei in 1930; and 1,849,761 lei in 1931.


Sources of the Mutual Aid Fund

In 1929 a charity fund named for Roza Goldenberg was created, headed by Zushiye Bornshteyn. The Khotyn Relief in America donated 102,365 lei, which served to help hundreds of people: small shopkeepers, market sellers, artisans, peddlers, and professionals. The loan term was two weeks, interest-free, and could be renewed. Thanks to the initiative of the community's committees, a childrens' colony was set up.[11] Most of the committees' income, however, came from the kosher-meat tax. This income tripled, without raising the tax, thanks to the administrative measures instituted by Miron Derzhi, president of the financial committee. The community took steps to terminate various small funds, such as ma'ot khitin, a fund to supply the hospital and old-age home with wood.[12] Instead, people were expected to make progressive contributions based on their capacities. The contributions were set by a committee headed by Yoysef Apelboym, vice-president of the community. The Ministry of Culture gave the community aid in the amount of 18,121 lei. General secretary L. Ludmir and advocate Y. Bordeinik put the affairs of the burial society in order and increased its income in order to assist the needy. The following Jewish institutions existed in Khotyn: the Jewish hospital, the old-age home, the hostel for travelers,

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the burial society, the old and new bath-houses, the Tarbut school, and government schools no. 7 for boys and no. 8 for girls.[13]

The government was not pleased that the community had broadened its activities, and made efforts to limit them only to religious affairs. However, regardless of the reduced budget at the community's disposal and the limitations on the authority of the community commission, changes in the status of communities and increased authority came about thanks to the intervention of M. Shur, Y. Apelboym, M. Derzhi, Y. Bordeynik and L. Ludmir. They were supported by then-parliamentary deputy Mikhoel Landau. The permit was granted on May 22, 1929. At that time, it was also decided to unify all the libraries of the town.

As far as Zionist activity was concerned, the Khotyn community took part in the general protest against the events of 1929 in Palestine.[14]

In 1929, there were five meetings of the community and 33 meetings of the leadership.


Financial Affairs

Due to the economic crisis, the community reduced the contributions by 15%. In 1933 the tax on kosher meat (a holdover from the Czarist period) was taken over by the community. It was designated as a salary for Reb Nissele Fuks, who had educated many children in the spirit of Torah and Jewish tradition. In 1932 the community purchased a tract of land in order to enlarge the Jewish cemetery. It took every opportunity to respond to offensiveness toward Jews. After the attack on Deputy Mishu Vaysman, the community sent him a telegram of support, calling out the attackers.[15] The community and parliamentary deputies helped to make classes in Jewish religion a requirement in all schools. In 1933 the community's registry office, where all births, weddings, and divorces were entered, became more efficient, and the data it contained served as the basis for developing plans for the community. In 1933, the Khotyn community took an active role in the boycott against Germany.


Matza for Passover

The community made sure that all the Jews in town were supplied with matza for Passover. The income from matza sales was used to balance the community budget. The community usually approached the mill-owners during Hanukah week, asking for bids, so that they could join in the competition.[16] After the decision was announced, the community became the exclusive buyer of flour for matza. Matza-baking was handed over to “contractors” by long-established tradition. Sale of the matzas was handled exclusively by the community. Matza could be bought only with confirmation by the community treasurer that all community contributions had been made by the buyer; these were set according to each individual's income. All were fairly treated, and no one tried to avoid paying the contributions. Some people occasionally attempted evasion, but no special measures were taken against them. Of course, the needy received matza free of charge. Many also received wine, potatoes, and oil for Passover. Ze'ev Gelman, secretary of the Social Committee, and Nochem Roytman, who volunteered his time, made efforts to bring light and warmth to each Jewish family during Passover.


Fires in the Town

On May 25, 1930, a fire broke out; 50 families (200 people) lost the roofs over their heads. Thanks to the quick action of the community, 22,750 lei were collected for immediate loans to those affected. A special committee was set up, comprised of Mikhoel Shur, Yoysef Apelboym, Zusya Bronshteyn, the lawyer Yisroel Bordeinik, Leybush Gelman, Beyrish Gitelman, Miron Derzhi, Khayim Vaserman, Meir Landviger, Yoysef Landoy, Yankev Tutelman, Matisyohu Rayss, and the lawyer Moyshe Feldman. The committee addressed Jews throughout Bessarabia,

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Bukovina, and Transylvania, seeking help for those affected. A total of 156,530 lei was collected. The household goods damaged by the fire were collected and served as the basis for the authorities to waive 200,000 lei in taxes. The Interior Ministry contributed 400,000 lei; 325,000 lei for the residents of Khotyn and 75,000 lei for temporary residents who had suffered from the fire. The Agriculture Ministry provided wood for construction, valued at 200,000 lei. The police donated 50,000 lei, and 100,000 lei were collected from the Khotyn environs. Individuals also contributed, such as the Asmanski family, which sent 100,000 lei for those affected. The community's interest-free fund created a loan fund of 1,445,000 lei to rebuild homes and businesses. The loan term was seven years, at 4% annual interest. In addition, a one-time amount of 65,000 lei was given to repair damaged homes. On February 12, 1932, another fire broke out in the town; fifteen poor families were left homeless. Because of the household effects that were damaged, the authorities waived taxes of 50,000 lei. The Ministry of Agriculture agreed to the community's request for 472 cubic meters of construction lumber. The request was supported by Deputy Mikhoel Landau. The local authorities donated 15,000 lei and the Osmanski family personally donated 19,620 lei.[17]


