The Zambrów Yizkor Book
The English Translation

Courtesy of the United Zembrover Society

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Hakhnasat Orkhim

This was a venerable municipal institution that at one time shared the Rabbi’s residence. The Rabbi lived upstairs, across from the Red Bet HaMedrash, and the Hakhnasat Orkhim was downstairs, together with the residence and workplace of Binyomkeh Schuster. Binyomkeh was the shammes of Hakhnasat Orkhim. It consisted of two large rooms, with about six to eight sleeping beds and tables, with hay mattresses and blankets. Poor people, itinerant preachers, and ordinary guests who were poor would be able to get a place to sleep there. Every guest passing through would receive a note from the gabbai, Herschel Tukhman, or someone else, and was given a place to lodge on the strength of it.

Cleanliness was less than ideal, since this was not a consideration in those times. The important thing was [when] a guest was passing through, or an itinerant preacher was coming, he then would get a bed on which to sleep when he brings a pass from the gabbai, Herschel Tukhman. Binyomkeh Schuster occupied the two lower rooms, one of which was for sleeping, and the other for his work.

Hakhnasat Orkhim often served as a ‘second home’ for worship. On the High Holy Days, Simchas Torah, and regular Festivals or special Sabbaths. The Hakhnasat Orkhim was cleaned up, arranged for the guests to go to a host house early on, put the large table in the center of the room, covering it with a white tablecloth and – presto – a minyan.

We, the young folk, had our eye on something else there: there was a special closet there, kept under lock and key, in which hung the colored uniforms of ‘officials’ such as Hussars, Cossacks, Generals and Admirals, with blue trousers, and red stripes, with French Hussar Caps, swords, and boot spurs, and a drawer full of masquerade paraphernalia, meaning masks, woven from a fine fabric, with beards, with outsize noses, and red cheeks.

When a wedding would take place in the city, and the bride and groom were escorted through the streets to the synagogue – designated people dressed in these costumes would be stationed to amuse the passers-by. The young people who masqueraded in this way did it to fulfill the mitzvah of gladdening the bride and groom. Yet the parents would pay the group that did this a fee, called ‘Hakhnasat Kallah,’ which was set aside for brides without means [or dowry]. Those so designated would proudly march in front of the bride, clanging their spurs, and waving their swords like real generals. They would never speak, so that they could not readily be recognized. They would signal each other using codes, which they would whistle to one another. This was why they were also called the ‘pranksters.’ The costumes and masks, however, belonged to ‘Hakhnasat Orkhim,’ and Binyomkeh Schuster was the one responsible for their safekeeping. These costumes were borrowed from Hakhnasat Orkhim for a variety of festive occasions, for a fee, which was applied to other charitable purposes.

Purim was the day for these appointed young folks, special workers, who would come to act, to traverse the houses with a gabbai or two gabbaim, to gather donations for charity: Hakhnasat Kallah, Hakhnasat Orkhim, poor mothers, lying in confinement, orphans, and the like. For this purpose, the costumes would be rented from Hakhnasat Orkhim, for a fee which was then applied to other charitable purposes. 

Medical Help

Everyone knew a bit of the healing arts back in the alter haym. If one caught a cold, and a soreness developed in the throat – the feldscher swabbed the throat. One called special ‘old crones’, who applied bonkes. Everyone knew how to apply compresses on their own. As well as similar things – massaging one’s self with oil, with French turpentine. If ‘bloodletting’ was required, or incised bonkes to allow the bad, black blood to be drained off, this was done on Friday towards evening at the bath house. And Jews regained their health, thank God. If someone experienced stomach pains, one obtained a helping of ‘ponzuvkeh’ – in the summer, when the fresh cucumbers came into season, then one made an enema, drank digestive leaves, and quite often took a small glass of castor oil. And thank God -- one got better. For headaches, one had ‘rumanik,’ (the little rumanik flowers were therefore called ‘headache’).  For an eye ache, one used kvassborneh, or strong extract from tea. To protect little children from an eye ache, the eyes would be rubbed with a fresh, just-laid egg. If a finger hurt, or a foot became swollen, God forbid, almost every home had an onion flowerpot, from which the leaves of the onion was torn off, and plastered in a way to allow its sap to exude and then applied it to the bump or swelling. If one became hoarse, one made a guggle-muggle,[1] sucked on a sugared candy, or just drank plain warm milk, freshly milked from the nanny goat. Medicines were obtained from David Itczyzeh in his store, or from Shlomo Pracht, etc. If that was not possible, one then went to the pharmacist. It is told that the oldest drug store was on the Czyzew Gasse. the pharmacist was named Baszensky, a Russian. His premises were not very orderly.

Medicines were not recorded, and neither was the name affixed to the container, nor the name of the patient. Sometimes as a result, very bad things happened. My mother, of blessed memory, when she was still a small girl, had her prescription switched, and was given eye drops instead of an internal medicine. Because of this, she nearly departed this world. Later on, the pharmacy was moved to Khaczynsky’s house, where Benjamin Kagan lived afterwards. Later still, it was moved to the house of Yankl Bursztein. Also, the ownership of the pharmacy changed hands, until a young gentile from Breznica took it over, Skarzynski, a man of means, who had studied at the Warsaw School of Pharmacy. He bought Khoniowsky’s house on the Koszaren, and he set up his pharmacy there, which stood for many years. He was no great friend of the Jewish people. He did, however, act courteously, and was tolerant because his entire income was derived from Jews. For years, he was the commandant of the Zambrow Fire Brigade. It was only, close to the First World War, that a Jewish ‘sklad apteczni[2]’ arrived, Mr. Kaufman, who came from the Lithuanian shtetl of Vasiliski, and the Jewish pharmacist Mr. Szklovin. Both of these Jewish pharmacists and their families introduced progress to the Jewish community of Zambrow.


Among the oldest of the feldschers in Zambrow, one remembers the gentile, Wyszynski.  He was a specialist in maiming Jewish and gentile young men, in order to have them rejected by the military draft. He would make ‘leeches’ in the ears, induce ruptures in the abdomen, bend fingers out of shape, and extract teeth and similar things, so as to avoid having to serve the Czar. A gentile once informed on him: he had taken five rubles, inflicted a sort of rupture on his son, and ‘Fonyeh[3]’ took him any way. Accordingly, Wyszynski fled the country, and his lovely house on the horse market was bought up by Moshe Shmuel Golombek.

A Jewish feldscher once lived behind Alter Brievtreger’s[4] house, on the Ostrowo Road. He was a good friend of the nobleman Sokolewski, to whom he would apply bonkes, let blood, cut his hair, and give him massages – and thanks to this nobleman, this feldscher began to deal in forest products and grain, which the nobleman made available to him. He became wealthy and abandoned his medical practice.

A second feldscher arrived, Yozhombek, a clever and good-natured gentile who made a nice living from the Jews and lived like a nobleman in a beautiful villa on the ‘Powszwanta.’  When his wife died at an early age, many Jews came to the Roman Catholic church to pay their respects and to follow her funeral cortège.  Jews had a better opinion of Yozhombek’s medical treatment than that of a doctor. He was a specialist in surgery, would operate, open wounds, and truly sew them up very well.

At the same time, a Jew named David ‘Yudises’ also took on the practice of a feldscher, whose family name was  Rutkowsky, because he came from Rutki. His mother, Yehudis, was the well-known midwife of old Zambrow who delivered almost all of the newborns there.

David ‘Yudises was a hygiene officer in the Russian army, [who] taught himself to speak Russian, play cards, and tend to the sick. He opened a ‘shaving parlor’ in Zambrow, and with an assistant, later on with his son, Chaim, he would give haircuts and beard trims to the Jews, and shave the faces of gentiles during fairs and market days. However, he would also go to apply bonkes, swab sore throats, cut [ingrown?] toenails, and rub the sick with turpentine, that is to say, give them a massage. David held himself as a great person, even though he was not much loved in the shtetl, because he was, so to speak, assimilated, and associated with the gendarmes and the police. In the fifth year (1905) he was suspected of being an informer, and that he informed on Jewish strikers (revolutionaries). Accordingly, Jewish young people, on one dark night, beat the daylights out of him. Because of this, the authorities gave him permission to carry a revolver. One time on Purim, during an instance when noise was being made to assault Haman in the White Bet HaMedrash where he worshiped, he whipped out his revolver and shot into the air, making a hole in the ceiling. From that time on, people were afraid to start up with him. A short time later, the Rabbi excommunicated him, because of a suspicion. In time, he left Zambrow, and went to Warsaw. I recall two things about him that I personally saw that on one occasion, the Warsaw Governor General, Skolon, came on a visit to Zambrow to inspect the military region. An honor gate was erected in honor of his visit, close to the barracks, and the Zambrow Rabbi, accompanied by several of the prominent balebatim rode out in a carriage to greet him with bread and salt. Beside them, David Rutkowsky also rode in a carriage, dressed in a black coat with white gloves, with a cylindrical top hat. He looked like a graf, because he was a handsome, tall figure of a man. Accordingly, the Governor General took him to be the representative of the Jews and shook his hand. The Rabbi and the balebatim, without white gloves, were shunted to the side, and the Governor General did not receive them. Well, this gave the shtetl something to talk about...

On a second occasion, I recall it was on the Sabbath, and David Rutkowsky ascended the bima in the White Bet HaMedrash, and held up the Torah reading, not permitting the reading to continue. What was this all about? Early that Saturday morning, he had gone to apply bonkes, or leeches, to a gentile, who lived behind the cemetery. There, he spied dogs rifling graves, and dragging out bones. He raised a hue and cry to cause a higher fence to be erected for the cemetery. The public was aroused and gave him justification: the Chevra Kadisha extracts so much money from the dead and the living, and there is no money for a fence. This went on, until the old gabbai of the Chevra Kadisha, of long standing, R’ Shmulkeh Wilimowsky, agreed to call a special meeting that Saturday night to enable a fence to be built around the cemetery. The fence was constructed. And it was for this reason that David ‘Yudises was always recalled favorably.

A feldscher, who had a graduate diploma, used to live at Yankl Bursztein’s house. This was at the expense of the Jewish community, who had an interest in having a Jewish ‘doctor’ in the city. The Jewish feldschers did not last long: if a feldscher was good, he would be grabbed up by a larger city, and a bad one would be driven out. In the land there was a feldscher (whose name I have forgotten), who had a large nose. His son, who also had such a nose, was raised and married in Zambrow. He was a barber.



There were two Jewish doctors in Zambrow in those years.  One – Gordon, a good doctor, who rapidly became beloved in the city. So he was grabbed away by Ciechanowiec – a larger city.  The second, Dr. Hendel, was a card player and didn’t last very long.

Among the gentile doctors at one time, there was Mikhailowski, who later became renown in Lomza as a gynecologist, and Czaplicki.

Czaplicki was a good and popular doctor. He lived on the Bialystok Road, in a nice villa, near Brzezinsky’s house. Jews had respect for him. After many years of a good practice, he went off to Ostrowo, or some other city. In his place, Dr. Dombrowsky came, who came from a peasant family of one of the nearby villages. At first he was not well thought of, and experienced women understood medicine better than he did. A little at a time, he developed a practice and remained in Zambrow for a long time. However, he never earned any great trust. Because of this, several families would get together, who had members that were sick, and brought in  Dr. Landinsky from Lomza, a convert, or Dr. Katzenellebogen, Dr. Mikhailowski and occasionally an especially famous doctor from Warsaw. Many of the sick would gather together in one location, and that house assumed the appearance of a Polyclinic. Often times, the outside doctor would be paired with a local doctor for a consultation. The feldscher would play the role of assistant or hygienist. On occasions, the sick might be taken to Lomza, to the doctor, or to the hospital.

It was rare to use the military doctors, who allowed themselves to be well paid. During the First World War, the ‘wojenny[5]’ doctors would render medical assistance free of charge.


The ‘Hekdesh

Near the bath house was a small house maintained by the Jewish community, and it was called the ‘Hekdesh.’ There, the poor who were sick were hospitalized, who had no place where they could be accommodated, people with infectious diseases, so they not infect their other family members, itinerant paupers, and those Jewish soldiers that had become critically ill, and wanted to die among Jews – they were brought to the ‘Hekdesh.’  The ‘Hekdesh’ played an important role in the shtetl – even though the premises was always not clean, and [it] became a part of the expressive folklore as: ‘dirty as a Hekdesh,’ or ‘from the bath to the Hekdesh.’


The Society of Brotherly Love

By Israel Levinsky

In the year 1899, a street paver came to Zambrow from Ciechanowiec and took up residence in the shtetl. Seeing the difficult plight of the laborers and craftsmen when they need medical help, he called a meeting pf about fifteen to twenty balebatim, and put before them a proposal to establish an aid society, called ‘Ahavat Akhim’ (Brotherly Love), which would help those in need while they were ill.  I remember a number of those founders: Yom-Tov Herman, who had a tailor shop, Abraham Shlomo Dzenchill, the community activist, Ephraim Surowicz, the son-in-law of Michael Finkelstein, Bercheh Sokol the Melamed, and the writer of these lines. The burden of creating the statutes was placed upon me, involving the twenty points that a member needed to fulfill, such as: paying membership dues, staying up nights with the sick, looking after the medicinal requirements of the sick, etc. With the first of the funds, rubber bonkes were bought in Warsaw for our use,[as well as] ice bags, thermometers, baths, and salves for rubbing on, castor oil, Burrow’s Solution[6], English salt, carbolic acid for disinfection, enemas, etc. Yom-Tov Herman was elected as president, and also as quartermaster. In my cellar, shelves were built in, and a small pharmacy was set up. Against a pledged security -- each member received whatever it was that they required.. Non-members had to bring a note from the management and paid a small usage fee, along with pledging security in case the item in question was broken while in his possession. I kept the security pledges in a special drawer for a number of years, and a portion of them remain unresolved to this day... when the pharmacy got larger, and the number of sick grew larger, God forbid it should happen to you – I turned over this function to R’Abraham Shlomo Dzenchill, who, together with his wife, Et’keh, devoted themselves to the assistance of the sick among the itinerant poor. In the year 1905, approximately six years into the existence of the society, a delegation of ‘strikers’ came into my home, meaning they were organized labor revolutionaries, and demanded that I turn over the old medical instruments to them – for their ‘Patients’ Inventory.’ I did not agree to this because I possessed only one individual opinion, and after all, there was a committee that should decide this despite the fact that in my heart I felt their request was justified, since they were fighting for a better tomorrow and have a greater need for this assistance. In short, they came every day, in the evening after work, and confronted me with all manner of troubles – that they would suffer, if they would not receive this aid.  The committee did not meet for a variety of reasons, and each of them managed to squirm out of it, pointing to me. This went on until I was able to extract a minimal agreement from the principal activists in the group, and one time on a summer’s evening, several of the strikers came to me with boxes under the direction of one of them, a man named Herschel from Sniadowo, a wheelwright (a distant relative of mine) and the ‘Gypsy Tough Guy’, a harness maker (I have forgotten his name) and took out the entire pharmacy of the group and transferred it to some other location.


Help for the Homeless

When the First World War broke out in the years 1914-1915, Zambrow was transformed into a central point for homeless Jews. Truly, it was located between two strategic points: Czorny Bor and Czyzew.  In itself, it was not strategic, and the shtetl lay to the side at a distance from the front and was generally secure from German air attack. There was only one occasion when a German plane was downed, onto a field, near Kaufman the Coat Maker, in which the pilot showed himself to be able to set fire to his craft. At that time, Zambrow was full of homeless people from Jedwabne and Nowogród, Myszyniec and Ostrolenka. When the Germans later bombed Lomza, tens of families from Lomza fled to Zambrow. The young people organized themselves, together with the delegation from the ‘Society of Russian Cities,’ who sent a lady doctor here, a lady feldscher, and also foodstuffs with which to provision a free kitchen, medicines, etc.

