The first place you want to go to read about Stavishters is the Stavisht Yizkor Book - English which was penned by Stavishters who had immigrated to both Canada and New York in the early 1900s. The book recounts everyday life in Stavisht, describes detailed accounts of mistreatment by authorities and the terrifying pogroms, and recalls a number of special personalities. You might like to take a look at the original Yiddish/Hebrew version held by the New York Public Library. Additional personal stories and remembrances can be read by selecting the links below:

Family Memories

The tales below recount the memories of several Stavishters, or those of children and grandchildren of Stavishters, and tell the stories of survival, emigration, special memories and more.

Elka Caplan - Visiting Stavishche with Mom

Rose Mayers - Childhood Memories: Strolling with Siblings to Traveling Light

Bernard Sanders - A Brief Memoir

Karen Sanders - My Family from Stavisht

Ida Selavan Schwarcz - Stavishtshe Story: Megillat Esther

Jerry Silvers - Cause and Effect: A True Story

Max Trachtman - Mother's Father: A Special Man

Beyond the Pale

In an August 2009 blog post on the site of Poetica Magazine, June Brott imagines the life and trying times of a grandmother she never met. A haunting read.

Island of Hope - Island of Tears

This isn't something to read, but rather something to watch. Narrated by Gene Hackman, this award winning 1989 documentary film, Island of Hope - Island of Tears tells the story of the immigrant experience during the largest migration in history, spanning the years 1890 to 1920. Beginning with photos and film from the old country to the horrible ocean voyage to the processing at Ellis Island, this is a film to view and share. Directed by Charles Guggenheim and presented by the National Park Service the video runs about 28 minutes.

It Began with Zade Usher

This book, written by Yaffa Draznin and published in 1972, tells the story of the Bernstein-Loyev and Lewis-Mazur families, many of whom celebrated life events in Stavisht. As the family story unfolds, the author provides background into the historical events of the day and within the area. This link takes you to the book's page on Once you register (free) with Open Library you can then "borrow" the book and read it online.

The Roots People

A daughter of a Stavishter goes back to the old country to discover her mother's roots. The 1994 article by Martha Weinman Lear was published in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, July 31, 1994. Read it online.

Torah crown

The Torah Crown

Author Lisa Brahin Weinblatt describes her search for the Torah crown that once adorned a Torah held by a Stavisht synagogue. Through research for a book she had learned the crown was saved by Stavisht Rabbi Yitzhak Avraham Gaisinsky as the synagogue was engulfed in flames during a pogrom in 1920. The article Synagogue Treasure From the Old Country Takes Long Way to New Home in America describes how she discovered the crown in New Jersey. The article was published in the New Jersey Jewish News on June 14, 2005, and is used with permission. Another article Local Genealogist Tracks Down Torah Crown, by Ben Harris, also relates this remarkable story of discovery in the Boston Jewish Journal of 7 October 2004. The photo was submitted by Max Gaisinsky Zaslawsky.