Jewish community book Suwalk and vicinity
(Suwałki, Poland)

54°06' / 22°56'

Translation of
Sefer kehilat Suvalk u-benotehah

Editors: Yehuda Alroi, Yosef Chrust

Published in Tel Aviv, 1989

Our sincere appreciation to Yad Vashem
for the submission of this material for placement on the JewishGen web site.

Our sincere appreciation to Helen Rosenstein Wolf
for typing up the English text to facilitate its addition to this project.

This is a translation of: Sefer kehilat Suvalk u-benotehah (Jewish community book Suwalk and vicinity),
Editors: Yehuda Alroi, Yosef Chrust, Tel Aviv, The Yair-Abraham Stern Publishing House, 1989 (H,E, 532 pages)

Note: The original book can be seen online at the NY Public Library site: Suwalki (1989)

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.


Translated by Ite Doktorski and Yocheved Klausner

Editorial M. 9
My town Yehuda Alroy 11
A. History of the Town   15
Introduction: The history of the Jews of Suwalk and its vicinity Shmuel Avrumski  
The first hundred years Berl Cohen (SYB) * 29
    How old is Suwalk?   29
    History of the Jewish settlement in Suwalk   30
    Hibbat Ziyon   33
    Newspaper pioneers   38
    Publishers   39
    Writers   40
    Suwalk emigration   45
    Agricultural laborers   49
Chapters from his diary M. Altschuler 51
History chapters of the Suwalk region Yehuda Eedan 55
The Suwalk aliya of 1919-1939 Reuven Elhanani 69
Occupations of the Jews of Suwalk Eliezer Borowski 71
The position of the Jews of Suwalk in the town's economy Reuven Elhanani 73
Occupations in the 19th century Editorial board 76
The riots of 1936 M. Zahavi-Zalutnitzki 76
Editorial board   77
B. institutions and Organizations   79
The Suwalk city council Ariel 81
The Jewish community and its activists R. A. 83
The Jewish hospital Berl Cohen (SYB) 84
Bikur Holim [visiting the sick] and Linat Hatzedek Y.P. Trop 85
The old age home Berl Cohen (SYB) 87
T.O.Z. [Towarzystwo Ochrony Zdrowia Ludności    
Żydowskiej = Society for Safeguarding the Health of the Jewish Population] Hana Neuman (Maitkes) 87
A private initiative that caused a sensation Eliyahu Hadray 89
Charitable institutions in the 19th century Berl Cohen – (SYB) 90
Artisans' organizations Y.A. Trop 90
C. Schools   91
Heders and schools Caleb Kanowitch (SYB) 93
Teachers Moshe Shlomi-Friedman (SYB) 93
My first school Yehoshua Bachrach 94
The talmud torah school Mordehai Zehavi 95
The public high-school for boys M. Moshkat 96
The Polish high-school for girls Rahel Barshai 97
The high-school for girls Dr. Vera Gavzeh 98
The German school Myriam Simhoni 98
The Hebrew high-school and its director Reuven Elhanani 99
The “Tarbut” school Tzipora Haber 104
The commerce school Eliyahu Hadray 106
The Yiddish school Lily Kutner 108
Y. A. -    
D. Youth Organizations   109
The “Hehalutz” movement in Suwalk   111
The Future” of April 30, 1925 – Excerpts from a letter from Suwalk   113
Pre-“Beitar” and “Beitar” in Suwalk David Stern 113
I made Aliya through Lebanon Chana Shoval 122
