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Chapter Fourteen – Radomsk in Israel

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The History of the [pre-1948] Radomsker Immigration
and “Landsmanschaft” Activity in Israel

by Dovid Koniecpoler

Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund

Dedicated to the memory of my dear comrade and sincere friend Haim Goldberg, of blessed memory, who with self-sacrifice and effort collected the material and drafted the plan for this description. He turned the work over to me in his last days and laying in his sick bed still had time to read the first version of the description written in Yiddish, which was later translated into Hebrew by his devoted comrade, A. Sheintal (of the printing shop, Ot, Haifa).

The number of Radomsker landsleit in Israel is more than a thousand souls, so may they increase. They are spread in all parts of the land, cities and towns, illages and settlements, cooperative farms and kibbutzim – in the old established settlements and in the new districts. Radomsker sons and daughters are active in the development of Jewish settlements and in the history of their defense ( Hashomer, Haganah and others). The Radomskers participated in the economic development of the land; their role was particularly great in the construction work and creation of the war industries.

The Radomsker population in Israel began generations ago. Even before the Zionist idea was expressed in Jewish society, Jewish Radomsk had connections with Eretz-Yisroel. This connection went through various phases, having lasted generations, and with the rise of Zionism was transformed into a stream of permanent immigrants to Eretz-Yisroel.

It is understood that the longing for Zion was not an exclusive property of Radomsker Jewry. This longing was mirrored in all Jewish hearts for generations, was expressed in prayers and customs throughout Jewish life, and principally in the Messianic movement, which inspired all Jewry. This longing was abstract, heavenly and unfulfilled, although the stream of immigrants to Eretz-Yisroel was unceasing. In order for the aspiration for Zion to receive a real form, there had to be special conditions and Jewish history shows only rare cases when the longing forEretz-Yisroel was transformed into actual immigration.

The “Tiferes Shlomoh” and his desire for Zion

The influence of the divine love of the Radomsker Rebbe, theTiferes Shlomoh – Reb Shlomoh Hakhohan Rabinowicz, of blessed memory – for Eretz-Yisroel was strong. In the 19th century, this distinguished Hasidic leader drew to himself significant masses of Polish and Galician Jewry with his great religious authority and because his whole being was dominated by longing and devotion to Eretz-Yisroel, not only because of religious Messianic thoughts of redemption, but because of the literal thought of settlement in Eretz-Yisroel.

The Tiferes Shlomoh was against traveling to Eretz-Yisroel just to study Torah and to receive support from outside the land of Israel. Answering a poor Jew who asked him if he should travel to Eretz-Yisroel and there be supported by contributions, he had said: “Mutav lashevert bekhutz la'aretz uletzapot leEretz Yisrael ma'asher lashevert b'Eretz Yisrael uletzapot lekhutz la'aretz” (see “Ohel Shlomoh”); that is: “Better to reside outside Eretz-Yisroel with a desire for Eretz-Yisroel.” In his book, “Tiferes Shlomoh” it is said: “Ka'asher hayoshvim b'Eretz Yisrael makhshavoteihem ptukhot lekhutz la'aretz, harei hem ke'yoshvei kutz la'aretz”; that is: “When those who sit in Eretz-Yisroel turn their thoughts outside of Israel, it is the same as being outside of Israel.”

For the Rebbe, the yom-tovim were when envoys would come from Eretz-Yisroel. They lived with the Rebbe in his house and whole days were devoted to matters concerning Eretz-Yisroel. It went so far that Hasidim and simple folk-people made use of these days to visit the Rebbe because his spirit was then very elevated.

In general, the Rebbe lived with the thought of Eretz-Yisroel. From time to time, he saved a ruble and sent it to Jerusalem to one of his Hasidim, Reb Pinkhas of Radom, for arranging the third (last) meal of Shabbos, there to sing the well-known rabbinic melodies. (In Jerusalem this feast was called the “Radomsker third meal.”)

