נרבקה | נארעווקע
This website is
dedicated to the study of Jewish family
history in the town of Narewka, now in Poland, but formerly in
the Grodno Gubernia of the Russian Empire, and to the memory of
its Jewish community. Today, those with
ancestors from Narewka live in many
locations throughout the world, including
Argentina, Australia, Canada, England,
Ireland, Israel, Mexico, and the United
located in northeastern Poland near the
Belarus border; it is situated by the Narewka
River, a tributary of the Narew
River, and the Białowieża Forest.
WWI, Narewka was in the Prużany
District, Grodno Gubernia, Russia. After
WWI and before WWII, Narewka was in the Bielsk
Podlaski District, Bialystok Region,
Poland. Today the village is the seat
Narewka, a rural administrative district
Hajnowski (Hajnówka County), Podlaskie
Poland, 52°50' N
23°45' E, near the east border with
- Other Names:
Narewka, Narewka Mała
[Pol], Narevka [Rus], Narevke, Narefke [Yid],
- Nearest Large
- 40 miles SE of Białystok; Bielsk
- 28 miles E of Bielsk Podlaski
NAREWKA - NOT TO
BE CONFUSED WITH NAREW!
In Memory of
1929 - 12 January 2013)
Narewka, moved to Krakow
with his family when he was nine years old.
Leon Leyson's 1995 Shoah Foundation testimony,
about his early life in Narewka, his family,
his experiences during the Holocaust and
how he was saved by Oskar Schindler.
Go to the USC Shoah Foundation Visual
History Archive Online.
You need to register online and then
search by the Leyson name or interview code
Holocaust Survivor on Schindler's List
Survivor remembered as educator
Leyson, The Schindler Story
Survivor Leon Leyson Tells His Story
Leyson: A Child on Schindler's List
Leyson - Schindler's List
A memoir by Leon Leyson,
completed before his death,
published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
"A posthumous Holocaust memoir from the youngest
person on Oskar Schindler’s list ...
Leyson's narrative opens with glowing but not
falsely idyllic childhood memories
of growing up surrounded by friends and relatives
in the Polish village of Narewka
and then the less intimate but still, to him,
marvelous city of Krakow."
From "The Children's War: A Guide to Books
for Young Readers about World War II ..."
of The Boy on the Wooden Box and link to YouTube
video with Leon Leyson talking about
Oskar Schindler and his life under the Nazis.
In memory of Ida Sarah Schwartz, nee
born in Narewka on 24 March 1919,
died in Teaneck, New Jersey, on 27 January
Her parents were David
Linevsky and Tillie Ain,
photograph from Narewka
can be seen on this website.
They emigrated to New York in 1920.
Ida was named after her grandmother, Chaya
(Thanks to William Schwartz, son of Ida.)
Memory of Moshe Birenbaum
(13 November 1918, Narewka - 24 February 2011)
In memory of Libby (Luba)
born in Narewka in 1915 and
died in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on 14 August
In 1920 she immigrated to Chicago with her
Mollie (Malka, née Linkowski) and Samuel
See her obituary
Birenbaum, principal of the Adar
in Zichron Yaacov, Israel,
standing before the
newly erected marker commemorating the site of the
destroyed synagogue in Narewka,
to the ceremony held 28 February 2019 to
the commemorative plaque to honor and
synagogue in Narewka and its
planned by the primary school, mayor and
community in Narewka
and the Adar School and
Family from Israel.
Kestenbaum at memorial to the Jewish
victims at the
site of the mass grave in Zabłotczyzna, taken
after riding bicycles
with Kasia and Aniela Bielawska from the
in Narewka, during her
visit to Narewka in August 2018.
Kestenbaum taking a walk in Narewka on 4
during her second trip to Narewka,
having first visited the town
of her grandfather's birth in August of
Bielawska and Joy Kestenbaum at Jewish
cemetery in Narewka,
after locating gravestone of
with Kasia Bielawska, 4
Weremiuk, Krzysztof Myśko
and Kasia Bielawska at Bojarski Gościniec
in Narewka, 3 August 2018
Kestenbaum at Jewish Cemetery in
Narewka, 3 August 2018,
visiting with Paulah Weremiuk and
Weremiuk, Joy Kestenbaum and Kasia
at Bojarski Gościniec in
Narewka, 3 August 2018
route from Bialystok to Narewka on 3
Joy Kestenbaum with Paulah Weremiuk and
Kestenbaum meeting Adi and Zvika
Birenbaum in New York
in July 2018, discussing our past and
future trips to Narewka.
cousins Ephraim Epstein and Barbara
for the first time at Ben's Deli in New
York City in June 2018.
Their grandfathers, respectively, Yaacov
and Moshe Shapiro,
were brothers. Ephraim, born in Narewka,
to Mandate Palestine with his parents
and older brother.