As far as I am concerned - this was a perfectly legal Aliya! Moshe Artzi 124
In the illegal Aliya Dov Fleischer 125
The youth organizations of the Working Eretz Yisrael A. Shilo & Y. Eedan 126
Hashomer Hatza'ir 1935-1939 Gedaliahu Sidransk 128
Hashomer Hatza'ir in Suwalk Chaim Karay 128
The Communist movement in Suwalk Lea Welscher 129
Macabi Shlomo Reiman (SYB) 130
E. Personalities   133
M. -- Chaim Arlosorov   135
Moshe Bokanowski, a minister in France   135
R'Chaim Leib Bachrach Yehoshua Bachrach 136
Leon Holanderski Yehuda Eedan 137
Dr. Leon Weissman Dr. Vera Gazba 138
Yosef Seligman S. A. Karschman 139
Rav Binyamin Magentza Eliahu Hadray 140
Dr. Naftali Stropolski Eliahu Hadray 141
Binyamin Efron Ariel 142
Paulina Efron Tzipora Haber 143
Chaim Mendel Friedman (abbreviated) Shoshana Melman 144
Yakov Kosnjerzhetzki Y. A. 145
Dr. Yakov Robinson M. 145
Dr. Nechemia Robinson   145
Dr. Nathan Robinson   146
Dr. Pinchas Robinson Based on S. Regensberg 146
Shmuel Yitzhak Riesenberg M. 146
Aharon Scheinman Ariel 147
Musicians   148
Shmuel Duschkin Yigal Vered 148
Yosi Chasid (see p. 217)    
Rabbis Berl Cohen (SYB) 148
     First Rabbis in Suwalk   149
     Rav Yitzhak Aizik Haber   149
     Rav Yehiel Heller   149
     Rav Shmuel Mohliver   149
     Rav Eliezer Simcha Rabinowitz   150
     Rav Hilel Livschitz   151
     Rav David Tevele Katznelenbogen   151
     Rav Moshe Betzalel Luria   151
     Rav Aharon Beksht   152
     Rav Yosef Yoselewitch   152
     Rav David Lifschitz   153
F. Surrounding Towns    
My Town Baklerova Arie Mirov 157
Wizhan Rav Baruch Ginsburg 158
Sejny, my town Yosef Levinsohn 158
In memory of my town Sejny Baruch Kowalski 160
My town Sejny D. Sorewski-Pleskowski 161
Ponsk A.Sperling & A.Kirsch (SYB) 162
Our town Filipova The Lanski Sisters 162
In memory of Pszeroszla Arie Avramski 164
I was born in Ratzk Arie Schernitz 164
G. In Our Homeland    
Avraham Stern (Yair) Rachel Miriampolski-Elhanani 167
From Sejny to Yesud Hama'ala Arie Lubowski 169
Epopoeia [epic poetry] by the name of Hadera M. 171
Me'on Harofe” [Doctor's Home] - Home for the aged Ariel 177
The association of former residents of Suwalk Ariel 178
Yosef Aviram (Avramski) M. 179
Prof. Shmuel Avramski M. 179
Moshe and Miriam Ostern Eliahu Hadray 180
Rav Mordechai Eelan M. Artzi & D. Eelan 181
Kopel Einstein Eliahu Hadray 181
Shmuel Bachrach David Bachrach 182
Moshe Gutkowski M. 182
Dr. Moshe Glickson Tidhar 185
Gershon Gradowski Tidhar 185
Yehuda Naor Tidhar 186
From Suwalk to the Israel Government: Pinchas Sapir Dr. Mordechai Naor 186
Betzalel Amitzur M. 188
Eliahu Porat Karsel 189
Ovadia Porat Karsel 189
Dr. David Arie Friedman Israel Som “Harefua” (abb.) 190
Dr. Mira Friedman Ariel 191
Avraham Kaufman Eliahu Hadray 191
Chaim Kalweriski Tidhar 192
Meir Kleif Sara Nishmit 193
Grandfather and grandson (Rubowitz) Eliahu Hadray 194
Dr. Avraham Rosenthal Tidhar 195
Moshe Rosenthal-Razieli Avrasha Avni 196
Shlomo Schulkis Dan Shilon 197
Avraham Stern (Yair) David Stern 197
David Stern M. 201
Shmuel Leib Shimoni Guta Hefetz (Shimoni) 202
Artists (Painters)   203
