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[Pages 441-444]

Religious Pioneers in Israel

M.Ch. Tyberg

In the pioneering Aliyah from Poland, which intensified at the start of the 1920's, also included our city of Częstochowa. Pioneers from all the youth circles began arriving in Palestine, in all legal and illegal ways. A significant section of these pioneers were from the circles of Mizrachi and the youth of Ha'Chalutz Ha'Mizrachi.

In 5673 (1913), the leaders of Mizrachi in Częstochowa, Reb Szmul Goldsztajn, Reb Mechel Leib Mindycz and Reb Majer Gitler visited in the land of Israel and, thus, the first seeds were sown, which began to sprout and take root in our city.

An encouraging and promising development had already begun in Częstochowa in the years 5676–5678 (1916–1918), with the establishment of the Ha'Mizrachi Movement and its different factions, among which the Tzeirei Ha'Mizrachi youth organisation was particularly prominent.

The Aliyah that enveloped the youth swept with it dozens of religious youth from the study–hall benches, from among the craftsmen and workshops, service workers, merchants and the religious intelligentsia.

An especially large impression was made by the personal example of several of the leaders of the religious youth – J. Leslau, Sz.Z. Shragai, Dov Goldberg (Achiyahu) and the deceased Berlinski z”l, who emigrated in 5684 (1924) through Vienna, where they joined a group of religious emigrants from other cities. Although they had been preceded by pioneers from our city – Yitzchaki, Benjamin Yemini (Karmazin) and others – with their arrival in the country, they reinforced and reorganised the Ha'Poel Ha'Mizrachi organisation and received, in an orderly fashion, members from Częstochowa who arrived after them, encouraging them and serving as their guides to become integrated in the country.

The great exploits of the aforementioned [members] for the religious organisations in Israel, the economy, culture, education and immigration are widely known. Particularly noteworthy are the achievements of J. Leslau, the original founder of the Ha'Poel H'aMizrachi Bank, who acted extensively for the development of financial and social institutions in Israel at whose head he stands, and of Mr Sz.Z. Shragai, who has accomplished great things for immigration and integration as a member of the management of the Jewish Agency, [as well as] in the field of culture and education, in journalism and in his involvement in various institutions.

In 5683 [1923], a horticultural farm was established in Częstochowa, at which Ha'Chalutz Ha'Mizrachi organised a group of land–workers, among whom numbered those mentioned above. Almost all the members of this group shortly emigrated to Palestine and ascended to the first row of Częstochowa religious pioneers there. This group of members continued realising the pioneering ideal and, in 5685–5686 [1925–1926], they took land in Rehovot.

Rehovot's 70th anniversary booklet tells about their first steps in the locality:

They made their way, on foot, from one settlement to another, seeking an appropriate location to settle as a group, until they reached Rehovot. During their survey of the locality, they visited Reb Aron Ajzenberg z”l, one of the founders of Rehovot, who encouraged them to stay there temporarily, until the proper time came for them to move to a settlement [of their own]. Shortly after the [High] Holidays in 5686 [1926], they pitched their tents and, afterwards, built themselves wooden shacks on the settlement's Council land, a plot of 10 dunams [2.47 acres], which was outside the settlement, near the herd (nowadays the Tnuva dairy, Fire Department, and marketplace on Bilu Street).

[…] The group called itself “The Yehuda Aryeh Group”, after the rabbi Reb Juda Leib Kowalski z”l, the Rabbi of Włocławek in Poland, one of the first founders of Ha'Mizrachi and it was affiliated to the Ha'Poel Ha'Mizrachi organisation. In the settlement, they were called “Ha'Mizrachi'im” [The Mizrachi (people)].

The arrival of religious labourers at the settlement, as an “organised group”, made waves with their appearance – they wore hats at work and, here and there, [ritual] tassels peeped out from under their shirts. They very soon proved themselves as workers, thus conquering bit–by–bit even workplaces where there had previously been no Jewish labour.

This group was unable to attain a settlement due to budgetary reasons on the part of the Jewish Agency. Some of the members remained in Rehovot, while the rest dispersed as individuals to different localities in the country – and they achieved much – each one in his place, in various fields – as did the rest of the pioneers from our city.

[Pages 445-446]

The Max Fein Vocational School in Tel–Aviv
Adopts Jewish Częstochowa

It was a work of Fate that Jewish Częstochowa, a city in which for many years there was a professional school named the “Handwerker Schule” [“Craftsmen School”], should now be adopted by the Max Fein Vocational School, in order to be commemorated.


