Youth Groups in Kupiskis

Ze'Irei Zion Group 

The Ze'irei Zion (Youth of Zion) was an independently run youth organization which was founded in the early years of the 20th Century in Galicia and was rooted in the tenets of Zionism, Jewish History and Socialist thought. The members focused on learning Hebrew and Arabic and other skills that could be used to settle successfully in Palestine. In 1913, the group Hashomer (The Guard) and Ze'irei Zion merged in Vienna to form Hashomer Hatzair (The Young Guard).

In Kupiskis, the Ze-irei Zion is shown first in a group photograph and then in another featuring those members who took the Hebrew evening course. The information is taken from piece written up in a series on shtetlach in "der heim" which appeared in the February 6, 1953 issue of the South African newspaper "Der Yiddisher Africaner Zeitung". The copy of the piece and the translation from the Yiddish was provided through the generosity of Shirley Abramowitz Epstein.


A Group from the Ze'irei Zion     (Photo on the Left)

Bottom Row, Seated, Left to Right: Liba Yolovitch, Yaacov Hoffman (Teacher at the Folkshul), Shimon Ash, Tzi Gefen, Avraham Gafanovich.

Middle Row, Standing, Left to Right: Yaacov Hoffman, Samson Gordon (brother of Wita Gordon) Gershon Gershuny, Wita Gordon, Rochel Munitz.

Top Row, Standing, Left to Right: Sarah Tabatchnick (lives in Israel), Basia Kagan, Chana Wiener, Ida Kagan.

A Group of Students From Ze'irei Zion Taking Evening Courses in Hebrew       (Photo on Right)

Bottom Row, Seated, Left to Right: Tzippa Fineberg, Wita Gordon, Shimon Ash (lives in Israel), Ida Kagan (was killed, sister of Basia Kagan Horvitz, Johannesburg), Chana Wiener (lives in Israel).

Top Row, Standing, Left to Right: Rochel Munitz (lives in Cape Town as reported to us), Liba Yolovitch, Rochel Levenstein, Chaya Leah Fievelsohn (Rebbitzen of Kupishok), Breina Meyerovitch, Basia Kagan (now Basia Horvitz).



 Hashomer Hatzair

The photograph above was taken in at what looks like a Hashomer Hatzair Camp in Kupiskis.  Hashomer Hatzair was acknowledged as the first Zionist Youth Group in the world, formed just prior to World War I in Poland.  It had a scouting orientation, but moved to strongly support a leftist program.  They were the first pioneering group to adopt "communal settlement on the land" in Israel.
The date and exact location of  the photograph is not known at the present time.  In addition, none of the individuals in the photograph have been identified as yet. 
(Contributed by Julian Peerutin in memory of his mother, Zelda Levin, and her family)

He-Chaluts Movement

This was a young pioneer movement which sought to train young people for an agricultural life, to prepare them for life in Palestine on the kibbutz.

Members of the He - Chaluts movement from the pioneering training commune (kibbutz hachshara) in Kupiskis, beside a stack of harvested sheaves in a grain field.  Gershon Tatz (reclining, on the left). Photographed in 1934.

Photo from the Archive of the Ghetto Fighters House, Israel)

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