by The Book Committee in Israel
Translated by Miriam Leberstein
The first step in our work was taken in 1946, when the Irgun Yotzei Nowy Dwor b'Yisroel [organization of people from Nowy Dwor in Israel] appealed to Nowy Dworer all over the world to gather and send us materials and pictures for a memorial book. Chaim Cohen reports on this in greater detail in his article about the Irgun [p. 484 of this book].
The collection of materials was stimulated by the arrival of a large number of Nowy Dworer immigrants in 19481949 and the growing interest in the work of the Irgun. In 1950, in a report on the activities of the organization, Herr First called for the continuation of the collection of materials and for the creation of a Memorial Book Committee within the organization.
The report on the Irgun's activities issued on January 6, 1952, includes a separate mention of the work of the Memorial Book Committee written by Herr First, who had been in charge of collecting materials for the book since 1949. Appeals to Nowy Dworers to provide such materials continued to appear in all the reports until that of December 1952. By that point, our appeals had begun to bear results. The first contributions were those sent in by Sam Bornstein from Los Angeles and the testimonial accounts which Ahron Pinker had taken down from the surviving Nowy Dwor Jews in the German [displaced persons] camps right after the war.
An important event in the reorganization of the work for the memorial book occurred on October 24, 1957, when the newly elected Book Committee held its first meeting with the American delegates Abe Goldberg and Sam Bornstein, who demonstrated great interest in and understanding of the memorial book. From that point, work on the book proceeded at a rapid pace.
In November, 1957, there was another appeal which stressed the importance of collecting and sending in material and pictures for the book. And in June, 1959, they sent out an illustrated prospectus, an important way to inform people about the progress of our work.
The collection of materials continued at a rapid pace. We decided to begin serious work on editing the material and to contact a suitable editor. Leah Segal, representing our American members, was present in 1962 when we signed a contract with an editor who later proved to be a miserable failure, both in a material and in a moral sense. We barely managed to retrieve our materials from him. But this didn't keep us from continuing our work. At this time we met frequently with the president of the New York landsmanshaft [association of people from the same town], Joe Gertner, and he assured us that the New York landslayt [people from the same town] would assist in publishing the book.
A big stimulus to our work was our meeting in Israel with Clara Bornstein and Rokhl Klaynbard, enthusiastic supporters who represented our landslayt in Los Angeles.
In February, 1964, we contacted Arye Shomri, the current editor of the book, who along with the Book Committee quickly took up their responsible and important work. At the same time, in March, 1964, Chaim Zaltsman and Abe Zaydenberg, well known and longtime activists from the Central Committee in Chicago, came to Israel as the representatives of Nowy Dworer landslayt in the United States. We had long meetings and consultations with them, that, despite some questioning and disputes, were in general very positive, and that
established a foundation for the publication of the book.
The editorial process began, and in August 1964, the first pieces were submitted for printing. Thanks to the tireless, friendly cooperation between the editorial workers Shomri and First and the Book Committee, in contact with our activists all over the world, we saw the first printed pages of our book.
The book was soon published and we felt that this was an important day for all Nowy Dworers everywhere, that we will all see the fruits of our long, collective efforts to eternalize and sanctify the names of our town.
To all those mentioned and not mentioned here, to all Nowy Dworers all over the world, all the collectors and helpers, the landslayt committees in the United States, Argentina, Canada, Uruguay and France, as well as all the individuals in Poland, Australia and Venezuela our fraternal greetings and warmest thanks.
the Book Committee, and Members of the Irgun Yotzei Nowy Dwor of Israel
Second row: Natan Zilberman, Ahron Pinker, Shmuel Kokhalski, Yosef Shimkovitsh, Chaim Cohen
by Chaim Cohen, Tel Aviv
Translated by Miriam Leberstein
With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, which severed all kinds of communication with our relatives and friends abroad, a group of Nowy Dworers in Tel Aviv, seeking a way to maintain contact, initiated an effort to organize the Nowy Dworers who had immigrated to Israel, then numbering about 60 families in settlements throughout the country.
The initiating group consisted of Yosef Shimkovitsh, Yehetskl Finkl, Shmuel Kokhalski, Menachem Mundlak, and Chaim Cohen. Right after visiting all the Nowy Dworer in Tel Aviv, they called the first meeting of Nowy Dworers in the courtyard of the residence of Herr Yosef Shimkovitsh in Tel Aviv. A committee of three people was elected: Yosef Shimkovitsh, Shmuel Kokhalski, and Chaim Cohen. The committee's main task was to collect membership dues and conduct correspondence with the Nowy Dworers in Israel.