A written article entitled “The Power of Wheat from Eretz-Yisroel” described the great joy in the Rebbe's court when wheat was received from Eretz-Yisroel for baking shmure matzohs. It was thus told in the written article: “When the preparations for Pesakh were completed, the students and Hasidim of Tiferes Shlomoh gathered together in the synagogue and begin to sing a hymn of praise as if they were preparing a divine service. This wheat from the Holy Land was taken from a special chest and everyone started to bake the shmure matzoh as if a ceremony was taking place.

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All around it felt as if the people were ruled by a holy worship, as if they were now baking the lekhem hapanim [the bread] that was baked in the Holy Temple.”

Before making aliyah (immigrating) to Jerusalem in 5611 (1849-50), the Rebbe, Reb Moishe Lelewer, who was the son of Reb Dovid'l Lelewer and grandson of “Hakodes Yehuda” (Reb Yakov-Yitzhak of Przysucha), came to Radomsk to receive a blessing from the tzadek and great friend of Eretz-Yisroel, Reb Shlomoh Hakhohan. The farewell took place in the Rebbe's Beis-Midrash and the mood was very elevated. The Rebbe beamed with joy that one of his good friends was certain to emigrate to the sacred land and thus the connection of the Rebbe Reb Shlomoh Hakhohan with Eretz-Yisroel would become closer.

In the above-mentioned book, Tiferes Shlomoh, we read, “…that the children of Zion will rejoice with their heavenly King and praise His name in the heavens.” And the Rebbe comments: “The Sons of Zion are the tzadekim (righteous) who wait their entire life for Zion to be built and if this will come true they will celebrate with their G-d and praise his name with dancing.”

The Rebbes' grieve because the Divine Presence accompanies the Jewish people into exile and the spread of the Jewish people together with their Torah among the nations is bound with the sorrow that Eretz-Yisroel finds itself in the hands of foreign rulers. He believed that just as the Jewish people must be redeemed, Eretz-Yisroel must be freed from foreign rulers and it was his deep conviction that the Jewish people must be united in the sacred task of Geulat Haam v'Haaretz (Translator's note: the messianic redemption of the people and the land). In the book Tiferes Shlomoh, it is said: “Finding Eretz-Yisroel in the hands of foreign rulers who have defiled the land should shock all Jewish hearts with a common outcry to G-d that He should take pity on the land and bring an ingathering of the Jewish exiles for a total redemption in order to restore still faster the honor of the desecrated land.”

The Radomsker Rebbe, Reb Shlomoh Hakhohan Rabinowicz, of blessed memory, who drew from the sacred books his great love and devotion to Eretz-Yisroel, was proficient in the [writings] of the rabbinical authorities of his time such as Rabbi Tzvi-Hersh Kalisher, of blessed memory (1795-1874) and Rabbi Reb Elihu Gutmakher (1796-1874), who spread the idea of the Love of Zion in various forms. In the book Emuna Yesharea Drishat Zion and others, the great Gaon Rabbi Kalisher called for a return to Zion, which would speed the coming of Moshiakh. Rabbi Gutmakher sermonized: “Ein nishmat Yisrael yekhola lehiga'el ela im tashuv el hamakom ahkadmon shela-Eretz Yisrael”; that is: “The Jewish soul can be redeemed only if it returns to its ancient place – to Eretz-Yisroel.”

The personality of Professor Ahron Markus (1842-1916) occupies a distinguished place in the history of Zionism. Despite his worldly education and philosophical research, after a certain time, he came to the belief that it was necessary for him to leave his native land, Germany, and unite with Eastern European religious Jewry. He later actually studied in large yeshivus with prominent rabbis such as Rabbi Boruk-Yitzhak ben Yisroel Lipszic, known as the Tiferes-Yisroel, Rabbi Reb Shimon Sofer and others. In 1882, when he met Rabbi Yitzhak Fridman in Katowice, Prof. Markus decided to take an active part in the Hibbat Zion (Lovers of Zion) movement and made many attempts to encourage the rabbinic courts toward Herzlist Zionism.

For many years, Professor Markus was a student of the Tiferes Shlomoh. In his book, Der Hasidismus (in German), Prof. Markus writes, “His teacher and Rebbe, Shlomoh Hakohan Rabinowicz incorporated in his creations the wisdom expressed by our great prophets.” He had with the greatness of his enchanted soul, embodied in himself a likeness to our great prophets.