Max Fein School in Tel–Aviv


This school, too, was destroyed with its teachers and students, together with the Jewish settlement in Częstochowa.

We, the Częstochowers in Israel and the world, are proud that the Max Fein School, where Jewish pupils study [and] which is part of the Histadrut's nationwide “Amal” chain of schools, should carry the name of Częstochowa.

Teachers and pupils of the Max Fein School: Carry with pride and honour the name of the great and magnificent Jewish city that was destroyed by the Nazis, the oppressors and murderers of the Jewish People!




Memorial Certificate

The Max Fein School in Tel–Aviv, in the State of Israel, hereby festively announces that on the day 28 of the month Tevet 5727 [10th January 1967], it took upon itself the sacred mission of commemorating the Community of Częstochowa, Poland, which was destroyed in the Holocaust years by the impure Nazi troops and their associates.

The pupils of the school, in collaboration with the education authorities and the community's organisations in Israel and the Diaspora, and with the aid of the National Council for the Commemoration of Communities of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, will make every effort to continue the course of action which they have begun, to immortalise that community, its life and achievements until the Holocaust, as well as its suffering, struggle and annihilation in the period of destruction.


Headmaster: Immanuel Eshed; Form Master: Y. Yaakov [?]

Representatives of the commemorating pupils:
a.) Rosh [?] Yehuda; b.) Limanowitz Shimon; c.) Feler Ze'ev

Representatives of the community's organisation: a.) Dr E. Horowicz; b.) Józef Szajn

This certificate has been received by Yad Vashem for eternal safekeeping]


[Pages 447-454]

A Glorious Chapter from the Near Past

Ezriel Jakubowicz, who emigrated to the land of Israel as a pioneer in 1937, was engaged as correspondent for the “Częstochower Zeitung.” In his reports from the land of Israel, the deep connection of the Częstochowa Jews to their old–new homeland, and their great contribution to the building of the country, are markedly manifest. We [hereby] present an abridged version of some of his reports, due to their historical significance for Częstochowa landsleit throughout the entire globe.
(The Editors)


E. Ben–Moshe


1) A Częstochower Colony in the Land of Israel

Already for many years, Mr Roda [sic. Rodal] has had the idea creating a Częstochowa circle in the Land of Israel. He has called more than one meeting on this issue and has always proposed creating a rural settlement of Częstochowa landsleit in the Land of Israel, where they would be able to live communally, create and fulfil themselves socially and culturally.

We call to mind that there was a time when his plan generated great interest in the Zionist circles of all political tendencies. Over time, the plan was almost forgotten, but it has now characteristically resurfaced and precisely here – in the Land of Israel.

The facts of the Częstochowa colony are as follows:

In 1920's Poland, the purchase of parcels of land in the Land of Israel was very much a current topic. Polish Jews signed up with various companies, which would buy land in the Land of Israel. Częstochowa Jews, of course, did not remain under–represented in this respect. As soon as good times came, people bought parcels blindly, trusting these companies. People handed over possessions, just to have a little something – in 120 years' time – in the Holy Land. One of the largest of these companies was the “Hanil[1]” association, which bought Arab lands in Jeida, fifteen kilometres from Haifa. The association began building a Jewish settlement[2]]. Firstly, a large textile plant was built – then a settlement began to be created. But later, the bloody riots broke out in the Land of Israel and, at the very beginning of the events, the factory was burnt down[3].

No longer having a source of livelihood due to the factory's liquidation, the residents of Jeida left one by one.

Of late, several Częstochowers have begun taking an interest in Jeida, settling in the land there. The old–new plan has been reborn, to settle up to twenty Częstochowa families in Jeida and to create a Częstochower “colony” there.

Many Częstochowers dedicate themselves to implementing this plan. A proposition has even been made to name the colony after Rabbi Nuchem Asz z”l. The rebuilding of the factory is being managed by the brother of M. Mogel [sic. Fogel], the Częstochowa Aguda activist. He decides all issues in Jeida.


E. ben–Moshe (Jakubowicz) visits Częstochowa after the war,
wearing the uniform of the British Army


2) Częstochowa – a Zionist City

The Częstochowa community in Tel–Aviv is a large one and this is certainly no wonder. Częstochowa has forever been a Zionist city, both in monetary expenditure, as well as in practical work for the Land of Israel.

