|Table of Contents||History & Photographs||Rohatyn Families||New York Immigrants||Vital & Genealogical Records|
This page was created in loving memory of those who lived and died there, of those who ventured out, and all who left a legacy for future generations.
Where is Rohatyn? Known today as Rogatin, a major town in the Ukraine, Rohatyn is located 69 kilometers SE of L'viv at longitude 49° 25´ and latitude 24° 37´. From 1792 until 1919 it was in Galicia, a province of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire...then from 1919 until 1945 it was part of Poland .....and then it became part of the Ukraine.
Nearby towns with Jewish Populations circa 1900, include (alphabetically),
Berezhany (14mi E),
Bobrka (20 mi NW),
Bukachevtsy (13 mi SSW- with its own KehilaLinks site),
Knyaginichi/Knihynicze (7mi W) oct 2013, Narajow (10mi NE), Peremyshlyany (17 mi N) , Podkamien (6 mi WNW, 1900: 1439/118), Podgrodzie (1900: 1058/60), Stratin (5 mi NE, 1900: 694/113), Novyye Strzelishcha (12miNW) , Zuravno (19 miles SW). For much more information on these towns click here
Two New Projects! First, we are collecting original vital records and pertinent documents...to make them available to our fellow researchers. We are hoping to make the Archive ordering process easier....and next, working with Gesher Galicia, we have hired a researcher to inventory Rohatyn documents in the Lviv Archive; targets include the Cadastral Maps, which link places to names and school records.
Genealogical Records: Although many records were destroyed over the course of two world wars, researchers have found much that remains. For instance, the entire 1870 tax rolls are available. Search our Index of Vital Records. Or see our Summary of all the Records Available . And check out the vital record indexes from the 1800s from the Polish Archives which are available on-line (see JRIP below).Why I created this site: My great grandmother Dora EICHEL was born in Rohatyn in 1862. Dora married Reuven LINDNER (photo circa 1893). Dora's father, Anschel EICHEL was a tailor who specialized in making uniforms for the Pravoslav priests and monks. We can trace the Eichels back to Yitzhak Eichel, who lived in Hamburg at the end of the 18th century; he was a scholar who published a textbook of the Yiddish language and was a pupil of the German philosopher Kant.
I hope you will find this page interesting and helpful. Click on my name below
to contact me if you have any questions or information to add. As with any genealogical research, this is an evolving project!
Signed, Phyllis Kramer,
New York, NY & Palm Beach Gdns, Fla.
V.P., Education, JewishGen, Inc.
Copyright © 1999. Page updated January 2014. Since April 2001 you are visitor #
This site exists because of your Jewish Gen-erosity. Your tax deductible donation to JewishGen makes these services possible. We spent a lot of time organizing this information so that your genealogical search might be more rewarding....and you can reward us -- just click on Jewish Gen-erosity.
In November of 2010 we lost a wonderful friend. Howard Steinmetz. We are a small band of Rohatyn researchers...and Howard was, in many ways, our leader, our mentor, our friend. Our group began through JewishGen….and then grew into a Google Group. Today it is worldwide..Paris, Rio, Jerusalem, Buenos Aires, San Francisco, Chicago, Berkeley, New York. We’re drawn together genealogically, our families are interrelated but not close.
Howard shared his Rohatyn memories, conversations, photographs and documents, and helped us to make the connections and respect the past. Each of us understood the value of Howard’s memories and papers. And we’re pledged to preserve them.
He will be sorely missed.
Rohatyn was a wonderful town. It was located 60 kilometers from Ivano-Frankovsk and 69 kilometers from Lvov. There was a Jewish community in Rohatyn as far back as the 16th Century.
The following is a brief Timeline of the political scene over time and which country ruled Rohatyn
|early 1200s||Kievan Rus||union of Ruthenian principalities with capital in Kiev; collapsed with invasion of Tartars|
|early 1200s||1349||Autonomous Principality||most powerful state in the area; war with Poland over the Cherven lands of Lublin area|
|1349||1772||Poland (Ruskie)||Galician/Polish war won by King Kasimir; Principality incorporated into Poland|
|1772||1919||Austria (Galicia)||Poland divided by Germany, Russia, Austria. Area named Galicia and ceded to Austria.|
|1919||1939||Poland||Poland reconstituted after World War I|
|1939||1941||Russia||Occupied during WW II: Germany and Russian had a secret pact on how they would divide Poland prior to the invasion on Sept 1, 1939; Russia occupied Rohatyn those first few years 1939-1941 until Germany broke the pact and invaded Russia as well.|
|1941||1944||Germany||Overrun in WW II|
|1944||1991||Russia||part of Ukrainian S.S.R., USSR (in province Ivano-Frankovskaya)|
|1991||present||Ukraine||Soviet Union dissolved, Ukraine independence declared|
Most of us associate Rohatyn with Galicia, 1772 through 1918; Galicia was then a province of the Austrian Hungarian Empire. The map below shows Galicia, and Rohatyn's place in it.