Among the organizers were the student Zusmanowicz from Lomza, the student Gutman from Lomza, Khezki Mark, Yehoshua Domb, Eliezer Wilimowsky, Shimon Sokol, Alter Rothberg, the writer of these lines, and others. At night, young people would be hanging around the unpaved Lomza-Zambrow road, with ‘permissions’ in hand, because one was not permitted to be out in the streets at night, to receive newly arriving homeless people and giving them a night’s lodging and something warm to drink. The free kitchen in the school building – would distribute about three hundred midday meals a day. In the bakery, beside the White Bet HaMedrash (at one time Nachman the Baker and Shammes used to live there), matzos were baked for the homeless and the poor, and all of the Zambrow youth would come together there. The work was allocated, and everyone participated: pouring waters, flour mixers, dough rollers, oven heaters, etc. We would go to lodge at the home of the sick at night, carry out disinfections among the homeless, who lived under terrible crowded conditions – several families to a single room.

The entire cadre of young people worked for the needy, giving help to the homeless.


Linat Tzedek


The sick who should have gone to a hospital needed to remain at home for lack of a hospital in the shtetl. In order to alleviate the distress of the family that had to attend to the sick person day and night, or the difficulties imposed on a craftsman or laborer who needed to sleep the night, and could not maintain watch at a sickbed – ‘Linat Tzedek’ came to offer help.

Its members were largely laborers – craftsmen who worked a long, hard day, and spent the night with the sick. ‘Linat HaTzedek’ had a storage facility with medicines, medical instruments, and was connected to doctors, pharmacists, feldschers, et al. Anyone who needed help got it, without any difficulties. The Zambrow Aid Society, in Chicago and New York would regularly contribute their help for this.

R’ Yehoshua the Melamed stood at the head of ‘Linat Tzedek.’ During the last ten years or more, its President and leader was R’ Shlomo Dzenchill, and he was committed to the undertaking. From an accounting of the year 1938 we read:

photo, left: The Annual Balance Sheet for ‘Linat Tzedek’ for the Year 1937

1270 instances of illness. 2340 medical instruments were distributed, medicinal help in the mount of 5,179.47 zlotys was given out. Medical instruments that were valued at 815.11 zlotys were purchased.


Shlomo’keh Dzenchill

He was one of the nicest sorts of person in the city, serving as a bridge between the common man and the intelligentsia. He was the son of Lejzor the Butcher and Taiba-Shayna. Handsome, of middling height, he was a man full of humor. By trade, he was a carpenter, a carver – a student of Berl and Myshel Stoliar. Together with his father and brother David Leibl, he provisioned the Russian barracks with meat. He was an accomplished man, being versed in accountancy, a fire fighter, and an active member in a number of organizations. As a principal activity, he committed himself to ‘Linat Tzedek,’ for which his home became the office of the organization. Everyone came to him for help, and he was tireless in extending such help to everyone. He stayed in contact with the Zembrover Aid Society in Chicago, and almost every month he would receive a set sum of dollars from them at his address, in the mail for ‘Linat Tzedek’ and other groups. He earned the greatest trust from everyone.

He had a food store on Wilson Gasse in the last years.


The Ladies Auxiliary Society



Entrance to the Photographer’s Studio, used mostly for the taking of pictures that were to be sent to sons and husbands in America.

During the first days of the German occupation, the shortage of foodstuffs intensified. Prices rose from minute to minute. The Germans confiscated all things required for sustenance, grains, flour, dried corn, woven goods, hides, potatoes, oil, honey, meat, etc. Hunger in the city intensified. Active women organized themselves, who in their undertakings had provided help to the needy even back under the Russian régime, and they devised means by which such assistance could be rendered. They provided aid to the sick, poor women who lay in confinement, poor brides, and provided for orphans, et al. In the meantime, the occupation administration brought cohorts of refugees from the areas around Pinsk, Brisk, Telekhany, and Baranovich. They billeted them in the barracks previously used by the Russian army that had been displaced from their residence. [These women] would organize ‘flower days,’ concerts, theatre presentations by local amateurs and from outside, whose revenues would be applied to their worthy purposes. Their watchword was: ‘Let there be no one among us who goes hungry and suffers.’

After the war, their work became further branched out.  The Society remained active until the Holocaust, and even in the Holocaust years it spread its protective wing over the city, organizing help and standing on the watch. The ladies, Esther Gordon, mother of Lula and Niuta, Sarah Mark, Jocheved Srebrowicz, Mrs. Szklovin wife of the pharmacist and others, were the dedicated workers of the Society and dedicated days and nights to their sacred undertaking.

They were in constant contact with our brethren in America, who consistently sent funds and showed an understanding about their work.


Excerpts of Correspondence

Here we record excerpts from a number of letters from Zambrow to America, during the last year of its existence....


To the Zembrover Help Committee in Chicago

A List of the Needy


We are sending over to you a list of those needy people whom we have been able to assist each month, with your help:

Yaakov K. A young man under nursing care, ten zlotys.

Shimon R. For the ride to Lomza to the hospital, ten zlotys.

Fy’cheh B. A sickly young woman, under nursing care, ten zlotys.

Shakhna P. Under nursing care, five zlotys.

Pearl G. Under nursing care, five zlotys.

Rivka K. Convalescence, ten zlotys.

Chana Ts. Sent to the Warsaw Hospital, twenty zlotys.

Freida G. An operation in Bialystok, twenty zlotys.

David G. Under nursing care. fifteen zlotys. etc.

A list of thirty additional brothers and sisters who were ill. It is signed by the Chair, Esther Gordon, the Secretary Rachel Gottlieb, Treasurer, N. Finkelstein. 

11.10.38... it disturbs me that we are always writing to you about want and those who are sick. What can we do? When the dear summer arrives, we must care for a part of those who are sick, to send them to a dacha in Czerwony-Bur, and when winter arrives, we have to be concerned for nursing care, wood, coal and clothing, the need is great and we are accosted on a daily basis by those in need, sick, or sapped of strength. What can we do, since the government provides us with no support, and we have to do everything for ourselves. Please forgive us, and understand us. You are the one and only hope of the sick – first there is God, and after that, you brothers and sisters from Zambrow in America. Signed, Esther Gordon, Chair.                         

20.12.38....We received the seventy-eight zlotys through Mr. Shmuel Finkelstein. We are moved by this donation, which was provided by the wife and children of my unforgettable brother-in-law Shlomo Zalman Goldman ז״ל, which has been given for our impoverished here in Zambrow. On the Saturday night of the parsha of Vayigash, all of the aid institutions will gather in the Bet HaMedrash, and we will mourn and eulogize him at a memorial.

We were unable to have this memorial earlier, because of Hanukkah.

With consideration, his sister-in-law, Sarah Mark, Vice-Chair.


Esther Gordon



Stamp of the Ladies Auxiliary
Society of Zambrow


A Support Fund at the Handworkers’ Union

In the last years, the fund of the Handworkers’ Union was active, while it is true that the ‘Savings & Loan Bank’ existed, where one could go to borrow money to purchase goods and materials, etc. But this was a bank, and it had to be run like a bank, with notes, guarantees, interest, discounts, etc. The working man could not always easily or quickly receive the necessary required assistance. The Support Fund therefore came to him with help sent from America, and could offer him the loan and thereby help him.

Here, we bring excerpts from correspondence that clarify the nature of its activity.


The Support Fund at the Handworkers’ Union
in the name of the Chicago Landsleit


[To] Our Best Friends and Landsleit in Chicago,

We are sending you the balance [sheet] of our Support Fund, which records what we have done with the money that you have sent us. From the central office (Warsaw) we have received, in accordance with your instructions, two hundred and fifty zlotys. On the spot, we collected 78.50 zlotys from the following twenty-one people: Leibl Gorodzinsky (Watchmaker), Moshe Stupnik (President), Baruch Szturman (Miller), Abraham Naimark (Locksmith), Chaim Rothstein (Watchmaker), Herschel Sosnowiec (Treasurer), David Miszkowsky (Committee Member), David Kozhidlo (Baker), Yaakov Granica (Merchant), Chaim Golombek (Merchant), Chaim Bursztein (Tailor), E. Bonenfeld (Tailor), Abraham Rothberg (Tailor), Eli Rothberg (Tailor), Mordechai Freedman (Baker), Abraham Krupinsky (Bootmaker), Nathan Krupinsky (Baker), Yaakov Yellin Manes (Boot Maker), Yehuda Lakhower (Bootmaker), Yitzhak Blumowicz (Secretary),Yitzhak Leib Dzenchill (Carpenter).

Up to January 1, 1938, we have received from you – 576.35 zlotys, and our seed capital is now 879.85 zlotys. In this past year, we have given out seventy-four loans, each at the rate of twenty-five zlotys. Every week, the [borrowing] members bring back to the fund a small sum, without interest, and in this manner we help get them on their feet and literally save their lives. Please send us funds in zlotys, because we have great difficulty if the funds come in dollars... 

Signed by: M. Stupnik – Chair,  Sosnowiec – Treasurer, Abraham Rothberg – Committee Member, Y. Blumowicz – Secretary.

Dark Waves Pursue Us Relentlessly

 The Eve of Rosh Hashana, 5699 [7].                                                                                                   

Dear friends, your money, [in the amount of] ten dollars, has arrived, and was immediately distributed: two loans were given to needy people. We are closing the old year with oppressed spirits, feeling abandoned, and in need, hungry, and under confiscation, and a deficit in life itself. What will come with the new year? We live in fear of the very present, with a fear of death – that might come tomorrow. Dark waves pursue us relentlessly, assaulting us from all sides, and we like poor lambs stand by and simply watch, waiting to see what they will do to us. One ray of light shines into our field of view – the help of our brethren in America, [Because of this] we do not feel so abandoned... a new year is approaching, and we wish you a year of blessing, success, and may you be inscribed and sealed  for a good year, and may our Union be a sacrifice for you, and our suffering an expiation for our loyal landsleit.

Moshe Stupnik, Hersch Sosnowiec, Y. Blumowicz.


The Stamp of the Relief Branch of the Handworkers’ Union


Z. Yelen   Isaac Golombek


Kaplan the Shoemaker and wife, at the Mother's Tombstone.


Who Knows What Will Become of Us...

1939. We thank you for the 79.50 zlotys. At our general assembly, with the participation of one hundred and two members, we accepted a resolution of gratitude to the Chicago Help Committee. During the assembly, we listened to the memorial for the Zambrow philanthropist, R’ Zalman Goldman, and thanked his wife and children for their contribution benefitting our treasury. The audience was so inspired, that one of them, a member, leapt to his feet and recited the Kaddish in memory of the deceased. New decrees keep on coming, Events taking in place in Germany do not augur well for us. Our situation becomes more and more grave with each passing day and weaves a catastrophe over our heads with an increasingly rapid tempo. [Dear] brethren, see to it that we are not left to abandonment like prickly thorns in some corner of desolation. All of us suffer hunger. Jews, who were balebatim, come and beseech us for a loan to buy bread for their children...



(Care of orphans, protection of children and the young)

In accordance with the initiative of a few community activists, teachers, doctors and ladies, the head leadership in Bialystok decided to establish a branch in Zambrow. [This was done] in December 1936, aimed at rescuing tens of Jewish children from the ravages of tuberculosis and other diseases. Until July 1, the food center provided nourishment to one hundred and thirty Zambrow children, and disbursed 763.75 zlotys. The extra money required was generated by Jews of Zambrow. In July, the head office in Bialystok was supporting two hundred Zambrow children for fresh air, and provided a subsidy of 1,750 zlotys. In November, a fund-raiser for shoes was held, raising two hundred zlotys, etc.

Here, we include excerpts for the letters of the Zambrow ‘Centos’ to the Help Committee in Chicago, which shed light on its work, for the benefit of the children of Zambrow in the final years before the Holocaust.


To the Zembrover Friendship Society of Chicago


We have received the forty dollars that you sent us, at the rate of ten dollars per month.

 What have we done with the money? And, what are we doing in general?

First we organized a colony for half the summer for two hundred poor children, who are exhausted and hungry. They received good food, fresh air, and were under the supervision of competent pedagogues. This cost us close to five thousand zlotys. Accordingly, we were left with a deficit of five hundred and five zlotys. We covered this through our own efforts, and partly with the help you provided to us.

We are implementing for the second winter an initiative to feed one hundred and twenty poor school children and cheder students. In the morning, they get a warm breakfast, which cost us two hundred and twenty five zlotys a month. We receive one hundred zlotys from the head office of ‘Centos’ in Poland, and 52.5 zlotys from your society. The remaining seventy zlotys we cover on our own. This is hard for us: the Jews of Zambrow hunger, and do not have enough to buy bread for themselves, so how can they support us?

We are now embarking on creating a day home for forty young children, up to the age of seven, and rescue them from certain oblivion. Well, then, how are we to take money for this?

This week we carried out a fund drive for clothing and made thirty new pair of shoes for barefoot school children, and over the winter this came to two hundred and fifteen zlotys. We write little, but do a great deal...

For information purposes, we wish to record for you the names of those of our active members:

Chair – the teacher A. Dan, former President of the Cooperative-Bank, Dr. Zarkhi, Dr. Fakhucky the dentist, Rothman of the town council, Mrs. M. Regensberg, the Rebbetzin, Mrs. Jocheved Srebrowicz, wife of the community president, and the daughter of Yankl Zukrowicz, Mrs. Koczor, a teacher, and daughter of Alter Mark, Albert Glicksman, a merchant and very capable community activist, Mrs. Kolodny, the daughter of Avcheh Rakowsky. Moshe Rosen, a merchant, a member of the community leadership, and of the bank leadership, etc. The Secretary is M. Khodorowsky, a grandchild of Avcheh Rakowsky.


We have received the two hundred and sixty-five zlotys. This year, we have also organized a half-summer colony for one hundred and seventy-nine children for four weeks duration, being unable to do more. It cost us eighty zlotys a day. On September 1, we are organizing a children’s home for indigent orphans, who will be able to receive three meals a day there. This has to cost us five hundred zlotys a month. If we could receive at least twenty-five dollars from our brethren in Chicago, New York, etc., we could come up with the rest on our own. Secretary, A. Glicksman (See pp. 110-111 above).


Resentful Tongues...

There were resentful tongues to be found, who informed in America about the ‘Centos’ Help Committee. ‘Centos’ defended itself [citing that]: it was under the strict control of the central committee in Bialystok. Every month, they send a rigorous accounting for every penny that comes in and goes out. The Chicago committee then demanded that the ‘Ladies Auxiliary’ and the ‘Linat HaTzedek’ become part of the ‘Centos’ leadership – however both sides did not agree: each works in its own sphere... and as a result, suspicion grew even stronger, and as a result, the Rabbi of Zambrow wrote personally to the Help Committee:

"Seeing that it was shared with me, that many complaints have arrived [to you] about the local ‘Centos,’ I must write to tell you that this consists only of malign rumors, perpetrated by those who wish to take over the leadership themselves for reasons that I do not know, whether for the prestige of the position or something else. It is for this reason that I am writing, as I am not in the ‘Centos’ leadership myself; I personally pay dues every month, and what I write – is what I see with my own eyes. Like the ‘Bais Yaakov’ [School] here by us, for Jewish girls, there is the White Bet HaMedrash, which had previously been called ‘Bet HaEytzim’ – there more than one hundred girls are students there, and there is a teacher and also an assistant; it was also arranged there to bring for all the school children, rolls, milk and bread every day. I saw this with my own eyes, and it is self-understood that they give the same thing that is given in the public schools, for all students, [especially] the poor. Accordingly, I ask you to ignore rumor mongering, and like correspondence, which is incorrect. Accordingly, I ask that you donate, since this is a great mitzvah done for hungry children, and because of this good deed may we all be privileged to witness a speedy redemption in our times, Amen."

