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The Agudas Yisroel

By Yakov Elboim

Orthodox Jewry in Poland began organizing before the end of the First World War during the German-Austrian occupation, into the so-called Agudas Haorthodoxim. A branch of Agudas Haorthodoxim also was formed in Radomsk based on the pattern of Warsaw and other cities. The organization of frumen (religious) Jewry ultimately crystallized with the reestablishment of Poland as a nation in 1918. Appeals and pamphlets signed by the leading Torah scholars, rebbes and rabbis called upon religious Jews to join in Agudas Shlomeni Emunai Yisroel. Under the influence of religious community workers in Radomsk, who also supported it, the organization arose here.

At the head of the organization stood the prominent religious Jews of the city and among them: the Radomsker Rebbe, Rabbi Rabinowicz, the Amszinower Rebbe, Rabbi Abrahamele, Rabbi Zelwer, Rabbi Buki, Reb Y. M. Eibeszits, Kh. Sh. Krakowski, Y.Y. Zeligzon, D. Y. Zinger. A. Grosman, M. Lakhman, Y.D. Fajtlowicz, N. Eibeszits, Y. Szpira, E. Filler, L. Dunski, B. Ganszerowicz, Shoykhet Y. Poznanski, Shoykhet Y.Y. Bachen, L. Dankewicz, Y. Fajerman, Kh. Zelwer, M. Elboim, D.L. Fajerman, Y. Berger, Z. Goldberg, and others.

The provisional committee of Agudas Shlomeni Emunai Yisroel undertakes great deeds. However, above all, one wants to attract the young who aspire to the religious way of life. While the different parties carry out widespread political and cultural activities, founding libraries, distributing newspapers and so forth, the religious Jews neglect everything and must begin at the very beginning. The provisional committee proceeds with great ardor to its work. An assembly of representatives of the shtiblekh and minyonim, as well as prominent city businessmen, is called together and an appeal is read

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from the rebbes and rabbis. Those assembled join in the appeal and it is decided to delegate community workers and speakers to each minyon and shtibl in order to organize the religious Jews in the Agudas Shlomeni Emunai Yisroel.

The envoys were welcomed everywhere with great ardor and particularly by the young who aspired to communal life. At that time, the first conference of organized Orthodox Jewry took place in Warsaw. A delegation of several Radomsker young people took part. The conference changed the name of Shlomeni Emunai Yisroel to Agudas Israel.

After the above-mentioned Warsaw conference, the Radomsker organization was reorganized. A permanent committee was chosen which was joined by the majority of the above-mentioned activists and businessmen and some new members such as Reb Y. Granat, Kh. Rapoport, Y. Sztahl, M. Fiszhof, D. Blager, and W. Frank.

Simultaneously a strong youth organization arose, headed by the following young activists: N. Rabinowicz, D. Krakowski, Y. Dunski. Sh. A. Kupersztak, A. Rozencwajg, A. Zelwer, Y. Zandberg, and so forth. And of the survivors, we must remember some activists who are today found in Israel and are here, too, active in communal realms such as Comrade Bornsztajn, H. Liberman (in Jerusalem), Y. Albert, Y. Elboim, Y. Borszkowski (in Tel Aviv).

With the growth of the organization, a woman's organization, Daughters of Agudas Yisroel was founded and a religious workers' organization, Poalei Agudas Israel, each with its own separate managing committee at the head.

All of the organizations carried out effective activities, each in their realm. The Radomsker Agudas Yisroel sent delegates to different conferences of the central committee in Warsaw and also to the Knessia Hagdola (Agudas Yisroel political party conventions) in Vienna and Marienbad (Reb Rabinowicz, Radomsker Rebbe, H. Sh. Krakowski, Y. Berger, and so forth).

Jewish Education and Culture

In as much as ignorance was widespread right after the war, Jewish education was backward and every party was involved with drawing in the adult generation, Agudas Yisroel could not stand aside. With full Hasidic fire it organized a widespread network of education for young boys and young girls in order to educate a religious-nationalist generation.

The well-known Orthodox educational worker Aleksander-Zishye Fridman who immediately helped to create a special commission on matters of education was invited to Radomsk from Warsaw. The commission proceeded at once to collect money, to rent a large apartment and Ysidi Torah, the first modern social-religious school for young boys, was opened in Radomsk. The joy in the city was beyond imagination because for the first time, a modern religious educational institution arose in Radomsk, with comfortable rooms, in which the best pedagogical methods for sacred and secular studies were used. The director Mr. Brumer was at the head. The institution, in fact, graduated a large number of talented students.

Agudas Yisroel began evening or Shabbos lectures in different locations in the city, where Daf Yomi (daily pages of the Talmud), religious laws and so forth was taught by Reb Zelwer, Reb Buki, Y. L. Dunski, H. Sh. Krakowski, D. Y. Zinger, the Reb Rabinowicz, and others. At the conclusion of a tractate of the Talmud, public semester ending parties and gatherings were arranged. At one such conclusion, the head of the Daf Yomi, the Lubliner Rebbe, Reb Szpira, of blessed memory, was specially invited. It is hard to describe the impression made in the city by the appearance of the Lubliner Rebbe. The shul overflowed with men and women from all strata without regard as to party. Reb Szpira mesmerized all listeners with his fiery words. His performance turned into a magnificent demonstration for the strengthening of the Augudist movement in general and for Orthodox education in particular.