Our work took on a different character in the years of the war with Nazi Germany. General Anders's Army [Polish Armed Forces in the East] arrived in Palestine, and among its members were the Nowy Dworers Simkhe Pinker, Yitzhak Riba, Leybl Goldberg, Yitzhak Stanislavski, Nakhman Helfenbeyn, Shmuel Shimkovitsh, Ahron Gartsovitsh, Motl Roznshteyn, Mendl Magid, Hela Tsaytog and others. They brought greetings from Nowy Dwor survivors in Russia, conveying the joyful news at a meeting at which Simkhe Pinker and Yitzhak Riba were drawn into the Committee. It was also decided at that meeting to enlarge the membership and create a relief fund, and a sum of money for that purpose was collected on the spot.
We responded to the direct appeals of the comrades in Russia Roznberg, Khone Magid, Yitzhak Griner, Kalman Pitulski, Top, Pinker, Fayer, and others. We collected clothing and sent packages to the needy.
With the arrival of survivors at the [displaced persons] camps in German and Austria [after the war] and the return of people who had fled to Russia, a large number of Nowy Dworers were concentrated in Camp Pocking. Some also returned to Poland and we immediately began to receive appeals for aid. We immediately contacted our Nowy Dwor landslayt [people from the same town] in America to arrange for assistance.
When the illegal immigration to Palestine began, Nowy Dworers were among those on the ships detained in Cyprus. The Committee contacted them and did all it could to help.
For Chanukah 1947 we organized a memorial evening in honor of the martyrs of Nowy Dwor, in which the majority of Nowy Dworers in the country participated. Ruth Simkovitsh and Shmuel Zilberberg helped to organize the program.
We began a campaign to establish a gemila khesed [free and lowcost loan] fund and immediately raised 175 pounds. Thanks to the financial contribution of our landsmanshafts in New York, Los Angeles, Argentina and later Montevideo, Canada and Paris, we were able to assist all new immigrants to establish themselves, and later, with the formation of the gemila khesed, able to make loans.
A the same time that we established the relief and loan funds funds totaling at least two thousand pounds, we also decided to build Nowy Dwor housing: There shall be built a neighborhood, a little Nowy Dwor. The plan to publish a book in memory of the town Nowy Dwor also emerged. The record states that a proposal
for a memorial book was made by H. Cohen and Simkovitsh: In order to eternalize in the printed word and pictures the establishment and development of the Jewish town Nowy Dwor, there should be published a book that will reflect the religious, cultural, social, political and economic life of the Jews over the course of generations, as well as the Holocaust, the life in the ghetto, its heroes, resisters and partisan fighters, and finally the annihilation of the Jews there.
In November 1946, an appeal was made to all Nowy Dworers in the world, to gather materials about the Jewish population in all aspects of society.
That was the beginning of our work and we carried it out in this manner until 1960.
by Eliezer Lichtenshteyn, Tel Aviv
Translated by Miriam Leberstein
In 1942, when we first learned of the great suffering of Polish Jewry, including our own Nowy Dwor, we began to send aid through the Red Cross. In most cases, however, the aid was not received.
In 1944 we issued our first appeal, signed by Rabbi Elimelech Neufeld and our members: Simkovitsh, Cohen, Treyster, Kartsovitsh, Pinker, Mundlak, Finkl, A. Neufeld, Wengazh, Srebrenik, Zilberman and Kokhalski.
In 194546, with the organization of the relief committee by our Nowy Dwor landslayt [people from the same town] in America, there began an intensive effort to seek out family members, make contact with relatives who were lost and far away, and to help the Nowy Dworers who were in the German [displaced persons] camps. Much of this work was done by Sam Bornstein, the tireless activist in our American landsmanshaft [organization of landslayt].
Then, people began to leave the displaced persons camps and the time came for us to help the survivors in their further wanderings, to help them find a haven. We did everything we could to help our landslayt as they travelled in Poland, France, Italy and Cyprus.
Along with relief work, we also began in 1948 to take the first steps to build housing for the Nowy Dworer immigrants to Israel. First of all, we contacted the Jewish National Fund regarding the 20,000 English pounds that had been bequeathed to the Fund by Khayke Gersht, a Nowy Dwor native who had lived in Johannesburg, with the purpose of building a center for immigrants from Nowy Dwor on land belonging to the Fund. During 194849, many more landslayt arrived from the displaced persons camps. We selected a new administrations consisting of Herrs Dov First, Yiyzhak Griner, Eliezer Lichtenshteyn, Yeheskl Finkl, Gershon Kartsovitsh, Fishl Brotski, Malke TopKartsovitsh and Y. Riba.
