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Chapter 5 (cont.)

[Page 369]

The "Hechalutz" (Pioneer) as the Head of the Camp

By Z. Poran

Translated by Yacov Sherman, Mexico City

Edited by Regina Borenstein Naividel

The "Hechalutz" movement was very popular in Yurburg, in spite of the difficulties of the pioneer training and the unceasing anticipation for the emigration (Aliyah) certificate - there were a lot of people who joined the "Hechalutz" movement. In the last years before the Holocaust, a Kibbutz for pioneer training was founded in Yurburg. "Hechalutz" was in need of support from the public, and hereunder is one of their financial operations:

Each one takes part in the unification of the "Hechalutz"

Each one, who takes part in the unification, give the "Hechalutz" a chance to establish it's economic situation.

Mr. Chaim Siger and Mr. Elimelech Park (who in Israel became professor and head of the agricultural faculty in Rechovot) ask you to help with 10 lit. and to contact:

Miss Friedlender Ida, Yurburg

Miss Feinberg Chana, Yurburg-Tavrik

Mrs. Rabinovitch Sheine, Mariapole

Mr. Gershein David, Yurburg, teacher

Mr. Zachanavski Israel , Yurburg, teacher

Mr. Teichman Mordechai, Yurburg, head of the Jewish Gymnasium

Mr. Lintovski Chanoch, teacher

Mr .Leipziger Eliezer, Yurburg, teacher

Mr .Blisavski Yechiel, Paswal, teacher

Mr. Ersch Elimelech, Birzsch, teacher

In the very comprehensive book of Sarah Neshmit - "There Were Pioneers in Lithuania" (published by "Beit Lochamei HaGhetaot", 1983) some numbers about the "Hechalutz" movement in Lithuania were published. According to this source, the "Hechalutz" movement in Lithuania was, in relation to the population, the largest of these movements in the world. In 1933 there were 5000 members in 110 branches of the "Hechalutz" in Lithuania, thereof about 1500 in more than 50 Kibbutzim for pioneer training and about the same number in divisions of the pioneer training program.

The request for emigration was very large and the number of certificates did not fulfill the demand. In 1935, for example, the "Hechalutz" center in Lithuania received certificates only for 33 male members and 28 female members.

It was like a drop in the sea ... The "Hechalutz" center had to find alternative ways out of the diaspora.

[Page 370]

J.A.C. - the Jewish Athletics Club

By Z. Poran

Translated by Yacov Sherman, Mexico City

Edited by Regina Borenstein Naividel

Except for Macabi, there was another sports club , named J.A.C. in Yurburg. There activities were rather narrow. Their main activity was a club that trained gymnastics groups for men and for women separately.

J.A.C. also had a soccer group of rather low performance level. They also had an active volley-ball group. J.A.C did not organize sports festivals for the public, nor parades in the streets. During the summer, the members of J.A.C. organized excursions, meetings and sports activities in the nature. Since they did not have many members, they would meet in the woods or in the parks of the town.

The only language spoken at J.A.C. was Yiddish. Also the orders - "Stand in line", "Stand at ease" "Quick-march" were given in Yiddish. Also at Macabi, Yiddish was spoken, but the orders were given in Hebrew and the whole atmosphere was Zionistic.

J.A.C. also organized a broad cultural and social program. In these activities, not only the athletes of J.A.C took part, but also other Yiddish-oriented people, for example members of the Falkt (hawk) movement and also Jewish communist who had to remain undercover, since the law forbade meetings of leftist movements.

The J.A.C. was sponsored by few "Yiddishists", well known persons, who would lecture about cultural issues, as for example the publication of a new book in Yiddish, the Yiddish literature and culture etc. One of the well known people was Mordechai Gut, son of Rabbi Arie-Lei (Leibchik) Gut, who also was a teacher at the elementary school (Talmud Torah). Gut was a serious and educated person, who had a broad knowledge of, and a love ofYiddish. He had no interest in Hebrew literature, although he spoke the language well.

Also the head of the Yiddishists of Lithuania, Yudel Mark, was among the lecturers at J.A.C. Mark was, together with Helena Katzkalas, was the founder of the Yiddish school of Yurburg. This was a small school, but the pride of Yiddishists in town.

There was also a Yiddish library, named "Mendeli" library, in Yurburg. Also a lot of Zionists who did not speak Hebrew, made use of the "Mendeli" library.

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