Measures against Terror Activities

In 1930, it became known that the “Iron Guard,” led by Zelea Codreanu, was preparing a march through Khotyn, and that Jews would suffer as a result.[18] The Khotyn Jewish community, like Jewish communities in other towns, warned the authorities about possible disturbances. The President of the community, M. Shur, sent a telegram to King Carol, in which he pointed out the danger in store for Jews. At the end of December, anti-Semitic propaganda intensified in the surrounding villages, and people feared a pogrom would take place during the period between Christmas and New Year's. The efforts of Deputy Mikhoel Landau, as well as other factors, saved the town from the disaster. However, on February 20, 1931, the community learned that on March 1 a regional congress of anti-Semitic parties would take place in Criva, near Lipcani. Thanks to the efforts of the Minister of Bessarabian Affairs and the President of the Chisinau Jewish community, the Congress did not convene. In 1930, the Jewish community protested against a ban on Jewish immigration to Palestine imposed by the Passfield congress.[19] The protest was submitted to the Romanian Foreign Minister and to the British Ambassador in Bucharest. The Community reports of 1931 show that the Jewish community undertook to bury Torah scrolls that had been ripped during the First World War, when Jews were driven from their homes.[20] It should also be noted that the community committed to supplying Jewish students with cadavers, so that they could participate in the anatomy lectures of the medical school.


Medical Assistance

Poor sick people who could not afford to call a physician turned to charitable community societies such as Linas-Tsedek and Bikur-Cholim, where they could receive free


A small synagogue near the poorhouse
The old Old Age Home

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medical help.[21] Those seriously ill were admitted to the Jewish hospital free of charge.

The following persons were in charge of medical help to the Khotyn Jewish community:

Feldshers[22]: Avrom Leyb Nerman, Efroyim Feltsher, Meir Feltsher, Fania Shtrudelman (a nurse in the Jewish Hospital), B. Ambrozhevich, Bakal, Dombrovski and Aleksenski (the last two were non-Jews). Dombrovski's son studied medicine and when he received his license he lived in the Jewish quarter.

Dentists: Ida Rozentsvayg, Golda Yakir-Brodski, Eva Tsimerman, Chane Vaysman, Dr. Lidia Shur.\

Pharmacists: There were two Jewish pharmacists, Gurfinkel and Shechter.

Physicians: Dr. Barmak, Dr. Grayzgroy (the son of the painter Grayzgroy), Dr. L. Zaydman, President of the community and vice-mayor, Dr. Khoresh, Dr. Lerner, Dr. Arn Stoliar, Dr. Kalpakchi, Dr. Shaynberg, and Dr. Ravitch.

Midwives: Berta Vaysman, Brokhe Rabay, Rakhil (Rokhl) Feldberg, who would always shout out,”Another little Jew born, another little Jew in the world!”


The Jewish Hospital

The Khotyn Jewish hospital (one of the two hospitals in town) comprised 30 beds and a separate room for infectious diseases. The hospital was founded in 1860 by a Jewish charity organization. It offered free medical help, kosher food, and good treatment. An indication of the high standard of the hospital was the fact that non-Jews also sought medical treatment there. The physicians volunteered their hospital work. Management of the hospital was shifted to the community in 1917, and was shared by regional authorities, the town leadership, and the Jewish community. Towards the end, significant help also came from the Khotyn Relief Committee in America. Additional income was derived from the annual Purim balls, organized by the community in the municipal auditorium and attended by non-Jews, city officials and military personnel as well as Jews.

Dr. Berg was hospital director starting in 1900. He was followed by Dr. Kalpakshi of the town authorities, and, after the latter's sudden death, by Dr. Ambrozevich, mayor of Khotyn, who was a good friend of Jews although he was a Christian. He also worked for free. He was so attached to the hospital that he kept on working after his retirement in 1931. The city authorities continued to send him a carriage every day as transportation to the hospital. The two younger physicians, Dr. Zaydman and Dr. Shaynberg, helped him. In 1938, when Dr. Ambrozevich stopped his work, Dr. L. Zaydman became the director; Dr. Shaynberg was his deputy.


The Bath-houses

There were many bath-houses in Khotyn, older and newer. They were usually named for their owners or descriptively, such as the Lower Bath-house, the Old Bath-house (near the church), the New Bath-house (near the fire-fighting station). The well-known activist Khone Raysss tried to build a modern bath-house in the town, but was unsuccessful. Later, a foundation was even laid, which remained as such until 1924. Jews who lived near a bath-house would go to the ritual bath every Saturday morning.


The Burial Society

As one of its first tasks, the newly created Jewish community administration resolved to remove authority over the burial society from private parties who did whatever they pleased, thanks to their monopoly. The burial-society's income was not used to support any community institution, but a committee headed by Leybush Ludmir and Engineer Yisroel Bordeinik turned the burial society into a source of community income. The committee made sure that burials were done in accordance with Jewish law and custom, and that the deceased, rich or poor, was treated with proper respect. It also saw to the appearance of the cemetery and took care of the gravestones and the inscriptions they bore. The committee members were effective thanks to the fact that people were appointed for a month at a time. A deceased person's family had to present death certificates as well as confirmation that community taxes had been paid. Naturally, poor members of the community were taken into account. The burial society's income was a significant factor in the community's budget for the upkeep of various institutions. It made it possible to appeal the price demanded for a plot, and enabled installment payments over a year's span. However, sometimes a burial would be postponed because the heirs had not reached an agreement with the burial society's committee.