The emigration–stream of Częstochowers to the Land of Israel dates back to the First World War. Hundreds and thousands (we are not exaggerating) of Częstochowa youth came with the various pioneering organisations and went to the kibbutzim to work the soil which had been forsaken for thousands of years. Many of them fell at work, to Arab bullets or to malaria.

With their blood and sweat, they transformed dreary deserts into sprouting and fruitful ground. Not only did pioneers leave Częstochowa, but also common Jews – some [were] Zionist sympathisers and [there were] also others who had comprehended that a horrific catastrophe awaited the Jews in the Diaspora.

The greater part of the Częstochowers settled in Tel–Aviv. The Chairman of the Association of Częstochowa Jews, Mr Godl Frajtag, informs me that there are, in Tel–Aviv, over two–thousand Częstochowa Jews of varying ages.


A group of Częstochowers in the Land of Israel, in 1926


3) Częstochowers in Tel–Aviv

There are numerous Częstochowa landsleit in Tel–Aviv who, during their stay in the Land of Israel, have fought their way to social and representative positions. One of them is the former Częstochowa Halachic authority, known as the Rabbi of Wola, Rabbi Jszajewicz. Rabbi Jszajewicz is already familiar to the Częstochowa public for having served as a rabbi in Częstochowa and even more so for his book publishing and printing–press. But, having always been a fervent religious Zionist and a Mizrachi activist, he put his ideals into effect by emigrating to the Land of Israel many years ago.

During almost the entire time during which he has lived in the Land of Israel, he has occupied the position of Rabbi of Neve Sha'anan (a suburb of Tel–Aviv).


4) Częstochowers Build a House in Tel–Aviv

History repeats itself – a group of Częstochowa lads have met while building a house. This happened quite by accident, [when] the renowned Częstochowa industrialist J.K. [Kohn] bought a large house here, on the corner of Balfour Street and Rothschild Boulevard. He altered and renovated almost entirely this house, making it into a modern home with central heating and other up–to–date installations, as befits a Tel–Aviv mansion. It should be acknowledged that Mr K. has hired, for the rebuilding of his house, almost only Częstochowers, both professional craftsmen and general labourers as well.

In this manner, Częstochowers met one another at work and a familiar atmosphere was created. The owner's father, the old Częstochowa burgher Mr M.K., potters about around the house. One may also notice [there] the Gruszka brothers, who were once painters in Częstochowa and, next to them, on the scaffolding, we see the pioneers B. Hercberg J. Rapaport and the writer of these lines. The latter lug bricks about, tear down walls, carry lime and do everything that common labourers must do.



Chaim Dawid Wolfowicz z”l was the organiser of the Częstochowa “Lira” Orchestra in 1907. He was also a Kehilla representative. He was born in 1885, emigrated to Palestine in 1933, and died in Petah–Tikva in 1949.


5) Częstochowers in Haifa

We, a group of Częstochowers from Tel–Aviv, went over to Haifa for a short visit. Despite the insecurity that prevails on the road, the motorcars transit normally. This is how the Jewish Settlement in the Land of Israel lives now.

On the one hand, wild Arab terror reigns – passing cars are shot at [and] the development of civilisation is hindered. On the other hand, the Settlement stands stead–fast in its positions.

After two hours of travelling at top speed, we reached Haifa. The first impression was an imposing one.

We visited the city – the Arab quarter, the Jewish Mount Carmel and the country's famous holiday resort, Hadar Ha'Carmel[4]. Afterwards, we made our first visit to the Częstochowa “ambassador” in Haifa, Mr Juda Dancyger.

Częstochowa surely still remembers Mr Dancyger, who left it many years ago, when he was a member of the contemporary City Council.

As we were informed, many Częstochowers live in Haifa. Almost the entire Wajs family is already there [and also] the families Goldsztajn, Goldberg, Wolfowicz, Klin, Oppman, Borzykowski and others.



Josek Menachem [Mendel], son of Boruch Aryje [Lejbus] Lipski z”l, was a disciple of [Reb] Yehoshuale [Trunk] of Kutno [and] the leader of the Kehilla and Keren Ha'Yesod in Częstochowa. He was born in 1860. He emigrated to Palestine with his wife in 1925, and died in 1939 in Petah–Tikva. His wife, Chana Lipski, daughter of Jechiel [Michel] Goldfarb z”l, was the sister of the prodigy from Grotopzisk [sic[5]]. Her daughter Ester z”l was born in 1886 and died in 1926.


