Kupiskis Descendants


Kupiskis Descendants Reunion, Israel 1960

Click here to a larger copy and the names of some of the participants



Kupiskis Descendants Reunion, South Africa 1997

Meeting of Kupishokers and their descendants, Cape Town, SA, November, 1997. Ann Rabinowitz pictured with individuals who were all born in Kupiskis.

Here is the list of people who attended the Cape Town Kupiskis meeting in 1997:

Betty Abramowitz 
Abe Barron (Barron/Sachar)
Hessie Barron Isaacs (Barron/Sachar)
Eve Berg (Kaplan)
Percy Berger (Choritz)
Zelda Braude (Gafanowitz/Goldin)
Shulamit Choritz Lakier
Charlotte Cohen (Kaplan)
Michelle Fendel (Jacobs)
Ronnie Fendel (Sachar)
Blanche Glanger  
Helen Glass Katz  (Meyerowitz)
Mickey Glass (Meyerowitz)
Lily Kahn (Kagan)
Miriam Katz (Kling)

Bernice Kling (Kaplan/Kling/Gafanowitz)
Jane Lipshitz (Furmanovsky)
Fay Meyer Berghaus  (Meyerowitz)
Leon Movsowitz
Debby Myers (Levin/Jaffe)
Eddy Oblowitz (Furman/Cohen)
Don Ozinsky (Levin/Jaffe)
Mary Ozinsky (Levin/Jaffe)
Heidi Reingold (Cadovich/Sadowitz /Zadekowitz)
Hilda Sachar Geffin
Ida Sachar Schaverein
Jacky Sachar  
Rosa Sachar Kolevson
Mary Solomon (Levin/Jaffe)


Read the description of this landsman meeting that appeared first in the Cape Jewish Chronicle and then the South African SIG newletter

The Kupishok (Kupiskis) - Cape Town Connection

South African SIG Newsletter, Vol 2, Issue 1, March 2001; (from an article in the Cape Jewish Chronicle, December 1997)

Kupishok, or in the Lithuanian, Kupiskis, was one of the many thousands of small shtetlach in "der Heim" which was set in a cluster of small villages, in the near vicinity of Ponevez. The first erosion of this community, which in 1923 numbered 1444 people (over 50% of the population), began in the early decades of the 20th century with a steady stream of departures of families to "goldene medina" in search of better lives. Most of those left behind, who were still living in May 1941 when the Germans began their savage path of slaughter through Lithuania, were murdered by local Lithuanians.

In Cape Town in the early 1930's, the Kupishok Benevolent Society was established under its first chairman, Velva Sachar. An ebullient Percy Berger clearly recalled those days - how they collected 2/16d a year from each of the 45 - 50 members which they used to make up parcels of clothing and material to send home via an agent in London. Lily Marcus, who was secretary from the late 1930's also has vivid memories. Bom in Kupishok, she came to South Africa when she was 3 years old, living in Hopefield for 12 years and then in Cape Town. While Lily was a little young, Percy has clear memories of his shtetl as he was near Bar mitzvah age when he came to South Africa with his mother and sisters to join his father and brothers at the end of 1929.

Ann Rabinowitz of Miami, U.S.A. arrived in Cape Town in November 1997, and brought about a gathering of some 30 enthusiastic Kupishikers, "native" born or descendants, at the home of Charles and Debby Myers in Sea Point

In 1980, Ann explained, at the behest of her father, she began to seek out family in South Africa. In the course of this, she realized she could help others who were trying to find their roots. The demise of the former Soviet Union meant that previously unavailable records were now accessible.

Now, 20 years on, Ann has accumulated and computerised an enormous amount of material pertaining to Kupishok, as well as other Shtetlach, and she formed the Kupishok Special Interest Group.

A lively crowd of former Kupishok people, namely families Jacobs, Kaplan, Sachar, Barron, Sadowitz, Berger, Kagan, Kling, Reznik, Choritz, Jaffe, Mofsowitz, and Levin were present and gave family information, which many recognized with approval. Percy Berger, seemed to know most of the families, as in fact, did Ann herself. Betty Abramowitz surprisingly asked Ann if "you are telling me that we are related". Everyone was amazed at the lists of names, birth and death registers, video material and computerised information. Collaborating with the Kaplan Centre, she was using sources to augment her Kupishok and Lithuanian database during her Cape Town stay.

Ann mentioned they were also working on naturalization lists and records from the Jewish Shelter in London giving names and details of ships and sailings of all those who used the Shelter when they stopped over in London on their way to South Africa.

It was also advised at this meeting, that findings at the University of Cape Tom Medical School noted that in descendants of Kupishok there was a noticeably greater than normal incidence of the specifically Jewish genetic Tay-Sachs disease (brought on, it was thought, because of the high incidence of inter-marriage within the shtetl community)

The interest level in families and their Lithuanian backgrounds soared that evening as Ann explained that the need to know everything about one's origins is becoming increasingly important. There is no doubt that Ann Rabinowitz, from Miami, whose father originally settled in the Cape, before moving out of South Africa, did a great deal that night in November when she introduced her Kupishok (Kupiskis) information to the Cape Town Jewish Community.

Kupiskis Descendants Reunion, Toronto 2002

The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of  Kupiskis residents met at a Kupiskis SIG meeting at the 22nd International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Toronto, Ontario in August, 2002. We shared stories, exchanged information, and got to know one another a little.  No doubt our ancestors were neighbors and friends.

L to r;  Linda Cantor, Monica Leonards z'l, Gary Gershfield, and Michael Pertain


  L to r:  Michael Pertain, Linda Cantor, Joseph Winston

Kupiskis Descendants Reunion, London, 2004

L. to r.: Dina Serra; ?; ?; Kenneth Sachar, Cassy Sachar

Kupiskis Descendants Reunion, Israel, August 16. 2004

[Reunion of the Daughters of the Daughters of Kupiskis group that were born after World War II, to the first generation which settled in Israel from Kupiskis]


(Photo from Zipora Peer and Chana Eidelman)

Photo taken at Sara Oren's Home At Moshav Ein Vered (Daughter of Chava Gafenawitz/Gafni-Hirshberg)

Front, L to R: Chana Finkelstein (daughter of Ben Lion Gafenowitz/Gafni); Sima Ruzon (daughter of Chasia Gafenowitz-Lipshitz); Sara Orens (daughter of Chava Gafenowitz/Gafni-Hirschberg); Alec Meyer; Chana Eidelman (was a Gulis and granddaughter of Feiga Gafenowitz married to Rifkin who lived in Panevezys)

Back, L to R: Chana Moller/Muller (daughter of Shlomo Kodesh, who was a teacher and wrote many books); Dr. Mervyn Shapiro; Chava Vzelet Lorberbaum; Yehuda Zalk (mother was a Karpuch); Illiana Mautner (sister of Sima Ruzon, daughter of Chasia Gafenowitz-Lipshitz); Zipora Peer Zuk (her mother was a Kessel); Ofra Burda (daughter of Chana Eidelman)


Kupiskis Descendants Reunion, Cape Town Holocaust Centre, Cape Town, SA, Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Photo courtesy of Helen Katz

Kupiskis Descendants Reunion, New York IAJGS Conference, Summer 2006

Front Row L to R: Richard Courant, Sara Courant, Gary Gershman, Margie Segall

Back Row L to R: Robinn Magid, Harvey Scherzer, Ellen Stepak, Zvi Stepak, Avrum Geller z'l, Ann Rabinowitz, Linda Cantor

Back to Main Album
Back to Main Page