The First Radom Congregation
Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay
The immigration of Radomer Jews to America began in 1895. But only in 1902, was a Radom Society founded in New York.
As we find in documents, the meeting took place in the House of Shabtai Grossfeld, on Essex Street, with the following townsfolk: Peisach Moscovitch, Joseph Berlinski, Zeinvil Kestenberg, Lozer Rozenberg, Reverend Ali Gershon Weinstein, and Velvel Birenbaum. They decided to found this Society under the name Congregation Agudat Achim Anshei Radom. Peisach Moshcovski[?] was elected as president, Lozer Rozenburg as Finance Secretary and Zeinvil Kestenberg, as treasurer. They decided to find a locale for a minyan and for meetings, as well as to purchase a Sefer Torah.
At a meeting in 1908, the name of the society was changed to First Radomer Congregation and elected were: Abraham Malach, as president, Abraham Fishman, as Finance Secretary, and Moshe Kuper, as protocol secretary. Their aim was to help needy members and new immigrants.
In 1915 we received a charter to buy a cemetery, to hold meetings every two weeks, and we bought a house on the East Side, on Third Street, which was remodeled into a small synagogue for praying, as well as a locale for meetings. All the Radomers in New York, every Saturday and holiday, came to pray in their own synagogue, where we had our own Hazan and all the members felt at home and proud. The synagogue helped attract new members, the Society developed in all directions and played an active role in providing its members with moral and material support.
The Congregation decided to help the Radomer Relief, which sent large sums of money to Radom, for Maot-Hatim. For example, in 1926, when Sam Grossfeld was president, a committee was formed in order to host a benefit-evening in the National Theatre, which raised two thousand dollars. The committee was comprised of: Jack Diamond, Sam Cohn, Charlie Steinberg and Sam Grossfeld, who was also elected as president of the Relief. Charlie Steinberg was then elected as secretary of the Relief. Amongst the active participants were the following: Issac Tenenbaum, Nathan Kestenberg, Abraham Fishman, Joseph Berlinski, Zanvil Kestenberg, Sam Cohn and Jack Diamond.
The congregation donated five hundred dollars for the X ray machine for the Radomer Jewish hospital.
After the Second World War, a large-scale rescue-operation began. Several thousand dollars were raised, which were sent to Radomer refugees in Poland, Germany, France, Sweden and Israel. The newcomers to America received help with an open hand. We also helped them find housing and work.
The congregation was also the first, which decided that it was necessary to publish the Sefer Radom[memorial book] as a holy memorial for our martyrs.
The present team of our Congregation today are: Sam Cohn, president, Jack Diamond, ex president, Israel Sommer, vice president, Sam Grossfeld, finance secretary, Abraham Milmen, treasurer, Charlie Steinberg, recording secretary and health benefits.
Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay
In 1920 many of the youth left Radom and immigrated to different countries of the world. But the largest number of the immigrants came to New York, where our townspeople [landsleit] received them with open arms.
Being accustomed to a cultural way of life in the old home, the young immigrants in New York needed to maintain this tradition. in 1922, a Radomer Club was founded, on Centre Street, on the East-Side.
The Centre had many large rooms and a dance hall. Each week events were held. The locale was open each evening and our youth came to participate. Here they had educational programs, as well as entertainment, where they felt at home.
Many of our youth members slowly got married and the center rose to a prominent place among the Jewish welfare and fraternal organisations, like: Workers Circle, branch 369, First Radomer Congregation, Radomer Independent Branch 22[International W.O.] and others. Slowly interest was lost for the club and it stopped playing such an important role for our youth.
In 1927, with the consent of all the Radomer organisations, the Culture Club was formed, which with its lectures and theatre events, became popular on the New York Jewish Street. The founders of the centre were: Itche Langer [Lenga?], Jacob Diamond, Kalman Seifman, Shaya Steinberg, Itche Bleiweiss, Joseph Berkovich[Berkowitz]. The Culture Centre, like a revolving-door, with its relatively young people, organized beautiful events, raised large amounts of money and together with the Congregation, supported the Relief.
After the Holocaust, when America opened its doors to the refugees, the Culture Club received them with love and friendship. Whoever wanted, was accepted as a member, without any payment, with full rights for them and their families to enjoy all the benefits.
The Centre conducted annually festive[ yizkor] memorial evenings, was responsible for publishing monthly magazines, The Radomer Voice, and helped publish Sefer Radom[the memorial book]. The Centre also participated in all the conferences in support of all World Organisations like: United Jewish Appeal, Histadrut, the Joint, Jewish World Congress, Polish Townsfolk Organization,
HIAS, and local institutions. This Society and the members bought bonds for 25,000 dollars and received a certificate for excellence from the Committee of the State of Israel.
In 1956 a Ladies Auxiliary was formed within our Society and, in a matter of a few years, managed to attain what others barely achieved in so few years. They took part in all the events, supported various organisations, especially, the Relief. They organized Purim and Simchat Torah celebrations and other parties.
The Culture Club held meetings every two weeks and each meeting was transformed into a holiday. The centre planned the celebrations of its members, their Weddings, Wedding- Jubilee's, birthdays, Bar- Mitzvahs, simultaneously, all National and traditional Jewish holidays. The membership became like one family, where one shares their joy with another. With this, the Centre was in contact with all the other Radomer Organisations, which also carried out joint ventures.
The first builders and participants which are still active until today:
Presidents: Charlie Steinberg, Itche Langer, Hymie Mandelman and Joseph Berkovich
Vice presidents: J. Richman, Herschel Goldberg, the late Israel Shlifkovitch, Alter Weisbard, Willie Mandelman, Victor Hochman, the late Hilke Goldberg.
Finance Secretaries: Izzy Kirsh, Abie Goldberg
Protocol Secretaries: Kalman Seifman, Phillip Werber, Abe Danziger
Treasurers: Yudel Richman, Jack Diamond, Harry Needel, Bercovitch, Hymie Mandelman, Harry Greenberg, Harry Diamond, Victor Hochman
Hospital and cemetery chairmen: the late Gershon Bakovski, Jack Diamond, Itche Langer
Today's executive of the Culture Club are the following: Itche Bleiweiss, Leon Goldman, Harry Greenberg, Julius Hoffman, Izzy Kirsh, Willie Mandelman, Phillip Werber, Moshe Wiseland, Alter Weisburg, and Issac Shneider.
In the ladies auxiliary were: Mary[Mae] Mandelman, President, Freda Lewis, Vice president, Mania Goldman, Finance Secretary, Sarah Greenberg, Recording Secretary, Golda Hochman, Treasurer, Annie Goldberg, ex[?] representative, and Helen Goldberg, executive representative.
The above listed served for many years. Their memory should be perpetuated, since the existence of the Culture Centre, we want their names to be remembered forever:
Mars. Eberbachv Louis Friedman
Nachum Berel Milman
Mars. M. Zigelman
Spelling of names in the Yiddish section may vary from the spellings in the English section. Also, phonetics play an important role-each person pronounces the old name differently.
by Alfred Lipson
Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay
It was 1917 and Europe had been bleeding on the battlefields for over three years. Cries for help were heard coming in over the Atlantic and some were very familiar voices, those of close relatives and dear friends, caught in the misery of war. The Radomer Relief Organization was born out of the purest human quality-compassion.
What could the fortunate Radomers on this side of the Atlantic do for their brethren in Poland? They could not stop the war; they could not even send letters. All they could do was pray and hope: hope that someday the shooting will end in peaceful rule over the lands. The Radomers in New York were getting ready for that moment.
During the anxious days of 1917 a group of friends got together and decided to organize help and be ready to relieve the suffering of their unfortunate fellow Radomers, when they would leave the ravages of war.
Of course, there were in New York alone several Radomer societies. The projected Radomer Relief, however, was to have, as the name implies, only one purpose-coordinated help. Unlike the societies, which had the character of social clubs, rather for the benefit of its members on a narrow local scope, the Relief Organization set up as its program the pooling of resources for the benefit of the needy in the war-torn hometown.
The initiative came from the Radomer Independent Aid Society, which organized a conference of the leaders of all Radomer organisations in New York. Among the participants were: Messrs. Joseph Birenbaum, Jack Diamond, Sam Grossfeld, Harry Katz, Nathan Kestenberg, Joseph Korman, Koneski, Harry Pomerantz, Moshe Radomsky, Mrs. Sadie Spitzberg. They all had one thing in common: a desire to alleviate the misery of the Jews in Radom. Everyone agreed that only by combining the efforts of all Radomer groups would their purpose be accomplished. They decided to establish the Radomer Relief.