                                                                                          Signed, Dov Menachem Regensberg
The Bet-Din Senior of the Sacred Congregation of Zambrow (Stamp)
(Image of the Original is on Page 240)

The Bialystok central office also received an inquiry from America, from the Help Committee, about the ‘Centos’ activities – and they replied that one can have the fullest confidence in ‘Centos,’ and its work is solely for the benefit of hungry and frail Jewish children.

The malign rumors did not have the desired effect. Quite the opposite – on July 30, 1939, a sum of money arrived from Sh. Dzenchill, for the four institutions: Linat HaTzedek, the Manual Trades Union, and Ladies Auxiliary in the sum of eighty zlotys each, and for ‘Centos’ – three hundred and sixty zlotys, a support for the half-summer colony.

The last letter from ‘Centos’ was from March 10. 1939: a thank you for the funds to feed eighty children, We ask for clothing for the naked and the barefoot – for Passover. Evidence was shown they were getting ready to organize a summer colony, one way or another. It was immediately disrupted...

The Germans killed the little children.


The Gemilut Hesed Fund

(From a letter to the Zembrover Help Committee in Chicago)



photo, left: Receipt for a donation from a member.
photo, above: Stamp of the Loan Society in Zambrow.



A Group of Members of
the Bund in Zambrow
Yekhezkiel Zamir   Abraham Herschel Kagan

As is known to you, the Joint has established a network of Gemilut Hasadim funds throughout Poland, among them, including Zambrow. We are literally providing life sustenance to craftsmen, small businessmen, etc. At this time, the Joint is demanding that you become a partner with us, and that each of you should donate one dollar a year. Other landsleit are doing so. We have also been told that it is possible that the Joint may have to suspend its assistance, the Polish government having allocated 7.5 million zlotys to help the small businessman – but not Jews. The anti-Semitic press is demanding that the Gemilut Hasadim funds be shut down entirely, and that the Joint, which is undergirding Jewish workers and small businessmen, be liquidated entirely throughout Poland. We are hoping that you will not abandon us, but rather follow the example of Kolno, whose landsleit have created a capital base for their fund in the amount of five hundred dollars.

Signed: President – – – Secretary: Moshe Levinsky, Committee Members: Hersh Sosnowiec, Elyeh Rothberg, Leib Rosing, Chaim Bursztein.


My Father and the ‘Gemilut Hasadim’ Society

By Chaim Ben-David

This society was apparently the product of my father’s initiative (I do not know if he was also one of the founders and among those who established it).  From the day I became aware of my surroundings, two things stand out in my memory about this society, and they are: the Pinkas of the society was always in our book closet and was taken out of our house only for the society’s annual meeting; and the society’s annual Sabbath feast (or Kiddush), and the meeting on that same Saturday night. A) The Pinkas, oh, the Pinkas!  It was as thick as three volumes of the Gemara, in the format of a Gemara that was printed in Lublin, covered in a shaded leather with large gold letters on the spine of the binding and the front of the Pinkas. I could not remove and lift this Pinkas until I reached the age of seven, but when it had been lain on our table, I never grew tired of turning its pages, nor of sating my eyes and heart with its splendor. And what was in the Pinkas? Pages of thick paper, bright and as strong as parchment. The first page, the frontispiece – truly a gate. There were two lions on top of the two columns of the frontispiece, and in the gateway, was the name of the society, etc. And all of these were in different colors, bright and pleasant to the eye, and the faces of the lions – gold, this being my father’s handiwork. After the frontispiece – on several of the following pages – the by-laws and regulations of the society, written in large letters by a religious scribe, using the script normally reserved for a Torah scroll. There were forty-seven such by-laws in the Pinkas, the numerology being equivalent to the Hebrew word ‘Ki Tov’[It is Good]. Honest – only forty-seven by-laws. The last section, designated with the number ‘ki tov – ’ contained, in place of an actual by-law, a list and summary of the history of the society, about the first Pinkas of the society, and those assets that were consumed in the “First Great Fire’ and its subsequent renewal of activity after a number of years of inaction.

The by-laws were written in a pure linguistic style of the Prophets – as was the custom – and the spirit of a lyric song sang through each and every by-law. Each by-law ended with the word ‘Hesed’ or ‘haHesed,’ or ‘Hasadim,’ in large letters. In those places where the context did not make it easy to finish off the sentence with one of these words, a natural ending was appended, comprised of several words like: ‘Kakha yihyeh mishpat osey haHesed[8],’ or ‘veHaya shalem ma’aseh ha Hesed.[9]’ And years later, when I asked my father who had written these by-laws in such a beautiful style, he paused slightly as if sunk in his own memories and answered with effacing satisfaction, but not without satisfaction that the style of the writing had found favor in my eyes: I was the one who composed these by-laws, and they were found pleasing also to R’ Abba Rakowsky (a scribe, and a scholar of the Enlightenment period, a resident of our city), who praised him exceedingly. After the by-laws – a second frontispiece, and after it, pages and pages of the names of the members of the society. For each name – the name of the member, and the name of his father, but for his secular family name – there is a separate page. The name is rendered in very large letters of print, using magnificent colors and in differing styles, the products of my father’s imagination. Each page differs from that of its companions both in color and style. On both sides of the name, there are decorations of all sorts of flowers, rendered in all the colors of the rainbow. These decorated names were the handiwork of my father. During the cold winter days, when he was free of his usual work, during the long nights when he was too tired to sleep, he would sit and invest a great deal of time, enormous amounts of patience, and a great deal of imagination into this sacred undertaking. And despite the fact that he would engage in this work after many long hours of tiring study, it is certain that he would not let his time simply idle away, following the dictum of ‘glorifying the mitzvah.’

Many times, when I would sit and page through this Pinkas, deriving pleasure from its beauty, and from the spirit of holiness that hovered over it, his friends from days gone by, especially the ‘craftsmen’ from Wysokie who lived in our house, as told previously would say to me: ‘You haven’t seen anything, and it is a shame that you never saw the previous Pinkas that went up in flames, because had you seen it, you would understand what beauty really is.’

When my father had passed away, and I was in America, a great worry arose in me about this Pinkas, and I commented on this concern in a letter to his friends, and those who respected him who would come and go into and out of my father’s house in the last years of his life, indicating that his books should be willed to his son. R’ Sholom Rothbart, owner of a confectionary store (this R’ Sholom was present when my father died, and in a letter described to me the ‘death kiss’ of my father: on the morning of his death, R’ Sh. came to visit him. The man who had spent the night with my father told him that my father had not slept normally, and therefore returned home after morning prayers, to his home, laid down and dozed off. R’ Sh. sat beside his bed and waited. When he awoke, R. Sh. wanted to serve him a glass of warm milk, but my father said to him: I just had a good, sweet sleep, and I cannot recall such a sweet sleep ever in my life, and I didn’t want it to stop. Please allow me to doze off a little longer,’ upon which he closed his eyes and ceased to breathe). In my letter, I asked that the Pinkas be looked after and treated as a surviving artifact of folk art. And it was my advice to send it for permanent archiving at the National Library in Jerusalem or to the Jewish Museum in Vilna. R’ Sh. answered me in his letter that were my father still alive, he would be grieved by the proposition of sending the Pinkas to ‘places like those,’ seeing that the Gemilut Hasadim Society still exists, and the Pinkas is the property of the Society (and in this he was right). Was the Pinkas saved from the extermination and annihilation of our community among all the other ancient sacred Jewish communities? Can it yet be found in the hands of some non-Jew who knows how to appreciate it, and recognize it as a memorial to a Jewish community, to sense its beauty and the dedication to the mitzvah of good works of its martyred Jews?


The Sabbath of the Society

On every Sabbath of the parsha, Mishpatim, there is a line that reads: ‘If it is money you will lend to my people...’[10] and it was this way it was explicitly written down in the Pinkas – all the members of the society would gather at a spacious home (usually the home of the philanthropist R’ Yaakov Zukrowicz (but I can recall at least one Sabbath at the home of R’ Yeshaya Henokh, the son-in-law of R’ Yudl Czerwonigury) for the Shacharit and Musaf service.  Each and every one would be called up to the Torah, and pledge a donation (mostly two or three silver rubles).  From this income, and a comparable sum when a new member was initiated into the society – initiation dues, secured loans were made without interest.

After services a blessing was made over some suitable beverage, ‘lekakh’ was eaten, and each person went off to their home. My father and mother engaged in the preparations of the feast.  While I was still a young child – and afterwards, as an older boy, and I was allowed to go from one premises to another (as my father explained to me) I would be given the great and important task of bringing the cake and drink, and also my father’s prayer shawl, etc. (the Torah scroll was brought by the shammes on the Eve before the Sabbath) to the place of worship. There is no doubt that even in this, it was my father’s intent to inculcate in me and educate me about the mitzvah, because otherwise, how would you explain why he would take me on Saturday night as well to the follow-on meeting?

It is worth documenting a ‘terrible incident’ that once happened in connection with the ‘feast:’ Guests that came to our home would also attend the prayer services and the following repast. One time, after the meal, the lady of the house, thewife of R’ Yaakov Zukrowicz, let it be known that a silver goblet from off the table had disappeared. The gabbaim of the Society, who had not yet returned to their homes, manifested worry and sorrow. Understandably they suspected a pauper who had participated in the feast. After the feast this pauper had gone off to the home of a wealthy man to take the Sabbath meal. They went off to the house of that person and told him that the goblet had disappeared, and it was decided to search the clothing and pockets of all those who had participated in the feast. The latter responded: in a pleading voice, ‘here is my jacket, hung before you, and please search in my pockets and those of the others.’ When they performed the search and found nothing, they asked the guest to permit them to search his pockets as well. The guest refused, protesting vigorously. He argued that it was always the poor who were suspected, etc., and he took it that they searched the coat and pockets of the master of the house only as a formality. Understandably, this raised the suspicion even higher, and they began to feel his pockets forcibly against his will, and here, a clanking was heard in a small sack in his pocket. They took the small sack out of his pocket, but immediately threw it from their hands, because it was full of copper and silver coins, but the goblet was not to be found in his pocket. They asked him why it is that a Jewish man with a white beard, like him would be carrying around money on the Sabbath? Why is it that he hadn’t left the money, on the eve of the Sabbath, in the hands of the overseer of Hakhnasat Orkhim? He answered that he didn’t trust him. Well then, they asked, why didn’t you put the money in the hands of the Rabbi, as was the practice of many other guests?  He responded that he did not trust any man. As you can understand, they did not return the small sack to him on the Sabbath, because it was considered to be ‘muktza.’ [11]and the guest was ashamed, it seems because of this, to demand his money back. On the following day he left the city and did not come to demand his money, which most certainly would have been returned to him, seeing that the ‘stolen goods’ were not found to be with him. The small sack with money was placed in the society treasury for safekeeping. Before Passover of that year the goblet was found in a corner under the sofa in the house of the hostess in which the prayer had been conducted. My father was deeply troubled (and certainly the other gabbaim were also grieved) that the feast had led to such a debacle, to cast suspicion upon and then embarrass a man innocent of any wrongdoing, etc. My father, who never was appointed as a gabbai of the society because he never accepted a formal nomination, made no attempt to shuck the responsibility for this ‘terrible incident.’ He waited a long time for the return of that visitor, to return the money to him, and to beg for his forgiveness, The end of this ‘incident’ is not known to me to this day.

On the Saturday night of the society they would gather for the purpose of electing new gabbaim: who will evaluate the worth of presented security, and decide on whether or not to extend the load that was sought, and in whose home the ‘money box’ of the society will be lodged (an iron box).  The first would issue a note to authorize the loan, and the one in whose house the strongbox was kept would place the security and the note in the box, disburse the funds to be loaned, and make an entry in a separate ledger. Also, on the First Day of the new month of Heshvan (Accountants/Auditors, in Hebrew, are called ‘Ro’ay Heshbon,’ and hence the play on words). And all of this was done for a heavenly cause, to please the senses of The Divine, to demonstrate that his sons we providing an eternal continuity to His honor, and His Torah.

This recognition brought to light yet another discussion, for the sake of heaven, which my father would bring up on Shemini Atzeres, in the shtibl:

According to the Shulkhan Arukh, one begins the recitation of ‘Mashiv HaRuakh uMorid HaGashem’ during the Shmoneh Esray’ prayer of Musaf. It was the shammes who would announce this prior to the commencement of recitation of the Shmoneh Esray. Well, it appears that in a few congregations, and perhaps limited to those places of worship of the Hasidim, they were not in the custom of making this announcement, and the congregation would begin to recite ‘Mashiv HaRuakh’ at the Mincha service of Shemini Atzeres. My father, as related above, who was in the habit of studying the rules of the holiday before each holiday, was of the opinion it would seem, that in the place where there was no man (that meaning – a shammes), the responsibility the devolved on one of the worshipers to make the ‘Geshem’ announcement, and this is what he did. Having no alternative, all of the worshipers would then begin to say the ‘Mashiv HaRuakh’ prayer in their own silent prayer. There were those who protested, arguing: ‘By us, we do not follow such a custom, etc.’ And my father [would answer]: ‘How can you have a custom that does not follow the law? Even ‘The Rav’ in the Shulkhan Arukh  rules otherwise. And who is a greater authority in the customs of the Hasidim?’ Almost every year, year-in and year-out, this discussion would go on for a long time after Musaf, and this ‘recalcitrance’ on the part of my father, who as a matter of course did not like to participate in conversation, was done out of respect for the holiday, to enliven and make joyful his participation in a conversation of heavenly purpose. It is possible that either knowingly, or unknowingly, his so-called ‘protagonists’ sensed this as well, since they also would engage in a very lively and animated repartee in honor of making joy on the holiday.


My Mother, Alta Sokolikheh

Who in our city did not know the charitable woman, Alta Sokolikheh? And who does not recall her deeds? When she built her house, she made a vow that she would dedicate space in it for the Chevra Shas. She honored this vow, and together with her daughters became the house servant: without any pay, you understand, but only because it was a mitzvah! With the growth of those attending, the filth also increased, since people spit on the floor, threw candles stubs, cigarette butts, and like behavior. On the eve of every Sabbath of Festival Holiday, together with our mother we would draw water from the well, wash the floors, clean the walls, tables and benches, and shine the lamps and candlesticks. We would work hard, not in keeping with our age. But our mother would be satisfied, and say with a smile: ‘Let it be for a mitzvah!

It was also our lot to become the permanent cleaners for a neighbor, who sewed clothing, but was not particularly well off. Well, his wife would go to give birth, and as luck would have it, every year right at Passover time, so my mother, every year with our help, would go there and get the residence prepared for Passover, cleaning and decorating it for the holiday. If people had to come for a Brit Mila there –they would enter the house of the sewer as if it were a palace and didn’t even recognize his house. Our mother ran our father’s store. However, her [heart and] soul was dedicated to helping the sick and the needy. She could never eat only for herself. Having before her a complete list of poor people who were sick, and in need of some cooked food – she knew which of the sick needed a bit of chicken soup, a piece of meat, which poor woman, lying in confinement had a yearning for a bit of soup, a glass of ‘ladies brandy’ with which to fortify herself. Diapers and receiving blankets, little shirts and body coverings for the newborn – everything was her concern.