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The bier was carried to the cemetery on people's shoulders. The funeral procession would stop at the synagogue, where eulogies would be said. The procession would then continue to the cemetery, three kilometers from the synagogue.[23] There was an old cemetery, dating to about 1800, which was no longer used for burials. However, there were always Jews who would visit their ancestors' graves before the High Holidays, either to show respect to the deceased or because they considered the deceased to be interceders for them with God and good messengers to carry their requests to God on the eve of the New Year.

Many would visit their ancestors' graves in the new cemetery. The cemetery included a special location for the interment of damaged Torah scrolls and scraps of holy books surviving from fires or pogroms. Only important people would be buried there, such as Reb Yehoshua Ornshteyn.


Gravestone Inscriptions

The simpler a gravestone, the higher its status. In recent times, however, inscriptions praising the deceased were made. Avrom Derzhi's family even had a wine barrel engraved on the stone, indicating that he had been a wine merchant. However, the community considered it a defect and ordered that it be effaced. During the Second World War, the cemeteries were destroyed and the gravestones used by the Soviet authorities as the base of a monument.


The Khotyn Jewish Community

The Khotyn Jewish Community was the first created in Bessarabia, founded in 1917 and officially recognized in 1929.



Community Board
Elected on January 21, 1932

Governing body:
Mikhoel Shor, Chairman

Miron Derzhy
Yosef Eplboym
Yisroel Bordeinik, advocate

Moyshe Royzman, General Secretary
Markus Gelshteyn, Assistant Secretary

Rabbi N. Strakovsky
Yisroel Barag
Sholem Goldenberg Yisroel Gitzis
Dr. Lipe Zaydman
Moyshe Vaysman
Shmuel Khes
Azriel Yanover
Avrom Zalmen Malamud
Abe Rzhovnsky
Kalmen Nudelman (deceased)
Dovid Feldman
Nokhem Kizhner
Zalmen Shavelman
Zusya Broynshteyn
Leybush Barag
Leyb Barbakh
Gavriel Bernshteyn

Beyrush Gitelman
Berl Vaysodler
Elozer Zaltzman
Mikhoel Yoffe
Zusye Katz
Shloyme Feldman
Leyb Bloyshteyn (deceased)
Shemaye Tzimerman
Shoel Frayberg
Mekhl Sapozhnik
Tzvi Limantshik
Dovid Postelnik
Yankev Roytman
Fayvl Rubman
Arn Sheynman
Leybush Ludmir
Community Board
Elected on April 19, 1927

Slate No. 1
(Democratic Bloc)
Leybush Gelman
Yechiel Kizhner
Dovid Postelnik
Sholem Shechter

Slate No. 2
Aba Dzhovnski
Beyrush Gitelman
Yoysef Lando
Arn Shaynman
Zusia Katz
Yoysef Mednik
Ruvn Eplboym
Hersh Leyb Geler
Yoysef Peker
Yitzchok Portnoy (deceased)
Zev Faynman

Slate No. 3 (“Orthodox,” “Mizrachi”)
Zusia Broynshteyn
Arn Barag (deceased(
Avrom Peysekh (deceased)
Efroyim Peysekh (deceased)
Levi Peysekh
Dovid Barlam
Zalmen Shavelman
Moyshe Shtulman

Slate No. 4
(Merchants' Guild)
Markus Gelshteyn
Shmuel Khes
Mikhoel Kamenetsky

Slate No. 5
(United Zionist Bloc)
Yoysef Eplboym
Tzvi Feferman (deceased)
Yitzchok Meir Tisenboym
Moyshe Royzman
Leybush Ludmir
Yisroel Barag
Yisroel Avner Barag
Moyshe Vartikovsky
Avrom Zalmen Malamud
Shloyme Feldman
Dov Vaysodler

Slate No. 6
Mikhoel Shor
Meir Landviger
Matisyohu Raysss
Miron Derzhi
Yisroel Bordeinik, advocate
Leybush Barag
Shloyme Shkolnik
Yisroel Gitzis
Sholem Shavelman

Golde Brodsky
Sore Baragv Khave Tzimerman
Nive Entelisv Betye Tutshinsky

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Governing Board:
Mikhoel Shor, Chairman
Yoysef Eplboym
Miron Derzhy
Leybush Ludmir, General Secretary

Shmuel Khes
Abe Rzhovnsky
Mikhoel Yoffe
Dovid Postelnik
Yankev Roytman
Rabbi N. Strakovsky
Zusye Broynshteyn
Dr. Lipe Zaydman
Berl Vaysodler
Shloyme Feldman
5. Juridical affairs:
Y. Bordeinik, advocate (Chairman), L. Ludmir, L. Bloyshteyn (deceased)
6. Charity affairs:
Zusye Broynshteyn (Chairman), B. Gitelman, A. Yanover, Tzvi Limantshik, Z. Lerner, D. Postelnik, Y. Roytman.
6. Religious affairs:
Rabbi Nokhem Strakovsky (Chairman), Rabbi Gedalyahu A. Strakovsky (may his memory be for a blessing), Rabbi B. Shurkh and Zusye Bronshteyn (Vice-chairmen), S. Khes, Tzvi Limantshik, M. Sapozhnik, D. Feldman, N. Kizhner, Z. Shavelman.
7. Charity affairs:
Z. Broynshteyn (Chairman), M. Broytman, B. Gitelman.
8. Censors' committee:
Yisroel Barag (Chairman), Leybush Barag, P. Rukhman (Members)
1. Financial-economical affairs:
Miron Derzhi (Chairman), Sholem Goldenberg, M. Gelshteyn, M. Yoffe, S. Feldman, M. Royzman, A. Rzhovnsky.
2. Cultural affairs:
Yoysef Eplboym (Chairman), M. Vaysman, Elozer Zaltzman, Sh. Khes, K. Nudelman (deceased), D. Feldman, N. Kizhner.
3. Burial society affairs
B. Vaysodler (Chairman), N. Bernshteyn, Y. Gitzis, N. Katz, M. Sapozhnik, G. Shavelman, A. Sheynman
4. Sanitation:
Mikhoel Shor (Chairman), Dr. L. Zaydman, A. Z. Malamud, S. Frayberg, S. Tziferman, L. Barbakh, Y. S. Varman

