Book of Remembrance - Tooretz-Yeremitz
(Turets, Belarus)   (Yeremichi, Belarus)
53°31' / 26°19'   53°34' / 26°20'

Translation of
Kehilot Turzec ve-Jeremicze; sefer zikaron

Editors: Michael Walzer-Fass, Moshe Kaplan

Published in Israel 1978

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

Our sincere appreciation to Susan Dressler
for typing up the English text to facilitate its addition to this project.

This is a translation of: Kehilot Turzec ve-Jeremicze; sefer zikaron (Kehilot Turzec ve-Jeremicze; sefer zikaron)
Editors: Michael Walzer-Fass, Moshe Kaplan, Turzec and Jeremicze Societies in Israel and America, Published: Israel 1978 (H,Y,E 535 pages)

Note: The original book can be seen online at the NY Public Library site: Turets

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Translated by Yocheved Klausner


Foreword Rabbi Zvi Markowitz 5
Table of Contents   10
Photographs   14
History and Memories
Map of Turets, Jeremicze and surroundings 18
History of the town Turets Arie Slotzki 19
The town Turets Chasia Turtel 22
Turets, the cradle of my childhood Dr. Yerachmiel Markowitz 25
The Jewish institutions in Turets Aharon Harkavi 28
Turets of long ago [Y] Yehuda Trayewitzki 33
Economic, social and religious life in our town Yehuda Gessik 37
Medical treatment in our town Aharon Harkavi, Yehuda Gessik 41
The cemetery of the town Avraham Gessik 46
Torah and Rabbis in Turets and Jeremicze
Rav Dov–Ber Jaffe Moshe Tzinowitz 51
Dr. Yakov Chaim Meisel Moshe Tzinowitz 56
Rav Dr. Eliezer of Turets, rabbi & teacher in Ayshishak Moshe Tzinowitz 56
R' David Teveli Moshe Tzinowitz 57
Rav R'Yitzhak Rabin Moshe Tzinowitz 58
Rav Avraham Shmuel Moshe Tzinowitz 58
The punishment oh a rabbi appointed by the authorities Moshe Tzinowitz 59
R'David Davidovski Moshe Tzinowitz 61
R'Elyakim Getzl Horowitz Moshe Tzinowitz 61
R'Nachum & R'Eliyahu Chaim Rabinowitz, father & son Moshe Tzinowitz 62
R'Noah Rabinowitz Moshe Tzinowitz 63
R'Moshe Yehuda Leib Moshe Tzinowitz 64
In memory of two Rabbis [Y] Leib Sapozhnik 66
Two Rabbis [Y] Yehuda Treibitzki 68
The great scholar Rav Yitzhak Rabinowitz,
rabbi of Turets for 35 years (5644–5679)
The last rabbis of Turets Yehuda Gessik 73
The great scholar, Rav R' Shmuel Markowitz   76
The Leader of the Community Dr. Yerachmiel Marcowitz 78
The great scholar Rav Shimon Yehuda Shkof Moshe Tzinowitz 81
The personality of Rabbi Shimon Yehuda Shkof Moshe Tzinowitz 82
Rav R'Yehuda Lubetzki Yehuda Gessik 88
Rav R'Yehuda Lubetzki From the Press 23.9.1910 96
Rav R'Nachum Lubetzki Yehuda Gessik 98
To the place of Torah Study Zalman Shazar 100
The metamorphosis of the Heder   105
Rabbi Shlomo Chaim Trayevitzki   107
Scholars and Educators [Y] Yehuda Trayevitzki 109
Before and Between the Two World Wars
Memories and sketches
My town Yehuda Gessik 113
Turets – memories Rosa Bishinkewitz 122
Memories from my home and family Aharon Harkavi 124
Memories from thr First World War [Y] Moshe Kaplan 132
Memories from my Shtetl [Y] Louis Shilling 136
Youth activity in Turets and Jeremicze Yosef Ben–Zvi 141
From “Those Days” Yosef Dov Lachowitzki 146
The road to “Roskosha” Yehuda Gessik 148
Zalman Hoffman's visits in our town   149
Zalman L. Hoffman's journeys and his visits in Turets [Y]   151
Personalities and Figures
Grandfather Leizer Lubetzki Yehuda Gessik 168
Meyrim Lubetzki, Mordechai Zagurski, Moshe Rozovski, Heshil,
Itche–Akiva, Leizer Lubetzki, Yershel Lubetzki, Sheine Lubetzki (Zagurski),
My mother
Refael Yosef Gessik Aharon Harkavi 174
Yitzhak Aizik Lubetzki Moshe Ungarfeld 178
Avraham–Chaim Slutzki Aharon Harkavi 183
Israel Aharon Svirnovski   186