The new administration expanded the relief work and also began to provide constructive assistance. A gemiles khesed fund [free or low cost loans] was established, under the direction of Herr Lichtenshteyn, which helped the new immigrants with onetime subsidies and loans to help them get settled in Israel. In the first year of its existence, the fund made loans totaling 500 pounds.
The new administration also began to work to effectuate the plan for housing
for the immigrants from Nowy Dwor in the Tel Aviv area, relying on the bequest from Johannesburg.
In 195152, the administration expanded its contact with landslayt all over the world, in Argentina, France, Canada, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles. The loan fund grew and we made more loans, totaling 1800 pounds, in addition to onetime subsidies. Another achievement was the beginning of work on the Memorial Book. A lot of materials were collected, thanks to the initiative of Herr Dov First.
A lot was done to assist the fifty new families of our landslayt who had arrived from Poland without any resources to settle in Israel. 42 loans totaling 4600 pounds and 56 onetime subsidies totaling 1600 pounds were distributed for this purpose.
In 1960, a new administration was elected, consisting of members Yitzhak Griner, Sholem Kartsovitsh, Eliezer Lichtenshteyn, Natan Zilberman, Chaim Babitz, Malke TopKartsovitsh and Shmuel Kokhalski. The oversight committee consisted of Chaim Cohen, Yosef Shimkovitsh, and Y. Tsvayghaft. The Memorial Book Committee consisted of Dov First, Ahron Pinker, Y. Griner, Chaim Cohen, Sh. Kartsovitsh and Chaim Babitz.
That year, another important plan was realized when we completed construction of the cultural center honoring our martyrs and the Nowy Dwor Housing became a center for all Nowy Dworers all over the world. Nowy Dworers from all over must make a pilgrimage here to see what has been built in honor of our destroyed town.
Now we stand ready to publish the memorial book which will eternalize everything that is so sacred and dear to us. All of our effort and energy is concentrated on this.
We continue our relief work for the needy, with the hope that the day will come when all Nowy Dworers will be in such a position that we will be able to devote our work to cultural and social goals and to the education of our children who were not privileged to see their grandparents who were so tragically murdered at the hands of the Nazis.
by Sholem Kartsovitsh
Translated by Miriam Leberstein
In 194849 the survivors from Nowy Dwor began to arrive in Israel from all the [displaced persons] camps. They were exhausted from all their difficult experiences and their long wanderings. At the time, the conditions for the absorption of new arrivals were very difficult and the Committee of Nowy Dworers in Israel was in constant contact with our American landsmanshafts [organizations of landslayt, or fellow townspeople] about providing aid to the refugees.
Our landslayt in America and other countries responded with readiness to do all they could to support the needy. In 1954 Herr Chaim Zaltsman from Chicago came to Israel representing the Central Committee of the Nowy Dwor Relief Committee and in his presence we laid the foundation for the first 6 buildings in our Nowy Dwor housing. The initial funds came from the estate of Helen Grinblatt, who bequeathed 20,000 pounds sterling to the National Fund for the purpose of building housing for Nowy Dworers in Israel. In 1955 the first 24 Nowy Dwor Jewish moved into lovely quarters in the housing development. Each had received a contribution of 1800 pounds from the Central Committee in Chicago enabling them, after all their suffering, to again experience the feeling of having a home.
In 1956, the situation in Poland became critical for the few remaining Jews there, including some from Nowy Dwor. In response to the arrival of new immigrants from Poland and the worsening of the housing situation, the foundation was laid for the building of 6 additional buildings, with the participation of the delegates from America Abe Goldberg and Sam Bornstein. It was also decided to turn one of the buildings into a cultural center.
Today, 47 families live in the Nowy Dwor housing complex. The cultural center, dedicated to the martyrs of Nowy Dwor, contains a large hall, housing a library for children and adults. It opened with great ceremony in 1960 with the participation of all the landslayt in Israel and a delegation from America, consisting of landslayt Philip and Sore Magid, Clara and Sidney Bornstein and Meyer Blake and his wife. The cultural center is the venue for the memorials for our martyrs as well as celebrations for the residents. A special room serves as a place of worship for the religious residents. The complex also has a street called Nowy Dwor.
The achievement of building the housing complex is a consolation after the difficult years of pain and suffering experienced by our Nowy Dwor survivors. Here in Holon in Israel, they have found a peaceful home. This is one of the most beautiful monuments for our martyrs, one which was erected with love and devotion thanks to the help of our American brothers and sisters. 47 families live there now with their children who are growing up as proud, courageous citizens of Israel and who are still connected to the memories of their parents, for whom the housing is a continuation of their past.
