(# The spelling of several colonies is incorrect).
(Hamagid 1861; March 20.)
The telegraph line was extended
from here to Kharkov and Mariupol.
(Hamelitz 1864; April 23)
(# A lengthy letter from Nissan
Shneur Rozov, a teacher in Hulyaipolye, or Gulyai-Polye, about the
attempts of the traditionalist leaders of the community to suppress modern
Haskalah methods of education).
(Hamelitz 1864; Oct.8)
Noted men united together until
there were collected forty-five households; their corner-stone was the
noble Mr.Elyakim Korenblit; and on the 15th of September 1863 they
completed the work of the Beit Midrash.
(Hamelitz 1865; March 4)
In our town there is no office
to send the post and with great toil the people of the town and its
environs receive or send their letters and the journals which circulate
here in our town and its environs, by passers-by here, or to the nearby
town of Orekhov. Also then many are lost without anyone knowing where they
are. Therefore the esteemed man Reb Dov Kerner, good Gabbai of the Sick
Visiting Society, saw fit to collect money from all the lords who dwell in
their villages around our town, and from all the householders here who
have correspondence, and with this money hired one man who would operate a
mobile post in our city, to send twice a week a carriage to carry the
letters of our city and its environs, which were collected in the shop of
the noble Mr.Ostrovsky, to Orekhov to the post, and to bring from there
the letters and periodicals which are sent to us.
Now I am obliged to advise that
in our town has been established a library for Hebrew books, through the
endeavours of my teacher the Maskil the Reb Nissan Rozov. Also through the
teacher Mr.Dreksler was established a library for Russian books.
(Hamelitz 1871; June 22)
(# Another letter from Rozov
pertaining to the state of education in the region and his problems
encountered in the past when he sought to introduce secular studies
against the wishes of the parents of students. Nevertheless he praises the
progress in education since his arrival in the region)
There live here more than a
hundred Jewish families and the word of the Maskilim is dear to them in
Rozov, teacher to the children of Yeshurun.
(Hamelitz 1871; April 12)
(# a general letter signed by
Yosef the son of David Hakohen,native of New Russia).
(Hamelitz 1871; July 8)
(# Continuing correspondence
from Rozov regarding education and his personal feud with the
traditionalists of the town).
(Hamelitz 1871; Sept.27)
(# A report of the election of
the government rabbi after the death of Rabbi Yitskhak Leib Deichmann.
Elected was the `wise Rabbi Reb Feitel Blumenfeld '.)
(Hamelitz 1878; Oct.18)
Not long ago there was founded
here a society `Holy Writ', and the Maskilim of the city took it upon
themselves to pay a set yearly sum to purchase books.
(Hamelitz 1879; April 10)
We have been informed that on
the 23rd of March a certain woman gave birth to a boy who from his chest
upwards was divided into two heads, like the image of the Russian eagle.
One head was born dead and the other lived for a complete day.
(Hamelitz 1879; May 1.)
On Friday the 17th of Nissan
the students of the Talmud Torah here stood for the yearly examination by
the honorable Maskilim of our city led by the government rabbi
Mr. Muhlmann and the supervisors of the establishment Mr. Horovitch (the
lawyer) and Mr. Rotman. The youths aged nine and ten answered correctly and
translated into Russian from the holy books.
The names of the people who
supported the Talmud Torah are: Yitskhak Ostrovsky, Yisrael Sokolovsky,
Oglitsky, Lutsky, Rozenshtein, Rolbroka, Rothaltz, Berdichevsky, Buchstov,
Gelbuch, Tvibach, Aharon Sokolovsky, Chernikov, Donner,Kerner, Levinzon,
(first teacher in the school here).
(Hamelitz 1880; April 22)
(# reports the need for
donations for the colonies suffering from hardships and hunger)
(Hamelitz 1880; June 24)
There were elected Gabbaim of
the synagogue Rabbi Dov Ber Luria and Rabbi Moshe Berger.
(Hamelitz 1880; Sept 20)
The passing is reported of
Rabbi Eichorn, son-in-law of the government rabbi Muhlmann, may his light
shine on, now some ten years after his appointment here.
(Hamelitz 1880; Nov.25)
There was a robbery at the
house of the philanthropist Reb Naftali Hertz Berdichevsky.
(Hamelitz 1881; May 19 (31) (# two dates: Gregorian and Julian)
Berdyansk May 13
On the 5th of May a mob of peasants assembled from the village of
Konsky-rozdor (Alexandrovsk district, Yekaterinoslav Government) and
destroyed the shops of the Jews and spoiled everything therein. The priest
of the village went out to preach to them with a gentle tongue andto
implore them to desist from evil, but the crowd did not heed his words.
Like this incident so was it in the villages Popiko and Andreyevka and
the city Orekhov. Many families came here naked as the day they were born,
hungry and thirsty. Yesterday a rumor spread that also the Jewish colonies
in the Alexandrovsk and Mariupol districts were set upon by persecutors
who gave vent to their wrath. Against these there can be no claim, because
they support themselves by the toil of their hands by working the fields,
and sparingly support their households, and have no part of the Christian
peasants around about. Nevertheless they fell upon them and smote them a
foul blow. Their houses were wrecked, their sheep and cattle and all the
spoil they took and left.