[In running our father’s business], she always kept the needs of the suffering and the needy in mind. Here she would extend credit to one person, and there, lend money for a period of time, and for a third, provide a guarantee at the bank. Once, she pawned her golden chain to help someone, and being afraid of our father she bought another one which was not gold, but just gilded... and our father noticed this on the eve of Rosh Hashana, and was actually pleased.... we would constantly be running around with small pots of food and packages of foodstuffs to be distributed to the poor. If a girl from poor circumstances needed to have a wedding made for her, my mother simply knew no rest. She would make everything for the bride from a dress to shoes. On one occasion, when I went to the clothes bureau to put on my Sabbath clothing – I no longer found it there – my mother had given it away to a poor bride to use as her wedding gown. However, I became cross with her: what am I to do now? She then says to me: you are a socialist, well, show your socialism now!...



An Outing in the Czeczork Woods


Moshe Klepfish



Moshe Klepfish, the grandson of the Rabbi. Was born March 20, 1915 to his parents, Aharon-Yaakov and Sarah. He received a traditional education from his father the Rabbi, Aharon-Yaakov Klepfish, in cheders, and at the yeshivas of Lomza and Kleck. He later devoted himself to general studies and also completed a course in Halutz training, in the Vilna vicinity, in agricultural management (his brother-in-law, the famous Yiddish writer, Chaim Grade, separated for long life, recalls him many times in his book, ‘Sabbaths at My Mother’s,’ as an idealist, a man with a broad heart and other good traits, as an idealistic young man). In 1935, he came to the Land of Israel. He becomes a military guard in Jerusalem, serving to protect Jewish lives in dangerous places. He also prepared himself for the entrance examinations to the University of Jerusalem. However, when the war broke out, as a pacifist he could no longer remain this way.

Untitled Photo, presumed to be  Moshe Klepfish. 

When the gruesome details of the destruction of Polish Jewry arrived, he was impatient to join the battle against the Fascists and the Nazis. As soon as the Jewish military formation was established, he volunteered for the Jewish Brigade, despite the fact that he was discharged several times because of his poor eyesight. When he was at the front he committed himself to Jewish education in the war zones. After the war, he settled in Menachemya and devoted himself with full diligence to research work in agriculture. He actively participated in the Jewish War of Independence. On 27 Nisan 5708 (6.5.1948) he fell at Mount Tabor in the reprisal actions launched against the Arab bands that had murdered seven young Jews in Bet-Keshet (among them the son of the President [Yitzhak] Ben-Zvi ה"ע, Eli Ben-Zvi).

(Cited in accordance with the compendium of the fallen heroes ‘Gvilei-Aysh’, First Volume.)  


Chava Sokol-Almog

By Z. Zamir

She was the talented daughter of the leather merchant, R’Israel Sokol. She was one of the best students at the Polish gymnasium in Zambrow. Her knowledge of the Polish language and literature was an example for the gentile students. However, she joined the Halutz movement and came to the Land of Israel in 1926. She worked in Petakh-Tikva and later was a student of Rachel Yanait, the wife of President Ben-Zvi ה"ע, in her school of agriculture. She married Yehuda Almog in 1933 and worked in Ramat-Rachel, and during the Second World War she served in the women’s division, A.T.S. After three years of service, she returned home to Kfar Gileadi. She was an ardent idealist, with a real feel for the work of the kibbutz movement. A tragic incident cut short her life on 4 Adar II, 5722 (10 Mar 1962).


Golda Zarembksy Rutkewicz



Golda, the daughter of R’ Lejzor Zarembsky, joined the Land of Israel Labor Movement at an early age. After her father passed away, when the family suffered want, she declined the promise of her friends to help her travel to America, but rather she chose to travel to the Land of Israel as a Halutz.

She married Yaakov Rutkewicz, a member of the Jugend, and settled in Petakh-Tikva, and built a beautiful home there.

A serious illness robbed her from us in the prime of life.

Golda Zarembksy Rutkewicz


The Smoking Embers, Rescued from the Fire

As is the case in similar instances, this list has been re-alphabetized in English, with a number indicated for its place in the original Yiddish/Hebrew text.


Last Name

First Name





Son of the Melamed, Alsha




















A butcher's Son















Berl's Daughter





An Orphan Girl -- Father  name was Friedman





Shayna Bayl'keh's Grandson





Chaim Schneider's Son





The Pickle Maker's Daughter





Husband of Yenta










Ephraim the Hatmaker's Son





Daughter of the Glazier





Daughter of the Glazier





Grandson of Meir-Yankl (in Israel)





Son of Chaim Hersch





Boxmaker's Child





Boxmaker's Child





Boxmaker's Child










Son of Joseph Golombek





of Yitzhak





Son of the Melamed




Chaim Reuven











Polotka's Daughter





of Pesha





Son of the Turner





Daughter of the Boot Maker





Daughter of the Boot Maker





The Sour Cream Maker's Daughter





Son of 'Oneg Shabbos'





Son of Aharon Leibl




Moshe Aharon






Son of the Pharmacist

 (Killed in Germany)





(Died in Israel)




Child 1

Chay'keh's child




Child 2

Chay'keh's child










Grandson of Eizik Sepper





In Israel





Of Moshe





The Son of the Cloth Storekeeper from Rutki




Lejzor Ber






of Lejzor Ber





Son of Chaim Nagurka, Bootmaker

 (Grandson of Shammai Lejzor)





Hona the Butcher's Son





Yossl the Butcher's Son





Daughter of Yehoshua the Melamed





Grandchild of the Rabbi





Grandchild of the Rabbi















Daughter of Joseph Piontek, Shokhet










Of the Bislystok Gasse





of Rivka





Daughter of Abraham the Sour Cream Msker





Of Reizl





Daughter of Avigdor the Ironmonger (In Israel)





Child of Rachel  (In Israel)





Child of Rachel  (In Israel)

























Grandson of the Cloth Storekeeper





(In Warsaw)





Herschel's Sister (Paris)




Esther Shayna

Israel'keh Sokol's from Pliac





Sister of Esther Shayna





Sister of Esther Shayna















Herschel Blekher's son





Brother of Bendet





Daughter of Yankl Bursztein





of Alta





Grandson of the Yenzhever





Son of the Brezhnitzer





Son of the Brezhnitzer





Son of the Brezhnitzer





Mottl's son





Daughter of the Zaramber















Of Rat'keh





Grandson of the Tavern Keeper





Son of Abram the Smith





Brother of Zulcheh





Gedal'keh's son (died in Israel)




Child 1





Child 2






The Contractor's Daughter





Son of Abraham










Wife of Elazar; Daughter of Gordon





Daughter of Yudl Shokhet










Chaim Joseph Rudnik, Representative of the Lomza-Zambrow Society of Buenos Aires, Argentina, standing at the ‘Red Mogen David’ Ambulance donated by the Society to the city of Tel-Aviv.


Zambrow Diaspora; Landsleit in the World

Our Brethren in The United States

The Zembrover Branch No. 149, in the ‘Arbeter Ring (Workmen's Circle)

Mendl Zibelman Tells:  

After the first Great Fire in Zambrow, in the nineties of the past [sic: nineteenth] century, there were fifteen hundred landsleit from Zambrow to be found in New York City, and nearly the same number in all other American cities combined. During the first twenty years of the Zambrow immigration, landsleit came here to get a leg up: to work, save a bit of money, and then travel back to Zambrow to build themselves a house, open a store or a shop. Accordingly, they were not organized in America, despite the fact that for support they came to one another – whether for morale or substance. The synagogue was the place where they would get together. The small towns of the Lomza Guberniya united here, and founded a small synagogue: Lomza-Gatch, Zambrow-Rutki, Zambrow-Lomza, etc. It was here that they would meet one another, gladden themselves on the Sabbath and Festivals, at a Kiddush, a folksy wedding, or some other happy occasion. It was here that the newly arrived Zambrow immigrant would come, the ‘greenhorn,’ to meet with landsleit and obtain the assistance that he needed.

After the ‘fifth year’ (1905), following the first Russian revolution, Zambrow revolutionaries began to stream to America. These were coming to stay, to become citizens of the country. Accordingly, the question arose about getting organized and joining an ‘Arbeter Ring.’ Most of the Zambrow landsleit found work in the needle trades, meaning in the so-called ‘sweat shops,’ in accordance with the sweat shop system of the times that prevailed in the garment industry of those times. The work was broken up into all manner of branches: designers, basters, pants pressers, jacket pressers, makers of buttonholes, button sewers, finishers, ‘examiners,’ and others. Landsleit would accordingly be bringing new ‘greenhorns’ into the shop and providing him with work. This engendered a fight among the trade unions, who competed for the unorganized workers, who depressed the wages and stood outside those positions, on the job that had been unionized. But this is a chapter unto itself. A bit at a time, the landsleit from Zambrow joined the Arbeter Ring, the order that brought security and which accepted Jewish workers of all trades. It was only in the year 1909, after two years of effort and the influence of active members, that the Zambrow branch with its sixty members auspiciously came into being. In a short time, the membership came to four hundred members and became one of the most influential branches in the Arbeter Ring.

The first leaders of the branch were: Yankl, the son of Notkeh Kaplan (he died while young); the brothers Benjamin and Shlomo (Sol) Bornstein, the sons of the Poritz from Koritka. It is understood that many of the founders are no longer alive.

The current leaders are: Zelig Dzenchill, son of Moshe-Leibl and a grandson of Lejzor the Butcher, and Nachman Pluczenko, son of Fukhaler, who had a ‘tea house’ on the Uczastek.

Three Generations


Hershel Zibelman, son Moishe and grandson Berl (Son, Grandson
and Great Grandson, respectively of Israel David the Shammes

In the year 1941, when the ‘United Zembrover Society’ began to collect money for the benefit of refugees from Zambrow who were expected to arrive after the war, the Zembrover Progressive Branch 149 appointed five of its members to work alongside the society: M. Horowitz, M. Orschutz, B. Bernstein, H. Shayna, and Y. Goldberg. The Chair was: A. Lev; Treasurer: N. Pravda; Recording Secretary: B. Bernstein; Corresponding Secretary: Y. Walters; Loan Secretary: M. Plavsky; Hospitaler for Brooklyn: M. Horowitz; Hospitaler for The Bronx: Y. Goldberg.

In the last years there was only about ten percent of the landsleit from Zambrow in the branch. The Zembrover founders passed away, and new members were decidedly few.


50th Year Jubilee Arrangements Committee of the Zembrover Progressive Branch 149, Workmen’s Circle, New York, October 17, 1939 in the auditorium of the Central Plaza.

First Row (From the Right): M. Plafsky, B. Miller, G. Padnik, B. Bernstein, V. Goldstein, and H. Bernstein. Second Row: B. Cohen, Goldberg, S. Brody, Hofnagel, N. Brody and M. Levin. Third Row: V. Zinowicz, B. Epstein, B. Goldberg, and G. Rubinstein.


Mrs. Malinowitsh, one of the old-time Zembrovites in the United States of America.   


The Zembrover Help Committee in Chicago

In Chicago, there was a meaningful center of Zambrow landsleit. They would meet frequently, receiving wishes from home and sending help to relatives in Zambrow. Immediately after the First World War, they organized themselves into a special Zembrover Relief Committee and continuously sent over money, clothing, packages of food, and even ship passenger tickets to needy landsleit. At first, they called themselves the ‘Friendship Union.’ A few years later, when life returned more or less to normal and the Joint Distribution Committee enfolded all of the needy shtetl locations within its ambit, the Zembrover Help Committee gradually dissolved.

Approximately in 1936, alarming letters began to arrive from the ‘alte haym,’ reporting danger to life and limb – and a protracted decline. The brothers in Chicago then awakened themselves and organized the dispatch of speedy help anew.

A crisis meeting was called. The call for help from the ‘alte haym’ united the brethren. The Relief Society was renewed. The following landsleit joined the Committee: Hyman Eisenman, a son-in-law from Zambrow, originally from Tyszowce; Oscar (Alter) Meisner, son of Shmuel Ber – Treasurer; Mendl Zibelman, son of Israel David – Recording Secretary; Mendl Stone (identical with Mendl Finkelstein) son of David, Breineh-Pearl’s – Financial Secretary (he was the one who carried out the principal work and stayed in contact with Zambrow); Shmuel Bloom, a member of the Kwiatek family; Yitzhak Appel, originally from Jablonka; John Karpin; Ralph Monkarzh, son of Leibl Monkarzh, the ‘Colony Smith’ at the horse market. The Monkarzh family is very prominent here, and today lives in California. Later on, Mrs. Stone became active in committee work, the wife of Max Stone, in the role of Recording Secretary.

The Committee accomplished a great deal. It sent a regular monthly stipend of money to the needy Zambrow institutions (see above pp. 109-116).

When the terrifying war broke out, and Poland was cut off from the surrounding world, the committee once again dissolved.

The History of the Zembrover Society in the United States

By Yitzhak (Itcheh) Rosen               


Chairman Yitzhak Rosen is Speaking

A society of Zembrovers in New York has existed for over seventy years and is tied up and bound to the General Professional Movement of the Jewish street, in the capitol city of the United States. This was at the end of the prior [sic: 19th] century. Jewish workers were generally minimally represented among the ranks of the those engaged in metal production or other technical and mechanical fields of endeavor. All were drawn to the needle trades. The Jewish workers in tailoring, as well as all workers in other branches of the needle trades, were by and large concentrated on the East Side of New York. Working conditions, in those days, were rather hard, perhaps the hardest that we now are capable of imagining. A ‘trade union,’ for the needle trade workers, as yet did not exist. One worked for starvation wages from early in the morning until late into the night, in a manner as depicted in Morris Rosenfeld’s ‘shop songs:’ ‘I have a little son... but seldom, seldom do I see him.’  The worker-immigrant could not get himself educated after work – he was exhausted, and out of his meager wages he had a need to save some to send back home to support his wife, his aged parents, sisters and brothers, until he would finally be able to bring them over to himself. The worker had no awareness of social or community interests. The environment about him was alien, the whole American way of life, the language.

The typical Zambrow worker would meet with his fellow countrymen in the ‘market’ (e.g. the place of work) or at a celebration held at the home of a senior landsman, who had become something of a citizen already, and one engaged in a discourse [as follows]: It is necessary to create a society comprised of people from Zambrow, so that it would be possible to get together, to enjoy company among one’s own kind both on the Sabbath and Sunday, provide help to newly arrived brothers and enabling them to stand on their own two feet on this foreign soil. The foundation for such a society could only be religious, because those from Zambrow, like the majority of other Jewish immigrants of that time were ‘Synagogue Jews,’ as they are called here, having come to New York with their tallis and tefillin. So, at first, a Zambrow synagogue was established. It was to this place that one came for prayers, and it was here that one could listen to a service being led by someone using the familiar prayer chants of the alte haym, as well as being able to receive regards from back there. It was here that the ‘green’ immigrants from Zambrow would first come, who needed help and support – spiritual and material. Should it have happened that bad news would come from Zambrow, about a kinsman who was impoverished or sick, for example, a collection was taken up right on the spot, and several dollars were immediately sent off to Zambrow. If a misfortune befell someone in New York, the news immediately reached the synagogue or to the President, and action was immediately taken, whatever it was that was necessary to do: visiting the sick, providing for a bed at a hospital, arranging for a call by a physician, coming to the assistance of a family in need, and, God forbid, arranging for a traditional funeral if required, etc.

