|There are those who are Kupishokers or their descendants
whose contributions to their community transcend the ordinary.
Starting with 2000, there will be brief obituaries with
photographs in chronological order of Kupishokers of note that will be
added to this page.
The first five will be Shlomo Kodesh, Rabbi Ephraim
Oshry, Stanley Mayersohn, Norman Meyer and Veronika Sadkeviciene.
The fifth person, Veronika Sadkeviciene, while not Jewish, was a
resident of Kupiskis who lovingly remembered the Jewish community.
In order to ensure that this process continues in
an orderly fashion, the family of the deceased should contact Ann
It is hoped
that this will then initiate the process to notify the Kupiskis SIG
membership and the Gansa Mishpocha group followed by the creation of the
obituary with accompanying photograph on this site.
May the memory of these Kupishokers be blessed.
“Yehi Zichram Baruch.”
was born 1903 in
, and he died in
, in 2000 at the age of 97. He was the son of Meier-Itsko ben
Movsha Kadis (b. 1861), from Pandelys, and Chana-Leah-Dvora bat
Meshulim-Mordkhel Kadyshevich (b.1861), from Kupishok. His
grandfather was Movsha Kadis, the Chief Rabbi of Pandelys.
Shlomo is best known for his book of poetry entitled Zo
Kupishok Shehyeta which told of his love of his ancestral shtetl and
his book of short stories about Kupishok entitled Beit Abba (In
My Father's House).
In his youth, Shlomo Kodesh engaged in Zionist activities on behalf of
the Jewish National Fund and Brith Ivrith Olamit. He traveled
widely and visited most of the Jewish communities in
for the promotion of Zionism. Dr.
Kodesh settled in
in 1933 and for several years served as Secretary to the Israel Court of
Justice in Haifa. From 1951-1971, he was Director, Department of Hebrew Teaching
and Adult Education, Ministry of Education, Jerusalem, Israel. In
1961, he was invited by the government of France
to work as an expert in teaching a second language.
of Israel's foremost language educators, he was generally regarded as
the prime architect or "grandfather" of the Ulpan movement,
the unique system of teaching Hebrew to the foreign-born that won the
admiration of linguists throughout the world.
His literary works embrace many areas including fifty books
covering textbooks for children and adults, children's literature, and
guidebooks for teachers.
Ephraim Oshry, noted Lithuanian rabbinical scholar, born in Kupiskis
in 1914, the son of Dov Ber “Berel” Oshry and Chaya Kagan, was the
leader for 50 years of the landmark synagogue Beth Hamedrash Hagadol, on
the Lower East Side of New York, and venerated among Orthodox Jews as a
sage of the Torah and author of a five-volume religious response to the
Holocaust, died on September 28, 2003 at the age of 89.
World War II, he was appointed by the Nazis as keeper of a warehouse of
Jewish books being stored for an exhibit of "artifacts of the
extinct Jewish race", but used the books to hold secret worship
services. His notes on the religious response to the Holocaust, written
in Hebrew on bits of paper, were buried and retrieved after the War and
eventually published in Hebrew in five volumes. One of the volumes,
published in English in 1989, won the National Jewish Book Award for
best book on the Holocaust and was entitled Responsa from the
Holocaust. It is not only of great religious, but historical
importance as well.
addition to these works, he is best known in English for his work The
Annihilation of Lithuanian Jewry, published in 1995, translated from
his Yiddish work Khurbn Lita. It details the end of the
Kovno Ghetto and records the fate of forty-seven other Jewish shtetls
including that of Kupiskis. This book is used as a primary source
by most Jewish family researchers. He was also interviewed by
Anschel Strauss whose Gafanowitz family came from Kupiskis about the minhagim
or tenets that Kupishokers followed in everyday life.
revered for the influence of his character on succeeding generations of
the congregation as much as for his scholarship. “He was known as a
Posek, a term bestowed on a man whom people can ask the difficult
questions of life,” said Victor B. Zybernagel, a member of
Congregation Beth Hamedrash Hagadol at
16 Norfolk St.
for thirty years.
studied with the great rabbis of the day. He was interned in a
concentration camp near
Lithuania, by the Nazi invaders during World War II. His first wife and
their children died in the camps before the end of the war. In
1949, he married Frieda Greenzwieg, a survivor of
, and they had three daughters and six sons.
