on Photos to Enlarge
Zelig Farberman was the Husband of Bertha
and the Father of ;
1. Velvel Farberman wife; Zisha Libba Farberman Mother of Max, Ethel
(wife of Max Louis Gordon/ Podbereski of Vishnevo mother of Jerome,
Bessie Edith Bloom, Irene Karch and Abraham), Abraham( Husband of
Father of Bessie, Dora Rubin , Velvel, Ida Gruppe and Lillian Weiss ),
Chaya Dorin (Wife of Isadore
Mother of Pauline Epstein , William and Ida), Fannie Goldstein ( wife of Harry
Mother of Zisha, Velvel and Zelig) and Katie Gordon /Podberesky Wife
of Philip Gordon /Podberesky of Vishnevo
Mother of Beatrice Cherry and Lillian Karn
2. Leo, Husband of Mari nee Aruch ( perished in Ilja) and Father of
Gertrude Kudrow Wife of David
(Mother of Lee and Gershon , grandmother of actress Lisa Kudrow), Anna
Meister and Sadie Mandell
3. Ida Ruderman wife of Joe,
4. Chiveya Berman Wife of Henick Mother of Rebecca Rubin (Wife of Abe
Mother of Yudel, Lillian and Velvel) , Abraham, Yetta and Chaim
(Husband of Esther
Father of Ina, Jacob, David and Munik),
5. Rose Halpern Wife of David Mother of Harold and Julius
6. Abraham Husband of Celia
Brother of Avrum Farberman Husband of Rebecca
1. Sophie Cadesky Wife of Louis Mother of Reva Zinberg, Shirley
Yarmus and Murray Kadis Husband of Shirley
Father of David, Pearly and Barr
Summer of 1924, Kurenets. The teacher on the left (second line) is Berl Dardak, on the right (second line) is his brother Shmerl Dardak
From the Russian Jewish Encyclopedia;
DARDAK Ieguda born 1898 Iliya, Vilna ? Author
One day, after studies, the teacher Berl Dardak announced that a letter was received from Vilna and it said, “Charut Hetria will establish branches in the ...
Israel Gvint wrote;
...For a short time there was a school with one or two classes that was managed by Yudel Dardak, where the studies were done in a combination of Yiddish, Hebrew and Russian. More wonderful memories of the great personality of Yudel Dardak stay with me than memories of the lessons.....At that point there was still a quiet war between the Hebrew and Yiddish as to what language should dominate school studies. If the Hebrew won this war it was because of the special personality of the teacher Berl Dardak.
At this point, the image of the teacher Berl comes to me. Berl came from the near-by little town of Ilya. He was short, a red head, and wore glasses. He was very easy going and kind. Even when he would get mad it was easy to imagine that he was not really angry. We knew that he wrote poetry in Hebrew, and that made him very respected in our eyes. Some of the poems became songs and they were sung by the youth from the “Tzeirey Zion”, and “Herut VeTchia”. In their essence they were humorous poems and this was very attractive to us, the young children. Although we knew that these poems were not written for children, and truly we were not allowed to sing them, but somehow we learned them secretly and they were as sweet to us stolen water.
We knew that Berl and his brothers Shmaryau and Yudel Dardak were the descendents of a well-known rabbinical family from Illya. We also knew that they had a deep education in yeshivas and were very knowledgeable about the Bible and religious studies. This fact added to the respect we felt for them because now when we had to argue with people who were old fashioned and wanted to keep the traditional type of education which was essentially religious in nature, we could argue with them that our teacher was not a nobody, he was a telmid khakham . “You must be careful when you speak against him.”
When Berl would get mad at one of us he would use biblical sentences to express his dissatisfaction. He would say, “ben naout vemrdut”. In the essence of this sentence there was everything we desired, here was a religious language turning to a “real language” where biblical passages contained emotion. Passages from the Bible became material for common phrases of reproach. At that point we had no schoolbooks in Hebrew and Berl would write his lessons on the blackboard and we would copy what he wrote in our notebooks.