The devoted group of young people went to work to organize a mass meeting of all Radomer immigrants in New York. A theatre hall was booked for this purpose and was filled to capacity. Harry Katz made a dramatic appeal for funds and got a heartwarming response. About $2,000.00 was collected-quite an impressive sum in those days. The money was sent to Radom and arrived just in time for the winter-to save numerous Jewish men, women and children from cold and starvation. The people in Radom rejoiced. Decimated by war and epidemics, they had lost hope and stamina. Help from New York meant the difference between starvation and survival. It also meant a lot more to them: here is an excerpt from a letter of appreciation written by the Trade Union in Radom and signed by its president, Moshe Rubinstein, and it's secretary, M. Finekind:
-Assistance from our brothers beyond the ocean is not just the means to feed the hungry and heal the sick. Right now it means hope for the desperate and a light for a people facing a dark abyss.
-For us it means that there is someone beyond the seas who cares, who knows our sufferings and stands ready to help in this hour of despair.
Well, the hour proved to last for quite some time. Although Radom grew in the ensuing years into a prosperous industrial city, there always remained some slums, poverty and disease. Appeals for assistance kept coming from Radom to New York and the Radomer Relief continued its efforts on behalf of the needy in Radom. The Relief made it a tradition to supply the poor in Radom with matzos for every Passover. A committee was established in Radom to distribute the donations in time for the holidays. In most instances the committeemen carried the gifts to the homes of the poor, especially to those who shunned charity.
In 1922, Morris Radomsky, one of the most devoted Relief leaders, went for a visit to Radom. He saw all the Jewish communal institutions at work and was impressed with the wide scope of their activities. But they all needed immediate assistance. There was the Orphanage, housing 300 children; the Jewish Hospital, desperately in need of funds; the Home for the Aged; the Talmud Torah and numerous other welfare institutions. During that visit Morris Radomsky distributed several thousand dollars given to him for this purpose by the Relief.
In 1936, another prominent and untiring Relief officer, Jack Diamond, and his wife Sadie, visited Radom. During their stay Jack helped establish in Radom a Gemilut Chesed Fund (non-profit loan association) and contributed to it his own $500 in addition to the contribution from the Relief treasury. Two years later, in 1938, Moshe Fuchs, secretary of the loan fund, reported in a letter that 1500 families had availed themselves of this service and received interest free loans.
During the Diamond's visit to Radom, at their own expense, they made a motion picture depicting life in Radom with special emphasis on the institutions being supported by the Relief. Little did they know at the time that this was their last glimpse of the great city before the onslaught of the German barbarians, and the film will be the only remaining proof of a Jewish Radom. It is, however, a matter of record that Jack Diamond had a vision of the approaching catastrophe and had warned the Jewish Community leaders accordingly, urging them to leave Poland en masse.
The Diamond film was later shown at meetings of Radomer organizations in the United States and Canada and was instrumental in increased fund collections. Jack Diamond later donated this film to the Yigun Yotzei Radom in Tel Aviv.
Up to this time the relief work was largely conducted by a small group of unselfishly devoted people under the guidance of Harry Katz. They lacked both the official recognition required and the complete cooperation of all the Radomer organisations. In 1935 the relief was reorganized to include delegates from virtually all Radomer groups. A letterhead from that. Indicates the following participating organisations:
Independent Radomer Aid Society
First Radomer Congregation
Independent Radomer Ladies Aid Society
Radomer Culture Centre, incorporated
Radomer Branch 369, Workmen's Circle
Radomer Branch 22, International W.O.
The name was then changed to United Radomer Relief and the offices officers were elected. J. Shotland was the first officially elected president.
In 1937, the Relief had expanded further through the joining of the Radomer Societies in Baltimore, Montreal and Toronto. It was then that a charter was secured from the New York State Government, under the name of United Radomer Relief for US and Canada, Inc.
In this connection credit is due to the Radomer Culture Centre in New York, and specifically to its long-time president, Charles Steinberg, who worked tirelessly to keep the Relief going. We can say, without hesitation, that at times it was the Radomer Culture Centre that carried almost the complete burden of relief work and administration. A few individuals, such as Morris Radomsky, Sam Grossfeld and Jack Diamond, never ceased in their dedication to the cause.
For better coordination, a 15 member committee had been set up in Radom, representing the community as a whole, including Radomer prominent citizens: M. Rubinstein, M. Fuchs, S. Kuraver, M. Den, I. Buchatzki, E. Tenenbaum, P.Weisbord, I. Zeigman, S. Eidelbaum, M. Rosenbaum, M. Rychtman, Bialski, Hertz and others. The records indicate that they did a wonderful job in their unselfish efforts to distribute the relief funds justly and without discrimination.
In 1938, at the threshold of World War Two, Morris Radomsky made another of his numerous trips to Radom. Before his departure a mass meeting took place at the Broadway Central in New York. Several thousand dollars were collected an entrusted to Radomsky for distribution in Radom, with specific amounts earmarked for each institution.
Doctors Kleinberger and Finkelstein of the Jewish Hospital in Radom pleaded with Radomsky for an X- Ray unit which they urgently needed and could not obtain in Poland.
Upon his return to New York, Radomsky went to work on the project and, with the assistance of Charles Steinberg, Sam Grossfeld and Jack Goldfleiss, collected about $2000 ($500 was contributed by the Baltimore, Maryland chapter) and the machine was purchased.
According to available correspondence it was the happiest day for the hospital personnel when the machine arrived in Radom. Doctor Kellerwurm took care of all the formalities for the Polish government and donated the cost of installation.
We need to underline, all the money collected was sent to the needy, not one cent went for administrative work.
The first chapter of the Relief story would not be complete without giving do credit to all those who at one time or another have contributed their time, talents and money, loyally serving the Relief cause:
Presidents: Jack Birenbaum, Harry Katz, Jack Schotland, Sam Grossfeld, Sam Potashnik, and Isaac Tenenbaum. The officers: Joe Belinsky, Joe Berkowitz, Sam Cohen, Jack Diamond, Victor Hochman, Harry Kestenberg, Nathan Kestenberg, Issy Kirsch, Max Korman, Hymie and Willy Mandelman, Harry Needle, Harry Pomerantz, Moshe and CharlesRadomsky, K. Seifman, Mrs. Segal, Mrs. Saidie Shpitzberg, Charlie Steinberg, Sam Stellman, Mrs. G. Wanger, Abraham Wigoda, Jack Goldfleiss.
by Shlomo Lifshitz
Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay
Shortly after the war, in September of 1945, a special national conference of the United Radomer Relief was called in Toronto. At this conference plans were laid out for great relief projects in aid of Radomers whose lives were spared, whether they were in Poland, Germany, Austria, France, Israel, Cyprus or wherever the ravages of war had dragged them to.
At the same conference the United Radomer Relief endorsed as its representative our own landsman, Sam[Shlomo] Lifschitz, who had been nominated by 25 Jewish organisations and by the Canadian Jewish Congress to go together with the late H. M. Caiserman (then general secretary of the Jewish Congress) as delegates to Poland, with the purpose of seeing first-hand the effects of the great tragedy that befell the Jews of Poland and to report back to the Radomer organisations and the whole Jewish community on the problems facing the victims, and the help they required.
Lipschitz and Caiserman spent 14 weeks in Poland and returned with news about Jewish men and women they never met, also bringing with them personal messages to many relatives and friends in Canada and the United States. Lipschitz reported to large meetings arranged by the United Radomer Relief in Toronto, Montreal, and New York and met with Radomer groups all over Canada and the United States during a tour which followed his mission to Europe.
His mission helped our relief to establish contact with the few Jews in Radom and other cities in Poland who had remained alive after the war. It also reunited many families who were able to resume correspondence interrupted by the war.
At that time, too, the United Radomer Relief was able to contact a large group of Radomers in Stuttgart, Germany, where they had been brought by the Germans as slave laborers, or were deported from other camps as the end of the war approached. Radomers in Stuttgart organized a committee that undertook important activity with the main purpose of normalizing the lives of our aggrieved kinsman.
At the same time, the campaign conducted by the Jewish people the world over for the immediate establishment of our own homeland in Israel was gathering momentum. The terrible experience of the war hardened the resolve of Jews the world over to win the right to national existence in their own state. No manner of terror perpetrated by the British occupation forces in Palestine could stem the tide of Jewish immigration to Palestine, which rose in a swell of yearning to realise a 2000 year-old dream. Among those who began the long but hopeful trek to Israel were hundreds of our own Radomer young men and women. Many of them joined the ranks of the Haganah and Palmach and paid with their lives for the liberation of the Jewish State.