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Previously, only various unrelated committees had existed, not controlled by the community. They subsisted on donations, which was detrimental to the needy members of the community. Now all the activities were concentrated in the community and could be easily controlled. Most of the budget came from taxes, which were set according to the financial circumstances of those taxed. The community council was responsible for the following institutions: Old Age Home, Talmud-toyre, three elementary schools, the Tarbut schools, and the Zionist library. The Jewish hospital continued to function under the leadership of Dr. Zaydman. The community committee supplied medicines free of charge to poor outpatients. The council organized annual summer camps, in which over four hundred poor children spent two months. Milshteyn, the representative of the Joint in Chisinau, was responsible for the required funds.[27] A new fence was built around the cemetery and another plot was purchased in order to enlarge the cemetery. The older gravestones, which had historical value, were given numbers. The houses of poor residents were repaired. The free-loan fund supplied interest-free loans for productive purposes.[28] The goal of the community is to develop from a philanthropic institution into an organization fostering work and creativity. The “support” tradition was replaced by a pension fund for the community officials, to which community and officials contributed equally. It is noteworthy that 40% of the community budget was earmarked for cultural purposes. The library, which was founded 25 years earlier, is now one of the most substantial in the country, and contains books in Hebrew and in Yiddish.

The community council consists of Dr. Zaydman, President; Markus Gelshteyn, Vice-President; Advocate Volf Roytman, Vice-President; V. Shtaynberg, General Secretary; Y. Gornshteyn.

(This article appeared in the “almanac” of the Jewish newspaper Tribuna Evreiaske of Iasi, in 1937.)[29]



Before the council was created in 1917 according to law, the “Charity Institution” was the only organization that, though it had no official standing, addressed every aspect of community life. This institution was closed down in 1936, when Dr. Zaydman headed the community, and all its funds were transferred to the community. However, this change did not mean that charity work stopped. On the contrary, the community helped the charity-work leaders to continue their efforts. This work was important because of its local and individual character. There were various types of poverty and destitution among Jews, each with its own Hebraic designation: poor, pauper, miserable, etc. Each type required a different kind of help or charity. A cart-driver, for instance, whose horse had broken down, received charity to buy a horse and was therefore no longer needy and no longer in the group of poor people under the care of Dovidl Farber. There were also those who had become poor but did not accept the fact and continued to act as though nothing had happened. These were the most difficult cases. They died in poverty without anyone's knowledge. However, there were almost always people who discovered the secret needy, and carried out the injunction of secret donations. In Khotyn, those who did so were Moyshele Mashinist and Shimen Vaserman. Shloyme, the son of Hirsh-Ber the cotton-padder, would also make the rounds of homes in Khotyn every Monday, collecting money to donate to the secretly needy. Tevyele Litvig would collect money for wood before winter and distribute it to the poor, mentioning the donors. Avrom-Leyb German would dispense medicines free of charge to those who needed it, according to a list that he kept.

The women of Khotyn bore out the saying of the sages, “Women are compassionate.” There was much for them to do. Betye Tultshinsky was responsible for social aid in the community council. Z. Usmansky donated large sums to the mutual aid fund. Mindl, the ritual slaughterer's wife, would make the rounds of the bakeries every Friday and get challahs for the poor.

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Travellers' Hostel

Russian Jews were remarkable for their hospitality. Jewish homes were open to everyone, and especially enjoyed hosting guests. It was no different in Khotyn. The quote “no stranger had to spend the night in the street” could have been inscribed on the town's doors.[30] A hostel was opened in 1900; if a pauper arrived in Khotyn with no money, Moyshe Firl opened up the hostel and made sure that the stranger had a bed and food. However, the truth is that the travellers' hostel, the talmud toyre, the linas-tzedek nursing facility, and similar institutions were not set up according to hygienic requirements. This changed only thanks to the American Khotyn Relief, which took charge of the Jewish hospital, the old-age home, the talmud-toyre and the travelers' hostel. Hot food was given daily to one hundred people at symbolic prices. This was true not only for visiting strangers but for the local needy as well. Initially, it was decided that families with many children could only send one child to the soup kitchen. However, this distressed the parents, who had to decide which of the children would enjoy a hot meal that day.

Buzye Shrayber was the leader in the field for many years.



The workers in this institution worked without pay, helping the sick as well as the physicians, especially during epidemics. The work was usually temporary. In 1893-1894, for example, a great epidemic broke out that affected every home. On that occasion people had to be hired to massage the sick and volunteers worked to encourage them. In 1900 another terrible epidemic broke out, as well as in 1915-1916, when typhus and cholera took over the town. The society members did all they could to help the sick and their families. Noteworthy was Efroyim Kotlyar. The manager of the institutions was the son of the cobbler Yosl Bashmatshnik.