Berl lived in a tiny, dark room of Shmuel Spector. In his room there was an oil lamp that burned day and night as an eternal flame. Clearly our hearts were pulled to this room which became inseparable from the school. Here many youths would gather. We sang songs and told jokes and from there we would leave for walks in Vileyka and Dolhinov streets in Kurenets. I remember one journey that some older kids took all the way to the village Retzke and of how jealous I was of my peers that followed the older students there.
Having the school in two homes so far from each other made it very difficult. After a short time they rented a home of Eltka Nee Perski Rabunski (ed. the sister of the father of Shimon Peres). This was a comparatively big house. It had three rooms, a hallway and a large yard to play in. During the holiday of Purim, just before the school was transferred to this place, we held a play there. It was King David. The play was written by Berl Dardek, who was also the director and was responsible for the clothing the scenery. The walls were taken out and the space became one big room. Still the room was too small to hold all the people who wanted to attend. When I arrived with my father, and I was one of the actors in this play, many people stood by the door looking in and all the other actors watched so that more people wouldn't try to come in. Even Batya nee Gurevitz who had the main part as Batsheva took a turn watching the entrance. My father and I could hardly make our way through the people. My father somehow succeeded in getting in and I stayed behind among the people. Since there were so many people the girl who played Batsheva (Batia nee Gurevitz Bender) couldn't see me despite the fact that I was supposed to be her son in the play, I was King Solomon. Finally my father came to my aid and picked me out of the crowd. Besides the play we recited poems in Hebrew and Yiddish and it was a big success and many of the parents in town were so impressed that they began accepting the idea of a more secular education.
HELLO! GREAT WORK! I AM YISROEL DARDAK GRANDSON OF SHMERL DARDAK FROM ILYA BELARUS. I FINALLY FOUND OUT A LITTLE OF MY HISTORY FROM THE KURENETS BELARUS ARTICLES - PAGES 108-11, 90-91, 116-117. I AM WONDERING IF YOU COULD HELP ME FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO MY GRANDFATHERS TWO BROTHERS BERL AND YUDEL, WHO WERE TEACHERS IN THE TARBUT SCHOOL IN KURENETS, I KNOW THAT BERL DIED IN 1935, BUT I HAVE NO IDEA HOW, AND HE WAS YOUNG, ALSO YUDEL DIED AROUND THAT TIME AND HE TOO WAS YOUNG. ALSO, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHERE THEY ARE BURIED? I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE ANY HELP YOU COULD GIVE ME IN THIS MATTER. THANX A LOT!
: gary cayne <email@example.com>
I am interested in locating any info on my family that came from Illya
Russia ( now Belarus).
The only info I have is as follows :
My great grandfather ( Samuel Alpert ) immigrated to the US in 1898 .
He was born about 1868.
His wife Minnie (chafetz) Alpert , was born about April 1, 1873,She
along with her 2 sons and one daughter , Robert ( my grandfather )
and brother (geishan) George immigrated to the US in 1904. According
to the petition for citizenship of my grandfather Robert Alpert , my
grandfather was born Rubin Altuch , it states he was born in ellia
russia about 1898 . He immigrated to the US via Hamburg Germany aboard
the S.S. Moltke arriving on July. 24 1904. I found the manifest for
this vessel when minnie and her kids came to ellis island. . I am not
sure when the surname changed from Altuch to Alpert.