This is the background for the work of United Radomer Relief in the post war years. With the war's end, American and Canadian restrictions on Jewish immigration from Europe were relaxed. Among the thousands that streamed into the United States and Canada were many Radomers and their families, and in their ranks, one could find many well- known community leaders from the old country, whom the American landsmen welcomed with open arms.
The post war activity of the United Radomer Relief concentrated on several areas:
Sending quick aid to those who had survived Hitlerism and urgently needed our help,
Help for Radomers who immigrated to Israel, as well as participation in the main struggle to establish, defend and safeguard the existence of the Jewish state.
Efforts to unite separated families, and if possible, to bring them to the United States and Canada, and to help Radomers who came to begin a new life on the American continent-especially in the first difficult years of their stay here.
An energetic committee was comprised of the following: A. Tenenbaum, president; Isidore Kirsh, vice- president; Charles Radomsky, treasurer; A. Masoff, protocol secretary; M. Korman, assistant to Finance Secretary Vigoda; as well as the prominent landsleit J. Diamond, Charles Steinberg, Morris Radomsky, Lipa Rubman, Victor Hochman, J. Berkovich, Willie and Hymie Mandelman, Malca Rubman, Sadie Rosenbaum, Nathan Anschein, Mendel Hoffmann, Abbie Glass, Benny Hoffman(Toronto); Yakov Hartman, Lozar Werk, Yechiel Popper(Montreal).
It is worth to illustrate, for example, a few facts of protocol from the meeting of May 1947: a sum of money was sent to Sweden. Two sisters, orphans, were brought over and got married and the Relief presented them with lovely gifts. A letter came from Italy, with a list of landsleit who needed help. In Brussels, a landsleit needed a car. A farewell banquet was organized for the guest from Paris, Shimon Zucker(Alfred Grant) who took the sum of six hundred dollars with him for an Orphans home In Paris. Notice was received from the important landsman Yehushe Rothenberg, who arrived from Stuttgart brought greetings from our landsleit. A project was discussed to publish a Radom Yiskor Book.
At a meeting in June 1947, shortly after, it was decided to send $300 to Stuttgart where the conditions of our Radomer landsleit worsened, then we needed to provide another $1000. A telegram arrived from Eretz-Israel asking for help for newly arrived Radomer immigrants. $500 was sent again to Stuttgart. Immediate help was given to newly arrived immigrants in America for living expenses, furniture and first necessities to settle in the country. Parcels were sent to the island of Cyprus.
All of this was done with love, with brotherhood, without discussion or disagreement, discreetly. This didn't deter the Relief to undertake other worthy tasks, such as sending funds for the Histadrut, Haganah and to buy a boat for Israel, and other projects.
In January 1948, a certain Mrs. Birenbaum from Radom, telephoned President Tenenbaum, who had been brought to the U.S. by a cousin, whose financial circumstances were not the best. Her husband, however, was still in Sweden, whose government refused to give him a visa. The Relief did everything possible and in July her husband came to New York with a transit- visa to Cuba.
However, he was detained by American immigration officials on Ellis Island and they wanted to send him back to Sweden. Tenenbaum intervened with influential personalities in Washington, the deportation proceedings were temporarily halted and the problem was thankfully resolved. Later, thanks to the Relief and President Tenenbaum, a special bill was passed in the U.S. Senate, allowing Birenbaum to enter the United States and the family was reunited. This was an achievement in which the U.R.R. took special pride. The Relief also helped to settle the Cigelman family from Camp Oswego-the camp established by President Roosevelt for the temporary settlement of the first refugees from Hitlerism, who reached the shores of the U.S. by boat. The Wexler family, one of the first war refugee families to arrive here without valid documents was helped with a great effort to obtain legal residence in New York.
March 17, 1949, new officials were elected: I. Kirsch was president, I. Tenenbaum, vice- president, M. Kirshenblatt, Finance Secretary A. Mossof and M. Korman, protocol secretaries Charles Steinberg, treasurer.
June 19 1949, a telegram from Dr. Zelitsky arrived, Yechiel Frankel and Moshe Rotenberg from Tel Aviv asking for 2000 pounds for Radomer immigrants, who are coming in droves from the camps to the Land. Their demands were met and all the help was directed to the state of Israel, where hundreds of food parcels and medicinal help was sent. Special help was given to save a sick child in Tel Aviv.
When the esteemed landsleit from Israel, Moshe Rotenberg and Chanina Margolit came to America for a visit, intimate ties were established with the Radomer Central Organization in Israel, the Irgun Yotzei Radom B' Israel. United Radomer Relief concentrated especially on aid to the Gemilut Hesed Kasse (Free Loan Bank) of the Irgun Yotzei Radom. This enabled the Free Loan Fund to expand its aid to Radomers through loans, and later by direct aid if it was impossible for a landsman to repay the loan.
The wave of immigration to the United States and Canada brought many experienced community leaders from the old country, and an urgent need for organisations for the new immigrants. This led to the formation of new Radomer organisations in different cities, such as a Radomer Mutual Society in New York, which grew rapidly and began to play a leading role in their Radomer community life. The Radomer Mutual Society also made a significant contribution to the work of the United Radomer Relief.
In 1956, at the suggestion of Radomer Mutual Aid delegates, the United Radomer Relief decided to take over the bulletin and issue a monthly paper. The editorship of the new paper was entrusted to our very capable landsmen, Alfred Lipson (Alter Lifschitz) who assumed his duties and began the work with great enthusiasm and devotion. The Radomer Shtime [Voice of Radom] was published for two years under the his editorship until July 1958, and it became more popular among the landsmen with each issue.
Lipson's health, however, made it impossible for him to continue as editor and in September 1958, by decision of the United Radomer Relief publication of the paper was moved to Toronto, Canada, under a committee of active landsmen, with Sam [Shlomo] Lifschitz, well known and experienced journalist, as editor. Since that time the paper has appeared regularly each month, in its new format, in eight, 10 an even 12 pages per issue. The recent Rosh Hashana edition was published in 48 pages. The circulation of the paper is growing. the Voice of Radom has proven to be the most effective tie between Radomers all over the world.
Another project for which the United Radomer Relief worked a long time was raising funds for its memorial book. Preparations for the project went through many stages since its inception in 1949 and were eventually begun in a very constructive way, in cooperation with the committee in Israel.
The fine work of our landsman J. Rotenburg who began to collect materials for the book at the very beginning of the project with the aid of other landsmen, deserve special mention here. We also note the contribution of President Isadore Kirsch, who through constant prodding and encouragement, never slackened his efforts to ensure the success of the project.
Special recognition is to Radomer Cultural Center in New York and the First Radomer Congregation, whose members paid the tax of $10 each towards the Memorial Book; to the Radomer Mutual Society in New York for its large contribution, and the Radomer organisations in Toronto, Montreal, Miami Detroit and other cities, who have contributed so generously toward the realization of this invaluable project.
The United Radomer Relief gave moral support to the Radomer organizations in their project of erecting monuments to the 30,000 martyrs of the Radom community. The Radomer Mutual Society, New York erected on cemetery grounds, in Pinelawn, Long Island, an imposing structure, which was unveiled in September 1961. Likewise, at the initiative of the B'nai Radom and Vicinity, a monument was erected in Toronto, Canada, on September 2, 1962, on the 20th anniversary of the mass extermination of the Radomer Jews by the Nazis.
Memorial monuments are now nearing completion in Montreal, Canada and Detroit, Michigan, sponsored by the respective local Radomer groups.
Another achievement which does honor to the United Radomer Relief is the recent founding of the Gemilut Hesed Bank in Israel, carrying the name of the Diamond family. The fund is under the jurisdiction and management of the Irgun Yotzei Radom B'Israel.
This new institution to aid Radomers came into being as a result of the very noble and generous deed by our beloved landsman and his wife, Jack and Sadie Diamond. The Gemilut Hesed Kasse[ bank] will give loans to Radomer landsmen in need, without interest. The capital is provided by the contribution which the Diamonds made for this purpose: $25,000 to be paid out over a period of 22 years.
Jack Diamond is honorary president of the United Radomer Relief. He was one of the founders of the organization in 1917. He is the founder of the Radomer Relief Club in Miami. He has been active for many years both in the Relief and the First Radomer Congregation. He is one of the founders of the Radomer Culture Centre in New York. His wife, Sadie, beloved and highly regarded by all, is also actively helping the Radomer Relief and is affiliated organizations. With these funds of $25,000, Jack and Sadie Diamond demonstrated an example of their openhearted devotion, with everything they undertook.
