(Orensztejn)Orenstein-(Blum)Bloom, Genealogy Wyszków-Warsawa Poland & US

(Orensztejn) Orenstein-(Blum) Bloom, Genealogy Wyszków-Warszawa Poland & US.

This page is dedicated to the memory of my dear father, Jack, and mother, Clara (born in Saroca [Soroki], Romania [now Moldova], on the Dniester River).

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My father, Jack ORENSTEIN, was born in Wyszków (on the Bug River), located northeast of Warszawa, Poland in January, 1914. Sixteen years later, he emigrated to the United States to join the rest of his immediate family, the bulk of whom arrived in 1929.{Beila and Children Passport}The eldest of seven children, Dad was raised in an orthodox Jewish home located at 13 Rynek (the "market") and studied in various yeshivos in Wyszków and Warszawa, prior to studying briefly at Torah V'Daas in Brooklyn, NY. He had an excellent mind for many things including, of course, Gemara (Talmud).{Dad and siblings in backyard photo}

His father (my Zeydeh), Szymcha Bunem, who was born in Serock (pronounced Serotsk), operated a piece goods business in the front of the house. He came to the US in 1928 and served as a rabbi for Pride of the Brotherhood of the People of Serotzk (Tiferas Achim Anshe Serock) located at 237 Rivington Street, in New York City. Dad's grandfather, Yitzhak Aaron,{Photo of Yitzhak Aaron} who was married to Sarah Zlata PIENIEK, whose family came to the US in the 1940s, possibly by way of Belgium) and great grandfather, Yaakov, for whom Dad is named, may have been born near Pultusk. My Zeydeh had 4 older brothers: Yankiel David (who married Malka LICHTENSTEIN from Nasielsk), Abram Mendel (who died at a very young age), Chaim Eliezer (who married Perla JONISZ), and Chiel Meier (who married Chana Sura KORNET); he had one older sister, Estera Malka, and a younger sister, Frejda Chjevet (who lived with her husband and 3 children in Warszawa). All of Dad's uncles and aunts, their spouses, and families died in the Holocaust except Chiel Meier and his family, who emigrated to the United States.

BLUM (BLOOM) Family:

Dad's mother, Beila (nee Blum; my Bubbeh) came from a large family. Her relatives lived nearby and ran a number of businesses including a restaurant. {For information about Wyszków listings in the 1929 Polish Business Directory} Click here Her father (my great grandfather), Fishel (Fiszel in Polish) BLUM (BLOOM), the restaurant owner, died at the young age of 60 in the US in 1934. It is believed that he was a flutist in the "czar's" army ca 1890, but this has not been verified. He was a member of the 95th Krasnoyarsk Infantry Regiment. This was the third regiment (out of four) in the 24th Infantry Division. (N.B. The uniform consisted of a yellow "24" on light blue shoulder straps. As a third regiment in a division, the 95th had white color patches and a white cap band.) {Fishel Bloom in uniform} His death certificate indicates that he was a "candy peddler;" and, according to his US naturalization papers, {Fishel Bloom Petition} he was born in London, England in 1874. After many years of searching, his official British birth certificate shows that his parents registered him under the name of Harris BLUM, {Fishel Bloom Birth}in the Whitechapel area of east London. My father, and a few of his sisters, told me that Fishel taught them rudimentary English language and reading skills, which may have eased their transition to life in America. In the 1930s, at the Educational Alliance located on New York's Lower East Side, he taught immigrants how to pass the citizenship test. Apparently, he wrote a booklet that served as a study guide for such a test. A decade earlier (1921) and about a year after his son, Jack, arrived in the states, Fishel sailed with his wife, Ida (nee Chaja Perla HOLAND,whom I remember calling, Bubbeh Pearl), and their remaining children, Sidney, Gertie, Fanny, Abe, Sam, and Ruby to New York. Fishel's father, Joseph, {Photo of Joseph Blum} who may have been the first person to operate the restaurant in Wyszków, died in 1919. It seems that the restaurant had a carbonation (seltzer) machine in the basement. Unfortunately, one day there was a terrible, fatal explosion. Fishel's mother was Yetta ASTROVYA (OSTROWIAK), {Photo of Yetta} and her last name, a curiosity, was derived most likely from the fact that there was a town nearby called "Ostrow Mazowiecka" and a street in Wyszków by that name as well. Fishel had a number of brothers and sisters. The eldest, Samuel H. was born in 1871 in London, and left there for the US in 1886. He eventually ended up in Danbury, CT, where he was a custom tailor of men's clothing. Samuel was naturalized in 1893; he married Sarah ROSENTHAL, and had a son, Charles, born in 1895. Charles died in 1912 from a neuromuscular disorder, while Sarah, who suffered from Bright's Disease, died 2 years later. Samuel married a second time in 1922 and he and his wife, Fannie, had two sons, Joseph and Bernard. Other siblings included a sister, Leah, and, a brother, Chaim, who, with his wife Necha, had a restaurant (jadlodajne) in Warszawa located at 26 Franciszkanska, near the main train terminal. Chaim and his family perished in the Holocaust. The youngest siblings were Rachel (born 1887) and Moshe (Morris; born 1892) in Wyszków. Rachel married Moshe RUBINOWITZ in Wyszków and they had a son, Sidney. The RUBINOWITZ (named changed to ROBINS) family came to the US and settled in Cleveland, OH. {Photo of ROBINS Family} Their son, Sidney, incidentally, was a witness to the seltzer machine explosion which killed Joseph Leib BLOOM. Morris BLOOM, the youngest brother, came to the US in 1910. He married someone named Yetta, and they settled in Bayonne, NJ. {Photo of Morris & Yetta} The BLOOMs had three children, Jerome, Joseph and Julia. Unfortunately, Morris died of pneumonia when the children were very young. Both Jerome and his mother, Yetta, succumbed to TB. Julia was adopted by her aunt, Rachel ROBINS, and moved to Cleveland. {Photo of Julia's Wedding}