Professor Bernard, too, who lived in Radomsk, became a well-known bel Teshuva (“one who has returned”) with the name Rebbe Reb Haim Dovid and a great “lover of Zion.” He was one of the students of the Radomsker Tzadek Tiferes Shlomoh, of blessed memory.

The great Tzadek not only absorbed all of the positive ideas about reviving the sacred land, but also tirelessly helped to spread the holy ideal of the community Eretz-Yisroel.

Reb Yehiel Landau Goes to “Eretz-Yisroel”

In the 1890's the Tiferes Shlomoh's son-in-law Reb Yehiel Landau decided to make aliyah to Eretz-Yisroel and to settle in Safed (Tzfat). Reb Yehiel Landau, with a warm Jewish heart and ardor for the idea of the community in Eretz-Yisroel, had some difficulty in realizing his decision. His wife was not delighted with the idea of leaving her home and traveling to faraway places. Reb Yehiel, of blessed memory, called her to the Din-Torah (religious court) of the Radomsker Rabbi Reb Tzvi Meir, of blessed memory, his wife's brother. He argued that either his wife Rivkah should travel with him to Eretz-Yisroel or they should have a get (a religious divorce), and thus he elicited his wife's consent to travel together.

This aliyah excited the entire shtetl and when the day of departure arrived, the entire Jewish population accompanied Reb Yehiel and his wife to the train station and sent along their blessings.

Reb Hershele Meshemamesh (attendant), a resident of Tzfat for upwards of 90 years, describes in the following manner how he traveled with Reb Yehiel and his wife Rivkah from Haifa to Tzfat:

“This was many years ago, perhaps 60 or 70 years; no buses traveled to Tzfat then and in Tzfat it was not generally known that buses existed.

“On a certain day I stayed in Haifa with a Jewish family who had several rooms with beds to rent. Jews would spend the night there, eat a meal, drink a glass of tea and the like. Once in the morning before davening, when I was getting ready to ride back to Tzfat on a donkey, the owner came over to me and asked, 'Reb Hershele, are you riding to Tzfat today?'”

– Yes, I answered.

– Very good.

– What then?

– There is a Jew here who needs to ride to Tzfat today.

– So?

– However, he is not from here; he is from outside ofEretz-Yisroel.

– Who is he?

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“And so speaking, a Jew with the face of a sage approached us, he said hello and said,
– I have come here from Nowo-Radomsko.

– And you want to ride to Tzfat?

– If one must ride… and one cannot ride on a wagon?

– No, I answered.

– Never mind, we will ride with G-d's help and will.

– One rides on donkeys.

– So it is, as long as one is inEretz-Yisroel.

– Who are you?

– I am Yehiel Landau.

– What do you want to do in Tzfat?

– To sit and to study with the help of the Creator of the world, the way I studied with my father-in-law in Nowo-Radomsk.

– Who is your father-in-law?

– The Tiferes Shlomoh.

– Well, why did you not say so right away… Come, good, when theTiferes Shlomoh would come to the Rebbe in Lizensk (Translator's note: possibly Lochynsko), he always stayed with my grandfather Reb Fishele. Come, good, we will with G-d's help, ride together.

“Immediately I went away to the village where there was an old Arab café – many Arabs with donkeys from various localities stayed there. I hired three donkeys from an Arab, agreed upon a price with him and a half an hour later we began to ride, each on a donkey – he, Reb Yehiel Landau, his wife Madame Rivkah and I.

“The Arab rode in front; barefoot, he showed the way. There were no good roads then. The Turks who only collected taxes and built nothing still ruled in the land. We rode on bad roads, small foot-paths. The Arab and I were already accustomed to sitting on donkeys, accustomed to riding. However, Reb Yehiel Landau and his wife were not any kind of riders. Instead of two days, we had to ride two and a half days until we arrived in Tzfat. Instead of over-nighting for two days with Arabs, we had to over-night for three nights…

“We had to stop many times on the way. An hour after we rode out from Haifa, we stopped. Reb Yehiel Landau came down from the donkey and said to me:

– Reb Hershele, it is not going well.