The Morzhinski family Eliahu Hadray 203
David Morzhinski Eliahu Hadray 204
Mordechai Arieli (Morzhinski) Eliahu Hadray 204
Rachel Miriampolski-Elhanani N. Nachlay 205
Yakov Rosenbaum M. 205
Yitzhak Rosenthal Eliahu Hadray 206
H. Memories   207
A debate in the park, pencil drawing Mordechai Ariel (Morzhinski) 207
Grandfather and grandson in the City Park, drawing by pen David Morzhinski 208
In the City Park, pencil drawing Mordechai Arieli 209
In the City Park, pencil drawing Mordechai Arieli 210
Suwalk (Nostalgia reflections) Yehuda Elroy 211
     A warning, in lieu of introduction   211
     The atmosphere of the town   211
     The uniqueness of our town   213
     Music in Suwalki       216
     The defeated genius   217
     The Hebrew High-School   219
     The Youth organizations   225
     An apology, in lieu of conclusion   237
My town, my homeland Moshe Artzi 237
A collection of memories David Botowski 239
Episodes of life Marian Mushkat 243
Pages from a diary Dov Simanski 245
Memories Betzalel Amitzur 247
A realized dream Elhanan Pen 250
Trifles Avraham Scheinman 251
My Suwalk Miriam Scheinman 253
Memories Gedaliahu Simhoni 255
Once upon a time, there was… L. Shimoni 256
My mother's cooked dishes Yehuda Elroy 260
I. Harvest   263
Always the first Moshe Goldstein 265
The key as a talisman Chana Weger Bachrach 265
Jews who know the prayers Shmuel Avramski 266
The long journey of a Torah Scroll Yehuda Eedan 269
A libel Meir Yogel 271
My brother, the pioneer Yehuda Eedan 272
The trial of the high-school students Shmuel Avramski 273
The Yeshiva students in Suwalk Rav I. Zawzhinski & A.M. Zawzhinski-Amitay 282
My ancestors in Suwalk Techiya Mosel 283
The market-place in Suwalk Zelig Soloveitchik 284
J. Holocaust and Heroism   287
“Memorial candles”, oil on canvas Yakov Rosenbaum 287
Seven poems Yakov Rosenbaum 289
By the end of August Chana Neuman (Mitkes) 291
On the eve of the Holocaust Chaim Finkelstein 293
The expulsion of the Suwalk Jews Sara Nishmit 294
The destruction of Wijzhan Rav Baruch Grinberg 299
The expulsion from Sejny Yosef Levinsohn 301
The Pszeroszle jews in the Shoah Mordechai Avramski 301
The history of one family Sperling 303
The story of one survivor Eva Zelikowitz Oppenheim 304
The “Hotel Polski” Guta Ivri Gutkowski 306
The man who stood near Mengele   310
Alone in the battle Yakov Freimark 311
A survivor [lit. remnant] from Suwalk Livyatan Riebald 324
Notes   325
The Hope   330
In the Warsaw sewers Schernitz 331
The Second World War David Borowski 331
The last Jew in Suwalk Zelig Soloveitchik 336
Suwalk without Jews Henry Dorsy (Vigdortchek) 338
On this is our heart grieving Moshe Rosenthal 342
The erection of the “Fathers' Fence” in our town Shimon Sabit 343
The Fence Nachum Adelsohn 346
Address at the unveiling of the Monument Betzalel Amitzur 347
K. Yizkor   349
“A Ghost Town”, oil on canvas Yitzhak Rosenthal 349
Information about the people who submitted the memorial announcements
Index of names   439
Foreward   3
Suwalk - Beginning of the 19th Century (map)   4