Some interesting facts on the population in Rohatyn follow.
The following paragraph was adapted from a note by Ukrainian Roman Zakharii:
Galicia was occupied by Poland in 1349. Before that it was an independent Ruthenian (what we call now Ukrainian) principality. A century before that it was part of Kievan Rus, union of Ruthenian principalities with capital in Kiev. Kievan Rus collapsed in early 13 th century with the invasion of Tatars and Galician principality existed as independent and the most powerful state in the area. In 1340 s, there was a war between Galicia and Poland over the Cherven lands of the Lublin area, and Polish king Kasimir won it and conquered all Galician lands, incorporating them into the Polish kingdom; Galicia was formed into so called Wojewostwo Ruskie (in English Rus/Ruthenian voivodship). The name Galicia was applied after these lands were incorporated into Austria in 1772. Rogatin is the Russian name for Rohatyn, which is not used anymore. It was used only on Soviet maps after World War II until 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed. In Ukrainian it is Rohatyn, just like in Polish, German and Yiddish.
Eliezer Makovsky, from Jerusalem, sent us this brief record of the Rabbi's family: Eliezer (Elazar ben Issachar Halevi) served as the town rabbi in the 1850s and 1860s. He had a 5 children:
His book can be accessed here: see here for his book Devar Halacha (in Hebrew):
Do you have roots in Rohatyn? Would you like to connect with others researching the same
community? View the hundreds of folks who are researching their ancestral town of rohatyn.
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If you are not already registerred with JewishGen, please do so. It's free and painless! and that way you can add the surnames you are researching to the list, so that others can find you!! Go to this web address: www.jewishgen.org/jgff/ and enter Rohatyn in the town search box.Return to Table of Contents
Somehow i received a copy of this list which was sent from Herman Bernstein, President of the American Hebrew, a newspaper published in New York City to the Joint Distribution Committee. The letter is dated 1916 and says:
Dear Mr. Strauss: I am sending you herewith the list of names of those who were taken away by the Russian troops from the Galician town of Rohatyn to Siberia. Opposite each name the number of the members of the family left behind is indicated. I understand that nothing has as yet been done for this community of women and children who remained in a state of horrow and dire distress. As i told you, the entire male population, from the age of twelve to the age of seventy, was thus dragged away to the remotest regions of Siberia. It seemed a part of Russia's policy of vengance against the Jews. Notes: (1) This table was prepared on a typewriter with many overstrikes; there may be incorrect information;
Here, it seems to me, is something concrete and definitely worthy of immediate atteniton. I am sending you the list in accordance with your suggestion. With kindest regards ...Herman Bernstein
(2) german translations: frau (wife), kind/kinder (child/children), ohne (without), und (and); mutter (mother)
Verschleppt (Kidnapped) Zurickgeblieben (Remained)
Acht, leon Frau 2 kinder
Adler, Najer & Sohn Frau und 2 kinder
Aschner, Isak & Sohn Frau und zwei kinder
Auster, Isak & Sohn Frau und 6 kinder
Axelrad, Berisch Frau 1 kinder
Axelrad, Jakob & Sohn Frau und 4 kinder
Baumann, Eli & Sohn Frau 3 kinder
Beder, Marcus Mutter und zwei schwestern
Beder, Samuel Frau und 5 kinder
Berger, Isak Ohne Frau 6 kinder
Berger, Schmaje Frau und 2 kinder
Blank, Moses Frau 4 kinder
Blank, Selig Frau 2 kinder
Blaustein, H. Leib Frau ohne kinder