– It will soon go. Just have faith.

– I will go on foot to Tzfat.

“I came down from the donkey, sat Reb Yehiel back on his donkey and we rode further. It was a hot day, we were all sweating. It was already dark when we reached Acre. Before Minkhah, Reb Yehiel fell off several times. Probably, he was also in pain, but he said nothing.

“In Acre we went into an Arab's courtyard with the donkeys; then we went to a Jew, davened Minkhah and Maariv. Later when we sat at the table and ate, I asked:

– Reb Yehiel, your limbs must hurt you?

– Nothing hurts. That I have fallen down – is Satan's work… He does not want me to be inEretz-Yisroel… However, in heaven there is a decree that I should sit in Tzfat.

“We needed to awake at daybreak. I wanted him to lay and rest, because we needed to ride further in the morning. He did not want to. He went outside, gathered together pieces of wood and made a fire and sat down nearby on a stone and said Psalms with a melody. His wife calling that he should come into the room did not help.

“I went outside to him and said:

– We still have a long way to Tzfat, we must sleep

– First the Creator deserves a couple of chapters of Psalms. I am greatly in debt to Him… Let me at least pay Him back with Psalms.

– Reb Yehiel, you can say the Psalms in the room.

– Here, here, by the fire Satan has no influence… You understand Reb Hershele, come sit down, we will both say Psalms. It would be better still if there was aminyon here…Oy would that be good…

I sat down near him on a stone. The fire blazed so we did not need any light. He said a chapter of Psalms and I said a chapter of Psalms. I felt as if the tiredness was disappearing and I was being refreshed…

After finishing the Psalms I said:

Nu, Reb Yehiel, come inside.

– What are you saying? If our landlord, the Jew, were here too…

– So what would happen? I ask.

– I would have now asked him to serve whiskey with cookies.

– Brandy?

– Yes.

– We will serve brandy, G-d willing, when we arrive in Tzfat and now come inside a little.

Oy, Reb Hershele, true prayers to G-d are only here in the land – outside, early, under heaven…

“I stood up from the stone and went inside to lie down. He remained outside. After a few hours I woke up. Dawn was already beginning. I got dressed, washed and went outside. He was still sitting by the fire and was looking in a sefer (religious book).

“I said:

– Reb Yehiel, let us nowdaven quickly.

– What do you meandaven quickly?Tiferes Shlomoh's son-in-law does notdaven quickly… Idaven with fervor… Did we say Psalms quickly? You do not know how much smaller I have made my debt to heaven with your and my saying of Psalms…

“We both put on the talisim (prayer shawls), laid tefilin (phylacteries) and davened longer. Then we went together to the courtyard where the Arab with the donkeys was already waiting. The Arab asked for the money; I promised to pay him well in Tzfat. We started to ride.

“At night we stopped in an Arab village not far from Tzfat. There was still another three-four hours of riding. We spent the night in the village and very early in the morning I asked:

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– Reb Yehiel, do you want us todaven here?

– It would be better in Tzfat.

– Good.

– When will we arrive in Tzfat?

– In around three hours.

“We again sat on the little donkeys. When we had ridden a kilometer from the Arab village, Reb Yehiel fell off of the donkey. I immediately ran to him and lifted him up. He bent over, holding his stomach. I became uneasy. He noticed and said:
– It is already, thank G-d, better.

– Did you do something to yourself?

– This is Satan… Reb Hershele, he tried to interrupt my arrival in Tzfat.

“I sat him on my donkey and I sat on his donkey. At around 10 a.m. at a propitious hour, we arrived in Tzfat.

“In my home, they had already not known what to think. They thought that, G-d forbid, something had happened. We went into a house of study, where Jews were sitting and learning, and we davened with them in a minyon.

“Then there was the problem of an apartment. At that time, Reb Haim Radziner was the manager of the local old age home. He prepared a room for Reb Yehiel Landau. There he lived and studied Torah.

