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[Page 3]

Officers

Rabbi David Lifshitz Honorary President
Leslie Sherer President
Murray Levine Vice President
Charles Oken Treasurer
Simon Savitt Acting Treasurer
Salomon Rayman Financial Secretary
Sam Aueron Recording Secretary
Morris Abramowith Honorary Trustee
Morris Oshinski Trustee
Max Rothschild Trustee

 

Board of Directors

Rabbi Moshe Ammitai Israel Ribald
Dr. Kasriel Eilender Wolf Ribalt
Sam Gradowski Ann Rothschild
Irving Kass Julius Salamander
Moshe Rakow Fay Sherer
Anna Ribalt S. Szwecki
Esther Rayman W. Szwecki

 

Suwalk and Vicinity Relief Committee

Rabbi David Lifshitz Hon. Chairman
Leslie Sherer Chairman
Charles Oken Treasurer
Simon Savitt Acting Treasurer
Solomon Rayman Secretary
Sam Aueron and Ann Rothschild Advisory Board Members

 

Book Committee

Editors: Leslie Sherer and Prof. Arthur Leonard (Abramaitis)

Members: Irving Kass, Murray Levine, Solomon Rayman, Max Rothschild

[Page 4]

Suwalk - Beginning of the 19th Century

 


[Page 7]

Foreword

Leslie Sherer (Leizer Szereszewski)
President of the Independent Suwalker and Vicinity Benevolent Ass'n

The “Yizkor-Book Suwalk” published in New York in 1961 was highly praised in the Jewish literary circles as well as by the survivors of the Jewish communities destroyed in the Holocaust.

Edited by Berl Kahan, under the guidance of our rabbi Reb David Lifshitz and the editorial committee, the book was a memorial to the 11,000 Jews who lived in Suwalk and its environs. It is entirely written in Jewish (Yiddish) with an English foreword by Aaron Seligson and gives an historical perspective of Jewish life in Suwalk from the beginning of the 18th century to W.W.I.

However the Yizkor-book has a few drawbacks. The years between the two world wars 1918-1939, with few exceptions, remained unrecorded. It did not stress the activities of our landsleit in Israel in their struggle for an independent state and it was written in Jewish, a language not spoken by the great part of the younger generation.

We felt that all the above has to be recorded for us and the future generations in English and in Hebrew.

The idea of a book became real in June 1985, after the dedication of the monument at Holon cemetery in Tel Aviv honoring the beloved martyrs and heroes of Suwalk, Baklerove, Filipove, Krasnopole, Psheroshlem, Punsk, Ratzk, Seini, Vizhan and Yelinieve.

The English section of this book would include a partial translation and be an extension of the original “Yizkor Book Suwalk”. We, in New York, worked on the English translation and the Israelis did their Hebrew work. They were so enthusiastic and produced so much material that there was not much left for our English.

The book was originally scheduled to be published in 1987. That was too optimistic a projection considering the amount of the bilingual material. It is now scheduled to appear by Passover 1989. Despite the difficulties encountered by all of those involved in writing and publishing the book, a common bond uniting us inspired us to go on, namely, the desire to produce a memorial accessible to all of us, our children and the generations to come to our heritage.

I wish to thank our members Irving Kas and Murray Levine for the help in translating portions of the original book into English. I also wish to thank Max Rothschild and Solomon Rayman for their help with the financial and correspondence parts, and above all we are immensely indebted to our member, Dr. Arthur Leonard (Abramaitis) for his tireless and dedicated work and ideas in transcribing the English translations. And many thanks to Uri Shiloh for being such a diligent conduit between us and the Committee in Israel.

 

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