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[Page 259]

Organization of Former Stryj Residents in Israel

Transliterated by Susan Rosin

1

The immigration to Eretz Israel intensified during 1933 – 1934. It also included hundreds of immigrants from Stryj: Pioneers (halutzim), members of youth organizations and middle class families. Many of the Stryj immigrants encountered difficulties in finding work and a place to live when they first arrived. During this period of enhanced immigration it was easier to find a job than finding an apartment or a room. The official Yishuv institutions and various party organizations did all they could, but in many cases the assistance they provided was not sufficient in helping the new immigrants during their initial period in the new country. The Stryj immigrants needed much support and encouragement upon their arrival.

Among the more established Stryj immigrants who arrived earlier were many who were willing and able to assist the newcomers. In Tel–Aviv, Berl Stern was prominent in his willingness to assist the new immigrants. His two room apartment on Maccabi street was a first stop for many of the Stryj new arrivals, where they could stay for a while. This was very meaningful and of great importance in those days. For years his apartment was a meeting place for those from Stryj, both the new arrivals and those who were already established and it served also unofficially as an information and resource center and mutual aid.

In time, when the number of Stryj newcomers grew it became clear there was a need for both moral and material support for them. As a result, the Stryj organization was established to provide a more streamlined and formal assistance.

The first meeting to establish the “The Organization of Former Stryj and Surrounding Areas residents in Israel” took place in November 1934 in Tel–Aviv. Dr. Emanuel Rechter was elected as the chair person, and the executive committee members were: Meir Frankel, Berl Stern, Yehuda Lustig, Moshe Weiss, and Yaakov Boymel. The tenure of the first executive committee was short, but the assistance for the new arrivals did not stop and was most notably given by those members who were already established in public and financial institutions and were in positions to help with loans and with finding work.

Up until the start of the Second World War the Stryj people used to gather once a year in Tel–Aviv during the Purim holiday to meet, exchange information and take photos.

2

In 1942, when information started to come in about the Stryj refugees in Russia the organization renewed its activity. The committee contacted the Jewish agency in an effort to get the names, addresses, and information about the fate of the Stryj refugees. Immediately after receiving the information, a shipment of clothing and food was organized to the Stryj remaining Jews who were exiled to the Siberian wilderness.

At the same time news started to arrive about the systematic extermination of Europe's Jewry.

World Jewry and the Yishuv in Eretz Israel started to plan rescue missions. However, due to the positions of the main power players and the British, these efforts were very minimal at best.

After the triumph of the allies and Russians, and the retreat of the German army from the territories they occupied, the full scale and the horror of the mass murder of six million Jews by the Nazis and their helpers in Europe was uncovered.

Conditions for an organized and an all–encompassing operation to rescue the survivors returning from Russia to Poland and Germany became feasible only in 1944.

The Yishuv demanded that the British mandate authorities allow the immigration of the survivors in the displaced persons camps in Europe. Despite of the British opposition, the Yishuv's highest institutions made the decision to bring these refugees to Eretz Israel. Thus began the struggle between the Yishuv institutions and the British mandate authorities for the right to bring the surviving refugees to their homeland.

At the same time, organizations of the various Jewish communities in Eretz Israel started to organize as well in order to assist and support their hometown's survivors.

In September 1944 a meeting of the Stryj organization was held. Avigdor Rottfeld in his opening remarks stressed the urgent need to broaden and expand the activity of the organization. The roles of the organization were defined as:

[Page 260]

  1. Finding addresses of the Stryj survivors;
  2. Sending care packages;
  3. Assistance to arriving refugees;
  4. Memorializing the community by creating a “Yizkor” book;
  5. Handling the property of those who perished.
Dr. Zvi Heller, the representative of the Poland Immigrants organization also spoke during the meeting. Mr. Eliyahu Katz talked about his memories of Stryj and the engineer Pinchas Fried, one of Stryj's survivors described the situation in the diaspora. This meeting was also attended by the organization's delegates from Haifa and Jerusalem. It was decided to elect a small committee and the expanded council included: Avigdor Rottfeld, Eliyahu Katz, Meir Frankel z”l, Ben–David Schwartz, Moshe Weiss, Eliyahu Eisenshar, Zisia Lentz, Meir Kaz, Shmuel Marbach, Chaim Preiss, Yaakov Boymel, Yehuda Lustig, Mordechai Schechter, Nathan Pomerantz, Pinchas Polack, Shlomo Borek z”l and Zvi Wohlmut.

After a lengthy and lively discussion the following action items were decided upon: Fund raising among the former Stryj residents in Israel, an appeal to Stryj residents in the US, fixed monthly dues, establishment of secondary organizations in Haifa and Jerusalem, creating a card catalog of all previous Stryj residents, personal assistance to the needy, scheduling the next full meeting and drafting policies and regulations.

A meeting in Haifa of the former residents of Stryj took place on October 28th, 1944. Dr. Zvi Heller, the representative of Poland's former residents as well as representatives of the Tel–Aviv Stryj chapter participated.

3

Three major goals of the organization were established:

  1. Mutual aid to needy Stryj new comers and other Stryj former residents;
  2. Organizing a yearly gathering to commemorate the Stryj martyrs;
  3. Publishing the Stryj Yizkor book to commemorate the Stryj community that was destroyed in the holocaust.
The organization's funds normally were not sufficient for loans for all those that needed them. It is to be noted that some of the more established former residents continued to financially support their needy brethren.

