Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon October Meeting #general

Toby Blake <blake_toby@...>

Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon

The Heavens are Empty: Discovering the Lost Town of Trochenbrod
Avrom Bendavid-Val, author
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The town of Trochenbrod was created by city Jews as an agricultural village in a
marshy area isolated in the forest in Volyn Province, in the Jewish Pale of
Settlement, in the early 1800s. This beginning as a rural farming community
happened at a time when no Jews were farmers - at that time Jews couldn't even own
land. As Trochenbrod gradually took on the character of a town and grew to its
final population of about 5,000 people it became the only freestanding Jewish
town ever to exist outside the biblical Land of Israel. Trochenbrod developed
into a thriving regional commercial center with a highly diversified and
essentially self-sufficient economy. In Trochenbrod everyone - shopkeepers,
farmers, craftspeople, workers, teachers, livestock traders, factory owners -
everyone was Jewish; and the languages the townspeople spoke in the street
and in their homes were Yiddish and modern Hebrew.

Where: Congregation Ahavath Achim, 3225 SW Barbur Blvd., Portland, OR
About our Speaker: Avrom Bendavid-Val
In 1997, while working in Poland, he decided to visit the town his father and
grandfather came from, Trochenbrod. He discovered that there were no physical
remnants of Trochenbrod and that it had been a unique settlement in many ways.
He documented the history of the town >from its creation in the early 1800s to
its destruction in 1942. His book about the town will be released by Pegasus
Books in early October 2010. If you obtain the book prior to the program, the
author will sign your copy.

Time: Doors open by 7:00 PM for expert assistance with your genealogy
problems. You are invited to send a short synopsis of your question ahead of
time to jgsoregon@... Program will start at 7:30.
Admission is free to members of JGSO, $5 donation requested >from non-members
(can be applied to cost of membership if you join at the time).

Toby Blake

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