Agudas Yisroel was not just concerned with young boys; it was also concerned with the daughters, the future mothers. Reb A. G. Fridenson of Lodz, the famous activist for Beis Yakov, was invited and clarified the importance of a religious-national school system Beis Yakov for girls. His lectures had the appropriate effect and a Beis Yakov school was founded in Radomsk with the best teachers, students who had completed the course of study in the Krakower Beis Yakov Seminary. The head of the Beis Yakov school system, Sara Szenirer, took part in the solemn opening of the Beis Yakov school. The solemn occasion took place in the city theater, which was full. The Beis Yakov school educated a generation of girls in the national-religious spirit.

The Radomsker Agudas Yisroel was also concerned with expanding the Orthodox press, journals and various publications of the organization and together with the Piotrkower Agudas published a weekly newspaper with the well known Warsaw columnist, A. B. Ekerman, as editor. The editor of the Radomsker section of this weekly newspaper was Y. Elboim.

After the Lubliner Rebbe proclaimed theDaf Yomi groshn (pay a groshn each day for each page of Talmud learned), a special commission was established in Radomsk for the Yeshivat Hakhme Lublin, which pursed all of its actions on behalf of the yeshiva, such as distributing pushkes, selling bricks, letters in the Sefer Torah, which was written, etc.

The Political Activity

At that time there was lively political and social activity in Poland. Voting was held for the Seim, Senat, to the City Council and the Kehilus. Agudas united with the secular Jewish community for the Seim and Senat elections and thanks to her cooperation helped elected the greatest possible number of Jewish representatives to the Polish legislature. For the City Council elections, Agudas sometimes acted independently and sometimes joined

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[Photo: The organization Bnus Agudas Yisroel.

First row on top (from the right): Leah Grosman, Hinde Rozenfeld, Ruth Beser, Dore Dankowicz, Hana Ofman, _____, Tamar Rikhman, Ester Goldberg, Haja Rozenfeld. Bluma Zemel, Zeidman, Haja Faktor, _____, Landau, _______, Ruchl Szimkowicz.

Second Row: Leah Blager, Dore Wertheim, Sara Zilbersztajn, Roze Fajerman, Zosya Rozenblum, Khana Fiszelewicz, Henye Rapport, Dwoyra Erlik, Zosya Tiberg, Rivkah Goldberg, Sara Frejlik, Dwoyra Rozencwajg, Ruth Lurya, Erszkowicz, Ruzka Kuperstof.

Third row: Fayge Blager, Perl Nomberg, Tzippe Lutkewicz, Regina Goldberg, Fayge Frank, Sara Bukhner (teacher), Leah Tenenboim (teacher), Adzia Wolhendler (instructor), Frida Wroclawski. Gita Frank, Khana Meitlic.

Fourth row: _____, Dobe Kohan, Zlate Moszkowicz, Khana Witznblat, Dina Eibeszic, Hinde Kamelgarn, Blume Zemel, Guta Goldberg, Roza Fajerman, Perl Elenberg, Bronya Tobiasz.

Bottom: Mindl Wroclawski, Tuba Rozencwajg, Rachel Elenberg, Bela Szaje, Malka Fajerman, _____, Mindl Ukrant, Yokhoved Kacowicz, Sara Eibeszic.]

with other parties and organizations, depending on the issue.

The deputies from Agudas Yisroel in the City Council (they served for various terms of office) were Y. Szpira, E. Filher, A. Grosman, D. Bugajski, Y. Berger, and others. With pride and respect, they represented general Jewish interests and especially defended Jewish matters and their efforts were successful in obtaining subsidies from City Hall for various general and religious institutions.

Agudas Yisroel was engaged in particularly effective activity during the elections to the Kehile, when it had to compete with other Jewish parties. The primary struggle was whether the Kehile should have a secular-national or a religious-national character. It should be understood that Agudas took the point of view that the Kehile needed to be a religious-national institution and waged an uncompromising struggle in order to receive greater representation in it. Agudas was successful in uniting all of the religious Jews in Radomsk in order to achieve this goal. It introduced to the Kehile (in the Council and managing committee) the eminent community workers H. Sh. Krakowski, A. Grosman, Y. D. Fajtlowicz, Z. Goldberg, Y. H. Tiger, B. Gonszerowicz, D. L. Fajerman, D. Z. Zinger, Y. Y. Zeligman, L. Dankowicz, Y. Berger, Wolf Frenk, Moishe Wajnrych, Dovid Rapapart, and others.

The united religious front truly achieved a victory and succeeded in bringing in a majority to the Kehile agencies, which gave it the ability to do a great deal on behalf of the Jewish population and, particularly in the religious sphere.


Agudas also carried out activities for Eretz-Yisroel, accomplished various actions and collections of money in behalf of the Agudasist Eretz-Yisroel Fund, Keren Hayishuv and the like. During the “Million” Campaign for Keren Hayishuv, the prominent Senator A. Mendelson and the eminent great industrialist, Y. Wojdislawski from Lodz came to Radomsk. A united Keren Hayishuv committee from Agudas Yisroel, Zeiri Agudas Yisroel, and Poalei Agudas Yisroel was elected in the city with Y. Elboim as delegate. This committee administered the work on behalf of Eretz-Yisroel with actions, money collections and the like.

