MEMORIES OF KARTUZ BEREZA THAT NO LONGER EXIST
Education in our small towns, occupies a central place from many generations ago. Educate young generation in Jewish spirit, is as our wise people said: "Study of Torah is equal to execution of all precepts". It was one of main tasks for community activists. Education institutes were several " CHADARIM " (TN: system of primary level community religious education, singular is " Cheder"); TALMUD TORAH" (teaching of Pentateuch and other sacred texts), to modern schools as " TARBUT " and " TZISHO ".
This way continued golden chain of existence of Jewish people. This issue occupies a preferential place in our historical registers. It goes this way from beginning of my childhood, . I was in almost all " CHADARIM ", schools, night classes and later I was designated teachers team member of cultural school " YAVNEH ", and therefore I feel the obligation to write for posterity this pages in our symbolic stone.
Shmuel "the Melamed" (religious teacher)
He was my first " Rebe " (religious teacher). Was our neighbor, a Jew of black beard. When I studied with him, his father still lived; was very old, and his occupation was to be a tailor. He requested us, boys, to help him to thread in the needle. They said he had as much as 110 years. Of that time, I am engraving in my memory my father's Z"L (blessed his memory) first visit . He arrived to the " Cheder " while the "Melamed" was examining me. "An angel throws from the sky a "kopek" (TN: Russian money) coin on the " sidur " (prayers book)". I ran then to the loft to look whom G-d sent to bring gifts to good students.
Herchel, the teacher
It was the name of my second "Rebe", who knew Russian. The nickname "teacher" (TN: instead of Rebe) maybe was for his liberal behavior and his modern suits. He was tall, thin, and had a very short beard. Apart from Hebrew and " Sidur ", he put special emphasis in writing. These two " Chadarim " were under the same roof, and in free time many times arose among students discussions and fights. In an opportunity both teachers intervened and exchanged "juicy curses."
Yudel "the lame"
The real last name of my third "Rebe" was BEREZOVSKY. He dragged a leg, and was called by everybody "the lame". His parents were peasants of " Michalinka " village, distant about 15 kms. of Bereza. His brother, MICHELE was a well-known pedagogue, with a degree from famous Grodno Seminar . During last time he worked in a secondary school in Brest. YUDEL was a great specialist in Hebrew grammar. My father was a great expert in TALMUD (TN: post biblical religious behavior norms), and he thoroughly knew TANACH (Bible) and Hebrew grammar. I remember he arrived school in opportunities and several times arose great discussions between him and the "Rebe" YUDEL. The issue of discussion could be the correction of a grammatical detail, or the interpretation of TANACH versicle. Yudel was distinguished for his beautiful writing, especially in Russian. Women came to request him to write addresses in envelopes. Last years lived in Church St.. in his own house.
Polonsk Religious Teacher
My fourth Rebe was MORDECAHI FISHMAN better known as the "POLONSK religious teacher". Taught CHUMASH (Pentateuch) and TALMUD, and some Hebrew grammar. He was a quiet Jew of medium height and blond beard. He had an own house, and a cow in the stable. He lived in a narrow street behind school. Domestic issues were solved by his wife VELIA that was tall and thin, and was a virtuous woman. Had two children; a beautiful daughter, and a son LEIZER that studied in a YESHIVA (TN: religious high studies academy) in another city; when he returned home taught at evening some TALMUD pages in synagogue.
Lipe "the Melamed" (religious teacher)
This Rebe gave his life completely to TALMUD teaching . He had a whip and whipped children of CHEDER in case of any small transgression. This was his characteristic punishment. The Rebe of POLONSK used to punish his students with fist blows. YUDEL "the lame" made it with lashes and was helped by other students that enjoyed retaliating school students that hated. Lipe was short of view, looked oblique; he was cross-eyed; was a great Bible reader in the new synagogue and read by memory since his vision was faulty. His wise son SIMCHA knew TALMUD more and better than LEIZER, son of Polonsk Rebe, and he also taught a TALMUD page in synagogue to male youths. Then he received rabbinical authorization, to carry out tasks in the Rabbinate.