The following organisations are affiliated with the United Radomer Relief for USA and Canada:
Radomer Independent Aid society, New York
Radomer Ladies Independent Aid Society, New York
First Radomer Congregation, New York
Radomer Culture Centre, New York, and it's Ladies Auxiliary
Radomer Mutual Aid, New York
Radomer Mutual Aid Society, Montreal, Canada
B'nai Radom and Vicinity, Toronto, Canada
Radomer Mutual Benefit Society and Ladies Auxiliary, Toronto, Canada
Radomer Relief Club of Greater Miami, Miami, Florida
Radomer Mutual Society, Detroit, Michigan
Radomer Relief Organization, Wayland [Massachusetts]
Radomer Mutual Cooperative Credit Society
Radomer Young Men's Society, Toronto and ladies Auxiliary
by Shlomo Lifshitz
Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay
J. Diamond-honorary president; I. Kirsch-president; J. Birenbaum-vice president; Mania Goldman-Finance Secretary; H. Mandelman-treasurer; J. Glass-protocol secretary; L. Rubman-correspondence secretary. Members-L. Altman, J. Berkovich, H. Berger, S. Cohen, A. Danziger, M. Friedland, Chana Goldberg, V. Hochman, M. Korman, A. Lifson, A. Mossof, W. Mandelman, M. Rutman, Malca Rubman, Anna Ruben, M. Rosenbaum, Charles Steinberg, Sadie Steinberg, P. Werber, P. Weisbard, J. Zeigman.
In Toronto: Sholem Rosenbaum-president; Benny Hoffman-vice president; Uszer Ackerman-Finance Secretary; A. Glass-correspondence secretary; M. Hoffman-treasurer; Yonah Cohen-trustee; S. Lifschitz-editor of the Radomer Shtime; N. Anschein and I. Abramovitch-executive members.
In Montreal: L. Werk-president; M. Kirshenblatt-vice president; H. Firstenberg-protocol secretary; Anne Zeidman-treasurer; V. Morenstein-trustee; Yechiel Popper-secretary. Executive members: I. Brandwein, P. Gisser, H. Gutman, I. Gutman, I. Linzen, D. Mandalbaum, M. Putershnidt, M. Zuker, Luba Werk, Mrs. Puttershnit.
In Miami: J. Diamond-honorary president, M Weitzman-president, M. Seifman-vice president, Anna Sir-secretary, I. Hofengarten-protocol secretary, K. Seifman-treasurer. Executive members: A. Sir, I. Goldberg, Sadie Diamond, Millie Weitzman, Jean Zeifman, Bayla Hofengarten, G. Goldberg, P. Schiffman, Shirley Schiffman, Sarah Lichter.
In Vineland: M. Birenbaum-president, M. Maltz-vice president, I. Rottenberg-secretary, M. Krol-treasurer, M. Cohen-representative of Kozhenitser landsleit, G. Lederman-representative of the Shidlovtser landsleit.
These are the following active and meritorious Relief Workers who left us too soon:
Issac Tenenbaum, Yacov [Jacob] Hartman, Yechiel Goldberg, Henoch Pomerantz, Morris and Charles Radomsky, Nathan Kestenberg, Motel Kerstein, Hymie Rutman.
May their memories be a blessing
By Samuel Grossfeld
Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay
Fifty years of history of the Workmen's Circle of the Jewish worker and townfolk in America: a story of ideological aspirations and courageous struggles.
The Jewish immigrant who had arrived on American soil, found himself in a strange environment, with a strange language, strange customs and dark tenement buildings and furthermore, in dark sweat-shops with merciless exploitation, where he felt disappointed, lonely and lost. Every immigrant understood that lonely, helpless and desperate he will remain as an individual and that only with common strength is it possible to improve the conditions and make it easier to succeed. We need to organize, create a union, an institution.
And so the lonely immigrants began to organize and create their own institutions and landmanschafts: this is how the Unions and the Workmen's Circle were created; and so in the beginning of 1911, the foundation for the Radomer Workmen's Circle, Branch 369 was created.
The founding meeting took place in the month of March in the House of Mote Jacobs, and called by him, Sam Grossfield, Menasha Keiler and Issac Tenenbaum. Then arrived Sam Rubin, Jon Korman, Jacob Yudkovitch, Nathan Feldman, Emmanuel Jacob, Max Fogelbaum, Max Eidleman, Morris Frier. The first members were then elected: Sam Grossfield as Chairman, Joe Korman-Finance Secretary, Menasha Kieler-Protocol Secretary, Max Jacobs-Treasurer, Morris Frier-Hospitality.
We shall present here the members who devoted themselves to our branch, as many as I can remember: Joe, Idel and Morris Blatt, Jack Cohen, Harry and Joseph Donovich, Harry Flamenbaum, W. and Avraham Fishman, Isador and Moshe Henik, Benny and Leib Bornstein, Harry Blutstein, Rudolph and Saul Grossfield, Harry and Getros Rosentweig, Charles Rubman, Morris Stone, Max Stern, Charles Steinberg, Jack Diamond, Alex Silverberg, Charles Rosenberg, Morris Weitzman, Pelta and Jack Yudkevitch, Benny Zelker, Isador Lifschitz, Leizer Yehoushe Gutman, Morris Silver, Benny Weisenberg, Willie
Hammerstein, Sam Korik, Isador Korman, Charles Lederman, Sam Popper, Vigdor Hoffman and so and so, all-with their families. At the time of our 15- year Jubilee our Branch had 175 members.
The members of Branch 369 then were: Chairman Jack Cohen, Finance Secretary Berish Weisberg, Protocol Secretary Getras Rosentweig, Hospitality- Charles Steinberg and Treasurer Max Jacobs. To organize the 15-year Jubilee the following participated: Jack Cohen, Ruben Margolin, Harry Rosentweig, Morris Stern, Getra Rosenstweig and Sam Grossfield as Chairman. The members of the executive: Ruben Margolin, Sam Grossfield, A. Masoff, Harry Rosentweig and Charles Steinberg. We also have to mention the old member Jacob Cohen. Our meetings were well attended and new members kept arriving, like: Morris Haberman, Nathan Haberman, Isador Wineman, Charles Lederman, Morris Jaeger, David Goldberg and others. Besides the previously mentioned, the following played an active role: Isador and Moshe Henick, Morris Haberman, Benny Berenstein, Isador Aronsohn, Pelti Yudkevitch, Rudolph Grossfield, Isador Lifschitz, Morris Weitzman.
We, the Radomer Branch 369 need to be proud that together with other branches in the entire country built the gorgeous modern Workers Circle building with its large, lovely and well-outfitted departments: Medical Department, Social Service Department, a modern Sanatorium, a network of hundreds of Worker Circle schools across the country, a beautiful Retirement-Home for older members. We also took part in the founding of the Jewish Workers Commission and our achievements are well-known in many areas.
In the last 10 years, between the 40th and 50th Jubilee, a change took place in our Radomer Worker's Circle Branch: many dear, devoted members eventually died and we feel great heartache from this loss. Others, left New York and settled in other cities of our large country. So, for example, our treasurer Billy and Sadie Fishman settled in Canada; our dear Amelia and Moshe Weitzman (the Protocol Secretary) went to Florida. but the work still continues. Avraham Fishman is elected as protocol secretary and P. Phillips-as treasurer.
In 1958 our Branch honored me at my 70th birthday celebration.
I was heartily greeted by representatives and friends from all the Radomer organisations. The 50-year work was then celebrated, to which I devoted many years to our Branch 369. And in the same year, I also, together with my wife, children and grandchildren, left New York and settled in Florida.
But the work of Radomer Workers' Circle Branch 369 becomes again energized and I hope that the younger generation will continue to serve the golden rings, which we started.
by Yisroel Glat
Translated by Janie Respitz
The Radom Mutual Society in New York is the youngest of all Radom organizations. Before its establishment there were already six Radom societies, a few with over fifty years of experience and activity. They provided colossal financial aid for our hometown until the Holocaust and after for those who survived the Nazi hell,
After the war some of the survivors from Radom came to relatives in America. However a small amount of the new arrivals succeeded in becoming involved in the existing Radom organizations where there relatives were members. A few active communal workers from our old home became active in our New York organizations.
The majority of the recent arrivals remained outside the framework of our societies, although objectively speaking, our organizations did everything to attract them. Their reasons were varied, but the main reason, of course was their social situation. It takes time for a new immigrant to get settled economically, feel comfortable and at home with the customs of their new homeland.
There were also psychological reasons. Before a new immigrant feels integrated economically and has command of the language, he feels insecure. He suffers from a minority complex and does not feel equal with everyone in his new surroundings which stops him from getting involved with societal problems.