Barbara's parents emigrated to Brooklyn,
where Barbara was born.
cousins Barbara Kotin, nee Shapiro, and
along with his wife Rhonda and Joy
Kestenbaum meeting at
Ben's Deli in June 2018. Barbara's
father Sol Shapiro and
Ephraim's mother Devora Shapiro were
Family Reunion, Jerusalem, February
2017, descendants of
Gedalia Edelman, Julius Edelman and Teme
Leia Rathaus, nee Edelman:
Back left: Shai and Galia Gilad,
daughter Adi, Tamar Leah Maytal, Alec
Gilad, Ron and Lisa Lavin, Eric Lavin,
Avital Miriam and her father Joseph
Bottom row: Neriya Gottstein and his
mother Tamara Edell-Gottstein, Rolinda
Schonwald, Yair Gurfinkle and his wife
Ricki and their son Moshe.
Click on photo for enlarged image.
Kotin, David Barton and Joy Kestenbaum
at the Ukrainian East Village Restaurant
in New York City, 1 June
having met there exactly five years ago.
Barbara, whose parents were both from
Narewka, visited there two years ago, in
June 2015; David, whose father
came from Narewka, visited in 2009; and
Joy, whose grandfather
was from Narewka, visited in August
Altman in Narewka, the birthplace of his
father, in June 2016.
He spent a few hours there, while
participating in the
Eastern Europe Roots and Rebirth trip to
and Poland, organized by
YIVO and the Forward.
Kotin, Ken Altman and Joy Kestenbaum
at the Ukrainian East Village
Restaurant in New York,
August 2016, to talk
about Ken's recent trip to Lithuania and
Poland and his visit to Narewka.
Ken visited in June 2016, Barbara in
June 2015, and Joy in August 2010.
Kotin at the memorial to the Jewish
victims of Narewka
at the site of the mass grave in Zabłotczyzna (June 2015),
where several of her maternal and
members were murdered.
Altman and Barbara Kotin looking at
photographs from Narewka in
New York (August 2016). Ken recently
visited in June; Barbara went last year.
Edell-Gottstein at the Narewka Public
Library/Narewka Municipal Cultural
Center in August 2015 with Blanka,
Victor and Katarzyna
(Kasia) Bielawska, reviewing
information on Tamara's Edelman family.
Edell-Gottstein and Blanka visiting
Narewka in August 2015.
The family of Tamara's great-grandmother
Teme Leia Edelman, after whom Tamara was
named, was from Narewka.
and his family at the gravestone of his
great-grandfather Yehuda Aydel in
Narewka in July 2015.
and his family at the memorial at the
site of the
mass grave where the Jews of Narewka
Kotin in Narewka, the birthplace of her
parents, in June 2015.
visiting Narewka, the birthplace of his
father, with his wife Shlomit, his sons
Omer and Orel and his daughter Shachar,
the weekend of 24-26 July 2015.
It was Israel's third visit to Narewka
and his family's first.
at the gravestone of her grandmother
for whom she was named, during
her June 2015 visit to Narewka.
of Yaacov Dov
Edelman, taken in August 2015 by
Tamara Edell Gottstein, during her
recent visit to Narewka. Yaacov Dov was
a brother of her great-grandmother Teme
Leia, after whom Tamara was named.
David Ziants and Joy Kestenbaum
(second cousins once removed),
meeting for the first time in Jerusalem
during the 35th IAJGS International
Conference on Jewish Genealogy, July
of inscriptions of the destroyed Jewish
communities in the Bialystok region
taken during Joy Kestenbaum's visit to
Valley of the Communities, Yad Vashem,
during 35th IAJGS International
Conference on Jewish Genealogy, July
2015. Narewka is the third from the
bottom. © 2015
||Barbara Kotin, Rivka
Witenberg and Joy Kestenbaum meeting for
lunch at Cafe Mogador in New York City,
May 2015. Barbara was planning her first
trip to Narewka; her parents and Rivka's
father were from Narewka, the birthplace
of Joy's grandfather. Rivka was visiting
Shulsky Orenstein, Joy Kestenbaum and
David Rosen in Boston at the 33rd IAJGS
on Jewish Genealogy, August 2013.
Lauren's great-grandfather, Joy's
grandfather and David's father were from
Altman, Joy Kestenbaum, Barbara Kotin
and Rivka Witenberg at luncheon
gathering at the Ukrainian East Village
Restaurant in New York,
November 2013. Ken's father, Barbara's
parents, Rivka's father were from
Kaplan with her mother Asnat, sister
Avivi and brother Tal with Aniela and Katarzyna
(Kasia) Bielawska at Bojarski Gościniec
in Narewka, August 2013. Netta's
paternal grandparents were from Narewka.
and Israel Birenbaum
at the gravestone of their
great-grandfather in the Jewish cemetery
(Kirkut) during their May 2011 visit to
Narewka; Israel couldn't find it when he
had been there ten years earlier with
his father Moshe, who was born in
Narewka and died only two months before
Zvika's and Israel's visit. On this trip
Zvika brought Israeli students from the
high school where he is the principal.
He returned with students in April 2013.