After the First World War, when the level of immigration increased. the landsmanshaftn became more and more sophisticated and undertook more of a communal character. Life in America changed for the better: the working man fought for and achieved a shorter work day and higher wages. Evening classes were opened for the study of English and for general education. The heavens grew lighter for the Jewish working man. The new wave of immigration from Poland and Lithuania brought with it a better trained element. From Zambrow as well, more educated workers came, members of the ‘Bund,’ ‘Poalei Tzion,’ ‘Tze‘irei Tzion,’ and they injected a new spirit of progress and community concern into the Zambrow union, or ‘society.’ Also, the assistance rendered to our brethren and sisters in the alte haym was put on a more solid institutional foundation: constructive help was offered through organized bodies, instead of help by individuals, systematic organized help, not accidental or incidental. This continued until the outbreak of the Second World War, which wiped our alte haym off the map.

Even then, both alarmed and shocked, we the landsleit of Zambrow proclaimed and implemented the speedy assistance rendered to those surviving brethren in the camps and did not permit them to be neglected or suffer from want. As far as possible, we sent packages, money, and connected them with friends, sent them ship’s tickets, papers, brought them to America, helping those who had elected to go to the Land of Israel. The Zembrover Society excelled in its help rendered to its own (see above in this book).

With the establishment of the State of Israel, the society awakened to a new endeavor, work on behalf of the new Jewish State of Israel. Extending its generosity, the Zembrover Society bought ‘Israel Bonds,’ and this work continues [to this day]. The Zambrow landsleit in America are an important force in the community life of American Jewry.

On the Saturday night of Hanukkah, December 15, 1953, a very hearty and historic celebration took place in honor of the sixtieth anniversary of ‘The United Zembrover Society.’ Chronologically, the celebration was a little bit late. The banquet, under the direction of the writer of these lines, was carried out with great solemnity and spiritual uplifting.

We shared memories and wished each other the privilege of attending many more such anniversaries. The years flew by quickly, and we carried out with even greater emotional uplift, the seventieth anniversary of the active functioning of our society.

After the Sabbath, December 17, 1960 on the night of the fifth candle of Hanukkah, at the ‘Clinton Plaza’ hall (Clinton Street, New York), we celebrated the seventieth anniversary of the Zembrover Society. Our great joy, however, was tempered with the admixture of joy and sorrow: the Mother, Zambrow’ no longer existed!...

A Jewish Woman in Her Sabbath Finery (Yitzhak Rosen’s Grandmother


Occasionally ships would still bring us news from the living from that place – and then none. We find yet one solace in our heart: spiritual Zambrow continues to live among us. We carry it around, with pride in our Zambrow pedigree, having something to remember and something of which we can be proud.

And another thing: To memorialize the mass immigration of the end of the nineteenth century and the first two decades of the twentieth century, part of Zambrow [Jewry] was saved in America. To memorialize the wide-ranging Zionist work of both young and old, and especially the significant number of youth groups, hundreds of young people managed to save themselves by going to the Land of Israel. We take great pride in them, and we consider ourselves fortunate that our landsleit, the children of Zambrow, helped with the rebuilding of the Land of Israel with their sweat and blood. Also, our society had taken a significant role in this endeavor: we have, to date, bought ‘bonds’ that are worth thirteen thousand dollars. At various opportunities, we have also donated up to twenty-five thousand dollars. Together with Lomza landsleit, we have donate five thousand dollars to underwrite the construction of a volksschule in the Negev. We have donated up to ten thousand to the United Jewish Appeal, having also donated many times to the Histadrut, the Hagana, the building of houses, and more and more. Our hearts and our hands remain always open for the building of our homeland.


Paging Through The Book of Minutes

For the Years 1943 - 1950

By L. Yom Tov


Zambrow Ladies in the U.S. celebrating the 12th Independence
Day of The State of Israel, with Mrs. Savetzky at the center.

Paging through the thick book of minutes for eight years of work on behalf of the Zembrover Society in New York, I sensed the brush of the bright rays of light that emanated toward me from this blessed work.

A. Community Functions

The society carried out functions that really belonged to an independent community. Here we are talking about a synagogue and chazzan, about the High Holy Days, about providing the congregation with an etrog for Sukkos, about a Kiddush for Shemini-Atzeres and Simchas Torah, about a Kiddush for the Chevra Kadisha on the final day of Passover, about providing the needy with Maot-Khittin for Passover in the old-fashioned manner of home: to give or to take. They even concerned themselves with assuring that prayer conducted in the Zambrow synagogue followed to old tradition as it was in the Zambrow of old, not as it was done in ‘progressive’ Jewish America. If anyone thought about shutting down the synagogue because of the high expenses, President Waxman would say: the synagogues in Zambrow have been burned down, let this synagogue, at the very least, remain as a memorial. And [consequently], the Zambrow synagogue continued its existence...


B. Chevra Kadisha

The Chevra Kadisha here, functions on a very moving basis. Our landsman, Morris Bornstein, who was called Mysh’l Bursztein, the frail old-age baby of Yankl Bursztein ז״ל, is dedicated to the Chevra Kadisha with his life and limb. For many times he was elected as the President of the society, and for the entire time, he was the funeral director. At every committee meeting, at every general meeting, he would present with sorrow: so-and-so passed away on such-and-such a day, according to the Jewish calendar, in order to designate the yahrzeit date, as well as the date on the secular calendar. Everyone then rises to show respect for the deceased, and he, as gabbai of the Chevra Kadisha, says a few words as an expression of sorrow on behalf of the landsman who had left us. The funeral director looks after the funeral, the grave, the gravestone, and proposes a committee to assume responsibility for preparing and carrying out the unveiling of the headstone. He looks after this, and the approach to the cemetery, whether it is ‘Beth David’, ‘Mount Hebron’ or ‘Washington Cemetery,’ that it be plastered and maintained as it is fit to be. He sees to it that the deceased is accorded the proper rights and given final homage. He takes it seriously not to permit the cemetery workers to rush their work and not wait for all of the brother-landsleit to gather for the funeral. He takes responsibility for the decision that the Chevra Kadisha has no right to move the body from its place without the express permission of the funeral director. He is the one who gets aggravated and angry if too few people come to the funeral or to the unveiling.

He alerts and reminds everyone at each gathering that one should anticipate the need for substantial fund raising, once the terrifying war comes to an end. He causes a rebirth of the ‘Ladies Auxiliary’, getting them to be ready to send substantial and immediate help to our brothers and sisters who will have saved themselves.


C. Caring for the Sick

As had been the case once in the shtetl, where Jews looked after the impoverished sick, to see that they would have access to a doctor, medicines, visiting the sick, looking after their recovery, this also was the practice in the society. At each meeting there was always presented: so-and-so was sick. At that time, a brother was designated to visit the sick patient and come back with a report. The committee had special emissaries to be sent to a number of hospitals. In this regard, Louis Zadok and Willie Rosenblum were the designees, whose job it was to arrange for hospital care in Brooklyn hospitals; Benny Cooper, and afterwards Asher Shark and Noah Dzenchill – in the hospitals of Manhattan and the Bronx. And at each meeting a report was heard about the state of health of the patient. When the sick person leaves the hospital, he presents the committee with a statement from the hospital and obtains his sick benefit, which he is entitled to. If one of the brothers falls ill and is unable to go to work, he presents a certification from a doctor and gets an unemployment benefit.


D. Fraternity
If a happy occasion occurs in a brother’s family: a wedding of a child, a brit milah, a bar-mitzvah,  he comes to a meeting and ‘requests a committee.’ Accordingly, a number of members are sent to the happy affair, in order to convey best wishes, in the name of the Society, to the celebrant. and they bring a gift, of ten dollars or more for the wedding couple, or the bar-mitzvah.

When a member reaches the age of fifty, sixty or seventy years, he is honored with a banquet and he is also given a handsome gift. It was in this way that the seventieth and seventy-fifth birthday of Brother Sholom-Abner Bornstein was warmly celebrated.

If a brother became financially stressed, he would often be able to obtain help through a loan, which he would get from the ‘Loan Fund’ (The Gemilut Hasadim Bank) for which Joseph Savetzky served as the ‘manager’ for a long time.

Older members and war invalids were excused from paying dues. If it occurs that a landsman is left alone in his older years, a place is arranged for him at an Old Age Home, and landsleit do not neglect the obligation to come and visit him. When R’ Alter the Maggid became old, the ‘Ladies Auxiliary’ created a pension for him. Prominent landsleit, such as R’ Alter the Maggid, Reverend [Simcha] Maslow[12], or R’ Yaakov Karlinsky would eulogize those who passed away. During committee meetings, and [general] meetings, a celebrant would always bring refreshments. The brothers permit themselves to indulge in a snort of schnapps and some tasty foods.


E. the Preparations After The War

The brethren did not rest while the war was going on: what is going to happen once the war is over? The Chair, Morris Bornstein, once flamboyantly declared: "Brothers, one miracle has already occurred – America has won the war in Europe. We are now waiting for the second miracle. When we will subjugate the uncivilized Asiatic ‘Jap,’ we will have a huge victory banquet for all the members – and we will make merry until the wee hours of the morning..." But he almost immediately becomes sad, and adds with sorrow: "But who knows whether we will still have our old and beautiful Zambrow? Who knows what Hitler has done to our brothers and sisters?"  And like Bornstein, so did brother Itcheh Rosen, Moshe Oytzer and others say likewise. They did not permit anyone to slack off: it is necessary for us now, while the war is still on, to organize help, generate funds, packages, etc. for the brethren in the alte haym. All the landsleit need to be organized, and we must find out their addresses, launch ‘drives,’ collect and collect, to be ready to help as soon as the hour arrives.

 It was decided to create ‘honor rolls’, with the names of the sons and daughters who fell during the war.


F. Relationships

The society maintained relationships with all Jewish institutions, working with and supporting them: It bought shares, or ‘bonds’ for the Hagana, Histadrut, medicines for Russia (during the war), participating in Zionist meetings, meetings for Birobidzhan, inscribed the writer Stefan Zweig in the Golden Book on the occasion of his seventieth birthday, supported HIAS, the Joint, ORT, The Federation of Jewish Charities, the Yiddish theatre, Yiddish culture and art, and joined the Union of Polish Jewry.


G. The Annual Purim Package Event

This is carried out with special warmth and feeling. Everyone comes, and everyone takes part. The ‘Package Event’ raises substantial sums of money for the benefit of the support work of the society.

In October 1945, no sooner than the arrival of the first heart-breaking news from residents of Zambrow who had saved themselves, the first ten packages were immediately dispatched: five to Zambrow, two to Minsk, two to Paris, and one to Warsaw. Since that time, the stream of packages has not ceased. Joseph Savetzky and others, answered each and every letter, responded to all requests, and immediately dispatched a package with needed foodstuffs or clothing and medicines.


H. The Active Workers

From among the most active of the workers, documented in the book of minutes, we are obligated to recall the brother, Nathan Burg, who in Zambrow was known as Nehemiah Golombek. the son of Yossl Moshe-Shmuels. He was one of the finest and beloved of the brethren. He would install all of the newly elected members of the committee with humor and great tact, always finding a good word to say about everyone, whether it was for the incoming or outgoing members of the committee. He was loyally committed to the society, had an open hand, and gave the initial contribution for the ‘Old Age Fund,’ for the support of the senior brothers. He fell ill and died young; his younger son, Walter took his place.


Nathan Burg (Nehemiah Golombek)

Among the loyal members, according to the book of minutes, it is necessary to recall David Stein, who was the Treasurer for many years, Friedman, Furman, who was the loyal Recording-Secretary for thirty-two years. He began his work with eighty-five members and seven hundred dollars in the treasury, and ended with three hundred members and fifteen thousand dollars in the treasury.


I. The Zambrow Pinkas

According to the book of minutes, brother Yitzhak Gorodzinsky, the son of David and Chava, when he returned from a visit to Israel, at the meeting of December 13, 1947 related that Dr. Yom-Tov Levinsky (son of the teacher R’ Israel, and a grandson of Nachman Yankls) was planning to publish a Zambrow Pinkas, which will include the history of the city – the congregation, institutions, balebatim, workers, culture, economic life, parties, sports, theatre, etc. the landsleit in Israel took up this proposal enthusiastically. However, a lot of money is needed to carry out this plan. It is understood that the brothers in America are inclined to see this implemented.

Since that time, practically nothing was done, despite the fact that the editor, Dr. Levinsky, did not relent from his work of gathering material. It was out brother, Mr. Chaim Ben-David, who strongly refreshed the interest in this work, and popularized the idea among the brethren.

In the last years, after the visit of brother Eizik Malinowicz to Israel, the matter of the book again became real. The Society sent over a larger sum of money for this purpose, and in this manner, underwrote the principal costs involved, and the book was published. This is one of the most important accomplishments of the Zembrover Society. The President at that time, Itcheh Rosen, sent out a call for a special gathering of the brethren about participating in the publication of this book, and about paying in their share.


The Ladies Auxiliary of the United Zembrover Society,
Celebrating the 13th Independence Day of Israel.


J. A List of the Brothers in Leadership for the eight years 1943-1950
According to the Book of Minutes:

 Nathan Burg, Morris Bornstein, Joseph Waxman, Dov Stein, Joseph Savetzky.

Vice Presidents: Sholom-Abner Bornstein, Louis Zadok, Benny Cooper, Harry Stein, Tshol Kotz.

Treasurer: Dov Stein.      

Funeral Director:  Morris Bornstein.

Hospitaler: Louis Zadok, Willy Rosenblum, Asher Shark, Noah Dzenchill.

Loan Fund (Gemilut Hasadim): Joseph Savetzky, Dov Stein, Louis Zadok.

Board of Directors: The three brothers, Shmuel, Dov and Hersh Stein, Joseph Shafran, Counsel Cohen, Sam Stern, Asher Rosen, Abraham David Goldstein, Berl Feinberg, Isidore Rosen, Pesach Pensky, Benny Rosen, Meir Zarembsky.

Recording-Secretary: Eliyahu Forman, Y. Koziol.

In the last years, the following were active as presidents: Louis Pav, Yitzhak Rosen.


The United Zambrow Relief Committee

By Moshe Oytzer

A division that dealt with relief has always existed as part of the United Zembrover Society, itself over seventy years old. There was always a fund for assistance, and the brothers always stood ready to help their other brethren in the United States, and most certainly the brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors and Jews in general from the alte haym. During this last gruesome war, Zambrow, as all of Poland, was cut off and sundered from us, and you can appreciate that it was with the utmost urgency that we were motivated to provide every kind of help.

 With bated breath and a trembling heart, we all awaited the day when the news would be communicated to us that Hitler had fallen and Europe was liberated. At that time, will we again be able to renew our connection with our home town, a connection that had been sundered for so long?

 In January 1944[13], after the victory of the Red Army at Stalingrad, we knew then that the day of Hitler’s downfall was nigh.

