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[Page 217]

The Poalei Agudat Israel

by Y.Finkel

Translated by Miriam Leberstein

My first introduction to Poalei Agudat Israel [religious Orthodox workers party] in Nowy Dwor occurred in 1928 when I was invited to my in–laws for the Sabbath. I arrived in Nowy Dwor on Friday, a market day. The market place was full of peasants' wagons. The bustling Jews were busy buying and selling amid the wagons, and in the midst of all the tumult I arrived in a carriage [driven by] Yehoshue Droshkazh. Curious Jews came out of their shops to get a look at the guest. It was a big deal – a groom had arrived in town.

The Sabbath was spent praying in the Radziminer shtibl [small Hasidic synagogue]. I received the privilege and honor of reading the last portion of the Torah and everyone regarded me curiously. Afterwards there was a big reception at my in–laws' house. Guest streamed in bearing flasks of wine and kugels, each one larger than the other. And when I had partaken of all the drinks and kugels and the celebration had lasted until the evening meal, I went off at the invitation of Poalei Agudat Israel for a members' party. There were fine young people there, with whom I remained involved socially and organizationally for the two years I spent in Nowy Dwor.

The movement did not have a lot of members, but even in this small group one felt great strength, energy and creativity. To mention a few of the members, there were: Avraham Vildnberg, Nakhman Skulski, Hersh Dovid Royzkes, Avraham Turkeltaub, Yisroel Rotenberg – all of whom were able and dedicated men who devoted a lot of time to their movement.

They established a loan fund which aided needy members with loans of 100 zlotys at low interest rates. They also established a lovely library and of course their own place to pray. They even created their own orchestra, with 15 members, under the direction of the well known Nowy Dwor musician Shpilfidl.

Many of us were preparing to emigrate to Eretz Yisroel and we founded an agricultural hakhshore [training for prospective emigrants] at the third viorst near Nowy Dwor.

All of these dear, devoted members of Poalei Agudat Israel were imbued with and lived by the eternal ideals of religious Jewry, day in, day out living their lives in the Jewish spirit, in the way of the Torah.

 

now217.jpg
Reb Itsik Meyer Rotenberg, the secretary of Agudat Israel, with his family

[Page 218]

now218a.jpg
Polei Agudat Israel at a farewell party upon the departure of Motl Lipovitsh and Yekhetskl Finkl for Eretz Yisroel
From right to left, first row: Pinye Guzshik, Yisroel Rat, Motl Lipovitsh, Yekheskl Finkl, Avrahamtshe Vildnberg
Second row: Mikhl Raykhman, Nakhman Skulski, Avraham Turekeltaub, Avraham Yisroel, Royzkes, Yenkl Dovid Grinshteyn

 

now218b.jpg
The hakhshore of Poalei Agudat Israel

[Page 219]

now219a.jpg
Orchestra of Poalei Agudat Israel under the direction
of Nowy Dwor music teacher Shpilfidl (in center)

 

now219b.jpg
The Poalei Agudat Israel hakhshore at work.

 

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