The only other names I found were on my Great Grandfathers Death
Certificate it states his Father as Abraham Alpert and mother as
Rachael Simon but I have learned that death certificate info is very
Minnie's death cerficate stated her father as Simon Chafetz and
mother as Tassie Schumann
Samuel Alpert died June 18, 1938
Minnie Alpert died April 8 , 1929
any info would be appreciated gary ,,,,,, firstname.lastname@example.org
In the list of perished in Ilia in 1942:
Altuch Mendel and his family;
* Sarah Leah
I am writing to you from Bet El Synagogue in Mexico. I am the editor
of our Magazine and for our Passover (Pesaj) issue, we have an article
about Hashomer Hatzair's 100th anniversary. I found on your web page a
beautiful photo of the youth group in 1929 and am wondering if we may
print it in our magazine. It is of course a communitary magazine and
not sold. We will of course print all the copyright and references to
your website. Who knows? Maybe someone in Mexico has roots in
Thank you very much, all the best
Comunidad Bet El de México
eilat gordin <email@example.com>
Sure you could use it. Yes, from the area of kurenets ( next door in
Ilja and their cousins lived in Kurenets) there is a family in Mexico
by the name of Shapiro. There were 5 brothers who went to Mexico:
Eliezer, Yaakov, Yehoshua , shmuel and gershon Shapiro/ Shapira
Their picture; http://eilatgordinlevitan.com/ilja/ilja_pix/042404_26_b.gif
Eliezer and his wife Rachel :
Shmuel Shapiro: http://eilatgordinlevitan.com/ilja/ilja_pix/042404_22_b.gif
Maybe you could post it one day and ask if people recognize them?
In terms of the conscription question, what I can add to this is that the
oldest male child was exempt from conscription. I have two examples of
this in my family history.
On one side of the family, my grandfather used his older brother's
passport to flee to the US to avoid conscription. In another example,
a son born to my great-grandparents had the birth listed as being born
to another family in the town, using that family's last name, since they
had no male children. I understand from a story of his life, written
by a grandson many years later about that happening. Even years
later, it was hard to put the pieces of that together, except that
descendents of the son with a different last name knew the story,
and the families were reunited almost 100 years later.
Searching: Baskind (Ilya), Levinson (Mariampol), Kottler (listed in
Revision list in Postov, but really lived on a farm/mill outside of town),
Kisber (same as Kottler)
Date: Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 3:42 PM
To Whom It May Concern,
I was watching "Who Do You Think You Are?" and saw Lisa Kudrow's experiences. I was sitting on the edge of my seat and crying at various times. I contacted her because I am so sorry for what her family went through (some perished in Ilja). I also wished that I had known because I would have asked her to pay respects for me as well. I know that it's a tradition for a stone to be laid down at a Jewish Memorial so I wanted to ask if you could lay one down for me. I wish I could apologize for the entire thing. I'm half German and the Holocaust has always had a shadow over my life. I used to get Swastika's in my desk. As if being German means being a Nazi. It sickens me. I went to the Holocaust Memorial in Boston, near where I live and saw that Nations knew what was happening and didn't do anything about it. I went home and cried in my sleep all night. I had to get up and write about it so I could work it out. They have a grating right near the pane of glass with that etched in it. That grating has burning coals under it. That's all I saw in my dreams all night as I was crying. I still remember that moment and the heartache and horror I felt that nations just turned their back. I'm in Massachusetts. Could you please when you go to the memorial lay a stone as if you are leaving a piece of my heart there? Because my heart is there with those people. I'm not ashamed of being German but I am astonished at the ignorance of some people thinking that German equals Nazi. I had a friend who has since passed on and he cleaned out the camps of the bodies. Ed was an American soldier. I also had a Jewish friend who was a worker in a factory, similar to Schindler's situation and he was saved because of that. Hy was a tailor. Please could you pay respects for me and put down a stone of remembrance? I am so sorry for all the pain that people suffered. I wish I could make it not so. Thank you for your time.
Heidi A. Dietrich
From: Marina Plotkin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hello! I want to compliment you on your site.. It is a lot of work and research! And also I want to correct/ update information.
I am the great granddaughter of Meir Mordukhovich (spelling), mentioned on your site,from his first marriage. He married Miriam(Mera) Farberman after he was widowed. They had 2 children in this marriage son Hershel and daughter Gittle. Hirshel emigrated to Argentina in about 1924. Their daughter Gittle got married. She moved to Glubokie, Poland with her new husband, Peisah Baryudin, and had 3 children: Shmuil- Meir, Berel and Avrum. When the WW2 started she was in Minsk with her older son Meir. She wanted to go back to her husband and kids, but was unable. She end up in Ilja with her mother, and was killed in Ilja. There is list of perished available on internet and she and her son mentioned there.