Life in Wyszków
my aunt
Toby Rosen

My earliest recollection of life in Wyshkova (Wyszków) was the birth of my sister, Florence. I was about 3 1/2 years old and recall running through the streets on a cold October night, hand in hand with my older sister, Sylvia, to fetch a mid-wife. Florence weighed in at about 9 1/2 lbs and to this day, I could hear my mother's screams and my father urging us to bring the mid-wife to help him make the delivery he was so accustomed to doing. We found her in time and soon enough the baby was delivered. My father immediately cleaned her off, wrapped her in a blanket and put her on the scale in the store (which was in front of the house) and sure enough she did weigh over 9 lbs. As was his custom, he immediately went to the Siddur and inscribed her name, weight, and time and date of birth.

Two years later my sister, Gloria, was born---this one was easy enough. A beautiful blond, blue-eyed child who immediately became our toy doll. Each time a child was born, a nanny was hired. I don't recall the times we did not have a nanny, what with the birth of 6 children. Actually, 7, because my mother's first child, Deborah, did not survive. She was born at the same time that Bubba Pearl (Blum) gave birth to Uncle Ruby. It was too much for the mid-wife running between mother and daughter as the story goes.

Life was full and eventful in those days. We had a droshka (a horse and buggy) and Pop would take us for many rides. During the winter months, he would take off the wheels and replace them with runners and we would all climb in under the blankets and take the most pleasant drives through the country under the stars in the deep, silent, white thick snow.

We all attended both regular school as well as Hebrew School.{Sylvia's Bais Yaakov Class Picture} I, for one, was very interested in performing, singing and dancing and did partake in many school plays and concerts regularly given at the Community SALA (as it was called). {Toby in costume}My brother, Jack, as a teenager, had a girlfriend whose father had an ice-cream parlor where the young people of the community would gather. On Saturday night after Havdoloh, Jack would take me and Sylvia for a treat there. It was a great treat and lingers in my memory.

There is something quite outstanding about my mother that I admired immensely. I would go along with her from door to door when a poor person needed help, to collect whatever was offered in the way of food, clothing, etc., especially for a poor bride in the town who needed "nadn" ( a dowry). My mother was always the first to donate and so everyone went along with her. The tzedakah she managed to give the people and/or the bride shone in their misty eyes as they thanked her; and how happy we were to give them this small pittance.

Visiting relatives stayed with us, slept at our house and always were welcome for food and drink. We were the headquarters.

However, I learned early in life about anti-semitism. As early as 1926, the "goyim" harassed us. There were many days when we dare not step out of the house when they went on a tear (usually due to drinking). Only my brother, Sam, would defy them and thus I was always on the run to get my father to get him out of it.

The most wondrous time was when my aunt Fannie Bloom (my mother's youngest sister) came from the US to get married to a distant cousin (Sidney Holland) which was arranged for her.{Photo taken day before Fanny's Wedding} Sidney and his family, including three brothers, lived on the same street across from us. While the wedding was very exciting, it ended such that aunt Fannie went back to the US with us and had to leave her husband behind because of quota reasons. She sat at her window in Brooklyn on Grafton Street for almost four years waiting for him. It was very sad. Another sad incident was leaving my brother, Jack, in Poland. It seems he had a bad case of conjunctivitis and they did not allow him into the US. My mother, as all of us kids, was devastated and thus our trip in steerage on the S.S. Estonia was all the more horrible. However, a year later Jack came home and we were happily united. We were a great team, us kids headed by Mom and Pop---happy and lovingly content. We secretly thought that each of us was the favorite.