We note the tireless devotion of the committee members of Irgun Yotsei Nowy Dwor in Israel, who dedicated a great deal of time and effort and did all they could to realize this great accomplishment: Yitzhak Griner, our Chairman; Vice President Chaim Babitz; Secretary Sh. Kartsovitsh; Treasurer Natan ZIlberman; Eliezer Lichtenshteyn; Shmuel Kokhalski, Chaim Cohen, Dov First and Ahron Pinker.
[facsimile of Charter of Foundation]
CHARTER OF FOUNDATION FOR THE LAYING OF THE CORNERSTONE OF THE NOWY DWOR HOUSING ON THE LAND OF THE JEWISH NATIONAL FUND IN HOLON
Today, Friday, the 20th day of Nisan 5714 (April 23, 1954), in the 6th year since the establishment of the renewed state of Israel, during the term of the second president Yitzhak Ben Tzvi and the Prime Minister Moshe Sharett, we laid the cornerstone for the housing built in memory of the Jewish community of Nowy Dwor in Poland destroyed in 1943.
In the presence of the following:
Rabbi Elimelech Neufeld, son of the murdered Nowy Dwor Rabbi Ruvn Yehuda Neufeld
Esteemed guest Chaim Zaltsman, president of the Central Relief Committee of Nowy Dwor landslayt in America, who devotes much energy and tireless effort for the construction of the housing and represents our landslayt in America, whose leaders are: in Chicago Morris Cohen, Avraham Zaydenberg, Chaim Cohen, Sam Levin, B. Rappaport, the Liberman family; In New York Leah Segal, Helen Apropos, Leah Rozenshteyn, Rokhl Goldberg, Yosef Gertner, S. Tashimovitsh; in Lost Angeles Clara Bornstein, Rokhl Marako, Meyer Blakherek (Blake), Khane and Phillip Evenson, and our indefatigable activist Sam Borenstein.
Dr. Ferder, member of the board and representative of the building society Rasko, to which the American landslayt have entrusted the construction of the housing
Members and leaders of Irgun Yotsei Nowy Dwor in Israel Yitzhak Griner, Dov First, Sholem Kartsovitsh, Eliezer Lichtenshteyn, Natan Zilberman, Chaim Cohen, Yosef Shimkovitsh, Ahron Pinker, Yosef Pinker, Shmuel Kokhalski, Shmuel Top, Fishl Brodski, Malke Top, Yeheskl Finkl, Ahron Gartsovitsh, Yehoshue Gutman,Yehoshue Blumental, Leybl Papier, Yeheskl Kirshtein and
Other honored guest and friends
TODAY THE CORNERSTONE IN LAID FOR THE FIRST 24 DWELLINGS FOR THE HOMELESS IMMIGRANTS WHO AFTER YEARS OF TORTURED WANDERING HAVE REACHED THIS PLACE OF REFUGE IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL
These houses, constructed with the help of our dear, unforgettable landslayt in America, will be called Nowy Dwor Housing and will be a memorial for our dear and beloved martyrs, who endured inhuman suffering during the destruction of the Nowy Dwor Jewish community by the Nazi murderers in 1943.
Translated by Miriam Leberstein
(from the minutes of the event)
On Friday, April 23, 1954, at 1:00 P.M., Nowy Dwor families from all over the world began to gather on the square of the Rasko [Building]Society in Tel Aviv to participate in a celebration for the laying of the foundation for 24 apartments in the housing being built for survivors [of the Holocaust] among our Nowy Dworer in Israel.
At 1:30, the packed bus set off for the square in Holon, presided over by our friend Chaim Zaltsman from Chicago, representing our landslayt [people from the same town] in America. Everyone was in a festive mood, shaking hands, wishing each other mazl tov, kissing, and quietly wiping away tears.
At 2:00, we arrived at the site where the housing is to be built, a lovely, elevated spot, from which one can see buildings covered with greenery all around. A large banner proclaiming Welcome announced the celebration. A stage had been prepared for the president and the invited guests. Above the stage was a sign: Nowy Dwor housing built by the Central Relief Committee of Nowy Dworer in America. The Committee members from Israel were seated on the stage, Herr Zaltzman at their head, along with representatives of various institutions: the director of Rasko, the Knesset member Dr. Ferder; BenTuvim, the Rasko representative from Los Angeles; Herr Holzman, the representative of the Jewish National Fund; and Rabbi Elimelech Neufeld.