Therefore I call upon our people wherever they may be to awaken and
take pity on the forsaken colonists who have been left devoid of
everything, and whoever wishes should send his donation the address of the
Rabbi Grunim in Mariupol or to the address of the Rabbi Bruk in Colony
Grafskoy, and he will allocate the money to the desperately poor.
We here were in great fear and sent a telegram to the ruler of our
land, the Duke Dondukovorsov. Yesterday a battalion of soldiers arrived
from Pavlograd and the minister from Simferopol in person arrived, and
assured us that peace and quiet would be in our city. A few families
traveled from here to Kertch and also sent their merchandise to other
All the Russians here signed a decision to expel all the Jews from here
and at every corner can be heard a murmur that the Jews suck the blood of
the Russians and now the end has arrived to remove their memory from the
Yosef, the son of David Hakohen.
(Hamelitz 1881; May 26 (June7))
From the Jewish Colonies in the Government of Ekaterinoslav May 13:
With weeping tears I write these columns, to announce to our brethren
of the Children of Israel that also our brethren the workers of the land
drank of the poisoned cup. On the5,6,7,8th of May the Russians fell upon
the colonies Trudoliubovka, Nechaevka, Grafskoy and Mezeretch. With fury
they denigrated like an empty vessel those unfortunates who live by the
labor of their hands and have no hand in commerce with the peasants their
neighbors, nor serve them wine or spirits.
Their houses they destroyed and whatever they found therein they
smashed to pieces. The Torah scrolls and all the printed books they tore
and defiled them with refuse. The fear of the Almighty fell upon all the
colonies of the Hebrews because the Russian peasants boasted that after
they had filled their packs with booty they would put an end to their
lives. Men, women and children escaped with their lives by the skin of
their flesh in the dark of night and hid in holes and cracks in the open
field, far from where human foot trod. And from much confusion mothers
lost their children and men their wives.
In vain I try with my poor pen to describe all the evil which came upon
us, and the terror of death which engulfs us. Thanks are due to the
government which sent soldiers to defend us and disperse our attackers.
But the bread has finished in our vessels; therefore it is to you, the
generous of our nation, I call. Wake up please to have pity on your
brethren who are supported from the toil of their hands, by the sweat of
their brow, who were laid waste innocently, other than that they are
called Jew. Call for donations to save the souls of the needy. Also our
neighbors the Germans sent us wagons laden with food to revive the soul,
surely you our brothers and flesh and blood, merciful ones the sons of
merciful ones, and if not you, who will before us ?
The writer who signs in tears, the official government rabbi for for
the Hebrew colonies in the Government of Yekaterinoslav,
Yaakov Bruk, my address is care of Mariupol, Yekaterinoslav Government
in the Jewish Colony Grafskoy, Official Rabbin Bruk.
On Wednesday the 6th of May in the morning our neighbors the peasants
rose up against us like hungry wolves. At first the inhabitants of Colony
Trudoliubovka succeeded to drive off the robbers with the assistance of
the inhabitants of Nechaevka and Grafskoy and also some Germans who
hurried to their help. But when we saw that we could not stand up against
them, we fled for our lives. Then they broke into our houses and broke the
windows and doors, and smashed the ovens and took all our property, also
our horses and cattle, all the ploughing and harvesting implements,
everything they took with them, and what was left they smashed to pieces.
They destroyed the shops to the foundation and ten Torah scrolls and many
books they tore to shreds and cast them to the earth and trod them with
their feet. The Holy Ark and the pulpit they took with them. What was able
to be saved from their evil hands we hid in the German Colony Marenfeld,
about seven versts from us. They returned and plundered on Thursday and we
were narrowly saved from death if we had not hurried to escape for our
lives, and we were forced to flee at night, men, women and children and
the elderly, about ten versts to Colony Vilner where we found the Trustee
who had come to defend us. A number of children were lost at night in the
open field because their parents forgot them and they were left to the
winds of chance from great fear.
Thanks tothe authorities who did all they could
to shelter us and also the inhabitants of the villages who stood up to
guard and not let those greedy for murder to leave their villages. Also
the priests are worthy of praise because they also stood in the breach and
preached morality to the mob and warned them against doing such
Now `Hamelitz', write this as a memorial lest be forgotten the deeds of
the villagers and the priests and the government officials (even though I
don't know their names) and let the publishers of the Russian Jewish
periodicals copy these words of gratitude which come forth from the depth
pf the heart. Let those Christians who have done us well know that Israel
will not forget all who do well for them. So speak to the heart of our
brethren to have mercy on the unfortunates amongst us who sit on the
ground in the ruins of their houses without bread or clothes. The hair
would be whitened of all who came to see this upheaval. Also the minister
in charge of all the Hebrew colonies (the Popetchitel) Mr. Kovalevsky wept and moaned bitterly when he came to visit us.
Also Colony No.4 (# Mezhirech) near to Hulyaipolye was burst into by
villains who wrought their desire as they did by us. And in Colony
Kobilnye they threw one dead person out of a window and other such
terrible things. And when we asked our neighbors who have dwelt securely
with us always: "Why have you acted so to your neighbors? Like brothers we
have dwelt with you, workers of the soil are we like you, we have done no
evil to you, we have not encroached on your boundaries, nor harmed you or
done anything bad. What spirit came upon you to turn from friends to
enemies ?" And they replied simply that so were they commanded by a
certain ruler who passed through all the villages, to do so to the Jews.