This was a sister organization to Bikur-cholim; both did the same type of work. Additional institutions were created so that more people could volunteer and share the work. Linas-tzedek was located in the Travellers' Hostel, as was the burial society. The members of Linas-tzedek were especially busy during the 1915-1916 epidemic. One person named Shmelke was remarkable for his faithfulness and dedication.


The Poor Brides Society

The Khotyn Jews were not especially rich, but were blessed with kind hearts. They made sure that a poor orphan girl was able to marry, and also assisted the young couple. Marrying poor children was also considered a remedy during an epidemic. During the 1893-1894 epidemic, a marriage was held in the cemetery, so that Life could stop Death. That was when Godl married a poor local girl. During a different epidemic, a similar wedding was held for Moyshele, of the Boyan synagogue, and Rivkele the orphan.[31] The property owners in the town decided to assist the young couple as well.


Description of the Khotyn community

Khotyn is an old town on the shore of the Dniester River. The town fortress was built in medieval times by Italians from Genoa. Control of the town and its environs changed frequently; it was ruled by Moldovans, Poles, Turks, Russians, and Romanians. Currently, it is part of the U.S.S.R. The town's population was 18,000; the ethnic composition was as follows: 45% Jews. 45% Ukrainians; 10% Russians, Poles, and Romanians (mostly officials).

The Jewish community of Khotyn existed for two or three hundred years. Dr. Zaydman has a document dating to 1814. The old cemetery contains ancient gravestones, whose inscriptions are unclear. There is also a new cemetery, which was administered by the community. During the Russian period (1812-1918) a Jewish community council was strictly forbidden. Jewish affairs were run by a Jew designated by the governor. Religious affairs and

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other official documents for Jews were administered by a rabbi, also designated by the authorities, whom the Jews called a “state rabbi.” In 1860 the charity institution founded a Jewish hospital. Once the community was officially established, this hospital came under its authority. Afterwards, the Romanians came to power. The charity institution was also responsible for the Old Age Home, the bath-house, and the talmud-toyre. The town also had a cultural club (“The Circle”), an elementary school, and a synagogue; there were 30 additional synagogues.

In 1937 a new building for the Old Age Home was built, with the aid of the American Khotyn Relief Committee. Until then there had been a poorhouse, established in 1900, where indigents could sleep for free. The poorhouse was managed by Moyshe Perl, himself poor and solitary. When the community council was formed, after Romania took control, all the Jewish institutions were taken over by the community. The Khotyn community belonged to the Association of Jewish Communities, with its central committee in Bucharest. The Khotyn community was the first in Bessarabia to receive legal and juridical status.

The Charity Institution continued its activity under the Romanian regime, thanks to the support of members' dues and aid from America (the Relief Committee). For a long time, the institution was headed by bankers and merchants of the Raysss family. Karl Rayss, one of the last leaders of the Charity Institution, was a well-known public figure in Khotyn. The Circle cultural club was created by his initiative, as well as the Jewish elementary school and the Jewish youth orchestra. Thanks to his support, poor youths who distinguished themselves in studies were able to continue their schooling in Kamenetz-Podolsk. Rayss was followed by Mikhoel Shur, who was wealthy and a landowner, as well as a delegate to the Romanian parliament during the term of Marshal Averescu.[32] In 1936 the Charity Institute dissolved and passed under the control of the community. This was also the case with the Jewish archive, which had been under the authority of the State Rabbi Shmuel Khes (Hess) since Czarist times. The community's rabbi, Rabbi Strakovsky, represented the Jews before the authorities and was in constant contact with the Chief Rabbi of Bucharest.


Economic Conditions

The economic situation of most Khotyn Jews was satisfactory, However, there was a certain proportion of poor people who needed community help. The changeover from Russian rule to Romanian rule caused an economic downturn. Many Jews became impoverished, but some became rich. The change of regime turned Khotyn into a backwater, without a train station to connect it to other locations. Almost all the merchants and artisans in Khotyn were Jews, who supplied the surrounding population with goods. Jews did not work in construction; a small proportion leased land and farmed it. There were also a very few landowners. The Jews included an intellectual group with advocates, physicians, pharmacists, and the like.


Cultural Affairs

Even after Romania assumed power, Russian continued to be the dominant language for most of the population. The younger generation, which had studied in the schools, quickly switched over to Romanian. However, Yiddish continued to be the common language of the Jewish population, except for a minority of Russian-speakers. A Yiddishist group on behalf of the Kultur-Lige was active in the town; they had a library with several thousand Yiddish books.[33] As far back as the days of the Russian regime, there was a Tarbut school in the town, in which students learned Hebrew; the school continued to exist under the Romanian regime as a non-governmental elementary school. Some of its budget was derived from tuition paid by parents, and some of it –from the community. Zalmen Melamed was the school's director for many years. As far as religion is concerned, the Jews of Khotyn were not extremists. They observed tradition, as was common in the Diaspora.[34] There were leaders of various Hasidic groups such as Sadigura, Boyan, Czortkow, etc. Rabbi Tversky had his own bes-medresh. Every year followers would travel to stay with the leaders of their groups. The Rabbi of Sadigura would visit Khotyn two or three times a year.

It had become a tradition to hold balls at Purim and Hanuka. The income from these events would go to the Jewish hospital. The Purim ball, which was held in a government building, was attended by non-Jews as well. The local government contributed 5000 lei monthly to the hospital and 1000 lei to the pharmacy.

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Political Activities

Political activity was prohibited under the Tsarist regime. However, there were liberal and revolutionary circles in which Jews from Khotyn participated, and many were jailed because of this.