In addition the new immigrants arrived in larger groups which were in contact among themselves and therefore did not feel the need to look for
social contact with the old established townsfolk. In certain cases when there were connections, there were numerous misunderstandings.
This situation lasted for almost ten years, until 1955 when Khanina Margolit came to visit from Israel. A group of new immigrants came to a consultation to discuss how we can organize ourselves to help our townsfolk in Israel and other countries who were in need of help. They came to discuss how to hold a memorial for our destroyed hometown and how to create a comfortable family atmosphere for all who survived the horrific Nazi hell.
This group consisted of these new arrivals from Radom: Lozer Hokhnboym, Yakov Zaydman, Meir Pasternak, Henry Korman, Leyb Ratshimore, Lipe Rubman, Meir Tantzman, Shaul Veynberg, Meir Rubman of blessed memory and our guest from Israel, Khanina Margolit. They decided to call a meeting for a larger group of new arrivals of Radom townsfolk. This meeting took place on May 5th 1955 in Terrace Garden 2145 Boston Road in the Bronx. About 40 peopled attended and decided to create an organization of the newly arrived townsfolk.
A provisional committee was elected: Lozer Hokhnboym chairman, Alter Lipman vice chairman, Henry Korman finance secretary, Yakov Zaydman treasurer, Leybl Ratshimare recording secretary. The following sat on the executive: Lipe Rubman, Meir Pasternak, Meir Tantzman, Raymond Shyer, Binyomin Elis, Sol Veynberg, Leo Birnboym of blessed memory and Itche Meir Mozof of blessed memory.
The idea of creating a new organization was enthusiastically received among the new immigrants and they joined in great numbers.
A charter was issued called: Radom Mutual Society Inc.
The official celebratory opening of the society took place on Saturday, October 29th 1955 in Rentschool (7 East 15th Street, Manhattan). Around 500 townsfolk from Radom came to this meeting. There was a celebratory mood. At this time they elected a legitimate board with Lozer Hokhnboym as president. They bought plots in the New Montefiore Cemetery on Long Island. They had regular meetings once a month with cultural content. Various committees were elected for culture, economic administration, cemetery and other undertakings. There was a strong relationship with the United Radom Relief to which they sent representatives. They also decided to publish a bulletin to inform people about the activities of the new society.
The success of the bulletin was surprising. They had to enlarge it and publish it in the form of a newspaper which was even more successful. The bulletin was transformed into a newspaper which appeared once a month called The Radom Voice. Alfred Lipson was chosen as the editor.
The society grew from month to month. Every meeting there were new members from the new arrivals. They created a constitution to regulate the activities and carry out voted on decisions. Officials were elected every year and later it was decided that a president will be elected every two years.
For 1956-1957 Alfred Lipson was president.
For 1957- 1958 Lipe Rubman was president.
For 1958 1960 Meir Rutman was president.
Today, (in the cadence year 1960-61) the following are on the executive of the Radom Mutual Society:
Raymond Shyer president.
Lozer Hokhnboym and Yisroel Glat vice presidents.
Yakov Verber finance secretary.
Leybl Altman treasurer.
Max Mareh recording secretary.
George Abramovitch - correspondence secretary.
The following are active on the board (except for Leon Birnboym of blessed memory who we lost):
Henry Berger, Motl Fridland, Mania Goldman, Abbe Konsker, Stanley Krakovsky, Moishe Krul, Sol Lipson, Barry Mandel, Lipe Rubman, Max Roznboym, Harry Rutman, Meir Rutman, Jack Zaydman, and Peysakh Vaysbord.
Over a period of 5 years the society grew to become the largest and most active of all the Radom organizations in America. Today the society has 250 members. It is also most active in the undertakings of Radom Relief.
All the meetings of the society transform into celebrations. They are also connected to traditional holidays and family celebrations of its members.
Chanukah is dedicated to the children. This is one of the most beautiful manifestations in the life of the society. On this day children are their parent's bosses the guests the children run the rich program exhibiting their talents and receiving Chanukah gelt. (Money)
The anniversary of the Uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto (the 27th of Sivan) is tied in to the anniversary of marking the death of our six million martyrs which is commemorated every year.
The commemoration on the anniversary of the death of our Radom martyrs, January 13th is organized together with the Relief.
Every year we celebrate Israel's Independence Day.
New Year's parties have been become a yearly tradition and their success increases every year. This is a family holiday for Jews from Radom in New York but Jews from Radom come from different cities.
Our greatest holiday is Liberation Day which is celebrated with a ball every year in May. In the early days of May, 1945, we were liberated from Hitler's hell.
We play an active role in all the events of the United Radom Relief and raise money for the Radom Memorial Book and the newspaper The Radom Voice. We do not stand back from helping Israel and we are successful in selling Israeli Bonds.
A historical important accomplishment was the erecting a memorial monument for our Radom martyrs.
Sunday July 6th 1959 (in the home of Peysakh Vaysbord) a meeting took place with the cemetery committee and active society members. The following participated: Peysakh Vaysbord, Yisroel Glat, Libe Rubman, Yerakhmiel Shyer, Yakov Verber, Lozer Hokhnboym, Jack Zaydman and Meir Pasternak. They decided on the appearance of the monument and how to collect the funds. To achieve this goal we sold bricks. At $25 a brick everyone from our town could inscribe and perpetuate the names of those nearest and dearest.
The following sat on the monument committee: Peysakh Vaysbord, Yakov Verber, Motl Fridland, Yisroel Glat, Meir Rutman, Lipe Rubman, Yerakhmiel Shyer, Lozer Hokhnboym, Yakov Zaydman and Max Roznboym. Those who participated in the meeting began the process with their own donations. In total: one thousand dollars.
Given that other Radom organizations had a negative attitude toward the idea of a monument, the Radom Mutual Society we forced to realize this project on their own. The townsfolk actually took on this project enthusiastically and supported it. All the bricks were quickly sold and the committee was forced to enlarge the monument to give more Jews from Radom the opportunity to buy a brick to perpetuate the names of the martyrs from their families. Over 2,000 names of Radom martyrs are inscribed on the monument.
The foundation stone was laid in July 1960 in the cemetery of the Mutual Society in New York with hundreds of our townsfolk in attendance.
On September 17th 1961 the unveiling of the monument took place with representatives from all Radom organizations in the States and Canada, over five hundred of our townsfolk.
The monument will tell generations about our sacred community of Radom and about the tragic extermination of its three thousand Jews.
This is a brief history of the youngest Radom organization in New York which is called:
Radom Mutual Society Inc.
This report was written by Yisroel Glat and approved by the board of the: Radom Mutual Society Inc. in New York).
Radom Mutual Benefit Society in Toronto
Translated by Janie Respitz
The Society was founded in January 1925 by these townspeople: Abie Glas, S. Rozenberg of blessed memory, M. Borenshteyn, S. Blat, Aron Lifshitz, P. Blat, Y. Goldshteyn of blessed memory. A few months later a charter was issued and they organized a banquet attended by 50 members. They soon collected a sum of 500 dollars to purchase a cemetery. A women's society and a literary committee were formed whose task was keeping our meetings interesting. A relief committee was created as well as other committees which worked together harmoniously.
Our society quickly became active in communal life. We participated in labour conferences and elected special committees to strike conferences. We created a Relief Fund which in 1929 helped 75 families with money, food, clothing and medicine. The following were active in this work: Issie Green, A.Glas, M.Glas, Kh. V. Glas, A. Eydelman, Sam Rozenberg of blessed memory, Harry Tcheyrovskly, and Jay Goodman. Later this work was done by the Charity Federation.
In 1932 we bought our own building at 210 Beverly Street and in September we celebrated the opening. The whole city participated in our celebration. We marched through the streets of Toronto with banners and music. The Yiddish newspaper Di Yidishe Velt (The Jewish World), edited by H.M Kirshenboym of blessed memory dedicated a special edition to our activities and many community workers sent us greetings. Our Ladies' Auxiliary which does wonderful communal and philanthropic work, decorated our building tastefully. At this time we organized a campaign which gave nice loans and helped all of our members who were in need in the friendliest and finest manner. It also insured our members in times of unemployment, illness, in needy and tragic times.
When we run through all of our protocols, we see how much we participated in all Jewish events and which local general institutions we supported and continue to support: the Brunswick Talmud Torah, the Euclid Avenue Talmud Torah, the Peretz Schools, the Workman's Circle Schools, the Borokhov School. For Israel: the Palestine Fund, the Jewish Agency, Youth Aliya, Aid for Israel, United Jewish Welfare Fund, United Palestine Appeal, the Labour Union Campaign (Histadrut), Worker's Sanatorium, Pioneer Women. We are listed in the books of all the city hospitals. During the war we regularly supported: The Canadian Red Cross, The Jewish Red Congress Servicemen's Club, The Evening Telegram British War Victim's Fund, The Daily Star Bomb Victim's Fund, Aid to Russia, The Chinese War Relief, The Fund to Provide Food for Passover, The United People's Aid Conference and many others.
