Re: Kollel Galicia - Rawa Ruska & Belz #galicia

roe kard

I have gone through the Kollel Galicia lists for several towns,
translated several years of lists for the town of Rawa Ruska and
worked on, and so know the families but have not yet completed,
several of the Belz lists.

The quarterly records for theyears 1924-1939 survived (!!!) and
are kept in binders according to the Yiddish names of the
cities and shtetlach. All are hand written and are very clear.
This is and is not true. I have found some to be very clear and
others to be very challenging, depending on who was doing the
recording at the time. In Rawa & Belz the person recording stayed
the same for several years so there would be a few years that
were easy to translate and then a few that were real challenging.

The spelling is in Yiddish(Hebrew characters).
And so if you can read Yiddish, you can get an accurate reading
of folks names as opposed to some of the challenges I have found
in translating Yizkor book necrology lists that spell Yiddish
names in Hebrew as if they were Hebrew, and so they are without
the vowels. Thus, for example, I found masses of errors in Yad
Vashem's Belz list where it must be that there were Hebrew
speakers translating Yiddish names as if they were Hebrew and
not Yiddish.

from my experience those lists do reflect the composition of
families who lived in Galicia on the eve of the Holocaust since
almost each family had a donor.
What i have found >from my research and comparison of several
years of data and over time is that in Rawa Ruska, the people on
the Kollel lists are mostly males and widows, probably heads of
households and most certainly chassidish or children of chassids,
who in the 1920's/30's might have broken away but as times got
tough i.e. 1938 - 39, possibly in following the belief that
"charity saves >from death," donated money to poor Jews studying
in the Kollel's of Jerusalem as well as to other charities. I
believe >from the cross-tabulating I have done between these and
other lists >from that time as well as vital records, that the
folks on this list were mostly over-40 and often, quite old. I do
not know if this is true for other shtetlach or for a major town
like Krakow.

I discovered the names of both my grandfathers
on 3 successive lists >from Krakow.
I had a similar very bittersweet experience. My Chassidish
grandmother, Gitel ROSENFELD A"H donated only one time, somewhere
around May 1929. Clearly for that one moment in history, this
woman who was left widowed with 6 children at the age of 32 was
able to spare a teeny, tiny amount of money (can't remember
exactly how much as I am on the road for another week w/o data).
I can imagine her joy and then a short while later, months or a
year, she went back to the grinding poverty that became her lot
in life till her murder at the hands of the nazis.

I just mentioned to the kind people at the Kolel that my late
father in law was born in Bardejov, Slovakia and much to my
surprise was shown the Bardejov donors file.
They have been very kind and helpful to me even though I am a
woman and they are in Mea Shearim, with a very, very frum
(religious) synagogue/study hall next door to their office. I
dressed appropriately (elbows, knees & head covered) and have
made annual donations to them to help them with their endeavors.
If you go there, be respectful and charitable.

I too, like Jacob ROSEN, think that this is a very important
resource in the micro-genealogical sense of identifying family
but even more so, as part of efforts on the macro-genealogical
level of identifying here-to-fore unnamed Holocaust victims and
rebuilding destroyed communities.

I am about 60% through with writing about this research. It has
been astonishingly time consuming though very, very rewarding on
all levels. My hope in sharing this work is that there will be
someone out there who already is, or would consider, doing work
similar to mine so that we can get an even larger sense of what
was true across more of Galicia. I will put a posting up when I
finish and figure out who will be publishing it.

Karen Rosenfeld Roekard
aka Gitel Chaye Eta Rosenfeld Rokart

(Rawa Ruska, Wulka Mazowieki, Magierow, Niemerow, Ulicka Zarabone)
ROKART, ROKACH (Belz, Sokal, Brody)
GOLDWURM (Bialy Kamen, Berezhany)
GOLD, GOLDBERG, BIEGEL, BERGREEN (Dzikow, Tarnbrzeg, Ropcyctz)

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