Translator's footnotes:

  1. “הניל” in the original Yiddish; probably a misprint. From historical sources, it emerges that the corporation to which the author refers was the AZC (American Zion Commonwealth), which bought tracts of land in Palestine and sold them to Jews in the USA and Poland. Return
  2. Ramat Yishai, in 1925. Return
  3. According to historical sources, the textile plant was burnt down by armed rioters on the night of 5th June 1938. Return
  4. Nowadays the Haifa city centre. Return
  5. Probably a misprint of Grodzisk– Mazowiecki, as the Goldfarb family came from there to Częstochowa Return

[Pages 453-456]

Częstochowa Landsleit Fight and Build

Godl Frajtag

Częstochowa Jews in Israel took an active part in the struggle for independence to establish the State of Israel. They operated in the Haganah [precursor of the IDF], as well as in the Civil Guard. A few of our landsleit – Kopinski, Słomkowicz and Szczekacz – were officers.

Frajtag [viz. the author] and his daughter were also active. The Częstochowa writer and journalist, Faitel Szmulewicz, was seriously wounded on guard duty.

Częstochowers also fought in the British Army on the fronts of the Second World War. Among them [were] the Klarman brothers, Jakób Kartuz, Ezriel Jakubowicz (ben–Moshe), Majer Włodowski and others.

During the War of Independence, the heroes Klarman from kibbutz Yad Mordechai, Gliksman, Szlezinger, Handelsman, Ankielewicz, Berman and Bratt fell.

Częstochowers Participate in Building the Land

Among the workers who built the “Herzliya” high school, there were also two Częstochowa Jews – Gerszon Ickowicz and Jakób Handelsman.

In 1925, numerous Częstochowers arrived in the Land of Israel and took part in the building of houses. Among others there was also Aba Librowicz. A dispute ensued with the Histadrut, that it should allow immigrants from Częstochowa to be employed in building Librowicz's house. At this point, the “Frajtag Group” was created, which includeded Szymon Pik, Sz. Oderberg, A. Kaminski, Brygel, Handelsman, Ch. Bencelowicz, Pendrak, Kerner, Kopinski, Helfgot, Rozenblat, Lewkowicz Fefer, Gerszonowicz, Laks, Woznica and Helmund – a Christian from Częstochowa – the son of the building contractor Buchenheim – who had come to the Land of Israel together with his friends.

The “Frajtag Group” was not content with only constructing houses, but also built highways and was active in all fields of construction in Tel–Aviv.

In 1939, Ezriel Jakubowicz (ben–Moshe), who was a correspondent for the “Częstochower Zeitung” at the time, also wrote about a group of Częstochowa pioneers who were building a house on Balfour Street in Tel–Aviv for their landsman Kohn.


The so–called “Frajtag Group”
In the photograph: Joskowicz, P.K. Kaminski, and Shoshana Bencelowicz.


[Pages 455-456]

Częstochowers in Jerusalem




There are about thirty Częstochowa families in Jerusalem. Among them [are] Dr Józef Kruk – a socialist, a fighter, a writer and a journalist, Sz.Z. Shragai – a former Mayor of Jerusalem and, nowadays, a member of the management of the Jewish Agency and Rabbi Dr Ch.Z. Hirszberg – a lecturer at the Bar–Ilan University and an expert on Semitic languages.

The Częstochowers in Jerusalem have the custom of gathering, every year, at Yad Vashem to hold memorial services for our city's martyrs.

The photograph above us is of one of the memorial services that were held at Yad Vashem. In the background is the entrance to the Yad Vashem Institute.

[Pages 457-458]

Częstochowers in Haifa

The Association of Częstochowa Jews in Haifa was founded in 1932 by Juda Dancyger z”l. The organisation's main activities, since its foundation, are to aid our landsleit with loans from the Charity Fund, which was established by Częstochowers, as well as arranging work [for them]. Following the Holocaust, we acted, with all the means we had at our disposal, for the Surviving Remnant, in order to alleviate the hardships of their integration into the country. The members of the board are elected at a general meeting, which is held annually near the date of the memorial service.


The Association of Częstochowa Jews Council – in Haifa


Gathering of Częstochowers from throughout the entire country for the unveiling of the plaque at the HMO Clinic in the Hatikvah neighbourhood of Tel–Aviv. The clinic was donated by the Częstochowa Jews of Canada.


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