Blumenfeld, Hersch Frau und 6 kinder
Borenfeld, Marcus Frau ohne kinder
Bottfeld, Abraham & Sohn Frau und 1 kind
Brattspiess, Jakob Frau und 7 kinder
Breitfeld, Wolf Frau und 3 kinder
Brotbar, N. Ire Frau ohne kinder
Chaimowicz, Natan Frau und 3 kinder
Durchschlag, Bernard --
Eber, Jakob Frau ohne kind
Eber, Mendel und Frau und 3 Kinder Efreniles, Marcus Frau und 2 kinder
Ehrenberg, Sisie & Sohn Frau ohne kind
Eichel, Moses Frau und kind
Eigen, Beril Frau ohne kinder
Einschtoss, Samuel Frau und 1 kind
Einstoss, Daniel Frau und 5 kinder
Faust, Alter Frau 6 kinder
Frage, Jacob un zwei Sohne Frau 3 kinder
Frage, Marcus und 2 Sohne Frau 4 kinder
Freiwald, Azyk & Sohn Frau 2 kinder
Freiwald, Marcus Frau und 2 kinder
Freiwald, Moses Frau und 5 kinder
Friedmann, Leibisch Frau 4 kinder
Fuchs, O. Kalman Frau ohne kinder
Gabe, Osias Frau 3 kinder
Giri, Juda & Sohn Frau und 4 kinder
Goldfarb, Hersch Frau 6 kinder
Gross, Dawid & Sohn Frau 2 kinder
Grun, I. Leib & Sohn Frau und 1 kind
Grunberg, Abraham Frau und 2 kinder
Grunberg, Aron Frau und 3 kinder
Grungarten, Israel Frau und 2 kinder
Gunsberg, Leon Frau und 1 kind
Gutstein, A. Josef & Sohn Ohne Frau 5 kinder
Hamburg, Hersch Frau und ein kind
Hirschenhau & 3 Sohne 2 schwestern
Hochmann, Hersch Frau und 1 kind
Holz, Selig Frau und 5 kinder
Holz, Simon & 2 Sohne Frau und 1 kind
Horschowski, Dawid & Fawel --
Horwitz, Salamon Frau und 1 kind
Josep, Jakob Frau und ein kind
Kartin, Abe Frau 4 kinder
Kartin, Elias Frau 2 kinder
Kerzner, Israel Frau 4 kinder
Kisel, Salomon Frau & 5 kinder
Kleinberg, Wolf Frau ohne kind
Korn, Pinie Frau und kind
Kreisler, Osias & Sohn Frau 4 kinder
Leiter, Jakob Frau und 4 kinder
Lieder, Alter & Sohn Frau 5 kinder
Lobgross, A. Wolf Frau und ohne kinder
Mam, Salomon Ohne Frau 2 kinder
Manhart, Sae --
Mantenberg, Nuchim Frau 6 kinder
Mark, Eisig Frau und 2 kinder
Maus, H. Moses & Sohn Leib Frau und 3 kinder
Messing, Abraham Frau 5 kinder
Messing, Irel Frau 3 kinder
Nagelberg, Selig Frau ohne kind
Namturg, Hersch --
Panzer, Mendel Ohne Frau 5 kinder
Pies, Abraham & Sohn Frau 8 kinder
Podhorzer, M. Leib Frau und 4 kinder
Rauch, Marcus --
Rauch, Schenie --
Reiner, Hersch Frau ohne kinder
Reiner, Samuel Frau 4 kinder
Rothenberg, Abendel Frau ohne kinder
Rotrauber, I.Nute & Frau und 2 Sohne 1 Tochter
Rotrauber, Josef Frau ohne Knder
Rysch, Hersch Frau 3 kinder
Saft, Abraham Frau und 2 kinder
Schames, Jusa Frau und 5 kinder
Schein, Juda Frau und ein kind
Schleifer, W.Leib Frau 3 kinder
Schlor, Mechel Frau ohne kinder
Schneekraut, J. Isne & Sohn Frau mit 2 kinder
Schneier, Alter Ohne Frau 2 kinder
Schondorf, Saul --
Schorr, J. Leib Frau 1 kind
Schwarz, D. Leib & Sohn Frau und 3 kinder
Schwarz, Hersch Mutter und 5 kinder
Schwarz, M. Dawid Frau und 1 kind
Schwarz, Wolf Frau 1 kinder
Siegall, Juda & Sohn Schachne Frau und 6 kinder
Sigall, Chaskel Frau und 1 kind
Srijer, Osias Frau und 6 kinder
Stein, Samuel Frau 3 kinder
Steinfink, Dawid Frau ohne kinder
Stelzer, maer Frau ohne kinder
Tempel, N. Jakob Frau 3 kinder
Unterman, Samuel Frau und 2 kinder
Wald, Zion --
Weiner, Leizer Frau und 1 kind
Weissbrunn, Berisch Frau 2 kinder
Weissbrunn, Dawid Frau 1 kinder
Weissbrunn, Moses Frau ? kinder
Weissbrunn, Wolf & 2 Sohne Frau ohne kinder
Weissmann, Abraham ---
Weissmann, Jakob Frau und 2 kinder
Weiz, Aba Frau 2 kinder
Wiener, Hersch Frau 2 kinder & Mutter
Zion, A. Leib Frau und 1 kind
Notes: (1) This table was prepared on a typewriter with many overstrikes; there may be incorrect information;
The Jews from Rohatyn must have been an organized and fervent group. I have located four separate Landsmanshaften organizations, founded in the late 1800s in New York City and one in Israel. The following are the details and the founding officers.