"The Melamed" (religious teacher) from Malch
His name was Ysrael. I did not study with him. The system of his Cheder was similar to that of Lipe. His wife was a virtuous woman, and she also helped him in home material maintenance. In time between " Purim " and " Pesach " (Passover) they were in charge of baking " Matzot " (not leavened flat cookie consumed in Passover). Their home was organized as a barrack. He was a Jew of "wide backs". He walked around the house with head covered with the " KIPA " (calotte) and supervised the product so that it was KASHER (TN: capable for consumption according to religious traditions). From to time he became furious with women that disregarded work of flatten mass, and also with males that had the function of kneading, perforate the MATZOT, and introduce them in the oven.
MOSHE YOSEL PEARL
I studied in his Cheder during one or two periods. His specialty was Talmud. He was devoted very seriously to his work. He showed great knowledge in other studies. The influence on his students was very important; these tried to study with great seriousness. He was proud for the respect offered him whole community, for his high intellectual level. Were recorded in particular in my memory, his yellowish fingers from so much smoking.
AARÓN "son of SHOJET's - animal ritual butcher - wife"
In second street called "The Road" was Aaron's Cheder, the son of butcher's wife. He had a thick beard and was huffy by nature. Also, was moving head whole time. Had a long and white beard, and thick brows covered around his eyes, and gave him a patriarchal aspect of Jew of the past. Cheder was located in a house, and a partition separated it of the other side of house, who belonged to his wife's two sisters and his brother-in-law ZELIG. They had inherited the house. I remember Thursday afternoons, when we studied and interpreted some deep problems in Talmud, or a complicated chapter of Chob's book. Rabbi's wife was expert in this material because she had listened it several years, and she helped students, which woke up Rebe's fury.
Yosel the Religious teacher was short and had long beard finished in tip. His Cheder was similar to previous one. These two "Chadarim" were the older in town and their level was very high. The learning cycle was completed there, and children who wanted to continue higher Jewish studies should move to another place because there was not in Bereza where to receive higher education. This teacher should sometimes fight with students that didn't want to study, who went to school because their parents forced them. The insistence of the Rebe in studying and the inadequate answer of not well educated students, caused the Rebe a lot of pain, that therefore was huffy and nervous. His knowledge of Russian was very scarce.
I remember an nice case: In certain opportunity a policeman - who had a book under his arm - entered the Cheder for an issue related to tax payment . The Rebe talked to him in Russian mixed with Yiddish and said: "Mr. Police, sit down in the bank..."
The father of our citizen well-known writer KADIA MOLODOVSKY, was already a modern teacher. Was said that sometimes taught TANACH with discovered head. He was very expert in general Jewish culture, and followed a little "Yiddish-ism" (TN as opposed to "Hebrew- ism"). His school prospered and flourished in Bereza.
He was public school teacher. This Jew, a little assimilated, came from some distant place of deep Russia, together with his wife, more assimilated yet. During many years they educated children and girls of our town. Their students were children of Jewish families that wanted to offer their children general culture in Russian language. In their school they had three courses especially for Jewish children. During morning studied boys, and girls during afternoon. Music classes were mixed. For Christian children was another school of lower level. The fee was twelve rubles annually that was paid to Municipality, and the teacher received his salary from government authorities.
He also owned a printing. In spite of being a little assimilated, the teacher Girashov arrived twice a year at synagogue, in "Rosh Hashana" and "Yom Kippur". He prayed during two hours wrapped in a silk TALIT (ritual mantel). When he talked with his best students, expressed his critical thought as for example: "Jews don't come to temple to pray, but to talk among them". Or asked: "how interpreting the paragraph: "You must have conscience in front whom you are"?!"!. The cycle in his school lasted three years, and I made it in two. It is interesting to highlight that in spite of his Russian patriotic behavior, was a Jew with deep national feelings.
