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[Page 298]

The Families of Tykocin {cont.}

Translated by David Goldman

Aharon Bindowitz – “Aharon the Teacher” who originated from Wysokie Mazowieckie settled in Tykocin and as an additional source of income opened a grocery store near the entrance to the synagogue.

He was very religious and G–d fearing, a handsome man with a long beard. He was one of the members of the synagogue and was engaged constantly in Torah study.

His wife Chaya was his helpmate in running the home and raising and educating their children. The died in the Holocaust.

Esther his eldest daughter received a traditional education as was customary in town. She was an active member of the Mizrachi movement. She died in the Holocaust.

Genya, today Ben–Haim, is a Holocaust survivor. She left Tykocin in her childhood and studied in Bialystok. She completed her nursing studies, and after the ordeals of the many wars she emigrated to the Land of Israel in 1945. Today she lives in Haifa.

Basha studied in the government school in Tykocin and became educated in Zionism. She was one of the activists in the local Hashomer Hatsa'ir branch in Tykocin. She died in the Holocaust.

Chaim Meir – studied under religious teachers in town and as soon as he showed talent he was sent to study at the yeshiva in Baranavichy where he expanded his Torah knowledge.

He married Lula Perlowitz from Lodz and settled in Tykocin until the end of the Russian occupation. In 1941, when the Russians left, he was forced to escape to Bialystok because of fear of revenge by the Polish population due to his working as a policeman during the Russian occupation.

When the Bialystok ghetto was closed he returned to Tykocin until once again he was forced to return to Bialystok where he died in one of the SS roundups.

 

Shalom Baron [or Braun] (the hatmaker), just like most artisans in Tykocin, prayed at the synagogue of the Mishna Society. He enjoyed the recognition and appreciation of many people and was selected as the gabbai (beadle) of the synagogue.

He was an artisan and an honest businessman in his relations with everyone. He enjoyed hosting guests for Shabbat. He maintained a schedule for studying Torah, and frequently left work and hurried to his regular study session.

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He was always involved in seeking charitable contributions from the wealthy, and was a member of the Tykocin Mizrachi branch.

He married Chaya Feigel from Kobylin, who bore him two daughters. One died in her youth in 1909.

Their elder daughter Shoshana was educated in Tykocin, and married Moshe Kleiman from Ostrów Mazowiecka. He was also a hatmaker by profession, and they lived in Brutka. They and their two children, Chaya and Shalom died in the Holocaust.

Aliza (Freidel) was educated by her grandparents, Moshe and Chana–Malka Kviko, and grew up in their home. She emigrated to the Land of Israel in 1932 and married Rafael Pekravitz, who was also from Tykocin. They had three daughters and two grandchildren.

After the death of their mother, Chaya–Feigel, their father Shalom Baron [or Braun] married his wife's sister Rivka. She and her six children Masha, Ephraim, Chaya, Esther, Kreindel and Bracha died in the Holocaust.

 

Elchanan Breinsky – was born in Stawiski and a graduate of the yeshivas. He was an activist in the Mizrachi movement. In Tykocin he was in the leather business and prayed regularly in the Mishna Society synagogue, and attended classes there.

He was victim to the typhus epidemic that struck Tykocin after World War I.

His wife Sarah Dinovitz was dedicated to providing a livelihood for her family with great wisdom until her husband died. She moved to the Land of Israel in 1935 following her daughter Liba.

Chaya – was a graduate of the public school, and married Aharon Kaufman from Bialystok. She died during the birth of her first child, a girl.

Avraham – was a graduate of the Lomza yeshiva. After he married Chaya Firkovitz of Tykocin he moved to Bialystok, where he had a shoe store. He died in the Holocaust with their three children: Chana, Yitzchak, and their young daughter. Their son Moshe survived the Holocaust and lives in Australia.

May G–d avenge the blood of all the victims.

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Reizel – One of the activists in the Zionist youth movement in Tykocin. She married Zeidel Tselbith, a builder. They moved to Supraśl near Bialystok where they died with their children, Elchanan, Meir, Dov-Berl and Eliyahu.

Yonah – A yeshiva graduate. He was responsible for supporting his family after his father passed away. He married Devorah Svitskovsky, and worked in a prayer shawl (tallit) factory. They and their children Chana and Davidel died in Tykocin in the Holocaust.

Moshe – One of the active members of the Chalutz/Pioneer movement. During the Russian occupation he was drafted into the army. He returned to Tykocin during the change of regimes, and married Necha Brenner. They and their only daughter, Breina, died in Tykocin in the Holocaust.

Leiba – She moved to Mandate Palestine and brought her mother after her. Today she is in Tel Aviv. Menucha, Gittel (Zabarsky) and Leah (Tikotsky) are in Israel.

