Photos and Documents

Detail of Wedding
(Detail) Photo of Narewka Wedding -  1918 -  Courtesy of Batya Dashefsky
Szyfra (Shifra), nee Rubinstein, as a young girl, was identified by her son Phillip Schreibman in the 1918 photograph of a wedding in Narewka (see below). He wrote, "I believe I see in it my Mother as a little girl, as well as her sister, Pearl.... I ...  asked [my sister] if she could see our Mother in it. She picked out the same little girl without my prompting. You can imagine my excitement because we have never had any photos of my Mother as a little girl. She is the little girl with the big white collar [at right in photo above], just to the left of the hat on the groom (the tallest man in white shirt and dark tuxedo jacket ...) in the centre. And to the left of my Mother, past two faces in between, in a dark dress and collar with white trim, stands her older sister, my Aunt Pearl." (2 March 2011)
Wedding in Narewka
Narewka Wedding
Courtesy of Batya Dashefsky

Phillip Schreibman also recognized his mother Shyfra in the back row, second woman from the left (directly under the word "House")
in a photograph of members of the He-Chaluts ha-Tsa'ir youth movement branch in Narewka in 1930.
 Other photographs can be viewed on the Narewka KehilaLinks page, Images of Narewka: Past & Present

Courtesy of The Ghetto Fighters' Museum, Israel/The Photo Archive

Another photograph shows Shyfra and her mother Rywka with others.
Shyfra is standing third from the right; Rywka is seated just to Shyfra's right.
The Pass/ID of Rywka's father Benjamin Rubinstein from 1917, when Narewka was under German
Occupation during World War I, can be seen here.
Shyfra & Rifka
Courtesy of Phillip Schreibman

Phillip Schreibman has contributed the following 1935 certificate,
written in Polish in Narewka just before his mother emigrated to Canada.

Courtesy of Phillip Schreibman
Relationship: mother
1935 Certifcate


CERTIFICATE (Zaświadczenie)
attesting that Szyfra (Shifra) Rybinsztejn, daughter of Benjamin & Rywki,
was born in Narewka
and was single and had never been married -
28 October 1935
signed by Rabbi A. Grajewski
Rabin Gminy Wyzyznaniowej żydowskiej
Rabbi Jewish Religious Community
Narewka, pow. Bielsk Podl.

Szyfra Rubinsztain departed from Gdynia, Poland on the S.S. Pilsudski on 30 November 1935
and arrived in New York on 10 December 1935, in transit to Canada.

Shyfra's Voyage to New

She gave the name of her mother, Rywka, in Narewka (Bielsk Podlaski) as her nearest relative in the country from whence she came and
her brother-in-law Harry Cohen in Toronto as the relative she was going to join.

Shyfra's voyage to Canada
        via New York

On 11 December she crossed  the border from the United States to Canada at the Port of St. Armand, Quebec.

Shyfra Crossing the

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Copyright 2011 Joy Kestenbaum
  3 March 2011; 27 December 2014