With the growth of the Halutzisher movement, a striving for Eretz-Yisroel filled the ranks of Agudas-Yisroel, too, particularly among the young. Therefore, various hachshara locations arose from Agudas, Tzeiri Agudas-Yisroel and Poalei Agudas Yisroel, where members worked in various ways for immigration to Eretz-Yisroel and later made aliyah with the payment of a grant with Agudas-Yisroel certificates.

Among the older members of Agudas, too, there grew the aspiration to make aliyah, which was strengthened after the repeated trips to Eretz-Yisroel of the Gerer Rebbe. After each trip, a spiritual awakening spread among the Radomsker Agudas members and the ordinary religious Jews. Members Sh. Bernsztajn, (presiding officer of Tzeire Agudas-Yisroel), Y. Albert, H. L. Liberman with his parents and brother, Y. Borzykowski, M. Kirsz, Y. A. Rozencwajg, M. B. Lehman, Y. Tron, and others made aliyah.

Philanthropic and Economic Activity

Agudas carried on intensive philanthropic activity. It organized various actions and collections in order to assist needy members. An interest-free loan office was founded that distributed small interest-free loans. Of particular importance was the Agudas Bank at the head of which stood Y. Berger as Director. The bank carried out commercial and monetary operations, giving larger loans to merchants and tradesmen.

Both Agudas and its separate organizations, such as Tzeire Agudas-Yisroel and Poalei Agudas-Yisroel carried out impressive widespread cultural and societal activities. The Bnus Yakov were active in the field of education. At the head of the special committee of the Beis-Yakov School were Member Rubinowicz, Member Kalisz, Member Szpira and the Mrs. Berger, Fiszman, Krakowski, Eibeszic, Baszan, Frenk, Zeligman, and others.

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The General Zionists in Hnuer-Hzioni

By Yissakhar Minski

Dedicated to the memory of my mother Hana, of blessed memory

The Renewal of the Organization

At the end of the 1920's the Zionist organizations in Radomsk showed no signs of any activism. In the fortress of the organization, in the Agudas Beis-Yakov schools, there remained only the vows of KKL and the traditional Haf-tammuz azkarot (memorials held by Zionist organizations for Herzl and Bialik, who died during the month of Tammuz).

The Zionist organizer Abner Gurfinkl burst from these apathetic conditions. At first he had to carry on his work alone, against the will of the former community workers, who considered themselves as the legitimate leaders of the so-called organization.

Gurfinkl did his work perfectly. Thanks to his devotion the organization came to life. In 1931, it was at work leading the collection of money for the Funds and elected it own councilman, Yosef Zeligman, to the City Council.

A. Gurfinkl. Manaheim Fakhter, Yakov-Yosef Szimkewicz, Haim Hartman, Leib Grundman, Moishe Tuchmajer and Yissakhar Minski belonged to the small group that struggled with great difficulties for a long time. In time, prominent community workers were added, such as Dr. Aronowicz, Herman Rodal, Yakov Witenberg, Yosef Zeligzon, Abraham-Shmuel Goldsztajn, Nisan Sobel and others.

The organization carried out courses in Modern Hebrew and arranged lectures with the participation of local and foreign lecturers.

Through the initiative of the Zionist organization, a division of the youth organization, Hnuer Hzioni, was created in 1933 and in 1938, the Zionist women's organization, Wizo.

During the course of the first two years, Hnuer Hzioni led the group with Minski, Tuchmajer and other members of the Zionist organization. However, later, the movement generated its own leaders, such as Rivkah Bialystok, Gitl Erlik, Miryam Tiger, Dina and Yissakhar Witenberg and others.

Hnuer Hzioni developed strongly and worked with great devotion for the Funds, occupying first place among the Zionist youth organizations in the city, organized courses in Modern Hebrew and controlled the Jewish gymnazie, which earlier was far from Zionism.

The Wizo section was first created in 1938 and immediately from the start many women in the city joined. At the head of Wizo stood the Mrs. Znamirowski, Gruszke, Szpira, Najkron and others.

The outbreak of the war in 1939 brought an end to Jewish social life in our city.

[Photo: Members of Hnuer Hzioni (1933).

Standing (from the right): Fajerman, M. Tuchmajer, Yissakhar Minski, Grosman.

In the center: Malka Landau.

Under: _____, M. Tiger, A. Gliksman, R. Bialystok.]

The visit of Yitzhak Grinboim, the Zionist leader and prominent guide of Polish Jewry, will long remain engraved in the memories of the Zionist and ordinary Jews in Radomsk… On alighting from the train, H. Hartman greeted the guest in Hebrew in the name of the reception committee and the group KKL… H. Wolkowicz presided as the chairman of the academy in the Kino reception hall…

The guest gave a two-hour speech about 50 years of Zionist fulfillment…

After a short rest in the apartment of H. Eikhner, the distinguished guest visited the hachshara kibbutz Histadrut”… After, a meeting took place in the meeting hall of KKL under the chairmanship of H. Kornberg… Nine o'clock in the evening a farewell banquet was held in the apartment of H. Goldberg, in which over 100 people took part, representatives of all of the Zionist groupings and of the Jewish intelligencia

(Excerpts from a report in Undzer Zeitung, the 11.12.31 [11 December 1931])

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The Group of Hashomer Hatzair (Young Guards)

By Dovid Bugajski

In the years 1915-1916, the first Jewish Scouts organization was created in Radomsk on the pattern of the English

[Photo: A wing of Hashomer Hatzair in 1921.

