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[Page 121]

Jewish Folksbank

Translated by Judy Grossman

Letterhead of the Jewish Folksbank of Dusiat

The Folksbank was opened in Dusiat in 1924, and was directed by David Schwartz and Yosef Poritz. The bank had 152 associated members: 53 craftsmen, 78 shopkeepers and merchants, 4 owners of orchards, 8 workers and drivers, 2 clerks, 7 people with free professions, and others. The bank served the people of Dusiat and Antalept (Antaliepte)[1].

Shayke Glick: The founding of the bank provided an additional source of aid for widows, for betrothal ceremonies, and for other needy people who usually relied on charitable institutions.

And then the crisis broke out.

Slovka Sarver: At the time of the economic crisis, Jews in the shtetl were plunged into debt, and one who could not repay his debts committed suicide. I still remember Chanche Levitt's cry when we heard of the tragedy: “Bozhe moi, Boshe moi!” (My God, my God, in Russian).

From the newspapers (in Palestine):

On the situation of the Jewish Bank in Lithuania – commercial circles used all available means to salvage the Central Jewish Bank in Lithuania, which is the principal channel for the work of 80 Jewish folk banks in Lithuania. The Jewish merchants collected a million litai in order to relieve the bank's situation. (“Davar” – 11.11.1925.)

The Administrative Staff of the Jewish Folksbank of Dusiat takes leave of Yosef Poritz (in front), behind him are David Schwartz, Yisrael Poritz and Sarah Melamed.

Next to the till: Chaim-Aharon Shein (pharmacist), peeping in the corner is the landlord Asher Chaitowitz (tailor).


  1. [38] Chaya Malka Kruss-Glussak and Nachum Blacher. From Our Shtetl Dusiat, p. 344, in Yizkor Book of Rakishok and Environs, Johannesburg, 1952.) Return

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