Mikhoel Shur, the son of the Khotyn landowner, was a member of a revolutionary organization while he was a student in St. Petersburg, and served time in prison there as well. As has been noted, under the Romanian regime he was a deputy in Parliament on behalf of Marshal Averescu's People's Party.[35] In 1940-1941 the Soviet authorities sentenced him to death, as an exploiter who physically beat his workers. The sentence was not carried out, but Mikhoel Shur did not live long; he died while in prison.

There was a Jewish left-wing group in Khotyn, which was active in the underground. Among the members in the group were Shmuel Miler (who died in Bucharest in 1960) and Dr. Shmuel Shaynberg. During the Bolshevik revolution, Dr. Shaynberg was drafted into the Russian army and ended up in Greece, with General Wrangel's force.[36] While there, he worked as a physician in the Thessaloniki Jewish Hospital. Thanks to his German wife, he survived the Hitlerite occupation. He died in Greece in 1960. Members of the group would meet at the home of Yoel Prokuror, the Yiddishist, and would discuss various literary issues.

During the Romanian regime, Jews were members of various political groupings: the Liberal Party, the National Peasant Party, and the Social-Democratic Party. No political party was organized along national minority lines. Members of the regional committee of the Liberal Party were Attorney Yisroel Bordeinik, Dr. Trakhtenbroyt from Briceni, and Shmuel Khursh, the director of “Bessarabia Bank” of Lipcani, and Dr. Zaydman. There were Zionists in the National Peasant Party, such as Leybush Ludmir, Yankev Mitelman, and others. Mikhoel Shur was elected to represent the town and the region in Parliament on behalf of the People's Party. Jewish artisans were members of the Social-Democratic Party. Gitelman, who had a paints warehouse, was known to be a communist, but the Communist Party was illegal in Rumania. Gitelman greeted the Russian invasion of 1940 with enthusiasm, and immediately placed his entire property at the disposal of the authorities. However, he quickly became disillusioned with the Soviet regime. He took his own life in 1941, when the Romanians returned. Some young Jewish workers and students were active in the illegal Communist Party.


The “Kultur-Lige”

This organization actually became a covert Communist association. One of its activists was M. Dantsig, who was murdered by the Romanians and the Nazis, along with 70-80 selected Jews. The Communist Party was not respected in the town. Most of the Jewish population was far removed from Communist views.

The Jews of Khotyn participated in parliamentary elections as members of existing parties and did not form separate parties. Dr. Zaydman and Marcus Golshteyn–vice-president of the community–were elected to the town council on behalf of the Liberal Party. In 1935 Dr. Zaydman was elected vice-mayor. Leybush Ludmir and Yankev Mitelman were elected to the town council on behalf of the National Peasant Party.

Zionist activities in Khotyn date as far back as the Tsarist regime. The following Zionist organizations were active before the Soviet invasion: General Zionists, Revisionists, Po'alei-Tziyon, and various youth organizations. In 1940, the Soviets exiled the Zionist leader Yoysef Apelboym to Siberia, and nothing further was heard from him.

The Beitar organization became very active in Khotyn. Bobby Fisher (Boaz Dagan) was one of the founders of Beitar in town, as well as a member of the Romanian Beitar leadership. After the Second World War Shloyme Shitnovitser became the head of Beitar in Romania as well as a delegate to the Zionist Congress.

Other noteworthy Zionist leaders included attorney Moyshe Feldman (Po'alei Tziyon) and M. Barak (Revisionists).

(Excerpt from an interview by Peysekh Gani with Dr. Zaydman, November 24, 1961, for Yad Vashem).

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Resolution of June 20, 1933 of the Community Council concerning the Jews of Germany


“Call to the Jewish Population of Khotyn:

Concerning the Spanish-Inquisition-like actions and inhuman terror directed in the Hitlerite country at the Jewish population of Germany, the violation of human rights and the bestial acts carried out by the German Brownshirts, aimed at destroying our brothers in Germany, who have made the greatest contributions to all fields of activity, who have offered up their lives along with all German citizens for the freedom and prosperity of their land.

The horrifying medieval behavior towards our brothers in Germany has aroused a wave of enormous protest demonstrations among Jews everywhere, as well as among all progressive-minded people. We call on you to join the general protest, to show opposition to the attempt to repress over half a million Jews in Germany.

We call upon you to show solidarity and boycott all German products (medicines, paints, writing instruments, notions, manufactured goods, etc.). May the boycott serve as a warning to the Hitlerite beast that our life is not free for the taking, as well as encouragement and support for our suffering brothers in Germany. Let us prove that there is no reason to despair!

Presidential Council of the Khotyn Jewish community. Chairman: M. Shor. Co-chairmen; S. Derzhi, Y. Eplboym. Secretary-General: L. Ludmir.”


“Call to all Jewish Physicians of Khotyn:

We call on you to join the international protest against the Inquisition-like, barbaric, and medieval actions of Hitlerite Germany against Jews in general and Jewish physicians in particular. We demand that you take all practical steps to declare a boycott of those German medications that can easily be replaced by French, Swiss, or Czech medications. It is desirable that, at the initiative of local physicians, a meeting of the local physicians' association be convened, together with non-Jewish physicians who are considered more progressive thinkers; together, we would develop out a plan to boycott German medical products. We also call on all local Jewish pharmacists and druggists to join the boycott.