Top row (from the right): Yakov Szpira, A. Y. Kahn, Y. Damb, H. Rozenblat, Damb, Y. Grosman, Zlatnik, Grosman, Sh, Bialystok.

Second row: Devorah Bugajski, _____, A. Grosman, F. Winer, Grosman, _____, Kuferman, Sh. Rubinowicz, K. Bugajski.

Third row: K. Buchman, _____, Minska, H. Dudkewicz, Yadwya Bugajski, M. Waksman, S. Witenberg, Winer, A. Grosman, N. Winer.

Bottom: M. Bugajski, B. Winer, H. Minski, B. Grosman, E. Bugajski, Rubinowicz.]

[Photo: A group of guides from Hashomer Hatzair in 1928.

Top row (from the right): Chava Warsawski, Rivkah Bugajski, Leah Slamkowicz, Yakubowicz, Krajckop, Henye Pacanowski.

Second row: Yadwya Kac, Miryam Pacanowski, Tzipporah Goslawski, Shol Karp, Ruchel Zajdman, Seczemski, Sarah Gliksman.

Bottom: Abraham Haze, Yakov Eikhner, Ahron Rotenberg.]

Baden-Powell movement. From the beginning, scouting had an educational character, laying stress on good habits and on physically hardening the young. The scouts instructed each other, made distant excursions in the areas around Radomsk and the like. Those who belonged to the organization were mostly the Jewish students from the gymnazie and the folks-school.

The first instructors were Yakov Zarski, the Koniecpolski brothers, Wajnberg, Zelig Wilhelm, Shlomoh Haze, Gute Szac and her brother, Heniek Winer. At first the scouts met at Telman's on Zeromski Street 1, later at Mineralne 1 and at the end at Meitlic's on Czenstochowska.

With the arrival of Pirchei-Zion (a Zionist youth group at the head of which stood Dovid Gold) and after the scouts joined Hashomer Hatzair, a Zionist spirit began to reign in the organization, of which the religious and assimilated circles were not fond. They felt they were losing influence over the young. In that era, the scout youth met in the Zionist meeting hall Beis Yakov and Ruwin Najkron took over in the Patronat.

The Zionist movement in the city was then weak. They had not shown any great interest in the theoretical and practical problems of Zionism and limited themselves only to collecting money for the Funds.

Another spirit reigned in the guardist group. Here each guard found his home; here he learned Hebrew (with the teacher Khaszczewocki), Jewish History, Geography of Palestine, sang songs from Eretz-Yisroel, danced dances from Eretz-Yisroel. From time to time distant excursions took place during which one over-nighted in tents, cooked and prepared everything oneself. During one of these excursions (next to Zlati Potok – Golden Stream), anti-Semites attacked the camp. However, the youths presented a courageous defense and at the end drove away the hooligans. This excursion was, in general, very successful and left a deep impression on all of the participants.

The specific atmosphere of freedom and joy, which reigned in Hashomer and simultaneously the inner discipline, whose purpose was to harden the young and prepare them for life in Eretz-Yisroel, drew the young boys and girls to Hashomer, which was turned into one of the largest youth organizations in the city.

In time, Hashomer founded a library with Hebrew, Polish and Yiddish books. A dramatic circle was created, managed by Abraham Ofman and a chorus that was conducted by Zaks.

On Chanukah, Hashomer would organize a Chanukah evening of recitations, music, sports exercises, pyramids and the like in a meeting hall of the Kinema, which were warmly received by the population.

The Hashomer had a representative in KKL, in the League for Workers Eretz-Yisroel and took part in the actions of Keren Hisud. During the national yomim-tuvim the guards dressed in uniforms marched

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over the Radomsker streets in closed rows, which made a great impression on everyone.

Raised in the spirit of mutual aid, the guards took care of their sick comrade, Matke Pacanowska, with endless devotion. They stood watch by her bed day and night, provided medical and financial aid and when Matke died, despite all efforts, they erected a headstone for their comrade.

Professor Bromberg, who helped organize a guard group in the Jewish gymnazie, did a great deal for Hashomer.

In addition to the educational, cultural and idealistic work, Hashomer did not neglect concrete tasks of life in Eretz-Yisroel. For this purpose, summer camps were arranged in the surrounding villages. They were also sent to hachshara locations (Miryam Pacanowska and Sarah Gliksman). Close contact was maintained with two Hashomer in HeHalutz, who carried out similar work among older members.

It is necessary to remember the activist members among Hashomer Hatzair in Radomsk: Shlomoh Haze, Tzvi Witenberg, Ben-Zion Grosman, Dovid Bugajski, Dovid Wielunski, Abraham Kahn, Yakov Eikhner, Yakov Grosman, Ester Lewkowska, Fela Zilberberg, Leah Czarska, Pola Goslowska, Miryam Pacanowska, Malka Fajerman, Molye Litmanowicz, Rivkah Bugajska, Shmuel Bialystok, etc.