A few years ago I visited with the President, Herman Skolnick, who was born in Rohatyn. A lovely man who has since passed on. His wife still lives in Brooklyn, and his son Michael Skolnick, is still active in the Society, along with Yossi Benjamin, the Recording Sec. About 35 members still pay dues. This society maintains gravesites at Beth Israel, in Woodbridge New Jersey and "Old" Montefiore, in St. Albans, New York. Thanks to Herman Skolnick, all the names in these landsmanshaften plots are in a database you can query on-line. To get a list of over 1500 names from the IRYMS and the RYMS Landsmanshaften plots in the New York City area, just send me an email with the subject "Rohatyn Landsmanshaften";to send your email, click here. The list contains the names of the folks buried in 2 landsmanshaften plots inBeth Israel and Old Montefiore. There is another landsmanshaften plot for the Independent Rohatyners Young Mens Benevelent Society at Mt Hebron. This plot is not included in the database.
The following names were contained in the Golden Jubilee Fiftieth Anniversary Banquet of the IRYA in 1953 at the Broadway Central Hotel, in various sections, including a memorial.
The minutes of this Landsmanshaften are at YIVO in New York City (Record Group 1082). They cover the years 1953 to 1977, and I believe they are written in Yiddish.
To get a list of over 1500 names from the IRYMBA and the RYMS Landsmanshaften plots in the New York City area, just send me an email with the subject "Rohatyn Landsmanshaften"; to send your email, click here. The list contains the names of the folks buried in the two RYMS landsmanshaften plots inMt. Hebron and Mt. Zion, as well as those plots which were purchased and reserved. The source of the RYMS information is Alvin Edelstein, the Cemetery Chairman of the Rohatyner Young Men's Society. Alvin inherited this position from his late father-in-law, who held it for over fifty years.
If you want to search the full list of Rohatyners buried in Mt. Hebron cemetery online, go to http://www.mounthebroncemetery.com/search.asp, click on Search, and then just key Rohatyn in the town name field. Second and third generation Rohatyners still meet annually in New York City. I'm proud to say that I am a member and have attended meetings.
Pictured at the left is Mt. Hebron plot, and at the right, Mt Zion plot; both cemeteries are in Queens (New York).
Alvin Edelstein transcribed the names on the Mt Hebron posts, as follows: Monument I: Rohatyner Young Men's Society, Inc. Organized May 19th, 1894. Officers, 1942: J. Eichel, President, M Leichtling, Vice Pres, M. Tabak, Rec. Sec’y, LB Bochner, Fin. Sec’y, C Kanfer, Cashier, MA Hulkower, Guard, Trustees:B Hirschenfang, C Rosenzweig and A. Weber.
The second monument reads: Rohatyner Young Men’s Society Committee: Chaim David Nierenberg, Ex Pres and Chairman, Beresh Mayer, Eliezer Blumenreich, Dov Zvi Leichtling, Yitzhak Blumenreich, Benjamin Hirschenfang, Yosef Zvi b’reb Chaim, David Nierenberg, Mechl Schechter, Yitzhak Hilkever, Chaim Bernstein, Yehezkel Kanfer, Mordechai Helfman, and Moshe Altman.
Can anyone identify the participants??
All the minutes of Rohatyner meetings of the first 50 years, or so, were meticulously hand written (in Yiddish) and preserved, and were given to YIVO in New York, for their use and further preservation. You can locate these records (1928-1964) and the memorial book at YIVO (Record Group 1016).