In Wyshkova (Wyszków), we all enjoyed going on a holiday to "Skisova," a country jaunt across the bridge. On the other side, there was sand, grass and trees; it was extremely cool and comfortable during the summer months. Under the bridge on our side, we would launder our clothes on the rocks. Each of the girls would pitch in and help. We would also bathe in these waters and skate on the ice when it froze over.

I would not trade my childhood years for anything. There was no radio, nor of course tv. Conversation filled with stories and jokes was the course of the day and evenings. The many stories of our parents and grandparents could fill volumes of books. These stories rounded out our interests and triggered our questioning minds.

Some of our greatest moments were at holiday time, especially Purim, when the entire town came to hear my father read the Megillah in our vast dining room. Our costumes, our noise-makers and our screams echoed at the name of was deafening. Then the goodies my mother made and served of course were outstanding. Our house was a "swinging synagogue"---holy and serenely beautiful. Another delicious holiday was Pesach...the clothes...the thorough cleaning...the excursion for the Chometz the night before Pesach with a candle, feather and a wooden spoon...and then the burning of same was a community bonfire. Then, of course, was the festival of Chanukah, filled with the aroma of latkes and burning candles. No presents---just us together having fun, playing dredel with a few "groshen" (pennies)---you had to have Chanukah gelt!

My eyes well up with tears of remembrance and joy as I think of what the kids of today are missing.

I must mention the outhouse. My cousin, Avrumcha Holland, was a complete clown and expert storyteller. He was a constant visitor always munching on a bag of "polly-seeds." He came in one Saturday night, faking out of breath---"There's pieces of people in the yard"---excitedly repeating, "Shticker fun menchen ligen in drossen." We all ran out---it seems that somebody never made it to the outhouse.

Note: ***The photo taken of me and my siblings in the backyard (see above) is without my sister Florence. {Dad and siblings in backyard photo} My cousin frightened her with the fact that a snake would jump out of the camera. When Bubba Pearl saw the photograph and noticed her missing, she sent an urgent letter to us regarding her whereabouts. My mother had to confirm that Florence was alive and well, but was scared out of posing with us.

A day in the life of a 6 year old in the City of Warsaw, Poland

My father was taking me into Varsha to have my eyes examined at a reputable optometrist because I had been suffering with bouts of conjunctivitis. The examination was scary ...I recall laying on this table with huge lights penetrating my eyes. However, I was promised a visit to Uncle Chaim's restaurant and living quarters and so I held back my anxiety with thoughts of the reward. By the way - it was nothing very serious. The doctor advised my parents to apply Tea Bags (which at that time we had to make ourselves out of cheese cloth and brewed tea)...and that helped enormously.

When I arrived at the restaurant, I was enchanted and enthralled. There were several stories of private rooms...all very PLUSH, curtained and private...I was overwhelmed. As I think back now, it would qualify as definitely "Bordello Stuff." It was several blocks from the main train station (Varshaver Gazal) and therefore catered to a big transient crowd. Oh - for the innocence of those years. We then went to the top floor where my Uncle and Aunt had their living quarters. It was sort of a penthouse effect. The furnishings were very elaborate and left me aghast. And for the first time in my life at 6, I was introduced to a lavatory that flushed the water down with the yank of a chain. This to me was a miracle. Since no one in the town of Vyshkova had any running water, let alone in the bathroom. We had to get water by using the Pumps in the middle of the street - where we filled the buckets. Lucky we were near the river for laundry and bathing.

Then came the excitement of a crystal box with earphones. I adjusted the earphones to my head and with a click out came the most beautiful music - my first time listening to a radio. I did not want to leave the magic of this moment and now 73 years later, I can still feel the excitement of that moment.

There are many more wonderful times in my young life in Poland that keep flitting around in my mind and I will try to write them does give me some pleasure to reminisce.

Please support the Jewish Records Indexing - Poland project.

The JRI database is a tool for the research of Jewish vital records of Poland. JRI has opened the door to obtaining access to the Jewish vital records of Wyszkow starting with 1874. To learn more click on Wyszków Initiative News or Jewish Records Indexing-Poland

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Copyright©Howard Orenstein, 2021