At that time, a man and his wife came to a meeting of the United Zembrover Society and asked to speak. President Stein gave them the floor. They called out to us and said: Seeing that the Red Army is drawing close to Zambrow, it is now high time for us to rouse ourselves and begin a fast-moving help initiative for those of our brothers and sisters who remained alive. At that time, we did not yet know of the extent of our great catastrophe. We did understand that terrible trouble had descended upon the heads of our Zambrow landsleit, and there were not a small number among them who had fallen as victims of the war. We still hoped to come to the aid of our shtetl, and come to help it as quickly as possible. The sharp call of these guests from Zambrow touched all hearts. It did not take long, and the United Zembrover Relief Committee was organized, for all cohorts of Zambrow brethren in  New York. The Women’s Division of the Relief Committee also came into existence, as part of the ‘Ladies Auxiliary.’

The help initiative undertook initial action a little at a time. However, at this point, there had been no news from a living person that had been received from Zambrow.

Finally, the first such live news, sad enough, came from one of the brothers, Stupnik (son of the shoemaker from Brezhnitz). It was terrifying news, indicating that Jewish Zambrow no longer existed. However, a significant number of people from Zambrow are aimlessly wandering about the ruins of Eastern Europe: those who had run away from the gas chambers and death camps, those left from the ones exiled to Russia, lone individuals who fought as partisans, those sheltered by gentiles in forests and pits in the ground. It was only now that we first grasped the extent of how great the disaster was, and how swiftly help must be made available from our end. In a short time we began to hear from other people from Zambrow, those that had been left in the wake of fire and sword, hunger, forced labor, and from the gas ovens. Every one asked: who remained alive? Where are their friends and relatives? Who will help them with an item of clothing, a pair of shoes, with food, with medicines, with a pack of cigarettes, with a groschen of money? And everyone also asks: What will the future bring? Where are they to travel, to whom should they go, and using what means?

An initiative was begun to answer letters and to write letters – hundreds, hundreds every month. A fevered initiative was undertaken to send packages. No sooner had an address been received from a Zambrow landsman, than we began to send money – through the mail. through the bank, through emissaries. Thousands of dollars were sent over to groups of people, to individuals – in Lodz, in Bialystok, in Zambrow, in Germany, Italy, France, and any place from which we received word from a landsman in distress.

The work, truth be told, was done by individuals. We must give recognition to the Relief-Secretary, Yossl Savetzky, along with his wife, who tirelessly stood by this work for its entire duration. The following also participated in this work, with real commitment: President Nathan Burg, Joseph Waxman, Sholom-Abner Bornstein, Yitzhak Rosen, Dov Stein, A. Zadok, M. Bursztein, Noah Dzenchill, Harry Stein, Sam Stern, B. Feinberg, Moshe Oytzer – the writer of these lines. In the ‘Ladies Auxiliary’ the following sisters were active: Pauline Zarembsky (President), Silvia Berkowitz (Vice-President), Pauline Zadok (Finance-Secretary), Esther Bernstein (Treasurer), Esther Stein, Leah’cheh Savetzky, D. Greenberg.

The hundreds of letters that arrives, the heart-rending and emotionally oppressing replies from those brethren in need, the few words of encouragement that came to them from us – this was our reward, which calmed our spirits.

In January 1947, the first bulletin of the United Zembrover Relief appeared, in which the memorial service was discussed that was to take place on January 26, along with a short write-up of our relief activities.  And there was a list of the survivors with whom the committee had corresponded (see above, pp. 579-580).


In actuality, it is very difficult to differentiate between the Relief Committee and the United Zembrover Society. Almost all the same people worked in both places.

But the United Zembrover Society did not encompass all the ranks of people from Zambrow. Apart from this, the principal objective of the united society was to provide local fraternal assistance: medical help, a hospital, a burial plot after one hundred and twenty years, a headstone, employment, a synagogue with a chazzan, and things of that sort.

The Relief Committee devoted itself entirely to providing help to those of the brethren who had survived [the war].

At each committee meeting, a report was given as to how many letters had been answered. According to the minutes, in one month one hundred and fifteen letters were written to Europe, in a second month – two hundred and sixty, etc. At every meeting, an accounting was given as to how many thousands of dollars had already been sent, and how many families had been searched for and members reunited. And even when the refugees were already on solid footing in a place like Israel or Canada, the support was not discontinued. The refugees, who took up residence in Israel and settled there, kept receiving relief packages and money, for a long, long time afterwards.

Money was sent (two hundred and five hundred dollars) to the Magen David Adom in Israel. Many good books in Yiddish and Hebrew were collected and sent over to Poland for the Jewish Peoples’ Library, named for the destroyed Peoples’ Library in Zambrow. An initiative was undertaken to begin assembling material for the ‘Yizkor Book’ which sadly, was not crowned with much success. Few responded to the request to write for the ‘Yizkor Book.’

At each meeting proposals were made on how to increase the amounts of money being gathered. And it was Moshe Oytzer who often was the one who made the proposals. It was in this fashion that a proposal to systematically provide aid to our brethren in Israel was made. For example, Moshe Oytzer would propose that ten hospital beds be supported in the name of Zambrow, etc.

This relief is an expression of the fraternal help forthcoming from the people of Zambrow that is transcribed onto an honorable page in the history of ‘Zambrow’ that was in America.

  Zembrovers in Mexico

By Yitzhak Rothberg

In general, Mexico was never a focal point for Jewish immigration.

In the sixteenth century, Marranos fled the Spanish Inquisition, and a little at a time found sanctuary in ‘New Spain,’ meaning the newly discovered lands of South America that were under Spanish rule. It was very difficult for them to get to Mexico legally, because here, the Edict of Castille of 1511 was in force here: Jews, or Marranos, were forbidden to set foot on the Holy Mexican soil. The ancient history of Mexico also has something to tell about Jews, who were killed in the bonfire plazas of the Inquisition in Mexico.

Despite this, tens of Marrano families managed to survive here in secret, and in time when the Inquisition was discontinued, laid the foundations of a Sephardic Jewish community that has survived to this day. There were very few Ashkenazi Jews.

Zambrow Landsleit in Mexico City

First Row (Standing from the Right): Shifra Golombek, her husband Chaim Golombek ז״ל,
Shayna-Chana and Chaim Gorodzinsky. Second Row (sitting):  Yitzhak and Nechama Rothberg, Bracha Lavsky

It was only at the beginning of the twentieth century that we first see a bit of a rise in the immigration of Eastern European Jews, and an Ashkenazi Jewish community also arose.

But we will return to our people from Zambrow. The honor of being the first of those from Zambrow to immigrate to Mexico belongs to our Avreml Zaltzberg, arriving there in approximately 1927. A few years later, a number of additional people from Zambrow began to appear, but who do not believe they will remain here, but rather are waiting for the first opportunity to go to North America, in the United States. At this time, there are about seven Zambrow families that are found in Mexico City, and may they multiply! I will enumerate them alphabetically [in Hebrew]: Golombek, Gorodzinsky, Zaltzberg, Lavsky, Slowik, Pekarewicz, Rothberg.

The head of the Golombek family, Chaim, was our pride – the leader of the Poalei Tzion party, both  prominent and well-liked in local Jewish society. Regrettably, he died before his time, and we felt the loss severely and with great pain. (His picture is above, on p. 485).

There is no Zembrover society to be found here, but we maintain fraternal relationships, getting together quite often on joyous occasions, or just simply to spend time together, and to share our memories of the alte haym.  We also stay close to the landsleit from Lomza, and to other neighboring landsleit, and often put on a social function together.

In a material sense, all of the Zambrow landsleit in Mexico are more-or-less well-established. They take part in the general social life of the local Jewish community, are especially active in the Zionist movement, and generally occupy a respected position in the society.

Zembrowers in the Landsleit Union of Lomza, Zambrow & Vicinity

Buenos Aires, Argentina

 By Boaz Chmiel (General-Secretary)   

Landsleit from Zambrow occupy a very respected place in the Jewish life of Argentina. They stand out because of their active role in work for Yiddish culture, Jewish creativity, for the synagogue, education and fund-raising campaigns.

From a societal point of view, they linked their work and relief assistance with their brethren from Lomza, whose  numbers in Argentina are quite significant, and a little at a time with other small towns that found themselves to be neighboring one-time Zambrow in the alte haym, which to our great sorrow no longer exists.

And so, it was in this fashion that the large and imposing Jewish-Argentinean fraternal institution, called the ‘Union of Lomza, Zambrow & Vicinity Landsleit’ was created.

The Union was founded one pleasant Thursday, on August 26, 1926 (15 Elul 5686) and the basis was laid down by the community -- cultural, and economic conditions of the newly arrived immigrants to the country. But it was an instance of illness of a landsman without means that brought the Union to life: It was necessary to bring both material help and help with morale to the stricken brother, with utmost speed. A provisional committee was immediately formed, which did everything possible to lighten the need. However, since that time, the committee never disbanded. On the contrary, it became bigger and stronger, developed added branches, and became increasingly active day by day.


From that day on, every ‘green’ arrival from the Lomza-Zambrow vicinity knew that here, one could receive suitable fraternal support and a place of work would be procured for him, in a shop or at home. He has a place where he can meet with familiar faces from home and be able to spend an evening together, Sabbath, and a Festival Holiday, until.... until he himself acclimatizes himself as a local citizen, and is both willing and able to do the same for other newly arrived immigrants.

Because of the meaningful number of people from Zambrow, and their very active participation in the Union, the name was later changed, and it is now known as the ‘Lomza-Zambrow Union.’

 Boaz Chmiel

The people from Zambrow, throughout this entire period, were among the very active members in the Union, and we should carefully note here and give recognition to the name of the Zambrow family of Herschel and Sarah Kuropatwa. Herschel came to Buenos Aires in the year 1923, His wife came a year later, Their home became a sort of welcoming house for people from Zambrow; or as it was called the 'Zambrow Embassy.’ Any number of landsleit found a place at the table here, to restore their hearts with nourishment, find a bed to sleep in and a roof over their head. Truly a homey roof at that, until they could get up on their own two feet. The lady of the family, Sarah Kuropatwa, passed away on 24 Heshvan 5722 (November 2,.1961) and an exceptionally large audience turned out to escort her to her eternal rest.

The Credit Bank of the Union was founded in the year 1940, having legal powers, under the name ‘Casa de Credita Flores Sud.’ This is a legalized (formalized?) Gemilut Hasadim Bank, built on a solid financial foundation, loyal to its name, as was the intent of its founding. It always comes to the landsman with constructive help, offered in a gracious manner. No landsman has yet come with any complaint against the way the Credit Bank conducts itself.  The ‘bank’ is always correct, if only the brother in question does not violate the laws of the land, which the bank is obligated to uphold.

The Women’s Committee of the Argentina Society of Lomza-Zambrow & Vicinity

With the growth and broadening of the Union, and the addition of ‘Zambrow’ to its name, an effort was made to leave the old premises, which by now had grown crowded, and to create a new home. A house was purchased for our use, with a foyer, at 4467-69 Bartloma Mitra. This was the first time in Argentina that landsleit would take the initiative to buy a house. And we had the good fortune that, by chance on November 29, 1947 (Saturday night 16 Kislev 5708), on the very day that the State of Israel was proclaimed, it fell out that we celebrated the inauguration of our own new, Lomza-Zambrow home.

Our small homey celebration was amalgamated into the larger pan-Jewish celebration, and this will always remain etched deeply in our memory.

Since that time, our home has become a center of culture, alongside all of our other community endeavors. On Saturday and Sunday, there are speeches, lectures, literary evenings, and artistic presentations held as a matter of course. Also, other landsmanshaftn and institutions find our auditorium open for their community events.

We have put out two volumes of ‘Lomzer Stimme’ containing much material, pictures and information, a collective work of our landsleit. We possess a rich library named for Simon Dubnow ז״ל, with a very large collection of Yiddish books. The income from our events is exclusively dedicated to a variety of support activities, especially Israel. We have sent an ambulance to the Magen David Adom in Israel, which bears our name, and we also support ‘Tormei Or.’

   A Group of Landsleit, with Herschel Kuropatwa
standing to the right, and his wife, Sarah, standing to the left.

In the year 1961, we had a very extensive celebration of the thirty-fifth jubilee year of our society. The hall was overflowing with landsleit and their families. The writer of these lines, as Secretary of the society, made a proposal, as part of his report and overview of the history of the society, which now has four hundred members, to other landsmanshaftn, and also to our landsleit in Israel and in the United States, that they should bring together all of the neighboring towns into a single organization, on the model of the Lomza-Zambrow Society, and in this manner, develop an intensive initiative on behalf of the landsleit, Israel, and all Jewish-oriented institutions. The President, Chaim-Joseph Rudnik ז״ל, greeted all of the assembled landsleit, portraying the alte haym, with its laudable Jewish qualities, with its elevated spiritual ideals, and expressed the wish and hope that here as well, in an alien place, that we should continue the tradition of the alte haym. The following also spoke: Moshe Leib Wisznia, an old-time active participant, David Domowicz, from among to one-time party activists, Zalman Hirschfeld, Joseph Rosen, Mordechai Rubinstein, Sarah Crystal.

The Ladies Committee of the society was established in April 1947. Our lady members and sisters gather together quite frequently, and assist with the work of the society in the rendering of aid, also sponsor evening events and managing discussions about literary, political, social, and other types of questions.

And this is how we progress from one endeavor to the next, and the Lomza-Zambrow Society & Vicinity occupies a very important place in the Jewish community life in Argentina.

Scions of Zambrow in Argentina
(Among the Organization of the Scions of Lomza-Zambrow & Vicinity)

The scions of Zambrow occupy a respected place in Argentinean Jewry. In the communal sense, they organized themselves with the scions of Lomza and the vicinity, and are working together for several years.

In August 1926 (5686), the Organization of the Scions of Lomza came about by happenstance: one of them fell sick, and it became necessary to provide him with help. From that time on, they slowly organized themselves and appropriated several noble institutions to themselves. In time, the name was broadened: The Organization of the Scions of Lomza, Zambrow & Vicinity. Among the Zambrow scions, the couple of Herschel and Sarah Kuropatwa were active. Their home was transformed into a Zambrow ‘embassy.’ Everyone of the newcomers from the city found a home and a roof over their head with them – until they got themselves settled. Sarah passed away, with a good name, on 24 Heshvan 5722 (November 2, 1961).

In the year 1940 a loan society was established, a form of a Gemilut Hasadim, for the scions of the city, with real functions, and whose rules were approved by the government. Every one of the city sons was able to receive constructive assistance, if all he did was satisfy the conditions that were set out by the government.

In the year 1947 a house was bought on Bartoloma-Mitra Street 4467-69. This was the first instance of such a sort, done by a landsleit organization. The house was transformed into a place for education, culture, public gatherings, and lectures, for use by other organizations as well.

The dedication of these premises took place by fortunate happenstance, on the same evening that the representatives of the United Nations decided to approve the establishment of the State of Israel. The joy was great, and doubled, a celebration within a celebration.

In the year 1961, the thirty-fifth anniversary of the establishment was celebrated with great fanfare. The festivities were opened by Boaz Chmiel, the Chief Secretary and Chair of the organization, and Chaim-Joseph Rudnik.

The organization nurtured a large library named for Simon Dubnow, and produced two volumes ‘Lomzer Stimme,’ also organizing the ladies who were scions of the city, who come and perform all the work that makes social support possible, and in that capacity also participates at set occasions in lectures, and discussions concerning matters that are literary and of national interest.

The Committee and Active Members of Lomza-Zambrow & Vicinity Landsleit, in Buenos Aires.

