Gorlice; the Building and Destruction
of the Community
(Gorlice, Poland)

49°40' / 21°10'

Translation of
Sefer Gorlice; ha-kehila be-vinyana u-ve-hurbana

Editors: M. Y. Bar-On, Israel, Association of Former Residents of Gorlice and Vicinity in Israel

Published in Israel, 1962



Project Coordinator

Dorron Lemesh


Sidney Gelb (emeritus)


This is a translation from: Sefer Gorlice; ha-kehila be-vinyana u-ve-hurbana
(Gorlice book; the Building and Destruction of the community),
Editors: M. Y. Bar-On, Israel, Association of Former Residents of Gorlice and Vicinity in Israel, 1962 (H,Y, 338 pages)

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

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Translated by Sara Mages


Title Page   3
Behold - This Memorial…   6
Chapter 1 - A memorial Generations of Jewish Gorlice
Chapters of history Chaim Chen 9
Sources to the history of Gorlice's Jews   19
Chapter 2 - Authorities, Institutions, Assests
The community and its leaders Mordechai Zitronenbaum 23
Jews in the development of the city's economy Yechezkel Wild 26
The Jewish Bank [Y] Yosef Dorman 33
The “Jewish Labor Association“ in Gorlice [Y] Pinchas Arenberg 36
Chapter 3 - Spritual Gorlice
A city of faith and tradition Avraham Yisrael Arenberg 43
Houses of prayer and “minyanim Yosef Dorman 45
The way of Torah in the public and the individual Avraham Yisrael Arenberg 47
Chevrat Tehillim” and “Chevrat Ner Tamid Yechezkel Wild 48
When we were schoolchildren Chaim Chen 50
From the Yeshiva to the soul of the nation Avraham Kornfeld 53
From strength to strength in the way of the Torah Yoel Rappaport 54
The “Hebrew Heder” in the city in the 1930s Yisrael Isar 56
Jewish and general education in our city Chaim Chen 58
The Government High-School in our city Pepka Bergman 62
Charitable organizations in the city Avraham Yisrael Arenberg 65
Social–Medical Help [Y] Yosef Durman 67
Chapter 4 - Memories and Way of Life
Our city through the mirror of our childhood Yankel Landa 71
Beloved Zawodzie Yoel Rappaport 75
Memories from my youth Shimon Bergman 76
Our Jews Pray [Y] Yosef Durman 77
The cantors that I remember Avraham Yisrael Arenberg 80
By sight and hearsay Luba Biran neé Finsterblau 80
Sights and events during the First World War Chaim Chen 82
A small scale culture war in our city Dr. Yosef Reiner 86
Beit Hayeled” [orphanage] in our city Pepka Bergman 87
We came from afar to Gorlice Mayer Chabyon 89
we remembered Zion in Gorlice Rivka Rapelovitz-Kopito 91
Paulus… a deputy for transgression Yankel Landa 92
Village Jews in the vicinity of Gorlice [Y] Yoysef Durman 93
Segments of memories Mordechai Weinfeld 94
Laborers and craftsmen Chaim Chen- Yehezkel Wild 96
A bereaved family Dr. A. Bergman 102
Meetings Moshe Ayshon 103
Jews in the oil industry in the Gorlice area Shimon Gref 107
Chapter 5 - Political Parties and Organizations
The struggles of the Zionist movement in our city Chaim Chen 113
Public figures in the Zionist movement in our city Dr. Yakov Blech 120
Agudat Yisrael” and its institutions Avraham Yisrael Arenberg 122
The Religious Working Youth – “Po'alei Agudes Yisro'el” [Y] Avrom Kornfeld 124
Mizrachi” and “Tzeirei Mizrachi” in our city Yehezkel Wild 126
The assosiation of “Mizrachi” daughters - “Bruriah Miriam Krisher 131
The Zionist federation and its daughters Dov Aronreich 132
The view of the youth of our town Esther Biron-Brendsdofer 136
Zionist Youth Pepka Bergman 140
Zionist Youth - “Akivah” Hadasa Bester-Shtorch 143
The chapter of “Hashomer Hatzair” in Gorlice and its activities Yosef Tena (Tekech) 144
The National women's library in Gorlice Pepka Bergman 146
I was a youth in the “Beitar” movement Yehudah Ben David 147
Brothers to one family Sarah Sholdenfry 149
Chapter 6 - People and Figures
Our Rabbi R' Alisha Halberstam Avraham Yisrael Arenberg 153
HaGaon, R' Shmuel Firer, the “Genius from Sękowa” HaRav Ben-Zion Firer 154
The rabbis from the Halberstam-Tietelbaum family Chaim Chen 156
HaRav Mesholem Kleigar Ben Zion Rov 159
R' Eliezer (Leizerel) Landau Ben Zion Rov 160