Presidential Council of the Khotyn Jewish community. Chairman: M. Shur. Co-chairmen; S. Derzhi, Y. Eplboym. Secretary-General: L. Ludmir.”

Below is the resolution of the community council, of June 20, 1933, addressed to the League of Nations:

“The Jewish Community of Khotyn, representing the entire local Jewish population, in solidarity with the Jews of the world, is extremely disturbed by the inhuman, barbaric, and incredible actions of the Hitlerite government towards the Jews of Germany. The council meeting of today, June 20, 1933, was devoted to this topic and has issued a strong, unanimous protest against the medieval, insane measures of the Hitlerite regime taken to destroy the Jews. We especially protest the historic date of May 10, 1933, which is a stain upon our entire civilization. An auto-da-fe was carried out in the center of cultured Berlin, by the culture-bearers of the country, who incinerated all the books – the best and most precious created in literature, science, technical field, and art; books that are permeated with the German spirit and have contributed to German progress. These books were burned solely because their authors were Jewish.

We are profoundly disturbed by the historical meeting of the League of Nations on May 30, 1933, that was devoted exclusively to the situation of the Jews in Germany, in conjunction with Mr. Bernheim's petition.[37] The resolution, which we awaited with fear and hope, showed that the League of Nations' Council, created by the greatest powers of the world with ideals and goals of brotherly love and justice, was at a moment when the crisis of conscience and morals was daily increasing. We therefore address the following petition to the League of Nations:

  1. To resolve to make efforts to improve the situation of the Jews in Germany, who have contributed to the progress of the German people with their blood and intellect;
  2. To resolve to defend minorities in general, and the Jews in particular, in all countries, because anti-Semitism has taken on an international character;
  3. The Council of the League of Nations shall make efforts to influence the British Mandatory authorities to fulfil all the obligations of the British Mandate over Palestine; to create such political, economic and settlement conditions as will facilitate a mass immigration. This will aid the great masses of Germans who must emigrate, to fulfil the ideal of a Jewish state within its historical boundaries, on both sides of the Jordan River.”
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Reb Zushye Bronshteyn

Reb Zushye Bronshteyn was well known in Khotyn, both in intellectual circles and among the less educated. He worked for the benefit of everyone in religious society as well as Zionists, in the community and for charity. Most of his activity was for the Jewish National Fund and the United Jewish Appeal. Bronshteyn had a firewood business. He was always satisfied with low earnings; on the other hand, he would donate generously to community causes.

After World War One, the Jews of Khotyn were in a dire situation. Many took out bank loans, invested the money in various businesses, and were unsuccessful. Later, they could not repay the their debts. Reb Zushye was a member of the bank's comptrolling committee for loans and economic matters. He helped the debtors as best he could with money from the mutual-aid society. He also intervened with the bank's director to postpone loan repayment dates, and to divide sums into smaller portions.

The Jews of Khotyn appreciated Reb Zushye's help after he had left for Palestine; no suitable replacement could be found. The Khotyn Jews will never forget the bright presence of Reb Zushye Bronshteyn.


Leybish Ludmir

Leybish, son of Shmuel Ludmir, originally from the town of Yedinitz[38], came from one of the most respected families in our area, and not because of wealth but rather because of his good deeds. He devoted his entire life to community work. His upbringing successfully combined Hasidism and Zionism. At age 16 he was already the secretary of a Zionist group, headed by Dr. Zilberman. Later, he served as secretary of the Khotyn Jewish community for many years. Thanks to his attitude to people and their needs, the Jews voted for him as vice-mayor of Khotyn. He was loved by both Jewish and Christian intellectuals. His wife, Khane, was also active in community affairs. Both were murdered in Transnistria during World War Two. Their three daughters were lost somewhere in the U.S.S.R.


Leyb Roizman

Leyb Roizman was born in 1886, served in the Tsarist army for seven years, and fought in World War One. In 1918, he married Hazon's daughter Tsirl. He was a building contractor who built bridges, roads, and oil factories. Roizman was a member of the bureau of commerce and industry, and represented Khotyn in the congresses of Iasi and Bucharest. He was also a member of the Jewish community's leadership and the local Zionist organization, and one of those sworn into the Khotyn justice system.[39] His wife was active in the Women's International Zionist Organization (WIZO).

During World War Two he was the first to organize assistance for those who were deported to the Sekuren camp.[40] He and his family were in the Transnistria camps, where his wife and most of his relatives were murdered. He returned to Khotyn in 1944 and left for Romania in 1946, where he continued his social activism. He immigrated to Israel in 1951, where he died a few years later.


LeybMeir Landviger

The name of Meir Landviger evoked the rich community activity that developed among the Jews of Khotyn.

Soon after World War One, Landviger–along with other activists such as Zushye Bronshteyn, Khayim Vaserman and Mates Rayss, created a Jewish institution (“the blessed society”) to care for the Jewish hospital, the home for the aged, and the poor classes of the population.[41] Landviger was particularly concerned for the “secret poor,” who were penniless but were too ashamed to beg. Landviger also created the connection with the Khotyn Relief in the U.S. The Khotyn Jewish community began organizing in 1922, and adopted the institutions that Landviger created; the section led by Secretary Dr. Gelman looked after all the needy. However, Meir Landviger continued to make sure that the “secret poor” should receive proper support. Landviger was also a member of the management

[Page 145]

of the Jewish Savings and Loan Bank, where he also worked for the poor. He was a member of the Khotyn Chamber of Commerce, where he helped small merchants and artisans. He established a printing press in Khotyn in 1919, which employed dozens of people were employed, and gave young Jews a chance to learn the trade.

