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The Mazheik Hebrew School

Material found at the YIVO Archives in New York has been copied, scanned and sent to us by a Lithuanian descendent, Bruce Cohen. Mr. Cohen's maternal grandfather, Yitzchok Rubinstein was a resident of the town Akmene, very close to Mazheik, and taught at the children's Yeshiva of Mazheik, after he himself had studied at the Yeshiva of Telz and received Smicha, (probably) from the Yeshiva of Zagare. Though Yitzchok Rubinstein may never have actually lived in Mazheik, he was very active in Jewish life in the Shtetl. From the documents his grandson Bruce Cohen sent to us, it appears that he functioned as "mazkir" (secretary) at Community Council meetings (Va'ad HaKehila) and as chairman of the Zionist Union of Mazheik. Yitzchok Rubinstein was also "Menahel" (Principal) of the "Bais Hasefer Haamami Haivri BeMazeik" (Mazheik Hebrew School). Mr. Cohen has written that his grandfather was instrumental in starting the school. It is possible that the school (picture under  Education and Culture, taken in 1930), had expanded by that time, and that some of the elementary pupils in the 1921 picture below were high school ('Pro-gymnasium') students at the same school in 1930.

Below is a class picture taken in August 1921. Yitzchok Rubinstein is on the far right of the four teachers seated in the center. The identity of the others is not known.

(click to enlarge)

The documents below, in Hebrew, (YIVO doc. nrs. 24243 and 24253)  bear the signature of Yitzchok Rubinstein, chairman of the school's Committee of Teachers. The translation into English of the former doc., by co-Webmaster Ilan Ganot, appears under the sub-rubric Education and Culture. The latter document is a receipt for an amount received.

The picture below has an inscription relating to The Mazheik Hebrew School, 1922. Yitzchok Rubinstein is seated left. The other two are probably teachers, whose identity is not known.

Though it cannot be stated with certainty, it is probable that the two photo's below are of teachers and/or others, associated with the school. All three of the faces in the photo above with inscription, including that of Yitzchok Rubinstein, appear in the following two.



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Compiled by Raymond Ravinsky
Updated: March, 2009
Copyright © 2009 Raymond Ravinsky

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