The chairman, Herr Sholem Kartsovitsh opened the proceedings in solemn silence. He then greeted the participants, the representatives, guests and members, saying: This is an historical moment. The building of housing in Israel signifies the return of the tortured and persecuted Jewish children. It is a symbol of the rootedness of our town Nowy Dwor, our town annihilated by the Nazis, and nothing will ever again uproot it. We hereby commemorate our town, where we grew up, to which our souls are bound. Let this be a memorial for our martyrs mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. Let it serve as a bridge for the living to a new, healthy Jewish life of work and building in our young, free land.
Herr Kartsovitsh continued: On this happy occasion let us not forget those community activists of our town who have died. Everyone stood up as he read the list of the kind, beloved leaders of our town: Rabbi Ruvn Yehuda Neufeld, Shimshen Note Srebrenik, Nokhem Neufeld, Shmuel Grabman, Yitzhak Rudovski, Hershl Baum, Borekh Tik, Menashe Kokhalski, Hershl Magid, Berl Wengazh, Yisroel Wayngortn, Binyomen Vaynshteyn, and our dear, devoted activist from New York, Avraham Segal.
The chairman then conveyed greetings and a hearty, fraternal thanks to all the landslayt all over the world: In America, the devoted Sam Bornstein, Rokhl Marako, Aba Zaydenberg, the Goldbergs, Butshe and Lily Roznshteyn, and others. There followed greetings from the representatives of various institutions and guests:
Rebbi Elimelekh Neufeld: We cannot forget the kindness of the Jewish family that accomplished such a feat. The Zaltsmans all over the world give us life, strength and encouragement. They don't let us forget what Amalek the Evil One took away from our people and here, on these sands, they are living a new Jewish life. Our sincere blessings on them.
Dr. Ferder: I am happy to be here to greet you, because such dedication is rarely encountered. Dear Herr Zaltsman, with his organizational skills, accomplished the longheld dream of our American brothers in such a short time, before our eyes. Thank you, dear friend Zaltsman. We will do everything we can to help.
Dr Holzman: The Jewish National Fund always helps those who want to build in our land. I want to mention the deceased Helen Grinblatt, who requested in her will that we take care of the people from Nowy Dwor. According to your wishes we have built 48 dwellings and we hope that we will be able to continue to help realize your goal.
BenTuvim: Dear friends and dear Herr Zaltsman: I greet you on your celebration and that of our American landslayt. I want to tell you about our members in America, who are mostly simple, ordinary folk, not millionaires, but for that reason,
their hearts are full of love. When Mr. Blakharek bought a house, he asked that instead of gifts, people should donate money for the Nowy Dwor housing. We cannot forget such dear brothers. Build and continue to be successful!
Our eldest Nowy Dworer, the 85 yearold Reb Berish Zilberman, also greeted us, wishing for blessings and success, and that God should bestow strength on our American brothers for their warm Jewish hearts. He concluded with a shehecheyanu [prayer of thanks on special occasion.]
Our landsman, the poet Shmuel Top, read two poems dedicated to Nowy Dwor.
At the end, our dear guest Chaim Zaltsman was received with prolonged applause. He said with simple sincerity: We thank the Jewish National Fund for its help in acquiring the land for 48 dwellings. The small amount of money we still owe [the Fund] will not be raised at this ceremony. My dear friends, I don't know all of you, you are the second generation, but I knew your mothers and fathers. In carrying out our work we continue the thread of the families of Nowy Dwor. You are near and dear to me, so don't worry, live together in peace, in unity and we will always be ready to help. This is a happy moment for me.
This concluded the first part of the proceedings. Soon one could hear the noise of the machines that were preparing the cement for the foundation. Everyone waited with bated breath, in a tense silence; there were tears of joy. Herr Sholem Karstovitsh read the Charter of Foundation and then turned it over to Herr Zaltsman, who covered the historic document with a trowel of cement. Rabbi Elimelech Neufeld had the honor of adding the second trowelful, then Dr. Ferder from Rasko, Holtsman from the Jewish National Fund, Ben Tuvim from Rasko in Los Angeles, and finally all the members of our committee. Finally, our partisan fighter Pintshe Papier added the last cement to cover the charter.
In conclusion, the president conveyed greetings to all the landslayt and devoted activists, especially Sam Bornstein, Rokhele Marako and al the New York members. A daughter of ours from the Israeli Army handed a bouquet of roses to Herr Zaltsman and they kissed.
With the singing of Hatikva the ceremony of laying the foundation stone ended.
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