 

Gedaliah Baranowitz – as the son of the person who established and built the Mishna Society, he naturally became a leader in its activities. He was the moving spirit behind it and led it after his father passed away.

 

tyk300.jpg
Mordechai [sic] Baranowitz]

 

He was mainly involved in the forestry business and building contracting. In addition, he leased land that he worked himself. This broke the ancient image of the gentiles about Jews being incapable of agricultural activity.

His wife, Bluma Paktchero, was an intelligent and wise woman. She was an outstanding homemaker and dedicated herself completely to educating her children.

She was good-hearted and charitable. During the German occupation in World War I, a border was established between Tykocin and the nearby forests, and sources of forestry products

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tyk301.jpg
Gedaliah Baranowitz, his wife Bluma, and their sons Yehuda Meir and Avraham Zvi

 

for Tykocin decreased significantly. Bluma contributed tree branches to the poor from the trees that her husband was chopping down. She worked tirelessly for the Land of Israel as well, and worked to create and assist the funds for the Land of Israel. When Tykocin heard about the Balfour Declaration and the population became excited, Bluma was among many women in town who spontaneously contributed their finery to build the Land of Israel.

The home of Gedaliah and Bluma Baranowitz, imbued with fear of Heaven and progressive worldliness was impacted by Zionism, especially due to the influence of their relative Avraham Yitzchak Paktchero . They were among the advocates of religious Zionism in Tykocin. Their children received a Hebrew Zionist education in the spirit of the teachings of Yisrael Buber, who was a close friend and frequent visitor of Gedaliah.

The Zionist impulse on the one hand, and the growth of anti-Semitism on the other, had their effect. The Baranowitz family which had deep roots in Tykocin for many generations, with its strong

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financial status and respected social position broke its ties with Tykocin and was the first family from Tykocin that moved in its entirety to the Land of Israel. They even sold their flour mill, which they originally thought to leave behind to fall back on in the event they could not adjust in the Land of Israel.

So they intentionally burned their bridges with their hometown to strengthen their ties with the homeland.

On the eve of Sukkot in 1921 they arrived in the Land of Israel, and despite the difficulties in adjusting they were able to strike deep roots.

Gedaliah Baranowitz's first step in the Land of Israel was to set up a synagogue in the new Chlenov neighborhood that was established at that time. The “miniature temple” was built as a small thatch hut that eventually turned into a splendid synagogue where R. Shlomo Malervitz, who had been the manager of the Mishna society in Tykocin served as beadle. In the Land of Israel R. Shlomo also worked as a building contractor. He died in 1953.

Bluma turned her home in Tel Aviv into a home for everyone among the young immigrants from Tykocin who arrived in the Land. She even served as the mother of many of them. She died in 1945.

Yehuda Meir was their eldest child. He was a graduate of the government school and of the yeshiva. He read a great deal of world literature and acquired a broad education. He arrived in the Holy Land as part of the Zionist movement in 1921, and was one of the first three pioneers from Tykocin, and worked as a pioneer and worker. He died in 1927.

Avraham Zvi, one of the graduates of Yisrael Buber, was fed up with the life in Exile, and moved with his parents in 1922. He became one of the successful sons and builders in Tel Aviv.

 

Yeshayahu Brenner “Shaya the Beadle” – was a popular and folksy personality who was welcomed and loved by everyone in Tykocin.

As someone who studied Torah and tradition, he found his world among the walls of the Study Hall, with the spirit and dreams of his life around him. Since he settled in Tykocin he served as the beadle in the large synagogue, and because he could not earn a living from this he also engaged in wool combing to support his family.

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Yeshayahu Brenner was one of those people who rounded out a picture of the way of life in Tykocin that had as its backdrop the large synagogue/study hall. She [sic] died in the Holocaust in Tykocin.

His wife Riva Malka, the daughter of R. Nachum Chessler from Tykocin, was a modest, quiet and good-hearted woman who enjoyed helping others. She loved the Torah and respected rabbis. Her joy was to see the success of the son of her first marriage, Dov Rosenthal, in his yeshiva studies. This was success that enabled him to become a respected rabbi in the middle of Tel Aviv. A daughter from her first marriage, Sarah, died with her family in Tykocin.

The children of Riva Malka and Yeshayahu: Shlomo – as a youth he moved to Kiev, and only after the Russian occupation in 1940 moved back to Tykocin to the joy of his elderly father. He returned to Russia, but his whereabouts are unknown.

Dov-Berl – after he received his education in Tykocin he became a merchant of leather products and shoes. He married Tova-Guta Smoyl from Knyszyn. During the German occupation he fled with his wife and two of his daughters to the Bialystok ghetto. They died two months later.