Following event demonstrates his czarist Russian patriotism. One day, when we were in classroom, entered suddenly policeman KRILCHUK, a tall non Jew of wide back. He was sent by police's commandant TIMINSKY for a routine issue. The policeman forgot to take off the cap from his head. Then the teacher screamed with fury: take off the cap! And pointed out Czar's and Tsarina's picture. Confused policeman asked to be forgiven, and stayed firm. Teacher Girashov showed him the door and policeman abandoned embarrassed the classroom. Did - maybe - the teacher wanted this way retaliate of the non Jew?...
This teacher was a mathematician and wrote a mathematics study book. He published it. The book had in its time great success and great recognition in all Russia.
Their two children, NIOMA and FIMA, both students, were also proud of their Judaism in front of gentile friends. After Bolshevik revolution in Russia, and after beginning of WWI, their destination was tragic. They escaped toward deep Russia fearing Germans, and lived lacking everything. After Revolution they returned to Kartuz Bereza, but Polish régime did not give them citizenship and were sent to Soviet border. Soviets on the other hand, didn't receive them because of having been faithful to Czar and opponents to Revolution.
Finally after many request and efforts by Jewish Community to government authorities, were granted temporary permanency until they had the opportunity to travel to Eretz Israel. To get the certificate, was a very difficult task. Meanwhile they lived in poverty and privation in a non Jews house. They stayed with difficulty thanks to support of their admirers' from the past. When we abandoned Bereza in 1925 and traveled to Argentina, they still remained there. Which was their destiny?. I do not know
Secondary School teacher VAINSHTEIN
This teacher, with his wife Pola, directed a private high school that was located in the house of BERL RYBAK, in that time City Mayor. After I concluded studies in CHADARIM, and then Girashov's state school, I wanted to follow high studies. For this reason, I took private classes with teacher Vainshtein. For three weekly classes, we paid him seven and half monthly rubles. He examined me and my cousin NISL, who in year 1925 emigrated to Israel (he had the privilege of taking his parents, my uncle and my aunt, and died some years ago in Israel). I studied almost one year with VAINSHTEIN , until WWI out brake. The world tempest put an end to my dreams of carrying out superior studies, and to think of a career.
Teacher VAINSHTEIN was a young man, of delicate manners, and had a cowlick of gray hair, possibly for the pogroms that suffered in Russia and other difficult situations during czarist domain.
"Reb' AIZIK, the judge
He was "student of wise men" (TALMID CHACHAM) and very humble. Aizik the judge was short and worthy of respect. He was not a religious teacher, and due to my father's request accepted to teach me TALMUD once a week, for not forgetting what I learned previously in CHADARIM. This specialist, taught every day a class of TALMUD in synagogue, between dusk prayers time (MINCHA) and evening prayers (MAARIV). Fridays after dinner of Saturday eve, thought only to studious Jews.
Until today is in my memory my childhood, when my father took me Saturday's winter nights to the old Bet Medresh (academy of Jewish religious studies) , well heated, to listen judge Aizik's classes. Scenario was illuminated with a chandelier brought by his assitant MICHL. In another distant corner, dominated by shades, children brought blocks of ice that took out of YANKE BEN YTSHE's basement. For effect of heat, ice melted and next day Bet Medresh was full with water: children's mischief... For me was an enigma: where from came water to Bet Medresh.?
After an interruption period that lasted four years beginning from first German conquest, when the city was taken from hand in hand, until finally stayed under as an independent Poland domain, began times in which educational institutions settled down in our city. First was the "Yiddish's" movement. They had influence on Finances Commission because received American help to establish eating rooms to feed hungry children.