(Chris) Malczewski and Katarzyna (Kasia)
at the Jewish cemetery (Kirkut), taken
by Joy Kestenbaum
during her trip to Narewka in August
Kestenbaum at memorial to the Jewish
victims from Narewka at the site of the
mass grave in
Zabłotczyzna, taken during her visit to
Narewka in August 2010. Among those
murdered on 15 August 1941 by a German
were her grandfather's
siblings and their families.
(Chris) Malczewski, Katarzyna (Kasia)
and friend at the
Narewka Public Library/Narewka Municipal
Cultural Center, taken by Joy Kestenbaum
during her trip to Narewka in August
Kestenbaum in Narewka in August 2010
standing with local resident
on Mickiewicza Street, formerly
Pruzhanskaia, the street
where her ancestors and grandfather's
family had lived.
Barton during his 2009 visit to Narewka,
of his father and home to his ancestors.
Click on image
to see film by Tomasz Wisniewski of
Barton at the memorial
to the Jewish victims of the Nazis
from Narewka, the site of the mass grave
taken during his 2009 visit to Narewka.
Photographs © Joy Kestenbaum 2010
I was inspired to
create these ShtetLinks pages after I returned
from my trip to Poland in August of 2010. The pages are
dedicated to my grandparents, Benjamin and
Selina Freedman, both of whom were members of
the Narevker Untershtitsungs Verein in New York,
and, especially, to my grandfather, who was born
in Narewka, and to the memory of all of those
who perished, among whom were my grandfather's
siblings and their families. My extended family
is living in Argentina, England, Ireland,
Israel, and at least eight states in the United
States. I was named after my great-grandmother
Chaya, the wife of Shepsel, from whom we are all
Chaya Faigel Frydman, c.
Please contact Joy
Kestenbaum for comments or
Compiled by Joy
December 2010 - Last updated August 2020
Copyright © 2010-2020
You are visitor #
Thanks to Katarzyna (Kasia)
Bielawska, whom I met in Narewka. She has
generously shared information about Narewka and
its residents with some specific references to
my Frydman family and her grandfather's friend
Shepsel, who, most likely, was my relative. She
also accompanied me to the Jewish cemetery and
the site of mass murder in 2010 and 2018, the
latter with her sister Aniela; we all rode
bicycles from the cemetery to the site of the
mass grave; Krzysztof (Chris) Malczewski, who
visited Narewka with me in 2010; Paulah Weremiuk
who brought me to Narewka from Bialystok and
accompanied me to the Jewish cemetery in 2018; Tomasz (Tomek)
Wisniewski, Lucja (Lucy) Lisowska, Dorota Michaluk, Mark Heckman, Jose
Gutstein, Irit Gafni-Pinchovski, Leo Greenbaum,
Yale J. Reisner, Anna Przybyszewska
Drozd, Steven Lasky, Mira Łuksza; David Feldman, David
Barton, Barbara Kotin, Batya Dashefsky, David
Rosen, Jacque Caplan, Marc Caplan, Lauren
Shulsky Orentein, Chaya Pressburger, Phillip
Schreibman, Martin Jacobs, Donna Dubinsky, Tsipi
Nimrod, Israel and Zvika Birenbaum, Barry Cohen,
Barry Traub, Elmer Shapiro, William Schwartz,
Rivka Witenberg, Netta Kaplan, Shay Fogelman,
Tamara Edell Gottstein, David Marrus, Ken
Altman, Zach Just, David Pollock, Ephraim
Epstein, Lisa Copeland and others descended from
families from Narewka and nearby villages; Leon
Leyson, who provided me with some of his
childhood memories, including those of my
grandfather's siblings in Narewka; members of my
extended family, David Ziants, Rachel
Hinterstein, and Marilyn Taylor, and especially
my mother and aunt, the late Rae Kestenbaum and
Mona Brockman. The JewishGen Family Finder has
helped to connect those with an interest in
Narewka, as did Dan Jacob's email discussion
group that started in the late 1990s.
and documents on the Narewka JewishGen
ShtetLinks website may not be copied or used in
any form without permission of the contributor,
owner and/or copyright holder of the image. They
are the property of the person or the
institution that has given permission for their
publication exclusively on this website.
This site is hosted at no cost by JewishGen,
Inc., the Home of Jewish Genealogy. If you
have been aided in your research by this site
and wish to further our mission of preserving
our history for future generations, your JewishGen-erosity
is greatly appreciated.
Miss - Important Audio-Video files
on the Narewka ShtetLink Pages:
Song written by Zvika Birenbaum, Principal of Adar
together with his students, soon after their visit to
Narewka in May 2011
Leon Leyson Tells His Story - 2010 Lecture at the Asper
School of Business, University of Manitoba
To Complete the Circle -
Documentary about David Barton's 2009 visit to Narewka
Snila me sie Hana
(I Dreamed of Hana) - 1999
Award-winning Polish documentary filmed in Narewka
with interviews with Slavic Orthodox residents who
reminisce about their former Jewish neighbors
Dashefsky's 1997 Ellis Island Oral History