 First Row (Right to Left): Wisznia, Czerwonka, Dunowicz, Rudnik, Chmiel, Bornstein, Mlinarsky.
Second Row: Kuropatwa, Slassky, Ossowsky, Chaim Nadworna, Mendelson, Schwarzbord, Jewka, Levinsky.
Third Row: Markowicz, Crystal, Chmiel.


A Group of Active Ladies in the organization
of Lomza-Zambrow & Vicinity in Buenos Aires.


Chaim-Joseph Rudnik ז״ל

He was born in the shtetl of Gatch, near Lomza-Zambrow, in the year 1898. He came to Argentina in the year 1923. He was the nerve center for the landsleit society and for many years, its Honorary President. He was active in Jewish education and cultural activities. He gave much of his time, in the organization of workers in tailoring, into professional unions, and was active in IFT and other such organizations.                                     

However, his central activity was exhibited in working with landsleit. When the Lomza Society was founded, he did not rest until he had organized all of the Zambrow folks, and it was his doing and achievement that the name, ‘Zambrow’, was officially added to the original name of the society.

It is barely possible to reduce to writing how much energy this man gave on behalf of his brethren, how much he allowed it to cost him out of his own money, how many thousands of dollars that he collected for the brothers who had been saved from the Nazis.

The thought of buying a house of their own was his, and the value of this to the society cannot be over-estimated. It was he who was the first to manifest concern for Israel, carrying out collections and fund-raising for the Magen David Adom, such as sending them an ambulance. Upon his arrival in Israel as a delegate to the Congress of Polish Jews, he encountered a great deal of recognition on the part of Lomza and Zambrow landsleit, and they honored him with festive reception. He was intensely enthusiastic about the Zambrow [Yizkor] Book, and took on personal responsibility to send over a significant sum of money to cover the costs of printing the book. As was his way, he kept his word. Regrettably, however, he was not privileged to see the book: he suddenly collapsed. His death is certainly a great loss, which plunged all of us into a deep sorrow. All of us sense his absence, and there is no equal to him. Hundreds, hundreds escorted his remains and mourned him. He was eulogized at the society house by: Moshe-Leib Wisznia, his long-time friend and co-worker, and Sarah Crystal, the President of the Ladies Division of the society. At the Tablada Cemetery, he was further eulogized by the learned scholar from Lomza, Joseph Rosen, former President Mordechai Rubinstein, and David Rosenfarb – in the name of the Tailors Union. Honor his memory!


The Three Stupnik Brothers in Argentina, Yitzhak, Moshe, Yaakov


A Group of Active Landsleit, scions of the city and its vicinity, in Buenos Aires


The Organization of the Émigrés from Zambrow in Israel

By Zvi Zamir

Before the [First] World War, only odd individuals made aliyah to Israel, and a bit is told about them in this book (see pages 99-102). After the War, the Third Aliyah began, in 1920-21 – in which a number of Zionists made aliyah, to build the land and live in it. However, to our sorrow, a number of them didn’t take hold, and they regressed [to the Diaspora]. Among the few that remained and even tried their hand at the opening of a factory, was Lipa Blumrosen  ז״ל, who was among the first to make aliyah, with the members of his family, settling in Tel-Aviv and engaging in the manufacture of floor tiles. After him, the sons of his brother Itcheh-Fyvel, and then his brother. In 1926, Aryeh (Leibczuk) Golombek made aliyah, and [also] engaged in tile manufacturing, Noah Tykoczinsky, Yekhezkiel Zamir ז״ל, Aliza Weinberg and her family, Rubinstein and Moshe Zusman  ז״ל. After a time, the families of the Seczkowsky (the sons of Itcheh Mulyar), Benjamin Pszisusker and his brothers. With the Zambrow HeHalutz organization, the first of the Halutzim made aliyah in 1925: Mikhl Yabkowsky, Abraham Baumkuler, and Shmuel Gutman.


Lipa Blumrosen

In 1926, the following members of HeHalutz made aliyah after their ‘training': Moshe Bursztein, Noah Zukrowicz  ז״ל, Mordechai Gabriel, Daniel Koziol, Chaya Sarah Jablonka, Chana Dunowicz, and Herschel Slowik (Zvi Zamir). With their arrival, the need for an organization of city landsleit grew stronger. These people organized themselves a little bit at a time, and in 1928 the first party took place in the hall on LaSalle Street.  The meeting of the old-timers with the new olim left a deep impression, and from that time forward the group has existed ever since: The Sons of Zambrow. After this, several other meetings took place in Petakh-Tikva, a place where a number of our city scions took up residence, and in Tel-Aviv.

The Second World War cut off the Zambrow olim from their ancestral home, and like all of World Jewry, they waited in fearful trepidation, in anticipation of what was coming – until the bitter truth was learned that the entire community had been wiped out to the last person. In January 1946, a crowded meeting took place in the store of Noah Tykoczinsky, and they decided to hold a memorial service in memory of the martyrs, in the month of Shevat, in the health center named for Nathan Strauss, to be held on the last day of Shevat, that being the yahrzeit of the last Zambrow group exterminated at Auschwitz. A standing committee was selected at that time that continued its work for several years: Zvi Ben-Joseph (Secretary), Zvi Zamir (Chair), the sisters, Malka and Ahuva Greenberg, Tova and Yaakov Yabkowsky, Yom-Tov Levinsky, Menachem Sabidur, Joseph Srebrowicz (Finance) and others.

A Committee of Zambrow Landsleit in Israel

From Right to Left, First Row: Malka Portugali, Ahuva Greenberg.

                                    Second Row:   Dr. Yom-Tov Levinsky, Y. Yabkowsky, Zvi Zamir,  Aryeh Golombek.

   Third Row:  M. Bursztein – Tova Stepner-Yabkowsky,
Zvi Ben-Joseph, Pinchas Kaplan, Yabkowsky, Joseph Srebrowicz

At one of the meetings, it was decided to publish a Memorial Book of the Zambrow community, in keeping with the proposal of Dr. Yom-Tov Levinsky. This proposal continued on and was brought into being with the help of our brethren overseas – in the United States, and in part also from Argentina – and became a reality.

From that time onwards, it has been the custom to have an annual memorial meeting to recall our city that no longer exists – and to this meeting come the scions of the city from all ends of the country. The El Moleh Rachamim prayer is recited, and we say Kaddish and shed a tear in the gloom. The organization of the city landsleit helped the refugees from Zambrow, in no small way, to get themselves settled and acclimated.


The organization maintains very tight ties with other organizations of city scions outside of The Land, and also with individuals. Every new arrival, every tourist who is a landsman, is received graciously by us. We organize a formal welcome, mostly in the home of the sisters Greenberg-Portugali, who excel in the pleasant way they do receptions for guests. Meetings of this sort were arranged in honor of Yitzhak Gorodzinsky, and also his brother Chaim from Mexico, Zelig Warshawczyk, Mordechai Schwartzbort, Joseph Waxman, Isaac Ravenson, Joseph Scharfman, Chaim Ben-Dor, Eliezer Pav, Isaac Malinowicz, Bezalel Yellin, David Tzivan, Esther Rosing, Elkanah Shulsinger, Max Finkelstein and his sisters, Yehudit Finkelstein, Mary Golombek, Rabbi Mattityahu Kagan, and his wife Dvosh’keh Golombek, Esther Smoliar (Paris) and others. In the Holocaust Grotto on Mount Zion, we have erected a memorial stone in memory of our city, [which sits] among the other memorial stones erected there for the cities and the ‘mothers’ of Jewry that were brought low.

Pessia Furmanowicz (See above pp. 453-454).

In the year 1960, the committee was refreshed. Anew, the following were selected: the Messrs. Zamir (Chair), Ben-Joseph (Secretary), Malka Portugali (Treasurer), Ahuva Greenberg, Yaakov Yabkowsky (Haifa), Tova Yabkowsky-Stepner (who just recently passed away), Moshe Yabkowsky, Menachem Sabidur-Khodorowsky, Moshe Bursztein, Sarah Jablonka, Naomi Wax-Blumrosen, Aryeh Golombek, Pinchas Kaplan, Joseph Srebrowicz, and Dr. Yom-Tov Levinsky. It is proper to offer a citation of praise to Mr. Zvi Ben-Joseph (Konopiata) who was the secretary, the focal point, the catalyst and living spirit in our midst, and the loyal and dedicated liaison of our scions in Israel to those outside the land – may his hand be strengthened!

[Original Location of Supporters List, Now Moved to the Front of the Book]


Yisgadal veYiskadash Shmey Rabah...

[We intone the Kaddish prayer in memory of] the souls of our sanctified Zambrow community הי"ד, who died a martyrs and heroes death, before their time, tortured, murdered, buried alive, gassed, and incinerated by the foul and depraved Nazis, and their [all too willing] accomplices. Those who we are able to recall, and inscribe their names, and those who regrettably cannot recall and so inscribe their names – all, all will be eternally recorded for posterity in this book about our community, and may their souls hover among us, and be bound up with us, the living, who mourn their loss and the destruction of our home city.






Plaque Commemorating the Community of Zambrow on
Mount Zion in the Grotto
of the Holocaust, Jerusalem


Significant Dates to Remember in the City’s History


Set up landmarks! Put up road signs!

Remember the highway, the road on which you traveled.

Come back, my dear people Israel, come back to your cities.

                                                                                                                                 – Jeremiah 31:20




1828 – 5585

The Zambrow community is founded. The old cemetery is opened in that same year.

Parsha of Balak, 5655, in July 1895

The first Great Fire breaks out on Friday. Approximately 400 houses are burned down.

10 Iyyar 5669, May 1, 1909

The second Great Fire breaks out on a Saturday night. Approximately five hundred houses are burned down.

22 Sivan 5701, June 21, 1941

The Nazis take over the town for the second time. Decrees against the Jews, and murdering of Jews begins.

26 Av 5701, August 19, 1941

Black Tuesday. Approximately 1,500 Jews from Zambrow are exterminated in the Szumowo vicinity.

12 Elul 5701, September 4, 1941

Close to nine hundred residents of the city, along with six hundred residents of Rutki are buried alive in the Kosaki Forest.

14 Tishri 5702, September 5, 1941

Confined to the Ghetto on the Eve of Sukkos.

Tammuz, 5702, July 1942

Approximately two thousand residents of the city, along with residents of Lomza, and others, are confined to the barracks.

19 Tevet 5703, December 27, 1942

Two hundred old and sick people are poisoned and euthanized with Venerol, in the barracks.

Morning of 10 Shevat 5703, January 16, 1943

The Final Journey of the last of the Zambrow landsleit, on Friday evening: the remains incinerated in the crematoria at Auschwitz on Saturday night.


Necrology - יזכור 



In memory of my mother, Hinde-Dina, of the

Golombek Family, my brothers, Shlomo &

Yaakov, my sister Zlatkeh (Liba), who were

murdered in the Holocaust.

Raphael Gershunowicz, Tel-Aviv

Moshe Gershunowicz, USA



In memory of by dear parents Chana & Yitzhak,

my brothers Yaakov & Chaim Pinchas, my sister

Rachel, and sister-in-law Miriam Bursztein.

Moshe (Avital) Paciner, Hadera



In memory of our parents and brothers Gershon &

Miriam, Yaakov, Nehemiah, and Henya Jablonka.

Chaya-Sarah Rubinstein-Jablonka

Esther Jablonka-Yenczman

Kfar Az”r – Tel-Aviv



In memory of our brother Shmuel, his wife, Nechama,

their son, Moshe Finkelstein, and their sister-in-law Tzip’keh Rabinowicz.

                              Esther, Leah of the Finkelstein Family

Tel-Aviv, Kfar Atta



In memory of my dear mother Chana, my sister,

Miriam-Rachel and her husband Eliyahu

Pikarewicz, and their sons.

Yitzhak Sosnowiec & Family, Tel-Aviv


In memory of my father Moshe Kalman Pikarewicz, my

sisters and brothers, Rachel, Bash’keh, Chanan,

Joseph, Zayd’keh
and their families, and all family


Pessia Schreier-Pikarewicz



A Picture of the Dzenchill Family
(See Item 33 in the Necrology)
Rachel Pszepszawicz

Herschel Stupnik and his Wife

The Greenberg Family (See Necrology # 32)

Kossowsky Family (See Necrology #37)

Moshe Hersh and Faygl Pszepszawicz



In memory of our dear parents, and family

members, who were murdered in the

Holocaust, Sarah-Meiram, and Meiram

Bursztein, Baylah & Yaakov Zerakh Kagan,

and the sons: Abraham Zvi, Chash’keh (of the

Srebrowicz family) their daughters Sarah,

Rivka, Reikhl, Ethel, Pessia, Shlomit, Moshe

Aharon, Leah.

The sons, and family members

David-Aryeh, Zvi-Yaakov, Moshe Bursztein,

& their families

Tel-Aviv Kfar Sirkin



In memory of my dear friends Gedalia Rekant

and his family (Ostrow-Mazowiecki), Chaim-

Joseph Shafran and his family (Antwerp,

Belgium) who were murdered by the Nazis


Zvi Zamir-Slowik, Magdiel



In memory of my parents Alta and Israel, my

sister Sarah, and her daughter Losha, my brother

Berl who were exterminated by the Nazis,

and my sister Chava, who passed away in Israel.

Menucha Sokol-Kramer, Haifa


In memory of my dear parents, Chaim Joseph &

Chaya, my brothers Yitzhak, Reuven, and

Shlomo Rudnik.

Ida Rudnik-Zukerman, Hulta


In memory of my beloved parents, Chana Taiba

& Abraham, my sisters, Chava, Sarah and

Zippora, the daughter of my sister Leah, and the

sons of my brother Reuven-Yaakov and Chaim,

who were exterminated in the Holocaust.

Malka Warszawsky (Ratoszwicz)

Miriam Levinger (Ratoszwicz)

Ramot Rama”z beside Haifa


To the memory of ur parents, Chana-Chaya and

Joseph Konopiata, our brothers Shmuel & Leibl.

Zvi Ben-Joseph (Israel)

Israel and Esther Konopiata-Cohen, Sam Cohen

(Cleveland, OH, USA)


In memory of my aunt Leah, bat Aharon

Zaremsky, and uncle Moshe Gedalia, and his

wife Sarah-Pearl, and the daughters Szifra,

Gittl & Zelda.

Zvi Ben-Joseph, Tel-Aviv

Israel Cohen-Konopiata, [Cleveland]

Esther Cohen-Konopiata, Cleveland


In memory of the souls of our parents. Rabbi

Aryeh-Dov (ben Abraham u’Miriam Esther)

Kavior, and Guta (bat Mordechai v’Rachel


Our brothers and sisters, Shmuel, Baylah-

Rivka, Joel & Rachel.

Aharon Kavior, Bnei Brak


In memory of our dear parents Faygl & Joseph

Benjamin (son of Moshe Shmuel) Golombek

Nehemiah (Berg) – died in the United States

(see his picture in the book) Chava – died in

Israel, Moshe, Sara & Rachel, Israel &

Yaakov – who were killed in the Holocaust.

Aryeh Golombek & Family

Yitzhak Golombek & Family


In memory of our beloved uncles and their

families, Meir & Rivka Bronack, Isaac

Golombek, his Wife & Children, who were

killed by the Nazis.

Zvi Zamir

Joseph Zamir


In memory of our dear uncles and their families

Yehuda & Nech’a, and Moshe Rubinstein,

Chaya and members of their family, Eliyahu,

Sarah Yarmolkowsky, Dina & Leah, Joseph,

Sarah Slowik, and the children – who were killed

in the Holocaust.