He and his
and went to Rome
where the rabbi organized a yeshiva, Yeshiva Me’or HaGolah, for
orphaned refugee children. In 1950 he managed to bring all the
yeshiva students with him when he moved with his family to Montreal. They came to
in 1952 where he was invited to be the rabbi of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol,
a congregation founded in 1852.
several years Rabbi Oshry ran two yeshivas, one for boys and the other
for girls, in the
. He is also the patron of a yeshiva named after him in Monsey,
N.Y., Shaar Ephraim, run by son-in-law, Zelig Greenberg.
Rabbi Ephraim Oshry
Stanley Hillel Mayersohn
was born on
March 23, 1921, in Covington,
Kentucky. His parents, David Mayersohn and Bella Shavell, were both born in
and grew up in Kupiskis,
Lithuania. He was always proud of that legacy and devoted great energy to
determining the fate of the Jews of Kupishok during the Holocaust.
It is from that research that we know him best in the form of his
monograph Kupishok: The Memory Stronger, which details the
final solution during the Holocaust of his own family and that of many of
our own. The research led him to Israel
and the Kupishokers who were there and other Holocaust survivors elsewhere
and eventually inspired his son Michael to enter the rabbinate in memory
of his cousin Shmerl Tuber who was killed in Kupiskis in 1941. His
father’s interest also led Michael to visit Lithuania
on his own and to delve into the records of the shtetl.
Apart from his attachment to Kupishok, Stan's life revolved around his
commitment to family and community. He served in the military during
World War II and he married Betty Einhorn thereafter in 1946. They
had two sons, Harley and Michael. After several years in
Ohio, the family moved onto
California, and finally, to Scottsdale,
Stan devoted himself to the Jewish people and became a self-taught Jewish
scholar. His greatest achievement was creation of the Tzedakah Fund,
a Tzedakah collective that helped poor Jews in
Israel. He raised tens of thousands of dollars which was then sent to
small, underfunded organizations in Israel
that aided poor Jews. He believed fervently in the value of Ahavat
Yisrael, love of the Jewish people, and lived that value thoroughly.
He researched and wrote monographs, including his last, The Divinity of
Hope, which helped to raise funds for the Tzedakah Fund. He served
as the President of Temple Solel in
Arizona, as the treasurer of the Phoenix Jewish Federation and of Hillel, the
Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, serving Jewish students at Arizona
University. He passed away on
January 16, 2004, in Scottsdale,
- “How is your bright son, Nissela? May he live for long years in good
health and success.” Malka
Meyerowitz of Kupishok (written in a 1930’s Yiddish letter regarding
her grandson, Norman Meyer, whom she would never meet, as she along with
all the other members of the family in Kupishok were brutally murdered
Norman Meyer was born in
1932 in Cape Town, South Africa, the son of Kupishokers Shmuel-Iudel
"Sam" Meyerowitz and Sheine "Janie" Goldin. He
graduated from Rhodes University and in 1960, he married Beryl Tobias. Professionally, he was a
production manager in the shoe industry, a Jewish communal professional,
and a development director for Jewish Day Schools in
and then in
He passed away in December, 2004, leaving his wife, three married
children and seven grandchildren.
accomplishments in the Jewish world included involvement in the Habonim
Zionist Youth Movement and Machon Horef in the 1950’s. He was a
passionate Zionist with particular concern for Jewish education.
As a lay leader, he was instrumental in the establishment of the
Theodor Herzl School in Port Elizabeth, SA, as Bursar, he ensured the
fiscal health of the Herzlia School in Cape Town, SA, and, finally, as
the Director of Development, he was involved with the construction of
the second campus of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in
will be remembered for the honor and dignity he brought to the
Kupishokers who were murdered during the Holocaust.
He was a pioneer in bringing Kupishok (Kupiskis) back to
the forefront of our lives. A
family journey in 1997 set in motion a long process to honor the memory
of apparently nameless Jews murdered in June, 1941. Norman
’s mission culminated on July 13, 2004, along with 47 other
descendants from Kupiskis, with the dedication of a Wall of Memory in
what was once the Shul, now
the library, in
. The Wall of Memory created
an enduring legacy for 824 people who were killed in the Holocaust by
restoring their names for posterity.
epitomized what it was to live up to a good name, a challenge that was
his beacon of principle.
was born in 1916 in Kupiskis and worked as a nursemaid in the household
of Beno-Leizer Meyerowitz and his wife Base-Dveira Rabinowitz.
Although a non-Jew, she learned to sing Yiddish lullabyes. In this
photo, she is doing just that with Robin Esrock during his visit to
Kupiskis in October, 2007. Veronika passed away
November 14, 2007, one of the last of the memory-keepers of the Jewish
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