   a. Arie–Leib Svirnovski Aharon Harkavi 188
   b. A “landsman”, a friend, a Patron of the Arts   189
   c. Yaffa Gessik   191
   a. The philosopher Shlomo Maimon Yehuda Gessik 193
   b. Baruch Raub–Kass   196
   c. Dr. Gavriel Zagurski   197
   d. Yehuda Chaimowitz   198
   e. Zvi–Eliyahu Turetzki   200
   f. Uri Yitzhak Yalovski   201
Uri Itche Yalovski [Y] Aharon Harkavi 202
Figures [Y] Yehuda Trayewitzki 203
   a. Chaim Stashek Yehuda Gessik 205
   b. Aizik Shmoskowitz   206
   c. Yaske Hillels – the town's eccentric   207
The Jeremicze Community
Map of the town 212
The town Jeremicze Chasia Turtel 213
Jeremicze Yehuda Gessik 214
   a. My town Jeremicze [Y] Moshe Kaplan 216
   b. Turets Jeremicze – neighbors [Y]   218
Jeremicze on the Nieman River Yosef Ben Zvi (Gershovski) 223
   a. The great fire in 1908 [Y] Moshe Kaplan 227
   b. The founder and Philantropist of Jeremicze [Y]   230
   c. The Jeremicze Rabbi, R'Eliezer Miretzki [Y]   233
   c. The simple life of the Jeremicze Rabbi, R'Eliezer Miretzki [Y] Rav Asher Katzman [Y] 236
Rabbi Yosef Gershon Horowitz David Tidhar 240
   a. Eliyahu Mordechai Kaplan [Y] Moshe Kaplan 241
   b. Rabbi Zvi Hakohen Kaplan [Y]   244
   c. Feivel Kaplan [Y]   246
   d. Moshe–Arie [Y]   247
   e. Are, the shoemaker [Y]   250
Dvor'ke – the brave mother Malka Polozheski (Pomertchik) 253
It is easy to say [Y] Malka Polozheski (Pomertchik) 255
The liquidation of the Jewish population in Jeremicze [Y]   257
The bitter fate of the Jeremicze Jews   259
The Jewish orphan girl in the field [Y] I. Shmulewitz 261
The Holocaust
The tragedy of the Jewish People in our times Rabbi Zvi Markowitz 268
A Holy Fire – an Eternal Fire Bar Refael 274
The defeat of Poland and the Soviet rule Yehuda Gessik 275
The preparations for the escape from Sverzhna ghetto Bar Refael 287
   a. The destruction of the Jeremicze and Turets communities [Y] Yehuda Gessik 291
   b. The night of the graves   296
   c. Our torturers   298
   d. Chanin'tche Yerucham's death walk   301
   e. “Kol–Nidrei” on the banks of the Nieman   302
   f. He believed in a Christian neighbor   304
   a. New–Year's Eve in the Sverzhna Beit Hamidrash [Y] Aharon Harkavi 306
   b. The good German   310
In the ghetto, in the labor–camp and with the partisans Avraham Chaim Slutzki 312
From “those days” until today [Y] Mordechai Yalovski 314
The struggle for life [Y] Tuvia Razovski 316
How I survived the Holocaust [Y] Simcha Palanetzki 320
My wanderings and the partisan's fight against the Nazis [Y] Zalke Pissotzner 327
Nachman Pissotzner Bar Refael 335
Yekutiel Kosmay   337
The great slaughter in the Turets ghetto Reuven Lubetzki 338
How we were saved [Y] Moshe Breinski 341
In memory of my shtetele Turets [Y] Sonia Lubetzki 343
Spiritual and economic life under the Soviets [Y] Shlomo Shilling (Sapozhnik) 344
The flight from camp, hiding near Leshnik Shimon Mendelevski 348
In the Sverzhna camp [Y] Yeshayahu Mendelevski 350
In the depths of the forests Bar Refael 353
In Turets after the Holocaust Yehuda Gessik 364
Turets Jews in Israel
The Organization of Former Residents of Turets in Israel Avraham Gessik 368
Members of the organization and the editorial board of the book Photographs 370
A Memorial to our towns Turets and Jeremicze Aharon Harkavi 374
The conception and creation of this memorial book Yehuda Gessik 377
In Memoriam: Zalman Hoffman Aharon Harkavi 379
   Judge Arie Slotzki Yehuda Gessik 380
   Rabbi Dr. Yeravchmiel Markowitz Aharon Harkavi 382
   Yom–Tov Lipa Bernstein Yehuda Gessik 383
The Names (Necrology), Turets, Belarus   385
The Names (Necrology), Yeremichi, Belarus   393