There is no doubt that one of the Nihlists was our foe.
It is worthwhile and right that the leaders of Israel in the capital
city should suggest to the mighty government to grant us support in our
trouble. We are peasants; our hands do not touch commerce nor do we draw
spirits for the Christians; from the fruit of our hands' labor we make a
meager livelihood; from where can we revive our souls if everything was
plundered, and we have nothing left save our bodies and our land ? If the
government does not hurry to our help, who knows what will be the end of
the matter, because the shelter of a few can save us at this time, lest we
perish from starvation. Only the government by itself can improve our
situation to strengthen our hands, to draw forth bread from the ground as
The writer with a hand shaking from much lamentation,
Yonah the son of reb SH.Z. Klaf.
We have collected these two articles which are composed in the same
style and complement each other and bear witness one for the other, so that
our readers will be convinced of the truth of these matters, and
furthermore will recognize that they have not exaggerated, nor is there any
cause for the hatred of their neighbors, and their hands are confused to
bring witness to show iniquity and to hate us."Nov. Vr." in all that it
related from nearby Mariupol, did not spare in telling about what happened
to the casualties.
According to that writer, the mighty government has for the past decades
allocated from government property in Yekaterinoslav Government fields for
the Jews, and now, according to the calculation of the authorities, the
number of Jewish workers of the land in the Mariupol district alone has
reached six thousand souls. They are divided into two sections: Zatishye
and Grafskoy, and in both of them are seven colonies. In the latter
which is located on the border of Alexandrovsk district, there broke
out disturbances like in Yelizavetgrad. According to reports verified by the
authorities, on the 8th of May peasants from the districts of Alexandrovsk
and Mariupol, led by shady characters (unknown) fell upon two colonies and
destroyed and took over the entire property of the Jews, and left
them without food or the shade of a roof. At the first attack on the Jews,
the police force of the Oryadnik and the supervisors of the Hebrew colonies
did not stop the murder and more so the blood of the mob boiled and they
went from house to house and confiscated whatever they laid hands upon.
And he adds that a great dark fear fell upon the Jews living in the
other colonies, and many fled for their lives and abandoned all their
property to chance, or deposited their belongings with their Christian
neighbors who dwelt amicably with them.
From all these our brethren can understand the calamity of these
unfortunates who even the worst and cruelest prosecutor could not justify
the sentence, and against his wishes would admit that it could not be
verified that which is claimed by the drainers of the sap of their land and
their toil. The Russians wrought vengeance on their brethren the
Jewish peasants, by the hands of dark disguised ones they were incited.
Therefore they are worthy of compassion and we should hurry to their
assistance , happy if by our hands be their salvation.
(Hatsefirah 1881; May 12 (24) )
On the 1st (13th) of May there broke out a disturbance in Alexandrovsk,
Yekaterinoslav Government. Workers on the railroad fell upon the Jews,
plundered them and smote them greatly. They were assisted by local
peasants. Eight hours the upheaval ensued, until after midnight the army
arrived and put down the disturbance.
On the 2nd of May disturbances broke out in Lozova and in Nikolaev. in
both these places the plunderers did not do much evil because armed forces
came in time and restored order. Not so was it in the city of Smiela
the Government of Kiev.........on the day of disturbances near the railway
line in Zmerinsk the Jews lives were at stake....... in the city of
Konotop all the houses and shops near the railway line were destroyed. On
the 7th (19th) of May came a report from Simferopol that the fire became
inflamed also in the towns of the Crimea. In Berdyansk and Orekhov the
disturbances broke out in a terrible manner and the minister of the
district hastened there at the head of an army battalion. The end of the
matter is still not known. The inhabitants of the villages abandoned their
homes and gathered in the towns and cities, Kremenchug, Poltava and
Yekaterinoslav which became besieged cities.
In the rural towns in Kherson Government the German and Bulgarian
colonists awoke and chose armed men to guard our brethren of the House of
Israel in their places. In Warsaw the last ten days passed quietly and
safely; there are no outbreaks in the streets of Warsaw.
(# A description of pogroms)
(Hatsefirah 1881; May 19 (31)
A town in the Government of Crimea, district of Melitopol, reports
that disturbances broke out there on the4th (16th) of the month in a
terrible manner. Of all the houses and shops of the Jews not a remnant was
left. All the storehouses for spirits and other drinks were raided and
plundered, and streams of spirits flowed all around the city. The terrible
upheaval continued for two days, and when the armed forces arrived in the
city, there remained nothing of the Jews, save their bodies and their
destroyed and desolate houses. Fear struck all our brethren of the House
of Israel living around about that they should not also be subjected to a
massacre after all their property was plundered.
In the city a large mob collected last Sunday to attack all the Jewish
houses, but the police commander advised the intending perpetrators and
the mob withdrew.
(Hatsefirah 1881; May 26 (June 7) )
We will repeat in order that there should be a memorial for all the
places wherein the persecuting hand prevailed in the last three weeks.