“He was called Reb Yehiel Radomsker in Tzfat; he had his own shul, and together with Reb Haim Radziner he occupied himself with raising orphans and even had them married. He created a Talmud Torah and an old age home. Together with Reb Shimon Ludmir and M. Shoykhet, he made a list of the needy and shared the money that would be collected with them.

“Old residents of Tzfat know to tell that Mrs. Rivkah sewed her entire life and knitted socks, stockings, sweaters and the like for poor young men and at their marriage each received a gift of 12 pairs of woolen socks and a sweater from her.

“Thus one of the finest of the second generation after Tiferes Shlomoh made aliyah to Palestine and lived in Eretz-Yisroel, in Torah and good deeds.”

The Experiences of Ahron Zaks in “Eretz-Yisroel“

In 1909 Ahron Zaks, the son of the Radomsker Hazan (cantor) and Zionist worker Reb Shlomoh Zaks, came to Eretz-Yisroel. Reb Shlomoh belonged to a group of devoted Zionists in Radomsk, who were both Jewish sages and fervid supporters of Eretz-Yisroel even before the First Zionist Congress. With the publication of the Zionist ideas of Dr. Herzl among the Jews, they, these Zionists, wanted personally to fulfill this Zionism through aliyah to Eretz-Yisroel. Their reason, their home, all was dominated by this idea. However, it was not easy to achieve this in those times. When, however, the oldest son of Reb Shlomoh Zaks, Ahron, was 20 years old there was no question for him about what to do. He made aliyah to Eretz-Yisroel; there with other Zionist idealists, he joined in the development of our old-new land.

Ahron encountered few, very few Radomskers then in Eretz-Yisroel: Reb Yehiel Landau, Kopel Shamas, Glidman's son and a brother and several old residents in Jerusalem. It was not easy then to live in the land. Many were not able to combat all of the difficulties and left Eretz-Yisroel. But not Ahron Zaks, for him no work was too difficult; he joined a group of Jewish sentries and later was actually wounded in Rehoveth during a struggle with Arab thieves. He lay in the hospital in Jerusalem for a long time. There he was operated on and all of this had a bad effect on his well being, so that he was no longer capable of doing hard work. His father, knowing of this, sent money, so that his sick son could return home. However, Ahron sent the money back and remained in Eretz-Yisroel.

Ahron Zaks belongs to the founders of the Jewish Workers' Movement in Eretz-Yisroel. In 1910, together with others, he created the first workers' kitchen in Yaffa, and also a club and library there for Jewish workers.

During the First World War, he was sent to Egypt with other Jews. After the war he returned and here led a quiet, unassuming life until his last day.

Reb Henek Alpert Fulfilled His Dream

The positive attitude of the Rabbinical Court in Radomsk to the settlement in Eretz-Yisroel had a tremendously large influence on the religious Jews of Radomsk. A great number of them were not satisfied with prayers, but dreamed and even planned their whole life to settle in the sacred land. One of these Jews was Reb Henek Alpert (Reb Henek Malamed), or as he was called “the Przedborzer Malamed.” He was a Jew, a sage, taught only Gemera students, was very eminent in learned circles in Radomsk, was a kinsman of the family of the Radomsker rebbitzin – the wife of Tiferes Shlomoh.

It was not easy for a Jew such as Reb Henek to fulfill such an undertaking – children were born and it was necessary to raise them. There were constant concerns about income and the like. All of this, however, did not, G-d forbid, obstruct his chief idea – aliyah to Eretz-Yisroel. He never economized with money for emissaries from Eretz-Yisroel. They even lived in his house and when Keren-Kameyet-L'Yisroel was created, he immediately became a devoted supporter of the fund. Even before the Zionist Youth and social workers in Radomsk began the work of Keren-Kameyet, he had placed “pushkes” in Jewish homes for the purpose of collecting money for Eretz-Yisroel.

He himself would hang the pushkes in houses, with malamedim in their khederim (religious schools) and with other businessmen, and it is easy to imagine that the majority among the kheder students, who in their later years made aliyah to Eretz-Yisroel, absorbed the impression of these Eretz-Yisroel pushkes.

