Under the badge of a reaffirmed inter-ethnic and inter-religious companionship
The Romania Jewish Community Federation message
Marking the 75th anniversary of this synagogue opening, the directory board of the Romania Jewish Community Federation is addressing the wormiest congratulations to the Jewish community in Gheorghieni.
We especially salute the efforts made by the community and by its diligent and inspired leadership in maintaining this sacred place that reminds us about the past of this community numbering, before the Holocaust, almost 1,000 members. And again, this sacred place that reminds you, the local Jews, of your grandfathers, parents and so many others whose memory is still dear to you.
We wish you many years of good health, prosperity and a good companionship with all the citizens in Gheorghieni.
The directory board of the Romania Jewish Community Federation
The Jewish community in the Gheorghieni area has had, in 1940, almost 1,000 members. In the time of Holocaust, all of them have been deported in the death camps by the fascist authorities occupying the North Transylvania. 896 Jews were killed: men, women and children. Just 92 Jews survived the Holocaust. Now, the community has only 26 members. We consider appropriate to remember those real and very painful figures, in these tense moments, when representatives of various neo-extremist organizations try to convince the young generations, born after 1945, that there was no Holocaust. The initiative of Mr. Geller Geza, responsible for the Jewish community from Gheorghieni, of repairing the synagogue, at 75th years from its inauguration, is a laudable idea. The beauty of the synagogue, which enchanted the eyes and the hearts of the forefathers, and that enchants us too, must and deserves to overcome the time, to the joy of our descendants. Gratitude has to be expressed to all those who supported this initiative and who took part in the celebrations of the synagogue, a real Judaic celebration. (R.E.)
A Menorah from the part of former countrymen living in Israel
The Holocaust, to which the Horthy and Szalas authorities took part, with massive deportations to the death camps, had reduced from 1,000 to less then one hundred souls the Jewish population in the city area (including the neighboring villages). Today, the community is very small in numbers (less than 30 members, some of them in mixed marriages). In these conditions – at the initiative of the community president, engineer Geller Geza, and with the active support of some Jews from Israel, Gheorghieni native (Margareta Stein, Bernard Herskovits, Berliner, Szegal, Kahan, Karpelez, Blutner, Svarts, Morgenstern, Gluzer, Gruber, Gantz, Tabak, Tauber, Perl families), who contributed directly to the fund gathering, initiative supported by F.C.E.R. and the “Joint”, as well by the local authorities, they succeeded in repairing the synagogue. To find out how this touching event went on, we asked Mr. PAUL SCHWARTZ, adviser and engineer, participating from the part of F.C.E.R, to tell us about it.
Over 200 people had been present at the synagogue, I can’t say for sure, but the room was overcrowded. Besides the parishioners and guests from Tirgu Mures, Brasov and from Israel, have been present representatives of all the cults from the city: Roman-Catholics, Orthodox, Greek-Catholics, Catholics of Armenian rite, Reformed, Unitarians. From the local authority, the deputy prefect, Mr. Dezsi Zoltan, had been there. Ghideon Bruchmaier and Iancu Izidor have offered a divine service dedicated to this event. Mr. Engineer Geller Geza, the community president, welcomed the participants and underlined the importance of this celebration for the spiritual life of the Jews, as for all their countrymen from Gheorghieni and the area.
Speeches have been delivered by guests from Tirgu Mures, such as the professor Ladislau Grun, survivor of the Holocaust, well-known for the lessons he gives on this topic in various schools from the Transylvanian cities, Alexandru Ausch, secretary of the Jewish Community in Tirgu Mures. Guests followed them from Israel, such as Mrs. Margareta Stern and Bernard Herskovits (Bar Zvi Dov). They brought a symbolic gift, a Menorah from their former countrymen living in the Holy Land. I will cite the words of Mrs. Margareta Stein: “I thought that our dead have no graves, but I think their souls have come today, here at this synagogue, determining us to have the initiative of celebrating those 75th years of its existence”. Mrs. Margareta Stein is 82 year old (but she does look much younger than she really is) and, as a child, she took part in the synagogue inauguration. From the part of the creeds representatives, the Roman-Catholic minister Pall Sandor said a prayer (in Hebrew, and then he sung the Zionist hymn and that of the state of Israel, Hatikva), followed by the theology student (reformed) Osz Elod.
The Jewish community choir from Brasov, in the presence of the counselor Gombos Teodor (who also sings in the choir), presented a program with songs in Yiddish and Hebrew, well received by the audience. Then, the participants admired the works displayed in the hall of the little synagogue, created by the artist Karanczi Sandor, a retired professor of the Roman-Catholic rite, witness of the deportation of the Jews from Gheorghieni. He reminds that, from a deported Jewish family, neighbors of his family, had returned in 1945 just a child, in bad health, with a handicap, all the others (parents and eight brothers) being killed. After the war, the artist paid a visit to the museum located inside the Auschwitz camp, from where he brought a wood object and some barbed wire. From those materials, he made an artistic work in the memory of those killed and which, next to other graphic works (inspired by the appalling photos displayed at Auschwitz), is part of an itinerant exhibition already shown in over 200 halls, in various cities inside and outside the country.
In the future, we want to organize a club for the youth, with PCs, possibly with local funds, and then we will see what happens next. I want to underline the relative youthfulness of the community president, Geller Geza, born in 1956, IT specialized engineer, a respected man in the mechanical company where he is head of a service, who is supporting the whole community activity.