Our society was proud to be the founder of the The Canadian Association of Polish Jews and the aid society for Jews from Radom over seas. In 1937, when the United Radom Relief in New York approached us with a call to help our brothers in our hometown, we helped as much as possible. We laid the cornerstone of the Polish Association and helped to build the Young Men's Branch under the leadership of J. Goodman and our members: Carol Green, Eddie Lofer, Ted Shvimer, Morris Shvimer, Molly Silverman, and Sam Goldman. In 1948 the Young Women's Branch was founded and Mrs. Hornfield was elected chairlady and Moly Shvimer as finance secretary.
In 1955 The Radom Mutual Benefit Society celebrated its 30th anniversary and published a magnificent souvenir album for which we withdrew from our account.
by Yekhiel Popper Popielnik
Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay
The society was founded in 1941 by: Moishe Rozntzveyg, Moishe Burshteyn, Leybl Kirshteyn of blessed memory, Avrom Vayntroyb, Moishe Tzuker, Jack Boyman, Velvl Morgnshteyn, Nakhman Lozer Verktzeyg, and Max Kayler. The following were elected to the executive: Yakov Hartman - president, Sam Eydelboym - vice president, Yosl Blaykhman finance secretary, Max Giser of blessed memory recording secretary. Member of the women's auxiliary on the executive: Libe Verktzeyg, Mrs. Putershnit, Mrs. Heft, Mrs. Burshteyn, Mrs. Tenenboym, Soreh Silvershteyn, and the family Khane, Lilly and Perl Kirshteyn.
At that time I was the secretary of the Jewish Workers Committee from which I resigned in order to join the organization of Radom Jews in Montreal. A little later I received the position of finance secretary.
Yakov Hartman of blessed memory, the eldest member and president was devoted to the work of the society with heart and soul, with work and financial support. Although he was over seventy, and in poor health, cold and storms did not stop him from fulfilling his tasks as president. He came to Canada with his young, beautiful, kind-hearted wife Soreleh in 1904. As all immigrants at that time he experienced a difficult period. But this also did not stop him from communal activity. He received a Torah scroll and had a quorum for prayer in his house, and later was one of the people who created the present Polish synagogue Hadas Kodesh Adas Yeshurun. He was a father to all the survivors from Hitler's hell that came to Montreal. He was taken from us on April 25th 1958 at the age of 74, leaving six children, twelve grandchildren, six great grandchildren and his dear wonderful wife Soreleh who helped with the work of the Aid Society. Yakov Hartman was one of our most loyal volunteers. May his memory be perpetuated.
Other active members were take from us like:
Mordkhai Giser of blessed memory. He was the recording secretary for many years.
Shmuel Eydelboym of blessed memory, who came from a concentration camp. It was not fated for him to rejoice with us for long. Leyzer Kirshteyn of blessed memory was a very active member.
Mrs. Bayle Korman of blessed memory, the beloved mother of our society, was never stingy with her time or money for the society. Her children, may they live many years, inherited their mother's good values: the daughters Libe Verktzeyg, and Khaya Brokha Volofsky and her sons Sholem and Leyb Korman are exemplary communal activists and generous contributors. May the exemplary communal worker Bayle Korman of blessed memory be perpetuated in our Radom Book.
Our society was involved in the Jewish Congress and the Association of Polish Jews, participated in the Combined Jewish Appeal, the Combined Palestine Appeal and local aid operations like contributions for providing Passover necessities for the poor and others. After the Holocaust we received requests from survivors from our town and we helped them generously. We helped a group of sisters from Radom who survived and were in Sweden. Shloime Lipshitz, Mr. Schweitzman, and Dr. Yosef Tenenboym visited Poland and we sent $1,300 with them. We gave 500 dollars to the company run by Dr. Zomershteyn for an orphanage in Paris, collected by Shimon Fishman. Another 1,500 dollars was sent to Jews from Radom in camps on the Island of Cyprus. We are in regular contact with The Society of Jews from Radom in Israel and we respond to all their requests. We helped to publish The Radom Voice as well as this Radom Book.
Besides the aid we send abroad we help our members with short term no interest loans. The ones that benefit most are the new arrivals.
The present executive of the Radom Aid Society in Montreal consists of: Nakhman Lozer Verk president, Godl Zaydman vice president, Khaim Gutman finance secretary, Yekhiel Popper recording secretary, Moishe Kirshenblat, Velvl Morenshteyn trustee. Executive members: Menashe Tzuker, Yosl Linzon, Yisroel Brandvayn, Meir Harry Popielnik, M. Putershnit, Godl Zaydman, Pinkhas Giser, Yisroel Mandlboym, Hershl Birnboym and Mrs. Verk. The women's auxiliary: Mrs. Putershnit (Smule Shoykhat's sister), Mrs. Libe Verktzayg, Mrs. Kh. Gutman, Mrs. Mashe Sosne, Mrs. P. Giser, and Mrs. M. Mandlboym.
Translated by Janie Respitz
The Sons of Radom in Toronto was created by new, post war immigrants who slowly settled in and began a new life and did not forget their brothers and sisters who had not yet arrived at any shore and were not yet standing on their own feet. These new immigrants were the last generation born in Radom, from where they brought the tradition of communal work.
The organizing meeting took place in September 1950 in the home of Yishayahu Kuprus. A board was elected with H. Goldman as chairman, Kh. Roznboym secretary, Y. Kuprus and T. Lederman treasurers, and members: Yitzkhak Berneman and Sam Veysberg. It was decided not to raise money through collections but rather events. During our three years of existence we raised a nice bit of money which was used for individual help for needy townspeople in Israel and other countries.
We gave 1,700 dollars to a townsman whose child was very sick. We sent 400 dollars to the Association of Radom Jews in Israel. We supported the Radom Voice.
Our wish is, to remain in contact with all the Radom organizations and be a part of our large beautiful Radom family, since we are all Sons of Radom.
The Radomer Centre in Melbourne
by Shmuel [Samuel] Benett
Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay
The first immigrant families that arrived in Australia from Radom were the Kormans, Shusters, Holtzkeners, Gutstats, Benetts, Tenenbaums, Glatts and others. Their organized activities began only after the Second World War, each forging their own livelihood, until news from survivors of the Nazi camps reached the Australian continent. No one has ever imagined to organize a Landsmanschaft organization.
At first, after the Second World War [Holocaust], when a few survivors from Radom were concentrated in Stuttgart, Mrs. Bennett was the first to receive a letter from the survivors. With this letter, Mrs. Feiga Bennett initiated with all the Radomers in Melbourne a Rescue Committee, sharing the news about their relatives, she began raising funds to send food- parcels to the survivors.
Only in 1946 was the Radomer Landsmanshaft Organization founded and the initiators formed a committee: Mr. Glatt as chairman, H. Tenenbaum as vice chairman, Holtzkener as treasurer, S. Bennet as secretary. Mrs Bennett, Koifman and Maloch were committee members.
They soon decided to undertake an energetic Rescue Committee for our refugees in Stuttgart and to forge contacts with other relief organisations in Paris, America and Canada.
The most important work was to send food- parcels to Radom and to found an immigrant committee who received a list from Stuttgart with over 300 names. We received a large number of immigration permits and in the years 1943 [perhaps the year is wrong] to 1950 and many Jews from Radom arrived in Melbourne.
The first General Assembly took place April 1, 1948 in which many of the newcomers were present.
The Center in Melbourne played an important role in Melbourne society with its own Relief Fund Representative, Landsmanschaft Association, Culture-Congress, Gemilut Hesed and so on.
When a larger number of immigrants arrived we decided to buy our own building where we could help the newly arrived immigrants overcome their initial difficulties [so they could forge a new beginning and heal]. The first house we bought was in 1950 at 208 Williams Road, where many new immigrants found a temporary home. But eventually they outgrew it due to the influx of Radomers. Then we bought a second house on 50 Williams Rd, thanks to the personal guarantees offered by the Committee members, especially Mrs. H. Tenenbaum.
Thanks to the influence of Mrs. Benett, a miraculously saved Torah- Scroll from Radom was brought from Israel. The Torah Scroll was sent from Israel to the centre in Melbourne. A special thanks to Lazer Fishman and Avrom Fuks; at the impressive ceremony dedicating the transfer of the Sefer Torah in the Caulfield School- all the rabbis, leading personalities of all the organizations and all the Landsleit from Radom participated. A General Assembly takes place each year and a new list of officers are announced.
