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Letters From Szczuczyn, 1937

Written to the Szczuczyn Landsmen Society in Israel

Letter 1

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[Letterhead in Polish, Yiddish, and Hebrew]

Authority of the Jewish Kehilla
Szczuczyn-Bialyst. [Bialystok]

Szczuczyn, 4th day of Sivan 5697, May 14, 1937

To: Division of Immigration and Labor of the Jewish Agency, Tel Aviv

Dear Sir:

According to the request of our resident, Mr. Feivl Shtern, we hereby certify that for more than two years he has been in a very terrible situation and he has no possibility of supporting his family. According to his trade as a butcher, they took away his license to sell meat even prior to the publication of the law forbidding ritual slaughter because of taxes which he owes the government. His impoverishment was so bad that he did not have the possibility of paying the taxes; they took everything from him, even household effects, and he is left with nothing.

Understandably that with the currently prevailing conditions and the situation in the meat trade in Poland, he has been distanced completely from his trade and has no other means of getting along, and a whole family is dying of hunger. To the extent possible, he gets support from the committee of the Kehilla, but to our great regret, our situation is also difficult and many are in need.

We hereby certify that his difficult situation is without remedy and appeal to you with a request for his aliyah with his family to the Land of Israel.

We know him to be a man of good ability and courageous for all work and he will not become a burden to anyone.

Very respectfully,

Secretary: (signature illegible)

Chairman: (signature illegible)

Letter 2

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To The Division of Immigration and labor of the Jewish Agency, Tel Aviv.

We too, members of the local association of craftsmen hereby certify that Shraga Shtern, may his light continue to shine, and his family of seven souls are in a very terrible situation because he has no possibility of supporting his family. And we hereby turn to you with our request to help him in every way possible to make aliyah to our Land.

Yours faithfully,

Members of the association of craftsmen.

Secretary, Moshe Stviskoica

(another signature, illegible)

Szczuczyn, 4th day of Sivan 5697, May 14, 1937

Letter 3

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Tzvi Eliyahu Efron
Head, Rabbinical Court of the Congregation
Szczuczyn-Bial. [Bialystok]

Greetings to you my dear Yeshayahu,

Today I heard from your father, that he received a letter from you, that you have arrived safely in the Land, and that he transmitted your greetings to me. May your arrival in the Land be blessed and successful.

If you may hear that some settlement in the Land is in need of a rabbi perhaps you would recommend me to them. After all, you know me and know that the settlement that would choose me would be pleased with me. My soul desires to settle in the Land of Israel.

Be well. I [undecipherable] you about this and bless you with love.

[signed] Tzvi Eliyahu Efron

Regards from all friends and acquaintances.

Sunday, the 12th day of Adar II, 5695, Szczuczyn [1935]

[Note: Rabbi Efron was killed in the Holocaust. To read a brief account of it, click here.]

Letters contributed by Yitzhak Wertman.

Translation from Yiddish by Helen Lewis.
Editor's notes are entered in [brackets].

Copyright 2002 by Yitzhak Wertman and Jose Gutstein. All rights reserved to the original letters and the translations.

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