Joseph Zamir & Family, Tel-Aviv

Zvi Zamir & Family, Magdiel

Tova Katz & Family, Haifa





Leah Zarembsky
(See Necrology # 13)
    (Family of) Chana-Chaya & Joseph Konopiata
(See Necrology #12)

Shimon Rubin
 (See Necrology #30)


The Family of Aryeh Zamir (See Necrology # 18)


The Zamir-Rubinstein Family (See Necrology #17)



To the memory of our dear parents, R’ Yitzhak

Aryeh ben R’ David Slowik, and Sarah-Dina bat

R’ Moshe-Shmuel Golombek, our brothers and

sisters, Noah, Ada, Chava, Masheh, Yenta, Moshe

– who died a martyr’s death in Zambrow and in


Zvi Zamir & Family, Magdiel

Joseph Zamir & Family, Tel-Aviv


In memory of our dear parents Dov & Sarah, our

brother Yehuda, and our sister Pessia, who were

exterminated in the Holocaust.

Rivka, Mira and Rachel Furmanowicz


In memory of my dear parents Nahum & Rachel

and my brother Joseph, who were killed in the


Israel Lichtenstein, Holon


In memory of our dear mother Henya Rachel,

our sister Shayna Khanit, our uncle and aunt

Yitzhak & Liba, cousins Yaakov & Breineh


Zvi & Moshe Khanit, Ramat Gan


In memory of my dear parents Sarah &

Shmuel-Leib, my brothers and sisters, Yitzhak-

Eliyahu, Leah, Chaya Chash’keh & Moshe.

Gershon Rosenblum, Holon


In memory of my daughter and our sister,

Fruma Lieb’cheh Grade-Klepfish murdered

by the Nazis in Lithuania.

The Rebbetzin Sarah Klepfish

The brothers: Meshuli, Heshl, Pales David,



In memory of my dear parents Ephraim &

Rivka Friedman, brothers and sisters Et’keh,

Gittl Faygl, Shimon, Mottl & Gershon.

Moshe Friedman, Holon


In memory of my father and mother, Joseph

Chaim & Dvora Nagurka, my brothers and

sisters, Sholom, Esther, Szifra & Tzila.

Abraham Nagurka, Kibbutz Ein-Dor


In memory of our sister and brother-in-law Liba &

Abraham Zukerman, who were killed in the


Yaakov Yabkowsky & Family, Haifa

Moshe Yabkowsky & Family, Petakh-Tikva

Sarah-Rachel Melamed-Yabkowsky & Family

Tova Stepner


In memory of our parents Aryeh & Alt’keh

Rosing, my sisters Chay’cheh, Blum’cheh,


Fruma Mandelbrot, Jerusalem

Esther & Joseph, United States


In memory of friend Reiz’keh Kaplan-Goldberg,

her husband David, and their children, who were

exterminated in the Holocaust.

Nachman Scharfman, Buenos-Aires, Argentina


In memory of my dear parents Baruch-Zvi &

Liba, my sisters Reizl, Esther & Rachel’eh.

Eliezer Koszcowa, Haifa


In memory of my husband and our father Shimon

Rubin who was murdered in Zambrow.

Rachel Greenberg-Rubin

Daughter Leah

Son Sholom


In memory of our parents Jocheved & Gershon

Farbowicz, grandfather R’ Yaakov Zukrowicz,

who died after being tortured in a Nazi camp,

and his wife Sarah Rachel, our brothers,

Moshe & Meir, his sister-in-law Nash’keh,

and her daughter Sarah Rachel, our uncle

Menachem, our aunt Dina, and their son

Yitzhak, who were exterminated in the


Joseph, Nahum & Yehuda Srebrowiz-Kaspi

& Their Families

Tel-Aviv, Ganigar, Ein-Dor

See their pictures on pp. 487-489.









The Family of Reiz’keh Kaplan-Goldberg
(See Necrology #28)

Stupnik Family



The Gershunowicz Family
(See Necrology #1)


Chaim Ze’ev Krulewiecky (See Necrology #39)


The Family of Joseph Golombek
(See Necrology # 15)



In memory of our dear parents Alt’keh &

Avigdor Greenberg, our brothers Sholom &


Rachel, Malka, Ahuva, Rivka, & Families in Israel


In memory of my parents Yitzhak Leib &

Sarah Esther, my sister Malka and my brother

Jekuthiel, who were exterminated in the


Leah Dzenchill-Eisenberg, Shfayim


Dedicated to the eternal memory of our dear

parents Yehoshua & Rivka Rothberg

Moshe Rothberg (Buenos-Aires)

Yitzhak & Nechama Rothberg (Mexico City)


To the memory of our dear uncles, aunts, and

cousins, who were exterminated during the

Holocaust in Zambrow and in the Bialystok


David & Sarah Rothberg, with their sons: Alter

& his wife Rivka, and their children (Izzie,

Yekhezkiel & Hadassah), Chaim, Tzip’keh &


Yehoshua & Rivka Rothberg

Yitzhak & Frieda Rothberg and their children:

Sarah, Abraham, Taiba-Zissl, Moshe.

Berl & Nechama Rothberg and their children:

Chaim Reuven, Nachman-Yaakov, Faygl, &


Zissl & Isaac Malinowicz, USA

Tzippora Binkin & Family, Yitzhak & Nechama

Rothberg (Mexico), Moshe Rothberg, Yom-

Tov, Zvi & Nachman Levinsky, Henya

Matzman & Their Families.


In memory of our parents and our uncles Yitzhak-

Velvel, Getzel, Eliyahu & Berl Golombek, and

their families.


To the eternal memory of our beloved martyrs

and innocents: our parents Israel & Esther, our

sister Yenta, and our brothers Yitzhak, Moshe &


Chaya Ben-Zvi, Moshe Kossowsky

Ben-Zvi, Moshe Kossowsky


To the memory of our dear fellow city

residents, Abraham Zukrowicz and the

members of his family, Yaakov-Hersh

Zukrowicz & his wife Chaya of the Shafran

family, their sister, Pessia Zukrowicz and her

family, who were exterminated by the Nazis in

Antwerp (Belgium).


A memorial marker to my brother R’ Chaim

Zev ben R; Yitzhak Menachem Krulewiecky,

born in Biablonki 13 Sivan 5666 (June 6,

1906), his wife Pessia Kahanowicz, his

daughters Freida, Henya & Duba, and his son

Eliyahu David, who were exterminated in the

Bialystok ghetto in 1942. תנצב"ה

Joseph Krulewiecky & Family (Buenos-Aires)


Our dear parents:

Abraham & Henya Schwartzbart, brother

Yaakov & wife children, Berl Lejzor & Eli,

sisters: Gutka, Szifra, Chana’cheh, along with

their husbands and children.

Chaim Mordechai Schwartzbart

Zelka Schwartzbart


My dear grandfather & grandmother:

Shlomo & Mattl Pekarewicz

Gedalia Levin


Father & Mother Zelik & Chana Kuropatwa,

brother Nissl with his wife Basha-Reiz’eh and

children, mother-in-law Chana Leah Kopczinsky

Herschel Kuropatwa,

Basha Fuchs, Rivka Kuropatwa, Faygl

Sosnowsky, Gittl Sosnowsky & Husband,

Zeitl Lifschitz


Our unforgettable mother & sisters: Dvora Zlateh

Wisznia, Leah, Gittl with husbands and children.

Moshe Wisznia & Family


The Family of Aryeh Rosing (See Necrology #27)


Fruma Lieb’cheh
(See Necrology #23)


Koszczowa Family (See Necrology #29)



Our dear parents:

David Shlomo & Chava Leah Levinsky, brother

Lejzor with wife & children, sisters: Etkeh with

husband & children, Rivka with husband &

children, Esther with husband & children.

Herschel Levinsky & Family


Our dear parents:

Velvel Baruch & Sarah Monkarz, brothers

Naphtali, David Isaac, sisters: Baylah & her

children, Chava Itka & her children.

Yaakov Monkarz & Family


Our dear parents:

Sender, Shayna-Feiga Edem,

Sisters: Mindl, Rachel, Hendl, Esther & their

families. Brothers: Abraham Yaakov, Moshe

Aharon, Eli-Leib, Chaim Lejzor & families, all

our relatives, and others who were exterminated.

Dan, Sarah, Yaakov, Bluma Edem


Our beloved martyrs:

Father Chaim Meir Wisznia, sisters: Masha,

Sarah’keh and their families, brother-in-law

Itcheh and his wife Chana Niewiadomsky

Moshe Leib & Dob’keh Wisznia,

Herschel Ber & wife Miriam
Esther & Family
Mirl Wisznia, Khatzkel Wisznia & Family.


Our dear parents Sender & Shayna Feiga

Edem. sisters: Mindl, Rachel, Hendl, Esther

& their families, brothers: Abraham Yaakov,

Moshe Aharon, Eli-Leib, Chaim Lejzor and

their families.

Hersh Mikhl, Sarah, Esther, Yaakov &

Abraham Sender Edem


To the Sanctified memory – of our martyrs

from the Warsaw Ghetto: Mother: Sarah

Rosenblum, brother David Rosenblum, sisters:

Leah, Aydl, Bluma & their families.

Hadassah, Boaz, Frieda & Masha Chmiel


We mourn our martyrs:

Parents: Shmuel & Dvora Rothberg,

Brothers: Yitzhak, Bendet & their families,

Shlomo Rothberg, Meir & his family.

Sisters: Tzipa and her husband, mother-in-law

Breineh Applebaum, brother-in-law Moshe

Applebaum & family, Sisters-in-law: Luba

Greenberg, Bayl’keh Applebaum & families.

Zelik Rothberg, Rasa & Maria, Elka Rothberg


To the eternal memory of our family:

Yitzhak Rubinstock, Leib Zdaleker, Nahum

Mendelewicz, Mendl Goldstein. uncles, aunts,

with their families, from Zambrow and Lomza.

Rivka Czikelewicz da Geluda


To memorialize our Houseman family from Zambrow.

Noss’keh & Matt’keh Houseman


Those unforgettable to me: Wife Reiz’eh Tzivan

& child, Abraham Shlomo’leh.

David Tzivan


Our dear parents and Family.

Parents: Chaim Reuven & Basha Tzivan, sisters,

Dvora’keh, Chava-Hinde, with their husbands

and children, Sarah’keh and her children.

Pesh’keh with her husband & children
(N. America) David & Meir Yitzhak Tzivan


Faygl & Sarah Leah Rothberg
(See Necrology #33)


Nechama Rothberg & Her Son
(See Necrology #35)


The Family of Lejzor Levinsky
(See Necrology # 44)


Rivka Rothberg & Her Children
(See Necrology # 35 on page 338)


Jocheved Srebrowicz & Her Son, Meir
(See Necrology # 31)


Abraham Jabkowsky & Liba Zukerman
(See Necrology # 26)


Zippora Srebrowicz


 Family of Moshe & Nash’keh Srebrowicz
 (See Necrology # 31)


Moshe Garbass & His Family



Our dear parents Chaim & Sarah Rachel

Bursztein, brother Abraham’cheh with his wife

and children, sister Basha with her husband and

children, brother-in-law Herschel Dzewko.

Moshe, Chan’cheh Dzewko & children


Our dear mother Chaya Friedman, brother

Yitzhak Friedman & family, Uncle Ephraim

Friedman & family.

Faygl Friedman


Dear mother and sister Dvorah Zlata Wisznia,

Leah Gittl with husband and children.

Moshe Wisznia & Family


I will always remember you: My father

Yaakov-Yeshaya HaKohen, uncle Asher

Joseph Cahn & family, uncle and sitting

Rabbi, Rabbi Dov Menachem Regensberg &


Eliyahu Mordechai Cohen


To the eternal memory of my wife Dvorah’keh

Pekarewicz, my daughter Chaya Pekarewicz

Shlomo Pekarewicz


Our beloved mother

Rachel Leah Golombek-Zaltzman

Yaakov & Aryeh Zaltzman


Our dear brother Chaim, wife Toba

Kuropatwa and three children, sister Gittl

Kuropatwa & children

Shmuel Kuropatwa & Family


We will carry the memory forever:

Mother Malka Brom, brother Yitzhak & wife

Ban’cheh Brom & child, of the Granica Family:

brother Yaakov Herschel & children, sister

Chaya-Faygl with her husband Israel Yitzhak

Jonkac & children, Masha-Leah & husband

Fyvel Zukrowicz & children, Golda Rivka with

her husband Getzl, Rachel & children,

Mikhl Granica & Family



In memory of Chaya (Chay’cheh) Tykoczinsky of the Golombek Family, my good, and modest sister, who died in the prime of life, 12 Elul 5720 (4 September 1960).

You were [sic: like] an only daughter to us, beloved and precious. In the thirties, you left your father’s home, broke your connections with the Diaspora, and made aliyah to The Land, with the love of your life, at a time when the Hebrew language flowed fluently from your mouth. I, the sole survivor of our family, was privileged to see you yet again, for a short time on the Land of our Birth.

With your passing, a pillar of radiance was extinguished from our widely-branched family.

Yitzhak Golombek


Chaya (Chay’cheh) Tykoczinsky
of the Golombek Family


Tova Stepner-Jabkowsky ז״ל


She was the daughter of Shlomkeh the yeast merchant, who from childhood onwards was educated in Torah and taught to work. From her early youth, she was active in the Land of Israel Labor Movement. She made aliyah in 1926 and from that time on she was active in organizing the scions of the town, dealing with newly-arrived olim, to the point that she got the nickname: mother of the scions of Zambrow. She proved herself in all manner of hard work, on the roads, and in factories, and found a place for herself in later years in the dairy firm of ‘Tenuvah.’ She was vibrant and respected even at her place of work. Her premature passing cast sorrow on everyone.


The Ratowicz Family
(See Necrology # 11)


The Finkelstein Family
(See Necrology # 4)


The Pacziner Family
(See Necrology # 2)



[1] A Jewish version of egg-nog, involving heated milk, with raw eggs beaten into it, sometimes sweetened with sugar.

[2] Drug store.

[3] A Yiddish variant of ‘Ivan,’ used by the Jews to derisively refer to the ruling Czar. Also, sometimes ‘Fonyeh Goniff.’ It was an indication of their contempt for the Czar.

[4] A Yiddish trade name, indicating this was ‘Alter the postal letter carrier.’

[5]  Military

[6]vBurow's solution is a pharmacological preparation made of aluminum acetate dissolved in water. It was invented in the mid-19th century by Karl August Burow, an ophthalmologist.


The preparation has astringent and antibacterial properties and is used to treat a number of skin conditions such as insect bites, rashes caused by poison ivy and poison sumac, swelling, allergies and bruises. Burrow's solution is traditionally applied in cold compresses over the affected area.

[7] September 13, 1939

[8] Thus shall be the judgment of those engaged in good works.

[9] And so the good work shall be made complete.

[10] Exodus 22:24

[11] The ritual designation of anything considered forbidden to be touched, or carried, on the Sabbath

[12]  Aaron Maslow writes: My grandfather was a very modest man.  He had smicha but never called himself "Rabbi."  In this country, in listings, he would list himself as "Reverend."  This was in the phone book too.  My grandfather came over by himself in 1924.  On occasion he would go back.  He brought over the family in 1935.

[13]  This date is incorrect: The German Army surrendered at Stalingrad in February 1943. However, in reading the subsequent text, it appears that the writer may have taken some license in compressing events. The writer is correct in pointing out that the Red Army had made a substantial advance by January 1944, but this was nearly a full year after the Battle of Stalingrad.


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