Moshe – married Yenta Viloga from Tykocin. He was drafted into the Polish army, and after a brief period as a prisoner of war returned to Tykocin, broken in body and soul, and died shortly thereafter. His wife and their two sons, Yehuda and David died in the Holocaust in Tykocin.

Avraham – died as a mere youth in Tykocin.

Nechama (Necha) – died in the Holocaust in Tykocin together with her husband, Moshe Breinsky, a tailor by profession, and daughter Breina.

Mordechai – was a Holocaust survivor. After the turmoil of the war he moved to the Holy Land with his wife Teibel Zilberstein who was also from Tykocin, and is now in Tel Aviv.

 

Eliezer Gutman – a graduate of the Kamyanyets Yeshiva, was a leading student of Rabbi Baruch Ber Lebovitz and was an outstanding scholar.

In 1933 after marrying Reitsa, the daughter of R. Shlomo Pines, he moved to Tykocin near his father-in-law.

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tyk304a.jpg
 
tyk304b.jpg
Eliezer Gutman and his wife Reitsa, daughter of R. Shlomo Pines

 

Reitsa, a modest and charitable woman, and a living example of the verse “The honor of the King's daughter is inside” was very involved at home, and after her brothers and sisters left town she remained behind to assist her father and fulfilled the mitzvah of honoring one's parents with devotion.

She was famous in town for being good-hearted. Among other things she was renowned for her devoted care of a disabled woman neighbor, Musha.

Eliezer and Reitsa established a faithful traditional home. He and their daughters, Feiga and Esther, died in the Holocaust.

 

Ze'ev Gold – known as Velvel Till's – was a member of the town council for many years, and during the German occupation during World War I they appointed him as mayor, a role he filled until 1918. He was highly esteemed both by the local people and the occupiers, and the district governor also provide him with assistance to fund the Jewish kitchen for the poor.

Ze'ev Gold was renowned for his stately and pleasant demeanor. He ran an enlightened and progressive home, and made his living as a lumber broker. He was involved with his neighbors, both Jews and non-Jews, who admired and liked him. He was one of the “Mizrach” people

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at the large synagogue.

 

tyk305a.jpg
Ze'ev Gold

 

His wife Leah bore him three sons: Yaakov, Aryeh (Leon) and David. David migrated to Russia, and one daughter, Chaya, married Pinchas Rosenbloom.

When Leah died he married Ita Stein from Sokolka. Yisrael, the eldest child of Ze'ev and Ita, married Hella Bleiman. He moved to Bialystok and was himself extremely successful in the lumber business. They and their daughter Regina died in the Holocaust.

Chana Rivka – married Chaim Shaul Pines, and they both moved to the Land of Israel in 1925, but two years later they returned to Tykocin, and once again went back to the Land of Israel in 1934, where they have lived in Tel Aviv.

 

tyk305b.jpg
 
tyk305c.jpg
Masha, daughter of Ze'ev Gold   Halla, wife of Yisrael Gold with her daughter Regina

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tyk306.jpg
Yisrael son of Ze'ev Gold and his wife Halla Bleiman

 

Masha - died in the Holocaust while still young.

Ze'ev Gold's third wife, Rivka Seglovitz, moved to Bialystok after he died, and she died there.

 

Eliyahu Goldberg – was born in Trzcianne, a graduate of the Lomza yeshiva. He worked in a brush factory and served as the beadle for the synagogue in his town. He married Rachel-Tchina, the daughter of Moshe and Sarah Golda [sic] from Tykocin. In 1910 after Eliyahu emigrated to the United States, Rachel Tchina returned with her five children to Tykocin. She made a living and supported her children from an allowance that her husband sent her from the United States. During the war when the roads were in a state of ruin, she turned to working as a seamstress.

Sarah (today Rabinovitz) - the eldest daughter, joined her father in the United States in 1912.

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Sheyna, Chava and Chaya emigrated to the United States with their mother in 1927. The son, Moshe, moved to a Torah center and completed his studies at the famous Lomza yeshiva after finishing his studies in Tykocin.

When he returned to Tykocin in 1917 he took up the profession of measuring timber, which was a traditional profession in his family. Until 1921 he served as the chairman of the Poalei Zion movement in Tykocin. He was also one of the organizers of the Jewish theater in Tykocin.

He married Duba Zilberstein from Sokolka, where he settled and got involved in the poultry and egg market with his father-in-law.

His wife and children, Michael, Zisel and Yehuda Akiva, died in the Holocaust.

The Russians exiled Moshe Goldberg to Tashkent, where he spent the war years. In May 1948 he returned home but found no one. Until 1950 he served as a teacher in Velbzhik and moved to Israel in 1950. He currently lives in Kiryat Bialystok.