Dozens of guards made aliyah to Eretz-Yisroel and many are found in the kibbutzim today.

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The Youth Organization – Freiheit

By Y. Sh. Moszkowicz and Shimshun Granek

Freiheit arose as a result of the union of the Jewish Socialist Worker Youth (Y.S.A.Y.) of the right wing Poalei-Zion and the Zionist Socialist Youth of Z.S. (Zionist Socialists). The unification conference took place in Warsaw in the month of December 1926 – one year after the unification of both parties.

Berl Laker, representative of the World Union of P.Z. (Z.S.) and A. Cyzling, emissary of the Histadrut and he-Halutz in Poland, took part in the youth conference. Our delegate to the conference was Yehuda Liberman.

The right wing Poalei-Zion had no youth group in Radomsk. The Z.S., on the other hand, had a large youth group, which immediately joined Freiheit and became very active there. The majority of the members of the group lived in Atzkawski's house on Shul Street. There was Yakov and Ruchl Liberman, Dovid and Leah Wadislawski, Asher and Nusen Grosman, Yehezkeil Cukerman and others. With the creation of Freiheit, new members joined, such as Tuvia Borzykowski, of blessed memory, Abraham Goldberg (now a member in Kibbutz Shfaim), the brothers Abraham and Tuvia Mandel, Yakov-Shmuel Moszkowicz (now a member of Kibbutz Ein-Carmel), Yehezkeil Skornicki and many others.

The new youth organization began its activities with a recruitment campaign by its members. Many young workers and children from poor homes, sons and daughters of tradesmen and small businessmen, who needed to help out their parents by earning a living from early until late at night, joined as members of Freiheit. The organization placed the most importance on educational and cultural work. Whereas many young people did not even have an elementary education, the goal was to educate the young in the light of the ideals of Zionism and Socialism, in the spirit of the Halutzisher youth movement whose purpose was preparatory agricultural training for emigration to Eretz-Yisroel and aliyah.

The educational work was directed by the Freiheit members M.Z. Rozenblat, Arya Cipler, Yehuda Liberman, Haim Goldberg, and others, who carried out a systematic series of lectures about real questions. Later, Professor Izrael Bramberg enlisted in the educational work.

The creation of the Sholem Aleichem Library significantly enriched the knowledge of the young – Freiheit members were the most dedicated readers in the library and many helped in its development.

[Photo: The committee of Freiheit.

From the right: Yerhameel Herbert, Tuvia Borzykowski, Yehezkeil Skornicki, Tuvia Mandel, Dovid Wadislawski.

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In the summer months, outings in the nearby woods were arranged every Shabbos; there, songs from Eretz-Yisroel were sung, the hora was danced and real problems were discussed.

[Photo: Freiheit conference dedicated to the activity of Keren Kayemet L'Yisroel, taking place in Kamiensk (in 1930), with the participation of Abraham Bialopolski (Central Committee).

Top row: Yehezkeil Dikerman, Fiszman, Brocha Grosman, Kos, Mendl Grosman, Mendl Fiszhof, _____, Gershon Gaslowski, _____, _____, Gitl Dawidowicz, Yadl Hampel.

Second row: B. Sztajn, Birncwajg, Y. Brener, Y. Herbet, Yakov Wengligski, Szklarczyk, Berl Kuperwaser, Abraham-Mendl Fiszlewicz.

Third Row: Rozenblum, Moishe Wajnman, Taychner, Sara Dawner, Hana Gelbard, Yehezkeil Skornicki, Ahron Fiszlewicz, Moishe-Yitzhak Sitenberg, Shmuel Najman, A. Bialopolski, Haim Goldberg, Shlomoh Najman, Shlomoh Brener, Yakov Liberman, Yakov Widislowski, Tuvia Borzykowski.

Bottom: _____, _____, _____, Dawidowicz, F. Hirszberg, Tuvia Mandel, Ruchl Liberman, Rozenberg, Szklarczyk, _____, Aliezer Haptman, Fiszel Zandberg.]

[Photo: A group of Freiheit members before leaving as hachshara (agricultural trainees).

Top row (from the right): Yosef Liberman, Shimshun Granek, Fiszel Zandberg, Abraham Teikhner.

Second row: Moishe Rozenberg, Gitl Wurcel, Yakov Menale, Szlomkowicz, Abraham Dikerman. Bottom: Fiszel Zajdman, Sara Najman, _____.]

The youth organization Freiheit constantly received new members and became the defensive wall against communist agitation that planted hatred among the Jewish youth against national revival in Eretz-Yisroel. It is worthwhile to remember that at that time an anti-Zionist mood reigned in Radomsk, which was brought by the Israeli expatriates from the 4th aliyah, who returned “home” and spoke ill of Eretz-Yisroel. As a result of this, the local Zionist parties suspended their activities and there remained individuals who persevered in the Zionist framework. There was almost no one to oppose the anti-Zionist activity. The youth organization Freiheit together with the party and he-Halutz were the only ones in the city carrying out strong activity against the “red” assimilation and salvaged from their influence hundreds of young people who lived to see themselves immigrate to Eretz-Yisroel.