The Center enthusiastically undertook the project to memorialize the memory of the 30,000 Radomer victims with a Memorial-Hall of Radom in Israel, a monument to the Jewish community destroyed by the Nazis.
In May 1951, a message came from Germany sending material for the indictment of SS man Conrad Buchmeir [Konrad Buchmayer] who murdered thousands of Jews in Radom. We sent the material to the appropriate authorities [The Committee collected testimonies to be presented at the trial].
The Radomer Center in Melbourne was one of the first organizations to join in the campaign for the United Israel Fund and thereby set an example for other organisations.
The center took on the task to bring as many of the refugees to Australia, to help them integrate and re-establish their lives. They accomplished their task.
Now new tasks stand before us, we have fresh plans which we look forward to with responsibility.
The committee with the officers of the Radom Centre in Melbourne in 1959 were the following: president, Chaim Tenenbaum; vice- presidents, Motel Korman and Naftali Hendel; treasurer- [Yerachmiel] Roman Borenstein; secretary, Shmuel Benett. Committee members were Feiga-Ruchel Benett, Sol [ek] Tenenbaum, M. Lichtenstein, Schmuel Migdalek, Avraham Przedborski, Israel Frenkel, Berish Zucker and his wife.
Society Les Amis de Radom in Paris
by Chaim Leib Huberman
Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay
It is now 40 years since the Society of friends from Radom was established in Paris. The years 1923- 1925 brought a wave of immigration from Radom; the new immigrants banded together for mutual assistance in their quest for quarters and jobs. Though the Radomers in Paris differed sharply in their political affiliations, they were able to enlist many members to work together within the non- partisan framework of the Society.
Our Radomer colony in Paris appeared soon after the First World War. Among the first were: Yechiel Milman, Seifman, Nathan and Chaim Leib Huberman. Shortly afterwards, Chaim Rosenfeld, Naftali Goldfarb, Yitzhak Birenbaum and Alpert arrived. We soon discovered several families that arrived in Paris during the revolutionary years of 1905- 1906. These families were Shevitsky and Waks (the women were daughters of Zarach Melamed) who helped us according to their means and we found among them a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
In the years of 1923- 1925, a larger stream of Radomers arrived in Paris because it was easier to settle and obtain work. The time was ripe to organize a landsmanshaft, everyone came with their own partisan-appetites, but they still managed to organize an impartial landsmanschaft, with the neutral name Friends of Radom. In the provisional committee the members were; Millman, Huberman, Shevitzki, Kadishevich, Rosenfeld, Yitzhak Birenbaum, Alpert, and Abraham Seigman. Although there were several hundred Radomers in Paris, we barely managed to attract 50 members. Besides the above mentioned, the committee attracted Naftali Goldfarb, Chaim Anshel Weitzman and Dovid Luxemburg. Later, Dr. Reichman joined, who became president and Huberman, vice president.
Many societies in Paris had their own burial places, because in Paris there were many hardships to bury the dead.
We didn't have such a burial-place, because many members were opposed to buying such a place, claiming, that we were not a Chevra Kadisha. A problem in 1926 took us by surprise when Joseph Kadishavich's wife, Esther died; she helped him in his secretarial position in the society.
However, we organized an impressive funeral and soon afterwards began to look for our own cemetery grounds. All the Radomers voluntarily paid and the plot was bought under the name of Jacob Reich. Not long afterwards, another disaster occurred that shattered us. We lost one of our dearest and devoted members: Yechiel Milman.
In the years 1936-1937, great misfortunes occurred and the illegal immigrants suffered greatly. We then organized a relief society with the name, Society for the Radomers in Need, offering the immigrants help with lawyers, getting them out of jail, and for those who were no longer able to remain in France- helping them with exit visas to go to other countries.
Later, both societies, the Friends and the Needy, as well as the Radomer Patronate, united into one society with over 200 members, under the direction of Aaron Luxemburg. Many successful ventures were carried out and an Aid and Loan-Kasse [bank] was organized. We gave medical assistance and had our own doctor. We organized culture and entertainment evenings. Our representatives were everywhere, wherever Jewish interests lie. All the Radomer kinsman in Paris and in the province maintain a tight contact with us.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, many of our members were mobilized and many escaped to the Free Zone of France. In 1942, during the great deportations and roundups, we all needed to hide. Our dear and active committee members Abraham Seigman, Yacov Milman, Yoel Shneider, Spielfogel, Smutek, Israel Eli Weintroib, and Sholem Shlomovitch were murdered.
After the nightmarish war years, we returned broken. Our homes, stores, factories were occupied by others and all our belongings were looted. In addition, most families were no more or had been torn apart and we cried for our nearest and dearest. Nevertheless, we began to rebuild our lives and renew our activities. The Society then renewed its activities by helping the orphans and widows of Radomers who lost their lives during the war. The organization undertook a concerted effort, mostly through the courts, in order to regain the apartments and shops confiscated during the Nazi occupation. This was done by: Joseph Kadishavitch, Jacob Reich, Moshe Weisbard, Huberman, David Luxemburg, Birenbaum, Pesakavitch, Etner, Naftali Goldfarb, and the newly-arrived members, Simon Fishman, Moshe Epstein, and Israel Gringer. Our first aid was for widows and orphans of those deceased, many weak children we sent to convalescent camps.
As lives began to normalize, a permanent committee was elected at a general meeting, with Simon Fishman as president. The organization then faced a new challenge- the immigration of survivors of the Nazi death camps. On a section of the Jewish cemetery we erected a venerable monument in honor of the Radomer Saints which is one of the most beautiful monuments that landsmanshaft-organizations have erected in Paris.
To this day, the society Friends of Radom is one of the most prominent in Paris. We participate in all the relief work in Jewish France and for the benefit of Israel. The society already exists for 36 years and we hope we are fortunate that it will continue to grow with many accomplishments and that we will be able to celebrate proudly and our 50- year Jubilee.
Translated by Anita Frishman Gabbay
In January 1931 a movement in Paris to help the arrested in Poland was created, the same time a founding-meeting to organize the Radomer Patronate took place in the home of Shmuel Leib Goldman, on the Belleville. The following attended: Itzik Friedman, Hershel Rosentsweig, Feiga-Leia Rosentsweig, Shia and Mordechai Rosentsweig, Note and Chaia Sara Waksman, Abish Beitchman, Meir Rubinstein, Yosek Blicher, Lola Schiffman, Aron Alboim, Itche Ferst from Pshtick, Hershel Glass and Nudelman from Shidlove, Dovid Trup from Koschenitz and Michalke Lerman from Skarshisk. All of these people served the Patronate on behalf of the political detainees from Radom and its environs, who wallowed in a Polish prisons. Hershel Rosentweig was the secretary. The Radomer Patronate belonged to the United Patronate-Movement, a division of the international Red Cross for victims of the fascism in Europe.
The collected money that we sent to Radom, to the team, or directly to the arrested in the prisons,
from who sent us letters which we published in our bulletins. We consistently received calls for help from Radom and our involvement (thanks to the arrival of new Polish immigrants) constantly grew. Overtime, known members of the landsmanshaft, like: Yitzhak Birenbaum, Adolf Zeigman, Abish Leib Peisahkovitch, became devoted members of the Patronate. They helped collect money and spread the sorrowful news about our home-town. Later new members arrived like Chaim and Melech Isenmann, Efroim Lipzer, Israel Etner, Moshe Epstein, Issachar Funk, Avraham Stravchinsky and Simon Zucker (Alfred grant) who helped to strengthen our goals. The last one became General- Secretary of all the Patronates.
After the Pshitiker pogrom, an agreement was made between the Patronates and the landsmenshafts.
The Radomer Patronate held guardianship over all the politically persecuted landsleit, who arrived here illegally and needed housing and work papers. It intervened in the League for Human Rights, with left- leaning deputies, city councilmen, socialists and communists.