Aside from the city Orekhov which we mentioned in the previous edition,
the following villages were victims: Konskiy-Rozdor (Yekaterinoslav
Gov.), almost all the Jewish colonies in the Alexandrovsk and Mariupol
districts were plundered, their stock destroyed and their work tools
smashed, the houses destroyed and every good allotment covered with
In the town Gulyai-Polye where there are Jewish businesses, the
peasants gathered before the senior nobleman and the village priest and
demanded that they be read the religious writ about annihilating the Jews.
It took much effort by the priest to quiet the tumult. But after a few
days the disturbances were renewed and the Jews were subjected to derision
and attack in a terrible manner.
On May 5 (17) the plunderers broke into about seven villages and the
Jewish agricultural colonies and had their way with them. Many were beaten
and wounded and all their property pillaged. The small and large animals
were captured, the ploughs and field implements were smashed, and all the
good allotments were covered in stones. Most of the attackers were from
the villages Voskresensk and Gatshuri (# Heitsur).All the villagers said
unanimously that there had not been any command to act so, for now it
seemed that such deeds were not done in the larger cities by the light of
the sun and in view of the judges and polices, other than if restraint had
been held back.
The haters of Israel knew of no guilt amongst the sons of our people,
save that we don't work the land (# the urban Jews), but now it can be seen
what was in store for the Jewish agriculturalists who suffered tragedy and
wounds from such a tumult. Aside from the colonies in Alexandrovsk
district whose names we have mentioned, we have been informed from the
environs of the city Orekhov that there broke out disturbances in a
terrible manner as reported last week. Three villages of the Jewish
colonies were destroyed and two large estates near Orekhov belonging to
property owning Jews were made desolate. 500 cattle and horses and 10,000
sheep imported from Spain and praised for the quality of their wool, were
captured. Household and field implements were smashed to pieces and all
the ploughing and harvesting tools were broken and the produce found in
the stores was laden onto carts and removed.
In many were arrested who were known to have aided the plunderers and
(Hatsefirah 1881 June 9 (21) )
The vile adversary `Novi Vremye' itself wrote that Israel had been
reviled and its faith defamed. It reported everything that occurred to the
Jewish agriculturalists in the colonies of Grafskoy and its sisters
Zatishye, Sladkovodnaya, Tsarakonstantinovka, and Alexeyeva and tens of
others in the districts of Alexandrovsk and Mariupol. Hundreds of families
were left destitute in the fields. Hundreds of Jews who were owners of
houses and fields are now asking to become servants to the peasants in
return for a loaf of bread. These unfortunates have nothing left save
their bodies. Also the sown fields were covered with stones and the houses
and cattle captured. The foundations of the houses and the farm implements
were destroyed. The attackers warned that if the German colonists helped
the Jews they also would not be spared. In the district of Mirograd in the
two towns Shushkiand Tukhi, the Jews were beaten with whips. Hundreds of
naked and barefoot families found refuge in the German colonies, and the
Germans gave every person seven Koppeks per day lest they died from
(# A letter describing the depressed condition of the colonies a year
(# should be two years) after the pogrom when the farmers had not yet
recovered and again they were smitten by a plague of murrain and most of
the cattle died).
(Hamelitz 1884; February 2)
These past few years in succession the land has ceased to give its
strength nor is the grain which was planted last summer successful. The
children ask for bread and there is none. Also the cattle have fallen to a
plague. The supervisor assisted three of the colonies in this Government,
Priyutnaya, Roskoshnaya and Rovnopol, as the committee gave a sum of 1500
(Hamelitz 1884; May 23)
The state of Haskalah (#Enlightenment) amongst the colonists in
The system of education in all the colonies is mournful, nor is there
one school nor an upright teacher. Only the Melamdim are the pedagogues
and their Kheders are the schools. The main things which the youth learn
at this time are: Khumash with Rashi's commentary; Prophets and `Khayei
Adam'. A very few of the boys learn Gemarah, because these past ten years the Talmud has been removed from the Kheders. But two colonies,
Novozlatopol and Zatishye are also now outstanding in Talmud learning. The
hatred of Haskalah which prevailed amongst the colonists has passed and
the love of knowledge has taken its place. They have requested to build a
school and donated 200 rubles, but they have yet to be answered by the
Yisrael Benyamin Levner
Col.Altnossov, Tavritch Gov.
(Hamelitz 1884; June 2)
The colonies are built on a high place on salty land. Therefore it is
very difficult to dig wells, and even after the digging, the water found
is bitter. The other fourteen colonies are slightly better off. Only one
colony is blessed with sweet water, and therefore it was called (# meaning
sweet water in Russian).
The water which is brought from the village (sic)
the day before the Sabbath had to last for the entire week. In 1879 the
colonists petitioned the supervisor and they received an additional
desyatin and three quarters per family. In 1880 the inhabitants of Trudoliubovka and Nechaevka took advice to purchase an area of land (mastov)
of 200 desyatin. Since the land was not close to those colonies, they were
forced to buy land at a distance of ten versts.