Adults, young people, students, pupils, children in ceremony clothesâ€¦ How many tears and emotions for those in the synagogueâ€¦ Series of walls full with the names of the departed… “Â«Yad VashemÂ» has inspired us”. (G. BRUCHMAIER)
Corresponding to the data presented by the Mr. Engineer GELLER GEZA, the Community President
Engineer GELLER GEZA, the Gheorghieni Jewish Community President:
“This synagogue, that we celebrate today 75 years of existence, took part at the city life and in the life of the Jews, and we wish the same in the years to come (â€¦). For the moral and material support received for the synagogue renovation and for organizing this celebration, let me thank F.C.E.R, Jewish community in Tirgu Mures, the community from Israel, the Jews originated in Gheorghieni, Mrs. Laks Stein Margareta, Mrs. Calenstein, Friedman Eszter and dr. Friedman Ernest. Thanks to the Roman-Catholic Parish, to archpriest Hajdo Istvan, who offered us a scaffold for the renovation works of the synagogue. Thanks to my former teachers, to Mr. Deputy prefect Dezsi Zoltan, to the artist Karanczi Sandor.”
Let it be that those “live coals” never blow out :
As it is written at the entrance, this is a gate to God. As a child, I saw the synagogue being built, I saw the workers laying brick after brick. My grandfather was Shehter, when in Gheorghieni were living 1,000 Jews, who prayed in a house owned by a Jew, Friedman (â€¦). From the renowned people whose faith was linked, by origin, with this city, is the Magyar poet Salamon Erno, a Jew as we are. The city Rabbis were Kraus Eliezer and Freund Moshe, the latter was killed in the Holocaust. Doctor Klein was the president of the Zionist organization. Let’s not waste all that all those people sowed.
Moments of a spiritual communion:
“In these moments of celebrations dedicated to this sacred place, we all are imbued with joy, but in the same extent with sorrow when thinking at those who have to suffer the Apocalypse of the 20th century (â€¦). We all pray for their memory – Jews, Romanians, Magyars, Armenians and other ethnic groups. Let it be that these moments of spiritual communion strengthen the love between fellow creatures and our hope for the good times. (â€¦) Shalom!”
Upholding the religious sentiment:
“I received with great satisfaction and happiness the decision of Mr. Geller Geza to have this celebration – the 75 anniversary of the Gheorghieni synagogue inauguration. We thank and congratulate him for everything that he does for the community, for upholding the religious feeling (â€¦).”
Compilation made by BORIS M. MEHR
(Pogrom commemoration in Dorohoi, 1940, 1st of July)
A delegation of the Association of the Dorohoi-born Jews, led by Doru Koler, the Association vice-president, including Lica Coper, important member of the Association, Rabbi Iosif Wasserman, Dorohoi native Israeli, along with two of his sisters, Rabbi Katzi (Israel), Rabbi Margulis (Swiss), Bucecea native, Zvi Barbiro, Israeli businessman, Darabani native, took part in the commemoration of the pogrom victims from Dorohoi, committed in 1940, 1st of July. At the ceremony held in the city’s Jewish cemetery took part the town mayor, Vasile Gherasim, Botosani district prefect, Costica Macaleti, many locals. The speakers – Doru Koler, the mayor Vasile Gherasim, counselor Iancu Isidor – evoked the main moments of the tragedy occurred 62 years ago. As a result of the Ribbentrop-Molotov treaty, the Romanian army withdraws from Basarabia and North Bucovine. In the fighting in Hertza, Private Emil Aroneanu protected with his own body a Romanian officer. Both were killed. During the burring ceremony held for Emil Aroneanu, a company from the 3rd division border guards entered the cemetery and massacred old people, women, children who had come for the funeral, wrongly accusing them ofâ€¦ attacking the Romanian army. The “attackers” were Iancu Herscu, 94, Cherbis Iosub, 80, Ceausu Malca, 65, who were, at the time, children between 3 and 6 year oldâ€¦ The speakers underlined that remembering this dark moment of the history is the key for not repeating it. The pray for the peace of the kedoshim, and the joint kadish ended the solemn ceremony. Rabbi Iosif Waserman said a Dvar Torah at the city synagogue. In the same day, a memorial plaque was uncovered, in the honor of Rabbi Pinhas Wasserman, who was a long time shepherd for the community, in a plaza that will be named after him. After the Maariv prayer, a Kidush offered by the Wassermans took place, in the presence of the mayor Vasile Gherasim.
Recently, in Israel came into being the United Organization for the Romania Natives. The task of the organization is to bring together leaders of other organizations and independent figures from the Romanian Alia. Between the proposed objectives were: creation, in Israel, of a Judaic museum from Romania; organizing, in 2003, an international congress of the Romania native Jews who live in Diaspora; preserving the Judaic traditions in Romania; studying the contribution of the Romanian Alia in the developing of Israel; new ways of representation of the Romania born Israelis in the relationship with domestic and international organizations.
The participants at the meeting chose the OUOR leadership: Moshe Nativ – president; Itzhak Artzi – president of the boarding committee; Menahem Ariav – co-president; Moshe Nagor – vice-president; Zvi Bendov – secretary; Moshe Zellinger – treasurer.
To Mr. MOSHE NATIV, the president of The United Organization for the Romania Natives
The leadership of the Romania Jewish Community Federation sends you heart-felt congratulations for your election as president of the newly created United Organization for the Romania Natives. Convinced that you will give all your capabilities in carrying out the future tasks, we assure you of all our support and we wish you good luck in your new activity.
THE DIRECTORY COMMITTEE OF F.C.E.R.