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While Reb Henek was unable to fulfill his sacred dream for many years, he never lost hope. At last, in 1913 he had the honor of leaving Radomsk and made his journey to Eretz-Yisroel. His joy was very great and all of Jewish Radomsk rejoiced with him and almost all of the Jews accompanied him to the train. He immigrated with his second wife, Chaya Hamer, the widow of Yohanan Hamer, the first gabai of Rebbe Reb Yehezkel (Knesset Yehezkel).

The First World War broke out not long after Reb Henek's immigration. Reb Henek saw that his great dream to bring his whole family to Eretz-Yisroel would not happen because of the war. Therefore, his sorrow and longing was very great. This badly affected his health and in 1914 he died in Eretz-Yisroel. His grandchildren made aliyah to Eretz-Yisroel later in the thirties and thus, after the death of their grandfather, his dream of making aliyah to Eretz-Yisroel was fulfilled. His wife Chaya Hamer died a year later, in 1915.

Categories of Immigrants from Before the First World War

A whole succession of Radomsk Jews belong to this era. They came to Eretz-Yisroel and here took part in various new groups, such as workers or sentries.

Itshe Grosman as a sentry

Among them were: Moishe Szwarc, as well as the brother and son of the Radomsker Hovevei-Zion (Lover of Zion) Kopel Shamas. His brother became known in Eretz-Yisroel as Feter (Uncle) Nakhum, was associated with the Western Wall his whole life and, in general, was famed as a mystical figure. His son, on the contrary, belonged to the group of organized Jewish workers, who together with Yakubowicz and others were involved with hard physical work and as sentries. Itshe Grosman of Radomsk became well known as a sentry [as early as] 1912.

The grandson of Tiferes Shlomoh, Reb Yehoshua-Nakhum the brother of the last Radomsker Rebbe should be remembered here. Reb Yehoshua-Nakhum also came to Eretz-Yisroel in the above-mentioned era, was active as an emissary for various institution in Jerusalem to other nations.

For generations a whole succession of Jewish families from Radomsk traveled to Eretz-Yisroel in their old age, here to live out their last years (for example, the Jurburski family and others).

Here needs also to be remembered the personality of Rabbi Reb Shabtai Bornsztajn and his wife Sarah-Feiga, who came to Eretz-Yisroel in the 30's. The family is a further generation of the rabbinical family in Radomsk. Rabbi Reb Shabtai and his wife lived for many years in Jerusalem; he is known as a great sage, distinguished social worker in the learned world and fervent Jewish nationalist.

After the Balfour Declaration (The Third “Aliyah”)

The longest thread that bound Jewish Radomsk with Eretz-Yisroel in all layers and spheres took a more real shape after the First World War. Jewish Radomsk received the proclamation of the Balfour Declaration with enthusiasm and celebrated this act in 1918, after the Austrians, who occupied Radomsk in 1914, were driven out. During the celebration, the Radomsker Jews gave large contributions of money for Eretz-Yisroel. Jewish women removed their jewelry and solemnly donated it for Eretz-Yisroel. Large groups of Jewish youth proclaimed on the spot a readiness to travel right to Eretz-Yisroel by any means.

In the years 1919-1920, Shlomoh Waksman, Yisroel Wincentowski, Yehoshua and Henek Kalka, Yehiel-Dovid Buchman, Yehezkel Pacanowski, Yosef Rozencwajg, Shlomoh'le Waksman, Yakov Landau, Berl Rozensztajn, Ruwin Minski, Abraham Lipszic, Ruwin Goldberg, Itshe Tobias, Tuvya Rubinsztain, Yehiel Aronowicz, Noakh and Wolf Szpira, Dovid Krojze, Leibish and Moishe Zandberg, Pinkhas Goldberg, the brothers Nakhman and Dovid Gold and their sister Dwoira, Meir Karapka, Shlomoh Rabinowicz, Moishe Tiger, Yitzhak Alpert, Noakh Wajntraub and many others actually made aliyah. In a short time, their wives and selected sons came to the land, there were marriages, and despite the difficult conditions, they built families and rooted themselves in Jewish homes.