Great is the colonists' desire to cultivate the land. In each and every
colony there is a rabbi, Shokhet, Melamdim for the children, Shamash for
the synagogue, and all these people receive their salaries be they little
or great. The rabbi receives not less than three hundred roubles a year,
aside from which all the colonists must pay the rabbi for the sale of
Khametz `a fitting donation'. The Shokhet is paid every year one hundred
and forty rubles and he who desires a fowl to be slaughtered must pay 2
koppeks, for a duck 5 kopeks, a sheep 10 kopeks and a large animal 80
kopeks. The Shamash of the synagogue receives 40 roubles per year and is
supplemented by other small donations. There are eight Melamdin in each
In colony there is also `the Society of Book
Collectors' (for buying books). The village headman (Starosta) takes one
hundred and forty rubles per year. Thus do they outsmart their poor
brethren and strip their skin.
(Hamelitz 1884; September 7)
(# An article about education in Tavritch Gov. mainly directed against
the Melamdim in Simferopol, Berdyansk and Melitopol).
Col.Altnossov, Tav.Gov. Melitopol District.
(Hamelitz 1885; July)
(# a general article)
Elimelekh, the son of Rabbi Yissakhar-Ber Milner
Rabbi of Tokmak and Moshe Aharon Luria.
(Hamelitz 1885; August 9)
On Sunday, the day before Rosh Khodesh Av, fire broke out in Colony
Bakhers, called Zatishye, which belongs to our brethren of the House of
Israel. Nineteen houses were burnt to the ground together with the barns.
The unfortunates who have until now supported themselves by the toil of
their hands are in dire need of assistance.
Levi Reuven Zimlin
Certified: The notary Reuven David, son of Rabbi Shalom Feinberg,
living here in Berdyansk.
(Hamelitz 1885; November 4)
(# An article about education in Tavritch Gov. calling for its
improvement with the assistance of the government rabbis, including
Muhlmann of Berdyansk).
(Hamelitz 1887; May 22)
A number of families of our brethren living in the nearby villages
decided to leave their places and emigrate to the Holy Land of Israel, to
buy there a plot of land, to work it and look after it. From Colony
Nadezhnaya, or `the colony from Vilna' and from Colony No.4 (# Mezhirech)
they sent three men to buy an estate in the Holy Land for nine families.
Most of the emigrants to the Holy Land are very rich. One of them has
thirty thousand rubles and also the moderate ones have in their pockets
more than four thousand rubles. All of them are agriculturalists from
their youth till today. The men who went to buy an estate took with them
six thousand rubles for the cost of the journey and to pay a deposit for
the land they will buy.
(Hamelitz 1889; February 19)
(# an article about the building of the hospital and the donations of
Dr. Averbach and the noble Reb Yeshaya Segal).
(Hamelitz 1889; April 27)
(# an article about the murder of the father-in-law of Eliezer, the son
of Menakhem Zigolin).
(Hamelitz 1889; June 27)
(# an article about a man aged twenty eight who hanged himself in the
forest and left a note at home.)
(Hamelitz 1889; August 1)
(# an article about the building of the hospital funded from the meat
(Hamelitz 1889; August 12)
A list of donations for the victims of a fire in the city of Ostroah,
includes the renowned Elyakim Kornblit and`M.Luban - one ruble. The
latter was KHAIM-MOSHE Luban, a son-in-law of Rabbi PINKHAS Komesaroff).
(Hamelitz 1890; January 1)
This colony was the first of the colonies in Yekaterinoslav Gov. to be
settled by our brethren in the early years when they left their
birthplace, an established land, to wander to a desolate place, and they
chose to work the land as the source of their sustenance. He who saw this
colony twenty years ago, if he would come now to visit it would be
distressed to see it. Even the few oak trees which stood before the houses
stand now bare. The poor houses stand naked like deserted orphans, and
throughout the large and veteran colony, spread over three versts, there
is not to be found one fence dividing the yards. You will not see one
garden which gives forth its fragrance for the farmers in the days of
summer, and sparse greenery bears witness to the coming spring.
Our synagogue which stands high above our colony is full of cracks and
on all sides birds nest such that during prayers when the Khazan raises
his voice to lift his prayers on high, the birds are awakened and declare:
"Blessed be the Gabbai of Novozlatopol who provided a shelter for us."
All this is the fault of the leaders of our community, who instead of
fulfilling their duty to uplift and repair the colony and restore its
glory, lift the cup in their hands, and daily after leaving the synagogue,
direct their steps to the wine house, and the Gabbai at their head leads
them like the goat leading the flock.
Last summer they had the idea to dig a well to provide freshwater for
the community of a better quality than to date. Butin the accounts of the
headman from last year one will find only spirits and wine in the well. To
date the costs of digging the well amount to about two thousand rubles,
and the well is empty with no water.
There is no school in our colony to teach the children knowledge and
science according to the spirit of the times. The boys even after
completing their studies in the Kheder are devoid of knowledge, for
throughout the days of their study they suffer under the Melamdim who are
devoid of knowledge and who would anywhere else on earth be driven away,
yet find shelter in our colony.
One of the people, Yitskhak Politsk.