The enlightened activities advanced further with each year and included wider areas of Zionist and socialist life in Eretz-Yisroel. Simultaneously, every year Freiheit would take part in the international workers' holiday on the 1st of May. Weeks earlier the meaning of the holiday would be discussed at special meetings, workers' songs were learned, posters and billboards were prepared, there were lively discussions and agitation among the Jewish youth urging them to participate in the First of May demonstrations.

Sometimes the workers' demonstrations on the 1st of May were held jointly with the other Jewish and Polish workers' parties and sometimes each party demonstrated separately. The demonstrations of the united Poalei-Zion-Z.S. Party always focused on Zionist-Socialist groupings – in addition to the members and followers of Freiheit, the members of he-Halutz, of the League for Workers in Eretz-Yisroel, later from Haoved (labor faction within the Socialist-Zionist camp) and of the professional unions that were under the influence of the party. These demonstrations were the largest and were better organized than those of the other demonstrating groupings.

Freiheit members participated very actively in the work of K.K.L. and in all of the other actions and money collections. Freiheit occupied the first spot, after the K.K.L. battalion, in arranging bazaars, flower days, and other undertakings, among the Radomsker youth organizations in participation in the actions of K.K.L. The permanent Freiheit representatives on the committee of K.K.L. were the members Y. Skornicki, M. Grosman, A. Cipler, Y. Birnbaum, Y. Granek, L. Houptman, Kh. Cukerman and others.

For the election to the Zionist Congress, Freiheit distributed many shekels and at the clarification meetings that the organization carried out, the party members A. Bialopolski, of blessed memory, Anshel Reis, L. Szpisman, Y. Ritaw, Leizer Lewin, and others participated. The meetings were a great success and brought good results during the voting.

After several years of education work, at the beginning of 1930 the Freiheitist's Hachshara (agricultural training) began and later their aliyah to Eretz-Yisroel. The first members who traveled

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to Hachshara were Y. Sh. Moszkowicz, (now at Kibbutz Ein Hacarmel), T. Mandel, B. Sztajn, Y. Fajerman, A. Dimant, Manele, Houptman and many others. The Hachshara locations for our members were Kleszczow, Gorzkow, Borokow Kibbutz in Lodz and Bedzin.

In 1931 a number of members made aliyah, in spite of the closed doors of Eretz-Yisroel. Banquets were held in honor of the aliyah of these members, at which we touchingly took leave of those departing.

Every year members of Freiheit would join the party. These were august moments and always took place in a joyful manner and at a special meeting. The first such gathering took place in 1931 when the comrades Skornicki, Borzykowski, Grosman, Widislawski, Yakov Liberman and others joined the party. The new party members were welcomed by Haim Goldberg, Yehuda Liberman and others. In 1933 the Comrades Granek, Kuperwaser, Birnbaum, the Mandel brothers and others joined.

Such celebrations were also held in subsequent years and the new members took the place of the old members who made aliyah to Eretz-Yisroel or undertook other important party positions.

The members of Freiheit, in agreement with their active Zionist-Halutzisher activities, helped the party in its local political activities, such as voting for the City Council, Kehile, and the like.

Thirty-eight members from Radomsk took part in the Freiheit organization meeting for the Lodz region that occurred in April 1930. Year in and year out, Freiheit arranged summer camps for the members, who benefited greatly from this.

In 1931 the organization Freiheit in Radomsk arranged a solemn academy for its 5th anniversary at which Z. Szerf from Eretz-Yisroel, H. Goldberg, Yehuda Liberman, Sh. Najman, Yakov Liberman, a representative of Tur and youths from the Polish Workers' Party, P.P.S., and others appeared on stage with welcoming remarks.

The members of Freiheit were very active in the creation of the sport club Hapoel and were the most active members of the different sports sections as well as in the dramatic section.

The club carried out effective activities and was located in a large beautiful meeting hall near the Kino. Four men's groups and five women's groups were active in the club, which exercised under the direction of the instructors Dovid Wielunski and Mundek Fajerman (both had completed special courses as exercise instructors).

The club had a strong ping-pong section that was the runner-up in the Czenstochower league, a fairly good football section that achieved several victories over various football clubs and was champion of the Hapoel clubs in the Lodzer circle.

The celebration of the international youth day in November 1936 turned out to be very impressive.

In 1937 Freiheit arranged an exhibition of the works of the members that included painting, knitting, carving wooden models, cabinet making, metal work, tailoring and the like. The exhibition, which made a colossal impression, was accompanied by lectures, academies, and so forth. In 1938 the merger of Freiheit and he-Halutz-Hatzair took place.

Thus evolved the young in Radomsk in the Halutzish-Zionist ranks of Freiheit until – until the coming of the dark tragic days of September 1939, when the murderous German bands spread death and Holocaust.

After the first month of penal-life in the Radomsker ghetto, Comrade Tuvia Borzykowski, the Freiheit coach and teacher, decided to create the first underground group of Jewish youth in Radomsk, without any connection with other cities in Poland, and without the Center in Warsaw.

The members of Drur-Freheit were those who created the first four groups of five members as the nucleus of the Jewish underground to struggle against the Germans. The first meeting of the four “fifths” took place in the home of the veteran of the rightist Poalei-Zionist Comrade Mordekhai Zelig Rozenblat.

