Grodno Home Page

From: Raphael and Bella Bloom <rbbl@inn.co.il>

Dear Eilat,
I saw the pictures on your site: http://www.eilatgordinlevitan.com/grodno/grodno.html and I wanted to know how I can contact Naomi Barnett about pictures 59 and 60? I am trying to find out information about Rabbi Yitzchak Reitzer who was the Rabbi of Zhetel at the time of the Holocaust and I was wondering if she was related to him.
Thank you very much,
Bella Bloom


Nissan (1899-1950) Reizer ( top right) and Ester Wolshtein (1901-1985) were my
parents. My father is pictured here with other members of the Zionist Youth movement in Grodno.
Naomi Barnett. To read about the family go to;http://www.jewishgen.org/Belarus/newsletter/GrodnoFamily.htm

My father (Nissan Reizer) had several brothers including Jehosua and Avram who
are in the photo.
Naomi Barrnett.
Leib Reizer wrote this poignant obituary for his older brother, Nissan, in the “Grodner Opklangen”, Number 16, June 1966, a Yiddish newspaper published in Argentina until 1980. It tells the unusual story of an early emigrant to the Holy Land who left later for New Zealand, seeking safety for his family in the fearful atmosphere of the Hitler-Stalin alliance.
We thank Nissan Reizer’s daughter, Naomi Barnett of Melbourne, Australia, for sharing with us her uncle’s tribute, of which she was unaware for many years. We thank also Leib’s daughter, Betty Broit, for her translation.

From: Joan Shrager <jshrager2@comcast.net>


I live in Pennsylvania, USA. My grandfather and his family were from Berdichev. He came to America in 1907. His name was originally Meyer Litvok. He was the eldest son of the town’s kosher butcher, Aaron Litvok or Litwak. The family consisted of  Yacob (Jack), Mottel (Max), Schmerel, Bassi (Bessie), and Ruchel (Rose). His mother was "Sossa Toube"?  Spektor who died at an early age when her children were very small.

Family lore has it that Rabbi Itzhak Elchanon Spektor was my grandfather's mother's father or possibly Uncle. 

I am very interested in learning if indeed we are related to Rabbi Spektor as my cousins(children and grandchildren of my grandfather's siblings) and I were told when we were little. Most of us are in our 60's and 70's now and the voices from Berdichev are only in our hearts. I am now past 75 and would love to pass this information on to my sons and grandsons. 

I'd be most appreciative if you could point me in a direction.

Joan Shrager


Rabbi Yitzhak Elchanan Spector
MyHeritage Family Trees
Esther Belkin Web Site, managed by Esther Backaleinik Esther Belkin (Contact)
1817 - Hrodna, Hrodzyenskaya Voblasts’, Belarus
Mar 6 1896 - Kovno, Lituania
Israel Isser Spektor, Rachel Spektor
Abraham Aaron Spektor, Jacob David Spektor, Yakov David Spektor, Moses Joseph Spektor
Sora Raizel Spector Yeserski
Spector Davidson
Haim Arye Aryeh Spector, Rachel Spektor Salzovsky Spector, Freda Leah Saltzer Spektor, Miriam Dvora Federman Spector, Tzvi Hirsch Spektor Spector, Binyamin Spektor Rabinowitz

I have been searching jewishgen and scoured most of the internet, but still cannot say with certainty which “Kosovski” family I come from. My family does have a Moshe (actually Moshe Aharon) that was father to Nochum (aka Nokhum, etc.). Nochum was said to be born in Schuchin, Grodno (from my research), though married in Lita (per his marriage record). He was married to Meyta Sarah Kaplan. Notably Nochum also became sick before his 20s and was given the additional name of Chaim (Nochum Chaim) and often went by Chaim after that. I know that Nochum was a brick layer when he came to the U.S., which is what lead me to believe he may have been one of Moshe (movsha) Kosovski’s children. However, the one thing I know for certain is that our family are cohanim. And I have a mesora that we were the only cohen family in our town by the name of Kosovski (actually we were told we were the “only ones in Grodno...” but Grodno is large). Yet, I saw on a notice of Movsha Kosovski’s death (1937) that it does not indicate he is a Cohen (which would be traditional). This leads me to believe he was not a Cohen, and therefore I am not related through him. I am wondering if you have any other ideas or people you may have come across with a similar background.