GUARDIAN: Rohatyner cemetrey chair David Reich (above) worries that gravesites will suffer if the aid society that oversees them folds. For the members of a century-old Jewish fraternal society, the organization’s breakup has literally turned into a fight over graves. The Rohatyner Young Men’s Society is one of the last of the landsmanschaften, benefit societies formed at the turn of the past century by groups of townsfolk who had emigrated from Eastern Europe. Thousands of landsmanschaften once dotted American cities with Jewish immigrant populations, but the few that remain are now struggling to plan their own demise.
Several generations removed from its point of origin, Rohatyner, as members call it, may have outlived the conditions for its existence. Its dispersed constituents, the great- and great-great-grandchildren of the group’s founders on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, do not socialize outside of biannual dinners and no longer need the organization as a dispenser of loans and medical help. Instead, like other landsmanschaften in their final stages, Rohatyner now primarily functions as a burial society and will likely soon cease to be even that.
“The normal life of an organization like that is, it goes from having all kinds of social activities to something like an annual banquet, and the last thing to survive is the burial benefit,” said Robert Kestenbaum, who, as an officer of the Yiddish cultural and political organization Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring, has seen the decline of dozens of landsmanschaften. “And that’s where the really sad stuff comes in.”
A vote conducted by mail last month suggested that most Rohatyner members are resigned to closing the group’s doors for the last time. Of the 32 households that voted — many members belong to the organization along with their families, and indeed several extended clans stretch through the association — 24 favored disbanding.
But those who oppose disbanding feel strongly that they may lose not only a link to the past, but also a plot in the cemetery. Rohatyner owns land in two Jewish cemeteries in Queens where, according to the group’s treasurer, 72-year-old Alvin Edelstein, about 850 society members are buried. Another 100 graves remain open. Enrollment in the organization entitles an individual to a heavily subsidized burial, an increasingly pressing concern for Rohatyner’s aging membership....
According to Kestenbaum, when landsmanschaften break up, their gravesites can become stuck in limbo. In New York State, unless a disbanding society deeds its graves back to the cemetery or to the families that plan to use them, those plots, by law, must remain empty. “There are thousands of graves in New York that under current statutes can never be used,” Kestenbaum said.
This is not the first time that the issue of burial has raised uncomfortable questions for the group. Ten years ago, the organization voted to seal its ranks permanently — even excluding members’ children from joining — because of a lack of cemetery space.
These concerns mark the distance from the organization’s halcyon days, which members say lasted from its establishment in 1894, when the group’s founders named it for their hometown of Rohatyn in what is now western Ukraine, through the World War II era. (The town also lent its name to its most famous son, investment banker Felix Rohatyn.) In 1900, Rohatyn was a lively community of 7,000 people, about half of whom were Jewish. According to the town’s page on the Web site JewishGen, it spawned no fewer than four landsmanschaften in the United States and Israel.
“My father was a failed grocer during the Depression, and he would put on a suit when he went to the meetings,” recalled Bernard Hulkower, the group’s 80-year-old president. “It was a big deal.” As members became more prosperous, Rohatyner directed its budget away from aid for members and toward charitable donations to such Jewish organizations as Hadassah.
“We eat, we give to charity and we bury people,” Edelstein said. What to do with the money that remains in the group’s coffers is a matter that will have to be dealt with if the organization breaks up. According to Hulkower, $160,000 remains, and some members want the money given away; others, however, believe that it should be divided among them.
For now, arguing about whether, and how, to disband appears to be Rohatyner’s one remaining group avocation. “There’s been talk about disbanding for at least 10 years,” said Robyn Katz, who is Edelstein’s niece and, at 50, one of the group’s youngest members. And arguing about the cemetery is not a new pastime in the society. Katz’s late grandfather once worked the group into a tizzy by posing the perplexing question of whether a member who already buried one wife in the Rohatyner plot could bury a second wife there, as well. “Everyone discusses it; it gets very heated,” Katz said. “It’s very philosophical. And then my grandfather said: ‘Well, this is what I told him already. One spouse per plot.’ He had already decided!” If this summer’s vote turns out to be definitive, those conversations may be about to come to an end.
“There’s a general feeling that we’re not going anywhere,” Hulkower said. “The
next meeting should be the last.”
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