After years of working together, the landsleit of the Patronate began negotiations to unite and join the landsmanshaft, the negotiations were conducted by its members Etner, Friedman, Lehrman Michalca and Israel. Partaking in the society were our friends Peisahkovitch, Yitzhak Birenbaum, Zeigman, Jack Reich, Moishe Weisbard, Joseph Kadishavitch, and Shia Luxemburg. The unification took place in the beginning of 1938 and from then on, the former Patronate-members were among the most active members in the Lansmanshaft.
by Moishe Epshteyn
Translated by Janie Respitz
The undertaking to rebuild our townsfolk societies after the war in 1946 took place with the registration of all Jews from Radom in Paris. We declared the need to collect money on the spot and turned to our townsfolk in America for help. At that time, Shimon Fishman went to New York where he tried to hasten the aid. In 1946 we began to distribute Matzah for Passover for the needy which has remained a tradition until today. We added 1,000 francs to every package which was a lot of money. We began to give out small loans not refusing any request. Shimon Fishman took it upon himself to raise a child of Radom parents who was saved from a Nazi death camp. A Survivor who wanders through France receives a donation from us and we help those who remain in France with money as well as the right to work, we send the children to summer colonies of the United Jewish Societies to which we belonged. In 1950 we joined the People's Clinic which provided cheap or free medical aid to our members. We joined the Disponser of the Farband (Labour Zionists) where our committee member Khaim Eyznman was the director. We visit our members regularly in the hospital brining packages of food. We visit the sick in their homes. As an example, in 1954, 331 people were visited by people from Radom. We support the movement against anti- Semitism, campaign for the children's colonies in the Land of Israel and send packages to Radom's sons who are serving in the military.
When the State of Israel was established we called a celebratory meeting, collected 50,000 francs and then began a campaign which raised half a million. We participated in the campaign of the Farband to send a tank to Israel named for Sholem Shvartzbord and 2 airplanes. In 1949 we collected a half a million francs for our townsfolk in Israel. Besides this, we send individual packages and in a few cases, we sent sewing machines to Jews from Radom in Israel. We donated 200,000 francs for Magen David Adom in Israel. We sent 1,400,000 francs to Israel in various forms in 1956. The next year we gave the Association of Jews from Radom in Israel 630,000 francs, besides the amount our general secretary Moishe Epshtyen left with them when he spent time there. When our committee members Naftali Goldfarb, Hersh Yekl Tzaygfinger, Veysfelner, Sukher Funk, Alfred Grant, Khaim Eyznman, and Peysakh Fridman visited Israel they were warmly received and this strengthened our contact with them.
Over the years we had beloved and important
guests from Israel like: Yekhiel Frenkel, Shmuel Taykhman, Khanina Morgolit and others who were warmly received. The same with Yisroel Glat who spent time here on his way back to America from Israel. In 1959 Leybish Tzuker and his wife came to visit. It was with them that we spoke about the idea of The Radom Book and we sent the first donation for the book.
Besides social work we also carry our varied cultural activities. We support the Yiddish Art Theatre IKUT in Paris, and the newspaper New Press. We organized a literary evenings with Uncle Misha (the engineer Gildenman), Efraim Kaganovsky, Dr. Sisman, and Dr. Verber, evenings dedicated to Y.L. Peretz and Sholem Aleichem, theatrical performances with the drama club from Belleville. Our guest from Argentina, Noteh Vaxman brought greetings from the Jewish community in Argentina. Live newspapers and artistic programs happen regularly. With our help, the novel A Chain of Generations by our townsman Shmaryahu Gutman was published and the book of memoires by Alfred Grant called Paris A City on the Front. We organized evenings in honour of these writers sand their works.
Every year we organize a memorial evening and on the eve of Yom Kippur we go, with all the societies to the cemetery Bania[Bagneux] to the monument of Jewish Front Fighters and from there, to the magnificent monument to the Radom martyrs. This is a monument made from black marble in the shape of a gate. In the black marble their names are inscribed to perpetuate their memory. When we stand in front of this imposing memorial for our martyrs from Radom, we also remember our heroic Yenkl Handlsman, who blew up the crematorium in Birkenau, sacrificing his own life; we also remember our brave sons, Moishe Nayman and Khaim Tzuker who were killed in the Spanish Civil War.
In 1950 we celebrated 25 years of the existence of our society and we published a brochure The Friends from Radom. Our anniversary year is disturbed by a great loss: the death of Yankl Reykh, one of the founders of our society. Earlier we suffered a difficult blow with the tragic death of our treasurer Moishe Veysbord who was killed in a car accident. Other difficult blows were the deaths of our active member and cofounder of our society Abish Peysakhovitch, and the news from Israel about Yekhiel Frenkel. May their memories serve as a blessing.
In 1959 we suffered a great loss with the death of our hard working member Berl Zaydnveber, of blessed memory.
In 1953 we celebrated the 50th birthday of Yosef Kadishevitch and the 50th birthday of our president Shimon Fishman. We bid farewell to our general secretary Noteh Vaxman who left to settle in Argentina.
In 1955 we celebrated our 30th anniversary. In 1958 we organized in Eden Hall an evening in honour of three of our most active members, Naftali Goldfarb, who was recognized by the government with a medal for social service; Yitzkhak Birnboym, who was endowed with books as an expression of our appreciation for his activity; and Shimon Fishman who received books as a gift for his years of work for our society. The Farband also recognized committee members from Radom at their convention for their communal activity.
Despite the colourfulness of our activity report, the picture is far from complete. We would like, in advance, to apologize to some of our members, who despite our best intentions, their names were omitted.
In praise let us mention the cofounder and long serving committee member Mendl Opotovsky and his wife, who are the common thread of our yearly balls that have a great reputation in Paris. On New Year's Eve 1,500 people attend and this is the base of our budget.
Let us praise the following members: Peysakh Fridman, Leon Fridman and his wife, Yisakhar Funk, Yenkl Tzitrinovitch, Hersh Yenkl Tzaygfinger, Yisroel Etner, Yitzkhak and Eta Birnboym, Moishe Epshteyn, Shimon Fsihman and his wife, Shloime Shafran, Yosef Kadishevitch, Khaim Leybish Huberman, Gedaliya Zaydveber, Shiele Luxemburg, Malakh, Moishe Shepsman, Rozenboym, Baber, Berl Mandelboym, Hershl Katz, Brandveyn, Khaim Goldman, Veysfeler and others. The women: Friling, Veysberg, Smutek, Breyndl Veysbord and other.
Thanks to the unity and friendship among those from Radom, we continue with our work for the good of our townsmen and for the good of all.
by Sh. Fishman
(President of the Radom Society in Paris)
Translated by Janie Respitz
After the liberation of Paris, a small group of our society managed to resurface. The desire in me was awakened to revive our organization. At our first meeting the bloody tear was apparent. We looked at the empty chairs and saw how many had remained. At that meeting, after Yosef Kadishevitch left, I was elected president and Naftali Goldfarb, secretary.
However the extremely diverse activity began almost a year later, when miraculously survivors from our town began to emerge from the death camps and were in need of help. Our possibilities were small and the needs were big. He had to reach out to our American townsfolk for help. In 1946 I went to New York and my requests found the deepest response: the needed donations were collected immediately. The president of the Radom Society in New York, Sh. Tenenboym, the secretary A. Vigoda, the committee members: the Radomsky brothers, Berkovitch and my childhood friend Yishaye Shteynberg, displayed their connection to their unfortunate brothers in Europe.
Until today I can feel the warmth of the reception our townsfolk showed me in New York. They called an extra conference to work out an aid plan for their brothers in Europe. Delegates came from Canada, Rozenboym and Popper, and Liberman came from Baltimore. I brought back all the recognition and money I received from them to Paris and distributed it to our townsfolk.
My second trip, in 1949, was to Israel. If I went to America to get support from our townsfolk, I brought support for our new immigrants in Israel. In the name of our Parisians, I showed them the same brotherly and warm attitude the American townsfolk showed us.
Translated by Janie Respitz
|Yitzkhak Birnboym||Yekhiel Mildman||Nosn Zingerman|
|Y.M Goldfarb||Khanina Margolit||Mitlman|
|Naftali Goldfarb||Jacques Reikh||Avrom Sherman|
|Yosef Kadishevitch||Khaim Roznfeld||Yankl Migdal|
|Izik Krulik||Shevitsky||Shmaryahu Gutman|
|Dovid Luxenburg||Charles Veyzman||Yakov Milman|
|Avrom Zaygman||Abish Leyb Peyakhovitch|
Past presidents: Kh. L. Huberman, Y. Kadishevitch, Jacques Reikh, Dovid and Aron Luxemburg, Reikhman.
The Committee in 1950:
Presidents: Shimon Fishman. Honorary presidents: Yisroel Berneman, Y. Kadishevitch, L. Huberman.
|Mendl Opatovsky||Hershl Mandelboym||Kh. Y. Tzaygfinger|
|Noteh Vaxman||Naftali Goldfarb||Izik Krulik|
|Yisroel Etner||Dr. Gershon Verber||Peysakh Fridman|
|Khaim Roznfeld||Yitzkhak Birnboym||Itche Gringer|
|Khaim Eyzman||Yoel Roznberg||Sholem Malakh|
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