[Photo: Members of Freiheit and he-Halutz during the leave taking of Yakov-Shmuel Moszkowicz before his aliyah to Eretz-Yisroel (1931).
Top row (from the right): Fishel Zandberg, Haim Klajner, Pinye Herszberg, Yakov Lakhman, Fajgl Yakubowicz, _____, Wenglinski, A, Moszkowicz, Yosef Liberman, Gitl Dawidowicz.

Second row: Fishel Zajdman, Tzvi Cipler, Sara Fiszman, Shimkah Rajkh, Sara Gelbard, Sh. Tajchner, Sara Frenska, Borukh Szimonowicz, _____, Dov Krybus.

Third row: Moishe Brener, Wolf Brener, Ahron Fiszlewicz, Tuvia Borzykowski, Haim Goldberg, Yehuda Liberman, Yakov-Shmuel Moszkowicz, Prof. Israel Bramberg, Moishe-Yitzhak Sitenberg, Yerahmeel Herbert, Hana Gelbard, Yehezkeil Dikerman, Abraham Mandel, Dovid Widislawski, Yakov Liberman, Fiszman.

Fourth row: Abraham Dikerman, A. Tajchner, _____, Yakov Gotesman, _____, Ruchl Liberman, Sara Najman, Szklarczyk, _____, Moishe Liberman.

Fifth row: Hana Ofman, _____, Cipler, G. Szerman, A. Szerman, Gitl Widislawski, Abraham Birnbaum, Tuvia Mandel, _____, Moszkowicz, Moishe Rozenberg, Pinkhas Liberman, Leah Widislawksi, _____, _____, Tkasz, Hana Wajnman, Wolf Szimonowicz.]

p. 222

Pioneers Make Aliyah to Eretz-Yisroel

By Hillel Fakter

Outwardly, our city had the look of a grey, quiet Jewish settlement, absorbed only with earning a living. However, there were moments when the community emerged from its day-to-day routine and demonstrated that there beat in it a fiery Jewish heart.

One of those moments was a hot August evening in 1929. Dozens of Jews had assembled at the train station, respected businessmen and ordinary young men. They had not agreed to meet prior to arriving; they had not organized themselves. They came here spontaneously in order to wait for the train that would arrive from Warsaw. The morning newspaper had reported that a large group of Halutzim (pioneers) were departing from Warsaw for Eretz-Yisroel after noon. And it was understood that that meant the express train that passes through Radomsk at ten o'clock in the evening. That is, it would be possible to tell the pioneers, “fort gezunterheit (travel in good health) and accompany them with a blessing on their way to the homeland.

The small Jewish population in Palestine was once again enveloped in flames and making a sacrifice in order to preserve what has already been achieved. Now young men traveled there to strengthen the line of fighters and drill in the Jewish homeland. Therefore, they needed to be accompanied by everyone's blessing.

The train comes in, a red glow from the large round lanterns approaching and cutting through the darkness of the night. And there is something symbolic in the redness of the lights that light the dark surrounding fields… In the dark, young men can be seen on the train, the beaming faces of the Halutzim. In their hands flutters the blue and white flag. Those assembled look at them with pride and with envy. They are traveling to struggle and to build, and every one of their hearts is filled with the belief that they will see with their own eyes the liberated Jewish nation. The singing of Hatikvah broke out from our hearts and overwhelmed the noise of the departing train.

Late, after half the night had passed, those of us gathered at the train station dispersed. There was a heavy feeling in our hearts, a longing and envy, but simultaneously, there also ripened a passionate desire to free ourselves of our chains of exile and follow the Halutzim, in order to build that new life in our old new-home, together with them, hand in hand.




We have the honor to invite you to the
'Going Away Evening'

In view of the departure of members
Moishe Kotelgrin, Meir Dovid Goldberg
To Eretz-Yisroel
Which will take place on Shabbos, April 25th
At 9 p.m. in the hall of
The Draftworkers Union, Kaliska 17

An invitation to the 'going away evening' for members who were making aliyah to Eretz-Yisroel in 1925.

p. 222

The Nowo-Radomsker Patronatin New York

By D. Al-Kh

In 1934 a group of friends, originally from Radomsk and Czentochow, organized an Aid Committee in America to assist the political prisoners from those cities. The Radomsker committee, which was named the Nowo-Radomsker Patronat was made up of the following members Dave Lefkowicz, Simeon and Frimet Medvjed, Abe Rozenberg, Ezekiel Pacanowsky, Leibel Gelbard, Abe Oberman, Sam Dikerman, Sam and Jeanette Freilich, Harry and Ruchel Jacobs, Sadie Laglere, Israel Buchman, Leibel Goldberg, Harry Rudnitsky, Philip Lager, Harry Sedletsky, Solomon Waksman, Max Szpira, Mike Brader, Jack Schwartz, Bela Schwartz, Pinkus Kalka, Harold Pinkowicz, and Jack Besterman.

From the material that the Nowo-Radomsker Patronat published in America, we get a glimpse into its character, aims, publications and accomplishments. The Patronat was considered an instrument in the struggle against Polish “reaction,” which through its anti-Semitic policies of rooting out the opposition and through terroristic laws, took away the right and the ability of the broad Jewish masses in Poland to exist.