They repaired public bathrooms building - made of stones - in Cemetery St., and, transformed it into a modern school. In this school concentrated the group of idealistic fighters, and among them activists as SHLOIMKE VAINSHTEIN, MEIR FODOSTROITZA, and Director YOINE REZNIK, educator, with a degree of Grodno famous courses. With them worked a team of 7 to 8 teachers. They occupied all classrooms of new building, and left only two for "TARBUT" .
Tarbut got other two classrooms in the building in which Talmud Torah was. The ideological distance among two groups, hinder schools development. Only after Balfour Declaration , with bloom of political Zionism was enlarged, and Yavneh school and Hebrew dominated, directed by Zionist activists YSHAIA ZALTSMAN, LEIB DANTZIG, YTHAK SHTUKER and others. They also formed a young Zionist group that attended night courses.
Two groups of youth, the "Yiddish's" and the " Hebrew's" carried out meetings to discuss action to carry out and to prepare cultural nights. Then was founded a "Hebrew Corner" in which were carried out classes of Hebrew, chats and discussions, under the direction of MANIEVITZ who was fanatic of Hebrew language. He was from Lemberg and his instruction and culture was acquired as student in Moscow. Teachers of Yavneh school were PORTNOY, PARPELIUTSHIK and PUTERMAN, who were of Baranovitch and had studied in Vilna Hebrew Teachers Seminar. Polish teacher was Mrs. SHULGIN (of Warsaw). In certain times also worked teachers VAIS, RABINOVITSH, KOGAN, ROSENFELD, HIMELFARB and others. Thanks to competition among groups began cultural discussions. Each group brought his speakers, and each one wanted to overcome others.
GUEMARA (post biblical religious rules) and TANACH (bible) studies
I should highlight that besides Chadarim and schools previously mentioned , were in our city- in different stages - , youths' groups that taught in the community chapters of Guemara and Tanach. I will remind teachers LEIZER VEILE'S and SIMCHA LIPE'S, both children of religious teachers. The second was known by his father's name LIPE and the other one for his mother name called VEILE. Both were "Yeshiva boys" very well prepared. Among erudite it is also necessary to remind YACOV RUBINSHTEIN and SOLNITZ. YACOV RUBINSHTEIN was characteristic by his deep and problematic questions in difficult chapters of religious texts.
As teachers of TANACH were distinguished young YOSEL BRAINSKY and in later years MOISHE CHESHES (I believe he is now in US). This group called themselves "TIFERET BACHURIM" (flowered youth), and was created by a " maguid " (preacher) that from time to time came to our city.
To conclude this chapter in which I told about educational and cultural institutions, and about individuals that were active in this field, I want to remember other teachers and in general good Jews, responsible to offer their support in favor of education of young generation of Kartuz Bereza. During my time and although personally didn't study with them, they were:
SHMUEL BAM; teacher, brown young man, of black beard and mustaches, expert in "Tanach" and grammar.
FAIVEL BAIDATZ (TZEKERNIK): religious teacher, emigrated to US before WWI
NIMA HA'MELAMED : religious teacher and also couples matchmaker, emigrated to US before WWI
MORDECHAI GEDALIA y NUSKA : both religious teachers in the Talmud Torah.
HENOCH RABINOVITZ: famous teacher of "Tanach" and erudite in grammar. Was considered as one of the adolescents teachers. Not all had the privilege of studying with him; only children of rich families could study with him. At the beginning gave private classes, then he taught in the Talmud Torah.
MOISHE ELIE MEIR: taught beginners.
ARKE, THE TEACHER; Teachers' of previous times prototype. Taught to write letters in Yiddish to maids, cooks, poor children, cart drivers children. He was very accepted by women whose husbands were in America.. Wrote letters to their husbands and read answers they received.
MENDEL RISHES; The Judge, tall Jew, long and white - as snow - beard. His aspect was severe, huffy, and detailed. Was known as follower of BET SHAMAI (orthodox very severe tendency). Constantly tried to interpret according to Moshe's laws all type of problems and social discussions, . As "Aizik the judge" before mentioned, was serene, and contrary to previous comment he was pious as followers of BET HILEL (school of permissive moderate tendency).
