Bielsk Podlaski Yizkor Book translation project update #poland #yizkorbooks

Andrew Blumberg

Dear friends,

Thanks to donations from many of you we have engaged with a translator for the Yiddish section of the Bielsk Podlaski Yizkor Book. Ted Steinberg, who has worked on other books for JewishGen’s Yizkor Book Translation Project, has begun work on the Bielsk yizkor book. 

If half the people listed on JewishGen as researching Bielsk Podlaski donated $36 (or made an additional donation), we could translate the entire Yiddish section. Your donation can help to achieve that goal! You can make a donation by entering an amount in the box next to Bielsk Podlaski on this page.  

I want to thank volunteer translators Sara Mages, Nancy Schoenburg, and David Ziants, for their continued work on translation of the Hebrew section of the book. Ten chapters have been translated, four more are in review, and three others have been assigned for translation. You can read all the translations from the table of contents.

The chapter Centers of Interest in Bielsk describes the synagogues in town and the people they attracted. The oldest shul was called Ichel's Beit Midrash. It was beautiful and “the place of prayer for the poor and the artisans.” The home of famous matzo baker Saraleh De-Bakerleh was nearby. The Yafeh Einayim synagogue stood in the center of a spacious garden that had fruit trees and benches. And if you have ever been involved in synagogue life, you may find its controversies familiar!

An Episode of One Underground speaks of the conflicts between commitment to a Jewish youth group and a curfew imposed by a secular school. It’s complete with the exploits of young people sneaking around, hiding out, getting caught, and getting in trouble with teachers and parents to live up to their dedication to a group and beliefs that were central to their lives.

Did you know that Bielsk was called “die zeydene torbe?” Do you know why? That’s just the beginning of an eleven-page chapter, available soon, titled Bielsk - its Rabbis, Teachers and Jews. It contains stories that range from comedic to touching as they describe the details and relationships of life in Bielsk Podlaski.

I could go on, but I hope you will visit the table of contents and read the translated chapters for yourself.

All donations for this project are made directly to JewishGen, which manages all payments. The entire amount of all contributions is tax deductible and will be used only to pay for translation services.

Last but not least, separate from the translation project, there have been updates to the Bielsk Podlaski KehilaLinks site, including: a new page about the ghetto that contains photos, first-person accounts, and encyclopedia entries; new family histories; and updates to the Virtual Cemetery including a photo of two elaborate tombstones erected in 1914.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and please spread the word about this project to others interested in Bielsk Podlaski.

Wishing you and yours a zissen Pesach.


Andrew Blumberg
New York
Researching BLUMBERG and KAPLAN from Bielsk Podlaski; LASKOWITZ or LASKOVICH from near Vilna and Bielsk Podlaski; HIMMELFARB from Kovel; KIPPELMAN from Kolki and Lutsk; EIDUS, AIDUS, AIDUSS, and ADUS from Daugavpils / Dvinsk; RITZ from Vyerkhnyadzvinsk / Drissa and Miyory / Miory; GERMAN, GURMAN, GERMAINE from Mohyliv-Podilskyy and Sekurani; EDELSTEIN from Skala-Podilska and Sekurani; GOLDENSHER, NEDELMAN, NEIDELMAN, NUDELMAN, and SHINDER from Chisinau / Kishinev; ENDICK, INDICK, INDYK, AUFRECHTER, OFRECHTER, and ROZENKRANC from Skierniewice