(Hamelitz 1890; February 9)
I was astounded by Mr.Politsa who writes about what he saw fit to
denigrate the name of the Gabbai there, and the man is elderly, honorable
and respected and beloved by mankind. For more than forty years he has
held an honorable office (aside from being Gabbai), and was honored by the
government with a silver medallion for his diligence at his task, and
aside from this he is a descendant of a distinguished lineage, as is known
to the above writer, so why should he defile his honor in vain ? And if he
is displeased that the Gabbai has not seen fit to renovate the synagogue,
I ask him to advise from whence should the money be found ? The income
from the synagogue is very meager and to restore the synagogue would
require a handsome sum, and there is no reliable source from where to
acquire the money. What is the Gabbai that he should be slandered ? And
should it be asked: why has the income decreased suddenly; then it should
be known that over nearly twelve years (during which the Gabbai has
carried the load of office single handed) the bathhouse has been almost
completely rebuilt and many repairs have been done to the synagogue. Even
these were financed not from the income but from money allocated by the
committee which was then in Odessa, through the efforts of the heads of
the community, including that honorable man who the writer has singled out
as a target.
But now help cannot be had as previously to repair the synagogue, for
which there are various reasons, and this is not the place to go in to
them. I have several other things to say about the well referred to by the
writer, but I do not want to burden the readers further. Only this do I
wish to state. That not for the truth wrote he who wrote, but to gain
honor at the expense of his fellow man.
Note Zeev Shoyer.
(Hamelitz 1890; February 22)
Amongst all the seventeen colonies in Yekterinoslav Government, the most
advanced is Colony N. whose farmers uplifted honorably the work of the
land by their diligence and their wonderful care. The houses are large and
of good standard like their German neighbors. They possess various work
implements, harvesters, new iron ploughs are soon due, and the families
with ease work the land. There is hardly a farmer who hasn't a plough or
machinery. Most sow 80 - 120 desyatins, and the least is not less than 20.
From the fertile land they harvest twenty meastres and more, but
occasionally it happens that the sowing was in vain. Their only interest
is the work of the land and there is no commerce. Thus when they finish
their work in the fields in the summer, they begin to plough the land to
prepare for the spring sowing, so that their labor will not be prolonged
then, and the festival of Pesach will not interfere their work, for most
of the fields planted before Pesach will bring forth their produce doubly
in comparison to those sown after the festival.
As their physical condition, so their spiritual state. Most of the
farmers are not ignorant, and throughout the winter they arise early
several hours before sunrise and go to the synagogue to listen to learning
before the rabbi who preaches his teachings every day. He who can study by
himself sits and learns from some book. In their wisdom they support the
rabbi and make sure he lacks nothing. If one has less the others help to
make sure he lack nothing required to work the land. If one collapses all
rise to support him, each according to his capacity. Would that all the
colonies were like Nadyezhna their sister !
The members of the community of , a distance of two versts from Colony
N. finished not long ago the work of the Holy Ark which they began twelve
years ago when the synagogue was founded. They used to lay the scrolls of
the Torah in a simple wooden box which was more broken than whole. The
Shokhel Mr. Yeshayahu Wittenberg blessed all the people who contributed to
this holy task. Those who strove much for this matter were the headman Mr.
Eizik Tankhum Svidler and the Gabbai Mr.Abba Khadosh. The cost of the ark
(Hamelitz 1890; March 2)
In Hamelitz one of our townspeople saw fit to cast insult on the
leaders of our town in particular, and in general on all the inhabitants,
by saying that the people are not engaged in agriculture. This is an
absolute lie. In evidence is the fact that each desyatin of land which to
date was valued at 1.85to 2.0 rubles, now is worth up to eight rubles,
and the better plots up top 10 rubles. All who work more on the land are
to be praised, and from morning to night, father with son, mother with
daughter, all as one work the land with all their heart and soul.
That which the writer wrote that they desired to dig a well for better
water for the community, and he went to great lengths to deceive as if
they filled their throats with wine, this is falsehood. We wandered far
from our birthplace in Vitebsk Gov.(# most came from the town of Lutzin)
until we arrived in 1846 here in Novozlatopol, a dry and desolate place,
with bitter water unfit even for the animals to drink, how much more so
for humans. We have to bring water from seven or eight versts away, and
some of us buy their water with money, and even then not always at the
required time, once a week or a fortnight, Sometimes we have to eke out a
drop of water for seven days. Everyone who has not seen this evil will be
astounded at the sight. At Shavuot time when there is the harvest, we have
to waste half a day to bring cold water to sustain our souls. So we sought
to dig a well to provide fresh water in the center of the town. The cost
of excavation to a depth of forty sezyashin was 1525 roubles. Next summer
we hope to dig until we find water.
Now the writer casts aspersions and claims that the expenses exceeded
two thousand rubles, and that this was spent only on spirits. This is
exceedingly imprudent to spread such falsehood. Also nothing was said
about the leadership of our synagogue which is gloriously constructed, in
which the writer finds blemishes in that which is holy, and states that the
synagogue is full of cracks and nobody pays attention. This is an absolute
The assistant government rabbi,
Yitskhak Tsvi Weisman, Shokhet here.
(#)Reference to `Hersche' Weisman is made in the memoirs of Bill
Comisarow, including a photograph.
(Hamelitz 1890; March 28)
We have seen fit to advice through Hamelitz of the integrity of the
noble Mr.L.Einhorn who entered into a transaction with us to dig a well
for fresh water last year (because our colony has no water fit for
drinking), and he dug to a depth of 40 sezyashins and did not find water
fit to drink. In his good will he began to dig a different well with a new
machine, but all its expense to date (more than 1500 rubles) has been in
vain. But if also in the other well it will be necessary to dig more than
40 sezyashins, we will be obliged to pay him for each sezyashin, and also
in this respect he has given us a considerable discount as compared to our
original contract with him. But we are in fear of not finding water even
at 80 sezyashins, or he may encounter hard rock, in which case we must pay
him twofold for each sezyashin, and where will we find finance for that ?