We had two Rabbis. Always among them have been discords and discussions, and each one had his followers. One was Rabbi KLATZKIN of urban group, and the other was Rabbi OSHEROVITZ his opponent. To replace Rabbi KLATZKIN arrived Rabbi TROP that had been Rabbi in a distant city in deep Russia. When Rabbi OSHEROVITZ died was replaced by his son-in-law, Rabbi VIGODTZKY who occupied his position until last times.
SIONIST ACTIVIST IN "KEREN KAYEMET L'ISRAEL" (KKL) (Fund for Territorial Recovery in Israel)
As I remember, until Balfour declaration, our KKL activity was driven by veterans, as "Chovevei Zion" (lovers of Zion) group. MOSHE TABULITZKY, activist and fanatic of Hebrew language, dedicated fully to this objective. He came from one noble family known for several generations. He lived in a beautiful house, with a great balcony, on the Road in downtown. From my childhood I remember people was proud of him, his wife, and their only son. They spoke in their house only Hebrew. His wife also came from a noble family, and as her husband was interwoven with Zionist ideal. This activist was a serene and humble individual, who worked in silence.
Another veteran activist in Bereza was SHEIKE BERKOVITZ who was a fervent Jew, full with life. In many opportunities he appeared and read interesting speeches full with Zionist content and mentioned words of our wise men (our "CHAZAL", wise men of blessed memory). In his youth was a "Yeshiva boy", and later become partner of Mr. GOLDSTEIN, proprietor of the steam engine flour mill, and the sawmill that was the most important of town, inherited from his father-in-law SHAMAI BEREZOVTZKY.
GOLDSTEIN came from the city of Pruzhany. He was an affectionate man and great supporter of Jewish causes. Always was among first ones for any purpose, and he was a model for other Jews. His support to KKL consisted on high amounts. His hand was also open for all town needs.
With Balfour Declaration, Zionist movement was reinforced in all fields. One of the personalities that occupied an important function in the diffusion of Zionist thought and Hebrew language among Bereza youth, was GUZALKA (today GORALY in Israel). Among other things, opened up night courses for youth, and founded a KKL group which maintained an intense activity.
Until last day when I left my native city, I had the position of KKL Secretary. I want to remember friends activists: RABNITZKY, VELVEL MINKOVITZ (student of the Seminar " MIZRAHI" in Vilna, today in US)., FODOSTROITZA (in Israel), TUCHMAN, GROSMAN, EIDLSBERG, ETL SCHWARTZ (I believe he is now in Canada).
Fellow PLOTDKOVKSY and me, traveled as delegates to "USHISHKIN" Congress that carried out in Warsaw during 1924. Zionist groups were very active in all fields. Already being in Argentina, we listen about settlement of collective farms (those that prepare pioneer immigrant to Israel) in Kartuz Bereza, and also in the near small village of Bluden.
According to an old tradition during czarist régime, and also in new Poland, Firemen Organization had an important function in city order preservation. During fair days, firemen were present dressed with their uniforms, in all entrances of the city, to collect tax of all peasants that arrived with their cars to the city.
During disorders and in occasions of attacks to Jews, these strong and skillful youths were in guard. The anti-Semitic bands that treated to harm and damage Jews, received more than once strong punishments. Especially stood out one of them nicknamed "MEILECH PAP". His occupation was horses merchant. He was really "a teacher" to "give them back". It was used to say of him, that when he hit in some place, no longer grew hair once and for all ...More than once happened that he intervened when were attacked Jews in market and before police arrived, since it is obvious that police arrived late when it was to defend Jews of anti-Semitic bandits groups.
If some revolt out brake in any place, "MEILECH" immediately appeared and in its hand had his famous gnarled stick. Bandits were prisoners of terror, mounted quickly their horses and carts , and returned to their villages.