Foreward Leslie Sherer 7
Suwalk History 9
Study of Suwalk Jewry Shmuel Abramsky 9
100 Years of the Suwalk Jewish Community Berl Kahan 10
    How old is Suwalk? 10
    The Jewish Settlement in Suwalk Up to the Year 1905 11
    The Economic Situation 13
    Jewish Agriculturists 15
    The Emigration from Suwalk 16
    Education & Enlightment 17
    The Movement “Hibbath Zion” 19
The Chief Rabbis of Suwalk Berl Kahan 21
Institutions & Societies 23
The Suwalk Municipality Ariel 23
The Jewish Community Board Edit. 24
The Jewish Hospitals Berl Kahan 25
     The Old Age Home 25
     “Gemilath Hesed” 25
     “Somekh Noflim” 25
     “Korban Etzim” 25
     “Lehem Aniyim” 25
     “Hakhnasat Kala” & “Malbish Arumim” 26
Special Concern of Welfare Workers Berl Kahan 26
     Some Religious Institutions 26
Hospitality House Y.A. Tropp 26
     “Visiting the Sick” 27
T.O.Z. Leslie Sherer 27
Tradesman's Union Y.A. Tropp 27
Schools 29
The Talmud Torah Yehoshua Bakhrakh 29
The Hebrew High School R. Elhanani 29
The Tarbut School Tzipora Meitkes–Haber 29
The Yiddish School Lily Levine–Kutner 30
Youth Movements 31
Hehalutz   31
Betar (Brith Joseph Trumpeldor) David Stern 31
Hashomer Hatzair Edit. 32
The Communist Movement Lea Welsher 32
Maccabi   32
Jewish Scholars and Activists Rabbi Yehoash Zavozhnitsky–Savitt & Rabbi Moshe Amittai–Zavozhnisky 33
The Silverman Brothers Moshe Zavozhnitsky–Amittai 33
Haim Mendel Friedman   33
Naftali Friedlander   34
Elie Rosenthal   34
Hasidim and Misnagdim in Town   34
Mordkhahi Kozlovsky   34
Haim Reibman   35
Aviezer Zhilkevitz   35
Benjamin Mintz   35
Shmuel Noah Shapiro   35
Eliezer Kagan   35
Shmuel Gradowsky   35
Four Ministers Yehoash Zavozhnitsky-Savitt & Moshe Zavozhnitsky-Ami 36
Benjamin Efron Ariel 37
Dr. Naftali Staropolsky Eliyahu Hadrai
Dr. Leon Weissman Dr. Viera Gawza 38
The Trial of the High School Students in Suwalk Shmuel Abramsky 39
The History of the Independent Suwalker & Vicinity Benevolent Association Leslie Sherer 40
In Israel 42
From Seini via the U.S.A. to Yissud Hama'ala Arik Lubovsky 42
The Story of Hadera Edit. 43
From Suwalk – to the Government of Israel (Pinhas Sapir) Dr. Mordekhai Naor 44
Abraham Stern – Yair David Stern 45
The Israel Association of Jews from Suwalk And Vicinity Ariel 47
The Holocaust 49
The Destruction of Suwalk Yehezkel Berlson 49
On Zalman Gradovsky's Notes Edit. 52
From Gradovsky's Notes Zalman Gradovsky 52
The Letter Zalman Gradovsky 54
“Hatikva”   54
Erection of a Cemetery Fence in Our Town Simon Savitt-Zavozhnitzky 55
Suwalk Revisited Leslie Sherer 57
In Memoriam
* (SYB) – Suwalk Yizkor Book 1961 return
** Excerpts and adaptations from our relief Committee's “Yizkor Book” 1961 and from the Hebrew section of this volume return


 Yizkor Book Project    JewishGen Home Page     Suwalki, at Kehilalinks

Yizkor Book Director, Lance Ackerfeld
Emerita Yizkor Book Project Manager, Joyce Field
This web page created by Lance Ackerfeld

Copyright © 1999-2024 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 13 Jun 2020 by LA