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[Page 267]

Friedman and Charit families

By Prof. Yehuda-Yudel Charit (son of Avraham)

Translated by Judy Grossman

My grandfather Zalmen, son of Yaacov Charit-Katz, visited Eretz Yisrael before WWI. During that period the following members lived in Eretz Yisrael: Yosef Charit (son of Yehuda Charit), who was a member of “Hashomer”[1]; Yitzchak, son of Chatzkel Charit-Katz, and his stepbrother Micha Zeidlin (son of Musel). My uncle Raphael Charit (my father's brother) immigrated to Eretz Yisrael but returned to Lithuania.

My father, Avraham, son of Zalmen Charit, was the principal of Tarbut - the Hebrew Elementary School in Kovno (Kaunas).

When the German-Russian war broke out and the Nazi Army invaded Lithuania, my family managed to flee eastward, from Kaunas to Russia. After the war we returned from Russia to Lithuania and lived in Vilna (Vilnius).

In 1967 my father arrived for a visit in Israel and stayed there for several months. On May 31, 1967, one day before his visa expired, he went to bathe in the Dead Sea, and his heart failed.

Father was brought to rest in the cemetery in Afula.

In the beginning of the 70's I made aliya with my family. My brother Yaacov and his family followed us, as did my uncle Yitzchak's family (my father's brother, who used to sign his name as Yitzchak Charit-Katz), who immigrated to Israel with us. When he died he was also buried in Afula, next to my father's grave.


Avraham Charit with his
former student Pola-PekahTzur
and her daughter Rina. Israel, 1967


“Avraham Charit Son of Zalmen HaCohen- Iyar 21, 1967.”
Standing from left to right: (-)

Batya Aviel [Levitt], Avraham Slep, Hanka Gerstein [Levin], Nechama and Mendke Charit, Miryam Slep, Esther Pomus [Orlin], Sara Charit (Yaacov' s wife), (-), Pola-Pekah Tzur, Lova Zeidel (husband of Yehudit [Friedman,] the daughter of Seryl)

In front: Yaacov Charit [Mendke's brother]

Standing from left to right:

Nechama and Mendke Charit, his brother Yaacov Charit, Avraham Slep and his sister Miryam, Lova Zeidel, Rivka Levitt

In front: Tzviya Charit (Yosef Charit's wife), Hanka Gerstein [Levin], Batya Aviel [Levitt], (-), (-), (-), (-), Riva Yavnai, Pola-Pekah Tzur


Menachem-Mendke Charit (at the tombstone)


My stepbrother, Micha Zeidlin, son of Avraham-Kalman and Musel (nee Friedman), was killed by Arab terrorists on 28 Tishrei 5679 (October 4th, 1918), and was buried in the cemetery in Tiberias. The tombstone was for two people: Micha Zeidlin and Dov-Berl Shweiger (who was killed on Passover, 1909). The inscription on the tombstone reads:

“Here lie unknown pioneers – members of The Guard and Defense”

The grave was identified only in 1944. The remains of Dov-Berl Shweiger were transferred from there to the Helkat Hashomer (Hashomer plot) in Tel-Chai.


Friedman and Charit families

From right to left, standing: Raphael Charit (son of Zalmen), Shlomo Friedman (son of
Bertchik) and his wife Tzipe (Fleisch), Zalmen-Zamke Friedman (son of Yehuda), Leike
[2] daughter), Batya-Bathka Friedman (Yehuda's daughter), Yosl,
Zelda-Zoyka Friedman (Yehuda's daughter), Henya Friedman (Shlomo and Tzipe's daughter)

Seated, second row: Roza Finkelstein (Friedman) (Bertchik's daughter [Latvia]),
Bertchik Friedman and his wife Chaya-Mine (Katz) and their daughter Musel Charit
(Friedman) [or Seryl Barilkin (Yehuda Friedman's daughter

Third row: Sarah-Sonia Charit (Yehuda Friedman's daughter) and her husband
Avraham Charit (son of Zalmen) holding his son Yaacov-Yashka, Bertchik
Friedman's daughter-in-law - Sarah Friedman (Rabinowitz) (Chaim-Avigdor's wife)
and her daughter Clair [Latvia], or Zusl's wife, and their daughter Anne

Fourth row, kneeling: [(-) Latvia], [(-) Latvia], Moshe Barilkin (son of Seryl), [(-) Latvia]

Seated on ground: [(-) Latvia], Yehuda-Yudel Charit (son of Avraham and Sarah-Sonia), [(-) Latvia]


Freidke Chatzkel in her youth


Yosef Yavnai (Slep): After her marriage to Yosef Levitt, we were forced to call her Freidl and not Freidke; it was more respectful …

Freidl was the sister of Riva-Leah Charit (Chatzkel), Rochl Orlin (Chatzkel) and my mother Chaya-Tzipe Slep (Chatzkel). All three of them appear in a family picture.


Teibale Levitt (daughter of
Yosef and Freidl [Chatzkel])



  1. Hashomer - The Jewish self-defense organization was founded as a clandestine underground association in Sejera (Eretz Yisrael – Palestine), in April 1909. At first Hashomer was an organization for guarding and defending the settlements in Eretz-Yisrael, but later on its members became part of the Jewish labor and settlement forces.  The members of Hashomer founded Tel-Adashim in 1913 and Kfar Giladi in 1916. Return

  2. Yosl – Bertchik Friedman's cousin (?) Return


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