During national feasts and official ceremonies, as for example May 3rd., firemen were invited to participate in parade, headed by YANKEL SELETZKY, Jew firemen commandant. . They dressed their "elegance" uniform, and with strong and spread step introduced his "unit" to military commandant.
Many of Jewish firemen fulfilled their function with respect and pride, as for example ITZL KAROLITZKY, the siblings YABLONOVSKY (two of them live today in Rosario, Argentina), and of my memory I remember the valiant CHANOCH LISKOVSKY that was firemen's commandant during a time. During czarist régime, was commandant a Non Jew, ADAM POSNIAK. I also remind Jew BEREL KATSHER that amid a dispute, opened POSNIAK's head and should abandon Bereza for many years. ..
Frequently firemen made simulacra for need of making rehearsals. For example they declared that certain house was catching fire, ascended to the roof, and threw water on neighboring houses so that fire doesn't spread. This was like a general rehearsal, because really with enough frequency fires took place, because most of houses were wooden. Our firemen demonstrated agility and efficiency in their work. In last times, they founded a wind instruments orchestra. They also bought modern water bombs.
In honor to our trip to Argentina (traveled 7 families, that was no worthless number considering the quantity of inhabitants of the city), firemen prepared a ceremony of festival farewell and accompanied us with the orchestra to the station, because among travelers were some firemen.
In all towns of our District cart driver occupation was known. Were two classes of cart drivers: those who transported travelers and merchandises from a city to another or to train station distant some km. of the city, and others that were devoted only to " vazke ", that is to say tree cut or other heavy merchandises transport.
Our train station Bluden (called during czarist régime " Fagodina ") was 5 km from the city, and a quantity of families obtained its sustenance of transport toward and from station. This work, was hereditary many times , of father to son. There were cart drivers that had an additional work, as example, horses and livestock trade.
Cart drivers were right and simple Jews . Were distinguished for their courage and force when was necessary to make use of it. I want to tell about two outstanding men among our cart drivers. The "MAYOR" family: I was told their last name had it's origin in following episode: during first German conquest died in Bereza an official of German army with the degree of "Mayor". The ceremony was impressive, they buried him with his elegance uniform, his golden clock and with all rings that showed in life. Was told that a family opened the sepulcher, and removed all elements of value from died body. In town was murmured that this "work " was done by this family, and from then on was left them forever last name " Mayor "...
Family Chief was SHLOIME MAYOR, fat, tall Jew with wide back, small white beard, a cowlick of gray hair, and two red as fire cheeks. He was our neighbor in "Kantzelaria - Kostziol" St. The wooden pass way trembled when he stepped, loaded with packages to celebrate Saturday, full with fish and vegetables. The "Tchont"[i] of MAYOR was very famous. The " Tchont " was closed in oven until Saturday noon, when they returned of synagogue, but " boys " opened it during the Friday's night dawn to Saturday because they were impatient, and could not wait people's return from synagogue, and sometimes eat whole "Tchont" before they returned from synagogue...
In bad times, when was needed defending Jews, SHLOIME demonstrated his force. If a non Jew attacked a Jew, he "offered" him so many blows to remember them a lot of time. ..All those "not circumcised" spoke to him with all respect because his physical force.
It is convenient to refresh our memory with my grandfather's SHAUL AGOZ Z"L (blessed his memory) stories
In a certain village lived a Jew that leased the landowner his land for milky production, in particular butter and cheeses. One day non Jews got drunk and destroyed Jew's house in a crazy form. What could do a small Jew in front of a crowd of "not circumcised"? In that moment stopped in front of the inn a big cart. It was SHLOIME MAYOR (who used during his youth to wander through villages, buying clothes to peasants, and selling them tapes, bellboys, combs, etc.). He stood in front of inn's entrance and screamed:
He went next near to first two non Jews, lifted them for the air in such a way that they were given a " kiss " one to other, and then threw them outside as if they were two matches. In the same way treated to other two ones, and the other ones no longer waited their shift and dispersed afraid. The inn got clean.