During the terrible years of World War Two, Landviger was deported to Transnistria, along with all the other Jews of Khotyn; he became blind there and was murdered shortly afterwards.


Yisroel Bordeinik

He was the first Jewish attorney in Khotyn after World War One. He was a distinguished jurist, one of the best attorneys in the local chamber, who also served in the higher courts of Czernowitz. For personal reasons, he did not join any of the Zionist organizations, but he was a staunch Jew with national feelings. It is worth mentioning his appearance in the Khotyn court during the Goga-Cuza administration in the late 1930s, when the right of Jewish attorneys to plead in court was discussed.[42] Christian attorneys and anti-Semitic hooligans reviewed the activities of the Jewish attorneys, and many of them were shut out of the chamber on procedural pretexts. Yisroel Bordeinik stood alone against the anti-Semites and hooligans, and was able to convince the attorneys to issue a verdict in favor of the Jewish attorneys.


Members of the Romanian Liberal Party, Khotyn chapter

Right to left:
First row: Fayvl Stepanescu, Matus Raysss, Senator Gyorgy Batyar, Mrs. Landviger, Meir Landviger, Deputy Jan Kazacencu, Khayim Vaserman, Leybish Gelman, Miron Derzhi
Second row: Mikhoel Gurfinkel, Moyshe Vartkovski, Shechter, Luca Stepanski, Dr. Shmuel Ravits, Rabbi Shmuel Khes, Pinye Oksman


Translator's footnotes:

  1. This is an allusion to the biblical figure mentioned in Genesis 6-9. Return
  2. The pseudonym of the renowned 19th-century Yiddish writer Sholem Yankev Abramovich (1835-1917). Return
  3. The Pale of Settlement is the term for areas of Imperial Russia in which Jews were allowed to reside permanently during 1791 to 191 and beyond which Jewish residency, permanent or temporary, was mostly forbidden. Return
  4. A quote from the Talmud, tractate Bava Metzi'a 42, 1 Return
  5. Tscharna Raysss was a professor of botany at the Hebrew University. Return
  6. “Generation of the desert” is the biblical term for the Israelites recently freed from Egypt and wandering in the desert. Return
  7. A tax on Sabbath candles that was renewed in 1844 in connection with a government project to establish state schools for the Jews. Return
  8. The Duma was the Russian Assembly, which opened in St. Petersburg in 906. Return
  9. Pinkes is the term for the register of a Jewish community. Return
  10. OZE is the acronym for an organization devoted to the promotion of health, hygiene, and childcare among Jews, founded in 1912 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Return
  11. This may have been a summer camp. Return
  12. The maot khitin fund provided food for individuals in need for the Jewish holidays, mainly Passover. Return
  13. Tarbut was a network of secular, Hebrew-speaking Jewish schools in Eastern Europe in the interwar period. Return
  14. In August 1929 Arabs attacked Jews in Palestine, killing 133. The British police killed 116 Arabs. Return
  15. I could find no reference to this incident. Return
  16. In observant communities, matza-baking is put in motion after Hanukah, about three months before Passover. Return
  17. The name sometimes appears as “Asmanski” and sometimes as “Osmanski.” Return
  18. The Iron Guard was a fascist, anti-Semitic movement and political party in Romania, founded in 1927 by Corneliu Zelea Codreanu Return
  19. This was not a congress, but a formal statement of new British policy in Palestine, issued by Colonial Secretary Lord Passfield. The Passfield “white paper” limited official Jewish immigration. Return
  20. Jewish custom calls for burying damaged or defiled sacred documents in a Jewish cemetery. Return
  21. In traditional Jewish communities, the Linas-Tzedek society provides nursing services, and Bikur-Cholim cares for the sick. Return
  22. In eastern Europe, a feldsher is an unlicensed medical practitioner. Return
  23. Three kilometers is about 1.8 miles. Return
  24. As there are no womens' names in the lists, this might have been a women's auxiliary. Return
  25. I could not make out the first name. Return
  26. I could not determine precisely what this refers to. Return
  27. The Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is a Jewish relief organization founded in 1914 and based in New York City. Return
  28. There are no further explanations, Return
  29. I could not identify this periodical. Return
  30. This is a quote from Job 31:32. Return
  31. Members of the Boyan hasidic group, like other groups, established their own synagogue. Return
  32. Averescu served three terms as Prime Minister of Romania (29 January 1918 – 4 March 1918; 13 March 1920 – 16 December 1921; 30 March 1926 – 4 June 1927). Return
  33. A Yiddishist is a proponent of Yiddish culture. The Kultur Lige (Culture League) is the general name of a number of cultural and social organizations formed in the 1920s and 1930s in Eastern Europe in order to promote the development of all spheres of contemporary Yiddish culture. Return
  34. This last phrase is probably due to the fact that the Yizkor Book was published in Israel. Return
  35. The People's Party was prominent in Romania and came to power in the early 1920s. Return
  36. The army led by Piotr Wrangel was a major anti-Bolshevik force. Return
  37. This petition against Nazi anti-Jewish legislation was signed by Franz Bernheim and submitted to the League of Nations on May 17, 1933, by representatives of the Comité des Délégations Juives. Return
  38. Edineţ, Moldova. Return
  39. I could not identify this position. Return
  40. I could not identify this camp. Return
  41. “The blessed society” is my translation of a Russian term transliterated into Yiddish. Return
  42. The Fascist, anti-Semitic Goga-Cuza government ruled Rumania briefly in the late 1930s. Return


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