True, the Polish multitude were also victims of the “reaction.” Their standard of living was lowered. However, when times were perilous for the Polish reactionary government, it applied the old Czarist methods of agitation against the Jews and, following the usual practice, blamed the Jews for the critical situation. In that way, the government would divert the attention of the Polish masses

p. 223

and turn their fury in another direction.

The progressive elements in Poland, Jews and non-Jews, who dared to stand against the ruling circles, with complaints and protests against their actions, were ruthlessly oppressed with force. They were thrown in jail or interned in special isolation camps. According to a general estimate by the above mentioned Patronat for the years 1934-1935, approximately 50,000 people were arrested or interned in Poland, in 364 jails and camps. All of those who dared to complain or protest against the regime were prosecuted according to the paragraphs of the legal code concerning anti-state or Communist activities, although not all of those sentenced were necessarily active Communists.

Among the Radomsker youth who were sentenced to prison by the local county court (in 1934) were Hershel Witenberg, Sheike Rozenblat, Roiza Saletski, and Liobe Rozenbaum (to 4 years); Leibish Rozencwajg, and Mietuk Kazak (to 3 years); Dovid Bugajski and Leyzer Kalka (to 2 years); Meir Goldsztajn (1 ½ years), a total of 9 young people.

In 1934, there were 86 members of the Nowo-Radomsker Patronat. The Aid Committee sent material support to Radomsk, food and clothing for the city's political prisoners and their families. The activity of this Aid Committee was carried out with the massive support of the general landsmanschaft-society of the Radomskers in America, and had a positive effect on the working circles and among the masses in Radomsk proper.

A message released by Nowo-Radomsker Patronat during a banquet of the general Nowo-Radomsker 'Relief' in New York (February 1937) said:

“Worthy friends!' The Jewish tragedy in all of Poland has reached a point that cannot be worse and has already penetrated throughout Jewish life. There is no limit to the wild barbarism, the reckless situation and the openly brutal pogroms. The ordinary Jew is deprived of his livelihood; milk sellers, butchers, bakeries and Jewish workers are thrown over the precipice. Jewish students are thrown out of the secondary schools, bloodied and insulted, and they are not permitted to fulfill their long held hope of becoming doctors, or entering other intellectual professions. And how can one, worthy friends, in such a bloody nightmare, free oneself from the painful feeling of many empty hopes, at a time when our sisters and brothers bathe themselves in a sea of distress and need, and no one does anything?

“Dear friends! We appeal to you, help us in the sacred work! We must be united against such a mighty foe! Join with all the members of the Nowo-Radomsker Patronat, while we redouble our assistance work; do not stand as a spectator at a distance in such a solemn historic moment. Become one of the activists in this virtuous aid work. With it, you will stimulate your human spirit to help relieve the pain of the political prisoners and their families, who give their young lives for the suffering of the Jewish people.”

[Photo: Z. T. K. – Jewish Society of Nature Study established by the members of the Communist Party, during an outing in the city woods (May 6th, 1933)

Standing (from the right); M. Meitlis, ______, Fiszelewicz, D. Bugajski, S. Krakowski, A. Witenberg, Kh. Kahen, ______, Zeidman, S. Tsifler, Y. Birenbaum, S. Grosman, L. Szrajber, L. Grundman, Y. Rozensztajn, L. Goldberg, _______, Gliksman, Gaslowski, Y. Fajerman, Szieke Rozenblat, Y. Goldberg, Kh. Bugajski

Second and third rows: A. Najman, U. Ofman, A. Bugajski, Blumsztajn, D. Rozensztajn, R. Jakubowicz, _______, Fiszelewicz, _______, Dikerman, P. Azman, Przyrowski, Merkin, Szpira, Beser, Przyrowski, Najman.]

p. 224

Arlozorov work committee in Radomsk

Gimel. Hay. (Gadol Hdor – leading figure of his generation)

In Israel a murderous hand interrupted the rich active life of our unforgettable leader Dr. Haim Arlozorov.

The 18th Zionist Congress, desiring to perpetuate the memory of our tragically murdered leader, had decided to create in Eretz-Yisroel a large colony in his name, on which will be settled some hundred families including German Jews.

The local Arlozorov Committee has decided to begin the solicitation this week, and for that purpose our representative will call upon you in the coming days and we ask that you give a proper donation.

In the name of Arlozorov Work Committee:

Haim Goldberg, Moishe Goldberg, Dovid Mair Kornberg

… The Zionist Organization:

Dr. Y. Aranowicz, Josef Zeligzon, Yakov Szpira

Y. S. A. F. 'Po'Alei Zion' (with Z.S.)

Wolf Szpira, Moishe Szitenberg, Ezekeil Skurnitski

…The Keren Kayamet Commission

Chaim Hartman, Abraham Eizen

heHalutz B. Kuperwaser, Oberzanek

…The League for Work. Eretz-Yisroel

Leman, Feiwel Larye

Y.A.S.K. Hapoel

L. Szpira, Y. Cipler

Freiheit Organization

Sh. Granek, A. Dikerman


Yisokhar Minski, M. Tiger

Gordinya H. Ofman, R. Warsawski

Radomsk, November 1933

[Caption: The Proclamation of the United Arlozorov Work Committee (1933)]

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