During a lot of time non Jews trembled when saw this brave man and respected him much.
Chief of our cart drivers, was "YASHA the cart driver". Before abandoning Bereza he was already 60 years old. His beard was blond, and constantly had a pipe in his mouth. All respected him much. When youths fought, it was enough if YASHA lifted his cane, and quickly order and the silence returned.
In Simchat Tora[ii] days used to drink a "Lechaim!"[iii]. Then he left running toward town streets rounded by children's groups. He exclaimed; "Sacred flock"!! and children answered him Mee!........", and he joined them. Then he took out boots, took off clothes and continued running nude until some neighbor pitied and entered him to his house.
About cart drivers behavior, the following story is a testimony: "He worked in the steam engine flour mill of BERKOVITZ-GOLDSHTEIN company, and I should stay until the group of cart drivers discharged wheat boxcars, and brought bags to the mill. SHOLEM brother of mill owner SEIKE BERKOVITZ inspected empty cars, and found in one of them a small wheat bag, maybe of 5 or 6 kg, just in Reb YASHA's cart. SHOLEM out brake angry and screamed:
Certainly, nobody could oppose this habit of "cart drivers tithe".
OUR SETTLEMENT IN ARGENTINA
I want to conclude my memories of my native city Kartuz - Bereza, describing how was settlement of my fellow citizens in Argentina.
After long letters exchange with JCA representatives in Warsaw and Paris, after navigating 32 days in the ship of French flag " Ceylon ", arrived to Argentinean coasts from Bereza 6 families , in March, 1927. In Warsaw joined us other families of Brest and Galitzia areas , and we were all called "Brisker families" . Of Kartuz Bereza traveled to Argentina these families: YAKOV SOKOTTZKY and his family, AARON GLOZ and his family, ELIAHU VORODOVSKY and family, BINIOMIN SHTUKER and family, YTZHAK GOLDFAND and family, YESHAYAHU SOKOTZKY and family. Later were added NOTE GLOZ and MOISHE GLOZ. NOTE GLOZ is now in Buenos Aires.
We were taken to Montefiore colony. At the beginning, JCA gave us only 75 hectares of earth, and later they increased up to 112 and at the end to 150 hectares and the livestock. Many of those who stayed in colony bought earth with their own money. Others abandoned the place for different reasons, as for example climate and nature. During 30 years the colony passed thorough different setbacks. Some left to the cities, either for the children or for desire of looking for more comfortable and beautiful life.
I should highlight that the colony had a brilliant past. There were times when the quantity of settlers was 250 families. When we arrived there, the colony already had 28 families, and during our permanency, the number arrived to 120. It was bloom time of colony. Nowadays there are 60/70 families, other dozens live in a near town, and are owners of their fields.
Nowadays are few adults. First generation diminishes and youths occupy their place. We should highlight with pride that the group of settlers that arrived of Bereza it even persists in MONTEFIORE. The "litvakes"[v] are growing roots more than any other group, and waiting that us, second generation, do not betray parents ideals, as mine, my mother and others who were faithful earth workers, in our old home, in our native city Bereza.
Of generation in generation, we opposed ourselves to easy economic sustenance, we highlight Baron Hirsch's vision and we exalt his memory.
[i] TN Traditional meal prepared in Friday's eves of " Shabbat ", made of potatoes, beans, parts of chicken and animal fat, that was cooked until Saturday lunch, when was ate up
[ii] TN Religious feast day for ending annual Pentateuch reading, which is celebrated with alcoholic drinks.
[iii] Literally "for life" or "Cheers"!
[iv] TN In this case the word is used as a religious Jewish priest function. Bible regulates tithe for Kohanim
[v] TN Those of Lithuanian heritage who are perseverant, here used as opposed to those from Galitzia