R' Shlomo Yitzchak son of R' Yakov Freidman Ben Zion Rov 161
R' Yehusha Hesel Frenkel Yosef Dorman 161
R' Aharon Englard and his home in Gorlice Y. Rappaport-Y. Blumnfeld 161
R' Eliezer Bodnar Yankel Landa 164
R' Yecheal Hollander H. Ben-Chana 164
R' Yosef Einhorn Ben Zion Omen 164
Tzvi Heuberger Yehezkel Wild 165
Sabbath and holidays Jews Chaim Gertner 166
The Rabi from Labova Avraham Kornfeld 168
The family of R' Moshe'le Binder Dov Binder 168
Baruch Tzvi Shtorch Yoel Rappaport 169
Rabbi Moyshe Miller [Y] Yosef Dorman 170
Talented youths [Y] Abraham Kornfeld 173
The Family of R' Yosef Shalom Kahane Yechezkel Mehar 174
The family tree of one family Yosef Dorman 175
The Blech family Yechezkel wild 176
The Shebreshiner family Chaim Chen 177
The Lichtenberg family Yosef Lichtenberg 179
Max (Nohem, Menachem–Mendel) Gabel [Y]   179
Tova (Gitel) Kister née Schwimer H.H. 180
Henya Wild née Etzyoni (Klepholtz) Ben Zion Rov 180
Chief of a congragation Pinchas Wagshal 181
The wandering adventurer writer Asher Yeshayahu Halevi   183
The teacher writer and thinker Moshe Shpitz (Shepphy)   184
Natan Ginsburg says “Nishmat Kol Chai Shlomo Yahalomi (Diament) 187
The geneology of a Bobowa family Refael Plenter 189
The music workd of Bobowa David Yosifun 190
Bobowa's Gentiles greeted the Rabbi M. Ben Shlomo 191
From Bobowa's to Bat-Yam Dr. Menachm HaCohen Metzner 193
Chatper 7 - Immigrants, Builders, Warriors
The first immigrants Chaim Chen 197
From the “grandchildren” home to a cooprative settelemnt Elimelech Kerem ( Kramer) 198
We were like dreamers Esther Biran Schwersner 201
Ben-Zion Omanski (Oman) - one of the Hebrew teachers Pepka Bergman 205
I immigrated to Israel in an illigal immigrant shipe Yehudah Ben David 206
From Gorlice to the shore of Caesarea in Aliyah Bet Yechezkel Rinhold 208
Illigal immigrants from Gorlice - victims of “Patria” Yechezkel wild 209
Around the world - to Israel thrugh the African jungle   210
Simcha (Micha) Erenriech z”l Dov Erenriech 211
The account of a Jewish Brigade soldier in Gorlice after the destruction   211
The participation of Mendel Feldmesser in the bombing of the Radar Station for the detection of Illegal ships Yoram Taharlev 212
Natan Hochberger   215
On his guard Etka Adler (Klozner) 216
A bundle of letters from the underground Yehudah Ben David (Wagner) 218
Chapter 8 - Destruction and Holocaust
This is how we were taken captive before the enemy Yoel Rappoport 227
The years in which we saw evil Pepka Bergman-Kojnik 228
The first victims among the Jews of Gorlice Sala Schwartz Schop 237
This is how we lived in Gorlice Ghetto Luba Biram neé Finsterblau 239
I returned alone Rivka Refaelowitz (Kopito) 240
Testimony of Akivah Ben-Meir and Rachel Matles   241
Testimony of Yechezkel Kahane   243
Testimony of R' Bezalel Moshe Balzam   244
Testimony of Aharon Rubin   244
Testimony of Moshe so of Yehoshua Tzvi Bergman   245
Testimony of Yehoshua Mendel Trenzer   246
The story of Monek Shtark   247
Jewish partisans enter Gorlice Ghetto   247
Father and his son stood the test - and didn't reveal   247
Testimony of Betzalel Papial [Y]   249
Testimony of Meir Shvimer [Y]   249
Testimony of David Buksboym [Y]   251
Testimony of Moshe Spanner [Y]   251
Woe unto the eyes that witnessed this [Y] Rivka Seltenreich–Halbershtam 252
The Sufferings of Job [Y] Yeshayahu Binder 253
In Russian Exile [Y] Baruch Moyshe Parnes 258
Chapter 9 - The Community of Gorlice mourns its martyrs
Necrology of Holocaust Maryrs   261
Yahrzeit candles shine and remind   273
A monument to those we lost in recent years   312
Chapter 10 - Gorlitzers in Israel and the Diaspora
The activities of our organization since its inception Yechezkel Shraga 320
The Gorlice “Relief” in America (short overview) Freida Angel–Nuch, Yos Tkacz (Tene) 326
The Gorlitzer “relief” in America [Y]   327
HaRav Elimelech E. Erenberg Avraham Har-Marom 327
Postscript The editorial board 328
Key to names   329
Table of Contents   337


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