In Memoriam (Memorial Pages)   397
Turets and Jeremicze Jews who passed away in the US   422
Turets and Jeremicze Jews who passed away in Israel   422
Introduction Rabbi Zvi Markowitz 5
History of the Town of Tooretz Arye Slutsky 7
The Sages of Tooretz Hassia Turtel 10
Tooretz, My Birthplace Dr. Yerahmiel Markowitz 11
Tooretz and Its Institutions Aharon Harkavi 15
Once-Upon-A Time Tooretz Yehuda Treyevitsky 17
The Cemetery Avraham Gesik 18
Medical Care in Our Town Aharon Harkavi, Yehuda Gesik 19
Economic, Social and Religious Life Yehuda Gesik 22
Torah and the Rabbis of Tooretz and Yeremitz Moshe Zinowitz 24
The Great Rabbis of Tooretz Yehuda Treyevitsky 27
The Leader of His Congregation Dr. Yerahmiel Markowitz 28
Rabbi Shimon Shkop Moshe Zinowitz 30
Rabbi Yehuda Lubetzky, Rabbi Nahum Lubetzky Yehuda Gesik 31
To a Locale of Torah Zalman Shazar 33
The “Heder” and Its Development Yehuda Gesik 35
Scholars and Educators Yehuda Treyevitsky 37
My Home town Yehuda Gesik 38
Youth Seeks Opportunity Roza Bishinkewitz 40
Memories of the Family Home Aharon Harkavi 41
Memories of the First World War Moshe Kaplan 45
Home Town Memories Louis Schilling 46
People and Personalities Yehuda Gesik 48
Tooretz Revisited S.L. Hoffman 51
Youth Activities in Tooretz and Yeremitz Yosef Ben-Zvi 55
Adventure On the Road to “Roskosha” Yehuda Gesik 56
“The Good Old Days” Yosef Dov Lachovitsky 57
Raphael Yosef Gesik Aharon Harkavi 58
Avraham Hayyim Slutsky Aharon Harkavi 58
Yizhak Isaac Lubetsky Moshe Ungerfeld 61
Israel Aharon Svirenovsky Aharon Harkavi 62
Arye-Leib Svirenovsky Aharon Harkavi 63
S.L. Hoffman Aharon Harkavi 64
Yafa Gesik Aharon Harkavi 64
The Philosopher Shlomo Maimon Yehuda Gesik 65
Personalities Yehuda Gesik, Aharon Harkavi, Yehuda Treyevitsky 66
“Reb Hayim” Stashek Yehuda Gesik 70
Yeremitz: The Town of Yeremitz Hassia Turtel 73
Yeremitz Yehuda Gesik 73
Yeremitz on the Nieman Yosef Ben-Zvi 74
Memories From My Native Tooretz Shlomo Sapozhnik 75
The Great Fire of 1908 Moshe Kaplan 77
The Sages of Yeremitz Rabbi Asher Katzman 78
Eliyahu Mordecai (Alter) Kaplan Moshe Kaplan 79
In Memoriam Israel I Taslitt 81
The Holocaust: Introduction Rabbi Zvi Markowitz 82
The Polish Debacle and Soviet Rule Yehuda Gesik 83
The Escape Attempt Bar Raphael 88
“Kol Nidre” on the Banks of the Nieman Yehuda Gesik 90
The Liquidation of the Tooretz Ghetto Reuven Lubetzky 91
An Episode with the Partisans Simha Polonetzky 92
Life in the Forests Bar-Raphael 94
Tooretz After the Destruction Yehuda Gesik 97
New Year's Eve in the Swerzhne Shul Aharon Harkavi 98
The Good German 100
The Systematic Germans Tuvya Rozowsky 101
From “Those Days” to This Day Motl Yalowsky 102
The Beginnings of Our Society Motl Yalowsky 103
Board Members of the Tooretz Society in the U.S.A 104
The Tooretz-Yeremitz Society in Israel Abraham Gesik 105
S. L. Hoffman, In Memorium Aharon Harkavi 108
Judge Arye Slutsky Yehuda Gesik 109
Rabbi Dr. Yerahmiel Markowitz Aharon Harkavi 110
Yom Tov Lipa Bernstein Yehuda Gesik 111
Rabbi J. Lubetzky London Jewish Chronicle 112



As the reader of this section will readily note, the English presentation is much briefer than either the Hebrew or the Yiddish, due to considerations of space. At the same time, an effort has been made to present a comprehensive view of the Jewish communities of Tooretz and Yeremitz, from the early days to the last, so as to allow future generations to dwell on the character and makeup of the old Jewish shtetl, its scholars and plain people, the odd and the quaint, content with their lot in their life-time and hallowed martyrs in their death.


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