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The way was not easy for the Radomsker immigrants of the Third Aliyah, who had already lived through the difficulties of the First World War, the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the creation of independent Poland. After the Balfour Declaration, they truly aspired to be together with other builders of our old-new homeland in Eretz-Yisroel.

Varied were the ways by which the immigrants went from Radomsk in order to join in the construction work of that beginning era in Eretz-Yisroel. Thus was Shlomoh Rabinowicz, the son of the Rabbi and great grandson of Tiferes Shlomoh, one of the founders of the Kefar Hasidim in the Jezreel Valley. Others (like Karapka) went to cooperative farming settlements or to a kibbutz (Yosef Haze – Kibbutz Hefzibah; Białystock – Kibbutz Yagur). A large group won jobs in construction in all its forms.

In the following, Yehoshua Kalka describes the Radomsker construction workers: “The Polish immigrants of the Third Aliyah were not always able to compete with their comrades from Russia. Too, the employers, who were in the majority Russian Jews, did not have any trust in the “Polyakn” (Poles); it was different with the Radomsker immigrants. After they had worked for a long time at various construction work, a machine to press blocks was brought. When I and other Radomsker comrades reported to work and promised to make up to 150 blocks a day, we were laughed at; look at the Polish workers. Later, when we reached 350 blocks a day, we were the most sought-after workers.”

It is self-evident that a portion of the Radomsker immigrants were unable to cope with the difficult conditions and left the country. However, only [a few] could not adjust to the difficult living conditions in the land.

Not having any organizational framework that would be of assistance to the immigrants, the Radomsker landsleit made an effort to be in close contact with each other; they lived together and worked together. If one had opportunities, he secured work for his landsleit; if someone was unemployed, the earnings were shared. Certain trade workers settled quicker and earned more (Henek Kalka, Shlomoh'le Waksman, Yehoshua Kalka and his wife Sarah); their homes were not only gathering places for the newly arrived Radomsker immigrants, but their pocketbooks were shared for support.

In the years 1923-1925, the first members of the Halutz movement arrived in the land: Meir Potoszewicz, Haim Witenberg, Moishe Fiszelewicz, Moishe Kamelgarn, Meir-Dovid Goldberg, the Grosman brothers (Zeira), Freiberg, Meir Gliksman, Moishe-Yitzhak Szitnberg, Yeshayahu Rozencwajg, Shmulke Rozenblat, Zukin Advakat, Birencwajg (Yisrael Bari's father) Yakov Sofer, Yehiel Tron and others. Alas, a portion of them returned home and there perished during the Holocaust era.

After going through the first difficulties of absorption as immigrants in Eretz-Yisroel, the Radomskers occupied significant positions in communal, political and cultural life. Mention must particularly be made of the Gold brothers, Nakhman as an active co-worker in the creation of the post office of the nation and Dovid (Klei), who occupied a distinguished place in the nation's cultural life, as a writer editor, historian and well-rounded scientist.

Radomsker young men in Vienna (Austria) in 1919
on the way to immigrating to “Eretz-Yisroel”

From the left: Yehoshua Kalka, Dovid Buchman, Moishe Zandberg, Yosef Rozencwajg, Yehezkel Pacanowski

In his short life, he mainly contributed to cultural activities for Histadrut Haovdim Haklalit, was one of the founders of Shechunat Borochov (Translator's note: a workers' village) and later Givatayim where he lived to his last days.

The Fourth “Aliyah” Up to the Second World War

Radomsker Jews had a very significant part in the Fourth Aliyah with a percentage much larger than other cities in Poland. So-called “middle-class immigrants” came then; not all of them prospered, while not all had enough perseverance and strength for it.

A group of Radomsker tourists in 1924 on Har Carmel in Haifa

From the right: Henek Zlatnik, Hilel Zambek, Yitzhak Fajerman, Ali Grundman, Yosef Gliksman,
Ahron-Wolf Szwarc, Ruwin Minski and Enzel Berger

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