Noah Kay

Liz Elsby wrote ( facebook)


Library card from the Tarbut school in Grodno. Tarbut was a Zionist network of Hebrew-language educational institutions founded in 1922, when the first Tarbut conference was held in Warsaw. It operated kindergartens, elementary schools, secondary schools, teachers' seminaries, adult education courses, lending libraries and a publishing house that produced pedagogical materials, textbooks and children's periodicals.My dad's first cousins both went to the Tarbut school, his cousin Naomi advancing to the Tarbut teacher's seminary.
My dear cousin Grisha Tzvi Chosid somehow found this card at war's end , kept it his whole life until sending it to me in 2006. All of the students who took this book out and signed its card were murdered in the Shoah. All of Grisha Tzvi Chosid's family.. MY family was murdered in the Shoah. May their holy memories be for a blessing.


It was a great joy for me to recently discover your site,  http://www. eilatgordinlevitan.com/grodno/ grodno.html    All of my grandparents were either from Grodno or nearby and the wealth of information which you share is deeply appreciated.

Much to my surprise, I found a connection!  Photo #grd-49 Moyshe Kosovski is apparently my relative.  My mother always spoke of her cousin, Sylvia Sidney and how they played together as children... my mother played the violin and Sylvia would dance to her music.  My mother's maiden name was Estelle Singer..her father was William Singer (who left the pogroms of Grodno with his family, first emigrating to London and then years later to New York) and my Mother's mother, Regina Gussie Kaplan, was also from the region and emigrated to New York.  Frankly, there is still some confusion as to how my mother and Sylvia were related.. whether from the maternal side, the paternal side, or from Sylvia's stepfather's side.. I do not know, and would love to discover the answer.  Coincidentally,  my brother once lived across the street from her in Connecticut but was too modest to impose on her and introduce himself.

Additionally, I discovered an entry from Ruth Marcus regarding Sylvia on http://eilatgordinlevitan. com/kurenets/k_pages/kosovsky. html
Ms. Marcus provided a great deal of information on Sylvia, but what truly amazed me was the notation she made on Luther Adler being a cousin to Albert Sabin!!!    I was told that my paternal grandfather, Jacob Sabin (who passed before I was born) was an uncle to Albert via his father who was a brother to my grandfather.  Family photos of my grandfather bear a strong resemblance to Albert.  

I do hope that you can supply this information to Ruth Marcus, and any additional information that you might be able to with me would be treasured.

MY sincere and heart felt thanks for all the wonderful information you so generously share with us all.

Regina Sabin

From: Danny Kaplan <dannykaplan@gl.com>
Date: Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 12:20 PM
Subject: Kaplan from Minsk

I was wondering if you can help me. Im trying to research the Kaplan family. Here is what I know.

My Grandfather Moshe Kaplan (1925-1983) studied in Grodno Yeshiva before joining the Mir Yeshiva in Shanghai later moving to Toronto.
His Father was Abram Kaplan married to aides Kaplan a Jeweler in the Minsk Area.  Abraham’s fathers name was Moshe Kaplan.
Moshe had a Brother in Grodno also, named Gershon but never made it to Mir.

Any help or direction would be very helpful.


From: Larry DiGeronimo <larrydige@yoo.com>
Date: Tue, Apr 3, 2018 at 2:46 AM
Subject: Jacob Gornitzky
To: "egl.comments@gmail.com" <egl.comments@gmail.com>

Hello, I stumbled across your web site while researching my ancestry and trying to find any information on my great grandfather, Jacob Gornitzky, born 1874 in Grodno Russia, arrived in the USA in 1905 and married to Bessie Copleman, it looks like you've done some research, I currently know absolutely nothing about this man nor my Jewish ancestry and would certainly appreciate any input you might have on this family.

Thank you
Larry DiGeronimo