Translations by Selwyn Rose

[Page 307]

Susskind Lev Golda – He was educated in the Grodno Yeshiva and established an orthodox home in Tykocin with his wife, Haya, the daughter of Benjamin Piekarowicz (or Pikervitz). He prayed all his life in the “Chevrat Chumash[1] synagogue and was as painstaking in small details as he was in large. Ziskind Lev worked in Schulman's brush-making factory. In 1913 he died suddenly of a heart attack.

The maintenance and upkeep of the family home, bursting with children fell, therefore, on the shoulders of his widow who was forced to sell fish on market days in the Tykocin market.

Yisroel-Tsvi, their first-born spent much time in the Study House of the scholars Rabbi Yekutiel Promovski and Rabbi Haim Cohen. His grandfather traded as a contractor in the timber business, measuring and preparing logged timber for shipment on the river Narew. He was also active in community works and activity: he was manager of “Chevrat Chumash” synagogue affairs where he officiated at the Ark on the Days of Awe and also managed the affairs of the charitable “Sick Fund” and the Burial Society. He married Etke Silvertstein (or Zilbershtein) of Sokoly.

In 1933 he moved with his family to Bialystok and only with the outbreak of war did he returned to Tykocin with his wife Etke, his daughters Devorah-Zisl, Leah, Sarah, Rachel and his son Haim and there, with the rest of the community, they perished. May G-d avenge their blood.

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His firstborn, Ziskind-Lev, who was killed in an accident at the age of eighteen was also a graduate of the Tykocin “Cheders of Rabbi Naphtali, Rabbi Natan, Rabbi Haim Cohen and Bera-Lev Klikman.

Sarah – the daughter of Ziskind-Lev and Haya married Shmuel Chaita from Œwis³ocz (Svislach), she perished there together with her husband and two children Ziskind-Lev and Malka. May G-d avenge their blood.

Shayne – Another daughter of Ziskind-Lev and Haya married Yosef Grossman of Bialystok. They, and their children, Ziskind-Lev, Leah, Benjamin and Gittel perished in the Holocaust in Bialystok. May G-d avenge their blood.

Ya'acov – He, too, studied in Tykocin and worked in the timber trade. He married Marsha, the daughter of a wealthy man named Pourvin(?), from Surbourg (France?). He managed a shoe shop and factory. Together with their children, Ziskind-Lev, Leah and Baruch, perished in the Holocaust. May G-d avenge their blood.

Moshe, Naphtali and Genendil – also offspring of Ziskind and Haya, immigrated to Argentina.

Moshe Golda – He was renowned as a scholar and public figure whose fame went before him. Each day, between the afternoon and evening prayers he preached to the congregation of the “Chevrat Chumash” where he also officiated at the Ark and was deputy chairman of the Burial Society.

Moshe Golda made his living in the timber trade up and down the river Narew. His large home stood on the corner of Bernadynska and Choroszczañska.

His wife Sarah was also from Tykocin, died while still young. Their three children were Ziskind-Lev, Rachel-Tsina and Tsvi. Tsvi immigrated to the United States in 1904 at the age of seventeen.

 

Menachem Goldman “Mendel-Mordecai Matesas(?)” - A truly outstanding but ambivalent man – extremely tall conspicuous through his public and educational activities.

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The warm, endearing smile that exposed his good-heartedness remained etched on the hearts and minds of the many Tykocin residents who came into contact with him – young and old.

The old – these are his friends from among the notables of the town: Mr. Baruch Sirkes (Surawicz), Mr. Mordecai Pines and Mr. Haim Shoskes his “partners” in his holy work managing the “Somech Noflim”.[2]

The young – they were the young men of Tykocin who followed the sages, the Gemara, expositors and Responsa in the “Cheder” he held in his home.

Like the notables who prayed in the Study House his days and nights were dedicated to the study of the Torah. When he passed away at the age of 57 the entire town mourned his passing and cried in anguish “Our father is dead.”

His wife Bilha-Leah (Elta) gave birth to five children: Mordecai, the first-born who immigrated to Argentina with the wave of Baron Hirsch's program.

Golda-Hanna and her brother Ya'acov-Moshe managed a shop and small workshop, helping to support the home. Ya'acov-Moshe married a woman from Zambrow. At the time of the Russian conquest he returned to Tykocin with his three children. Ya'acov-Moshe and his family, Golda-Hanna and their young daughter Tsiril and her husband perished in the Holocaust in Tykocin. May G-d avenge their blood.

Matil – immigrated to Palestine in 1925 and married Tsvi Ulsha also originally of Tykocin, today living in Tel-Aviv.


Translator's Footnotes

  1. Literally “Companions (or Friends) of the Tanach” in this case the name of the Synagogue. Return
  2. A charity supporting those in need – the words are from a thrice repeated daily prayer. Return

 

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