Therefore we have drafted a petition signed by all the inhabitants of
our town, and with the assistance of the supervisor of all the colonies
I.V.Kovalevsky who always deals well with us, and we have sent it to the
officials in charge of our colonies who reside in Kherson. In the petition
we have implored them to grant us funds from the colony account or to
provide for several years an amount of 2000 rubles. If, Heaven forbid,
they do not heed our request, then we have no hope to drink water from
that well and our toil will be suspended and we will be thirsty for water,
for in our town there is no river flowing with water, only one reservoir (Prud)
and in the season of melting snow it fills its banks with water, and from
it we water the herds. But last winter very little rain or snow fell. Also
we have no forest nor stone and therefore many people have abandoned their
places and left.
Yitskhak-Tsvi, Shokhet, Weisman
Assistant government rabbi.
(Hamelitz 1890; March 8)
Rabbi Avraham-David the son of Rabbi Yehuda-Leib Lavaut, passed away at
the age of 75.
(Hamelitz 1890; March 12)
(# reports of the government rabbi Yehuda-Leib Miyatshon)
(# reports of Shraga-Feivish Halevy Nemtshonin, Shokhet and Khazan)
(Hamelitz 1890; August 10)
This is a city of traders from many nations, situated on the sea of
Azov, and most of our brethren living here are engaged in trade in the
agricultural produce of this region. Recently a new Yeshiva was built at a
cost of 10,000 rubles, financed (partly) by the noble Yosef Neiberg.
Moshe Khaim Lyubimov
(Hamelitz 1890; September 2)
(# report of the visit of a preacher from Lithuania)
(Hamelitz 1891; February 15)
This city is a large city, situated on a great waterway, with traders
of many nations numbering about twenty thousand people, most of them
Greeks and a Russian minority, and about three thousand of our brethren of
the House of Israel. Most find their livelihood in the agricultural
produce trade. Every year the grain merchants send thousands of wagons
laden with grain to our city .
There is a `Bread For The Poor' society; Mr.Segal's factory for wells;
the Talmud Torah has 80 children with three teachers under the guidance of
the government rabbi Grunim.
(Hamelitz 1891; February 25)
(# a report of a dispute between the colonists of Novozlatopol and
David Segal who was engaged by them to dig a sewer. He suffered many
delays and the price rose. Therefore they claimed damages from him.)
(Hamelitz 1892; August 27)
On Friday before the Sabbath of the portion Shoftim, the 3rdof Elul,
returned his pure soul to G-d, the noble and elderly teacher of the
people, the distinguished, the outstanding Rabbi Elyakin son of Zeev
Kornblit of blessed and sainted memory, in the seventieth year of his life.
Shokhet of the above colony.
(Hamelitz 1892; October 6)
A report has been received concerning the journey to the Jewish
colonies in Yekaterinoslav Government of the Minister responsible for
The Minister arrived at the railway station Volnovakh on Rosh Hashanah
at six o'clock in the morning and traveled in a carriage to the colony
Rovnopol. The colonists transported the Minister with Jewish cartiers and
horses from the colony .In the colony the Minister was received with bread
and salt by representatives of all the colonies. The Minister visited the
synagogue and they came out to greet him bearing the scrolls of the Torah
and blessed him with the benediction `Misheberakh'.
Afterwards the Minister toured the houses of the colonists and paid
attention to every small matter in each house. He also climbed up into the
attics in which they stored produce, visited the threshing tables, all the
farm work, the animals, the barns, and the horses. He was very satisfied
with everything he saw, and not only once exclaimed "Praised be the Lord,
praised be the Lord". When he left Peterburg he imagined that the Jewish
colonies were only drawn on the map, and aside from their ruler the
supervisor, there was nothing there. Therefore he was glad that he had
From Rovnopol the Minister traveled to Zatish (# Zatishye) which colony
found favor in his eyes even more than the previous one. When he had set
out on his journey he had intended to inspect only these two colonies, but
suddenly the Minister changed his route which had been set in advance
and commanded to be taken to the third colony Khlebodarovka where they were
not expecting him. Therefore they did not receive him with bread and salt.
Also there he found everything managed in the best possible way. The
Minister asked each colonist attentively what was lacking or needed and
they replied unanimously: "We are happy with our lot other than that we have
little land and it does not suffice. " The Minister advised them to lease
land from the government and when they replied that they had no permission
to do so, the Minister replied: "Don't let that bother you; you petition for
that and I will do whatever I can for you." Upon turning to the supervisor
of the colonies Mr. Kovalevsky he said: "It is no simple matter for seven
thousand inhabitants; I will concern myself for them."
It is furthermore worth noting that regarding this honorable affair the
great rabbi Reb Yitskhak Elkhanan (# Spektor), Chief Rabbi of Kovno,
advised the colonists by telegraph and permitted them to travel to bring
the Minister on the Festival of Rememberance, Rosh Hashanah.