Starting in 1943 a commemorative gatherings for Stryj martyrs were held in Tel–Aviv and sometimes in Haifa. The community and its martyrs were eulogized by dr. Joseph Shilo (Schuster), Avigdor Rottfeld, dr. Nathan Kudish, Shimon Rosenberg and dr. Mordechai Bar–Lev.

The gatherings were an opportunity to meet former residents from all over the country. Every year, the organization's committee and its chair–person were elected. The committee membership did not changed much in recent years. The members were: Avigdor Rottfeld – chair person, Meir Kaz – treasurer, dr. Joseph Shilo (Schuster) z”I (passed away in 1958), Shimon Rosenberg, dr. Nathan Kudish, dr. Ada Bar–Lev, dr. Mordechai Bar–Lev, mgr. Yaakov Waldman, mgr. Zisia Lentz, Yehuda Lustig, Israel Pikholtz, Israel Gartenberg, Abraham Stern, mgr. Itzhak Nussenblatt, Moshe Weiss and Chaim Preiss.

Haifa's chapter committee members were: Menachem Walter, Menachem Hobbel, David Honnig, Munia Kliger, dr. Lindbaum, D. Golding, Moshe Agrat, Joseph Gliecher, Itzhak Engelman, Itzhak Fruchter. The Jerusalem's committee members were: Chaim Neiman, Arye Hobel, and Shoshana Carmel.

Two sub–committees were established:

  1. Mutual assistance committee whose members were: Meir Kaz, Avigdor Rottfeld, Shimon Rosenberg, and Yehuda Lustig. Meir Frankel z”l who was a member of this committee was very dedicated to the Stryj residents in Israel and devoted much of his time and energy to this cause.
  2. Stryj Yizkor book committee members were: Dr. Shilo z”l, Avigdor Rottfeld, dr. Ada Bar–Lev, dr. Nathan Kudish, Shlomo Rosenberg, and Meir Kaz.
These two committees met frequently to discuss current issues and make decisions. The extended committee met every couple of months to get reports from the two committees and to make decisions about general and fundamental matters.

In recent years additional Stryj survivors began arriving in Israel and some of them needed assistance. Due to that reason and to coincide with the publication of the Stryj Yizkor book, the organization revitalized.

The Stryj organization was part of the former Poland Residents organization.

The Stryj organization felt the importance of its public activity and was encouraged by the support of the many former Stryj residents who live in Israel.


[Page 261]

List of Stryjers who died in Israel
before Sefer Stryj was published (1962)

Transliterated by Israel Pickholtz

The surnames in this list are more or less in alphabetical order in Hebrew.



EGOZI, Yehoshua KATZ, Eliyahu

PROPST, Mendel

IGRA, Shimon

KATZ-CIRING, Riva

ZIMMERMAN, Esther

IDLER, Bronka

KATZ, Izio

ZUCKERBERG, Chaim

EISENSHER, Dr. Yitzhak

LUSTIG, David

ZUCKERBERG, Shimon

ALTBAUER, Pesia

LENTNER, Rachel

ZUCKERBERG, Mordecai

BOIMEL, Mendel

MEINER, Shelomo

ZIMMERMAN, Esther

BOK, Feige

MEINER, Sarah

ZAFRONI, Sarah (ALTBAUER)

BORGMAN-BATAT, Chana

MARBACH, Alter

KESTENBAUM, Michael

BARLEV (REINHERZ), Dr. Moshe

NUSENBLATT, Hersch

KESTENBAUM, Esther

BRAND, Leah

NUSENBLATT, Zvi (ALTBAUER)

KISELEVITZ, Miriam (Shiffman)

GOLDBERG, Beracha

NAIMAN, Bluma

KLEIN, Henia

DERFLER, Gita

SEGAL, Leibush

KRIEGER, Leib

DERFLER, Yosef

SEGAL, Sarah

RATHAUZ, Zvi

DERFLER, Chana

SEGAL, Yaakov

ROTBARD, Dr. Mordecai

HAUPTMAN, Yehudah Isidore

FELDHORN, Rachel

REINHERZ, Herz Yaakov

HOVEL, Avraham

FELDHORN, Soveli

REINHERZ, Rachel Malka

HOVEL, Bluma

FELDMAN, Leib

STERN, Beryl

HAMMERSHLAG, Moshe Leib

FLEISCHER, Moshe

STRASSFELD, Moshe

HENIG

PFEFFERBAUM, Yoel Herz

STRASSFELD, Alta Miriam

HAFTAL, Esther

PFEFFERBAUM, Beila

STEINER, Zalman

WOLFINGER, Henrik

PFEFFERBAUM, Mecha

STEINER, Sarah

WALDMAN, Bronka

FRANKEL, Shalom

STEINER, Sonia

WALDMAN, Rachel

FRANKEL, Rivka

STEINER ,Shemuel

VORM, Lunek

FRANKEL, Meir

STARK-ROSENMAN, Chana

ZAGER, Shlomo

FRANKEL, Sheva

SCHILLER, (Schuster) Dr. Yosef

KATZ, Aharon

FREI, Liza

SHIFFMAN, Genia

KATZ, Sarah

PRICE, Rachel

SHIFFMAN, Shemuel

KATZ, Issachar

FRUCHTER, Penina

SHIFFMAN, Yachzi

KATZ, Shmuel

FREIDLAND, Rivka

 


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