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What was that name again?

Bóbrka, Bibrka

Both official names of Bóbrka at different times. Bóbrka was the official name during Austrian, Polish and Soviet rule. The name changed to Bibrka once Ukraine gained independence, just as 'Lwow' and 'Tarnopol' changed to 'Lviv' and 'Ternopil'.

Although Bóbrka is no longer its official name, we choose to call it that, for that was the Shtetl our forebears knew for good and for bad.


Although Bóbrka was the official name during Austrian rule, in German it was referred to as Prachnik.

Boiberke, Boyberke

The Yiddish name for Bóbrka and the way our folks lovingly referred to it.

Boiberik, Boyberik

Taken from the fictional works of Shalom Alechem, 'Boiberik', just like 'Anatevka', is an imaginary town, and moreover, Shalom Alechem's inspiration for the name apparently came from elsewhere.

There is an article in the Aug. 27, 1993 issue of the Yiddish paper,"Forverts": "Keyn Boyberik un Anatevka vo s'hot gevoynt Tuvye der milkhiker..." (To Boiberik and Anatevka, where Tevye the milkman lived). It is a travelogue written by Dr. Khariton Berman of Bilatserkiv, who visited the Ukrainian dacha resort of Boyarka and the nearby village of Antonovka, where the prototype for Sholem Aleichem's character Tevye is supposed to have plied his trade and resided with his wife Golda and their seven daughters. There is no avoiding the correspondence between Antonovka and Anatevka, and between Boyarka and Boiberik (notwithstanding the existence of our little Boiberke!)

No native Boiberker would make this mistake. In fact, in the English section of the Boiberke Memorial Book, Julius Haber notes the confusion in names with some annoyance on page 31,

"...I took the liberty of correcting as to the name Boiberke which the great Yiddish writer, Sholem Aleichem, used a similar name Boiberik in his writings, like he used the names like Yehupitz and Kasrilowky, making them the butt of much of his humor, [I] felt it was high time to take the town of our birth from the comic fiction world and explain that in reality, such a town as Boiberke actually existed and that our cradle stood there".

And just so you know, "Boiberik" today is both the name of a Jewish Summer Camp in the United States, and is also the slang name for the city of Bnei Brak in Israel.

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