At the instigation of the Shokhtim here, my father and teacher Reb
Arye-Leib Solovey and Reb Nissan Kronhoiz, all the butchers agreed to cast
the animals prior to slaughter in the manner recommended by Dr. Demba in
Hamelitz. They also attempted to cast animals in this manner and the
attempt was successful. Would that such would be done in all the towns
where the House of Israel live, and so the complaints of our adversaries
against us would be removed.
(Hamelitz 1893; August 2)
I have seen fit to announce that the new method of casting recommended
by Dr. Demba, to bend the animal being led to slaughter and to fell it to
the ground without damage, we have been using with no exception. The name
should be well recorded of the doctor Mr. Benish who was most effective
against the priests (# rabbis) who refused, who are all reprehensible
people. Now such is the method used without compromising anything.
Arye-Leib Treves, Shokhet here.
(Hamelitz 1895; January 12)
The death occurred of the great rabbi Reb Yaakov-Moshe Holliand of
blessed memory, from nearby Mezhirech, aged 43 years.
(Hamelitz 1895; October 19)
(# reports the murder of Y.Olevsky on the way to Yekaterinoslav).
(# reports the closing of a wine factory, the source of tax for the
payment of the rabbis):
The only source for the wages of the rabbis in most colonies was, until
now, the lease of the right to operate a tavern for spirits in the colony,
in return for which the lessor paid a set sum to the community.
(# report of the death of Reb Yekhezkel-Zev the son of Reb Avraham Itkin,
aged 69 years.)
(# report of the request submitted to the authorities to build a school
in the colonies Nadyezhnaya, Zatishye and Novozlatopol. The poor quality
of the traditional Melamdim in comparison to the Maskilim is mentioned.)
(Hamelitz 1897; March 12 (24) )
a Jewish colony in the Government of Yekaterinoslav).
The 27th day of Adar I was for us a day of mourning and grief, because
during it passed away to his eternal life in the sixty-seventh year of his
life, the Rabbi, the Gaon, Av Bet Din of this place, our Rabbi Pinkhas
Komisarov, who officiated to the glory of our colony as rabbi and Shuv (#Shokhet
and examiner of meat) for more than thirty years. Great honor was shown
him on his death; all the rabbis of the surrounding colonies gathered,
came to pay him the last honor and eulogized him according to the Halakha
(# law). He was great in Torah and the Fear of Heaven, and in peace and
righteousness he walked with his brethren the farmers.
Peace be unto his dust, and may his soul be bound up in the bond of
(# reports on the problem of inhabitants of the colonies who are not
engaged in agriculture.)
(# reports on the activity of the farmers towards the coming Pesakh):
At this time I saw in Sladkovodnaya and other colonies farmers
diligently engaged in their gardens with the work of planting. In
particular excelled the two large nurseries in the colonies Grafskoy (the
site of the Prikaz -# the civil authority) and Nadezhnaya, under the
supervision of the special gardener and scribe of the Prikaz, Mr.A.Gordon.
(#perhaps a relative of Khaya-Sarah Pogorelske, nee Gordon).
(# reports the death of the rabbi of the colony Rabbi Yekhiel-Mikhal
Fotz who was for ten years rabbi of this place, and previously was for
twenty years rabbi of the colony Sladkovodnaya. He was aged 53 years.)
(Hamelitz 1898; October 29)
On the eve of the Sabbath of the portion Noakh this year we received an
honorable visitor, a teacher of the nation, the doctor of philosophy and
government rabbi of the Jewish colonies in Kherson Government, Mr.Kreps,
together with the Popetchitel (# supervisor) I.A.Kovalskiy, he visited our
At three o'clock in the afternoon he went with the Popetchitel to visit
the school and to study the order of studies and to examine the students.
Those who gained satisfaction from him, he shook their hand as a sign of
affection. He was very impressed with the building with it shalls and
order, standing in the center of the colony with a large courtyard
surrounded by a fence more than 4800 measures, with three hundred fruit
trees planted within it in correct order like a horticultural garden.
Farmer and Shokhet and assistant rabbi.
(Hamelitz 1898; January 19)
On Thursday the 19th of Tevet in the morning we were astonished by the
disturbing rumor from the neighboring colony Krasnoselka that the Rabbi,
the Gaon, the veteran, our teacher Rabbi Shlomo-Yosef Weisman who lives
there, returned his pure soul to G-d !
Aged 77 on his death, for a jubilee of years he served at the crown of
the rabbinate in the above colony, for he came there together with the
nobles of the colony, the first pioneers from the city of Lutzin. He left
a family of ninety souls.
(Hamelitz 1899; May 11)
(# reports the death of Reb Tsvi-David Mosinzon who served as Shokhet
and religious leader for about forty years. He was aged 57 on his death.
He was the father of Bentzion Mosinzon, a leader of the Zionist movement
Khovevei Tzion, who taught members of the Zhmood family living in
Andreyevka and was a teacher at the highschool in Mariupol where he taught
KHANA ŪREIZEL Komesaroff. Bentzion Mosinzon emigrated to the Land of
Israel in the early nineteenth century, encouraging members of the Zhmood
family to follow him. There he was one of the founders of the Herzl
Gymnasium, or high school in Tel Aviv.)
(# The colony is mentioned by one who passed through the region on his
way back from the Zionist Congress. He gave are part on the proceedings at
the Congress to the local farmers.)