Lisa Kudrow grandmother and Gittle was half sisters and best friends. So when Lisa Kudrow started her documentary series "Who do you think you are" she was looking for Gittle's son Berel who survived the war and end up in Poland (see documentary). Youngest son Avrum and their father survived the war as well. There is much more to the story but I just want to correct information.
Picture of Mera ( Lisa's great grandmother)
Mera Mordchowicz was born in Ilja, Poland in 1880. She was married. Prior to WWII she lived in Ilja, Poland. During the war she was in Ilja, Poland.
Mera was murdered in the Shoah.
This information is based on a Page of Testimony submitted by her community member.
How can arrange for the part of the Ilya Yiskor book written by my father Zuske Gitlitz translated and added to your web site. Please let me know the translation charge and procedure. Call me at if you want to discuss it
I found your name in a document that was sent to me as I was researching the Dinnerstein family. I would like your help to see if my wife's family is related to those in your family.
My wife's father's mother was Gussie Dinnerstein Glickman. She was born in 1892 in Vilna (Vilnius), Lithuania, to Hyman and Rachel Dinnerstein. She immigrated to the United States and married Max Joseph Glickman in 1911 in Pittsburgh. She had two children, Hymen (Doc) Glickman, my wife's father, born in 1912 in Pittsburgh, and Rachel Glickman Silver, born in 1914 in Pittsburgh. After Max's death in 1918, Gussie and the children lived in Jeannette, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. Gussie died in 1968 in Pittsburgh.
Gussie had two siblings. Her sister was Anna Dinnerstein Gross, born in 1877 in Vilna. She married Solomon Gross in 1894, possibly in Lithuania or Poland. She had nine children. The family settled in Jeannette. Anna died in 1931 in Jeannette and Solomon died in 1952 in Jeannette.
Her brother was Barnett (Barney) Dinnerstein. He was born in 1883 in Vilna. He married Chana (Anna) Raskin. They had three children, Hyman Dinnerstein (1909-1954), Samuel (Sholom) Dinnerstein (1910-1959), and Esther Dinnerstein Weltman (1913-2001). They settled in New York. Barnett died in 1950 in New York and Anna died in 1952 in New York.
Anna Gross's daughter, Sarah, married Morris Berger. One of Sarah and Morris Berger's sons, Joseph, married Shirley Dinnerstein, and this implies that there is a connection between my wife's family and another branch of the Dinnerstein family. Shirley was the daughter of Maurice Jonah Dinnerstein, born in 1888 in Ilya, in Poland and presently in Belarus. Maurice Jonah's father was Avrum Yaakov Dinnerstein, born in 1848 in Ilya.
I do know that you have some connection to Ilya and the various communities that I have discovered through researching the family. From Ancestry and other sources, I am beginning to link the various branches to the description in the document. I would like to see if my wife's family is connected to the other relatives and the relatives who are the ancestors of the family. Thank you for your help in this matter.
My grandfather, Eli Epstein, was from Ilya and I am interested to learn more about his family. Do you have any suggestions regarding how I can access to names of people from that town?
Listen to My Radio Show
Some information about the Epstein family from Ilya;
I received many notes from Annett. I am sharing one here; " My grandparents, who came to America, were Nachama (nee Kopolowitz) and Yitzchak Yosef Epstein from Ilya.
My mother also had a brother AVROHOM BER EPSTEIN, who was a shohet in Dolhinov. He was married to Dvorah , the daughter of a shohet in Dolhinov (very near Ilya). They had four children.
My mother's sisters lived in ILYA. ROCHEL was married to Zeev Wolf Brochin and they had three children. MARA FAYGE was married to Yaakov Broide and had six children.
Annette Blum "
Sylvia Shimka Kustoff (Epstein)
January 21, 1905
Dolhinov or Ilya
July 13, 2002 (97)
Bronx, New York, United States
Daughter of Yitzchak Yosef Epstein and Nechama Epstein
Wife of Max Kustoff
Mother of Ruth Reizfeld; Pearl Greenbaum and Annette Blum
Sister of AVROHOM BER Epstein; MARA FAYGE Broide and Rochel Brochin
Perished in Ilya; Epstein
? Rucha Leah
Szymon Apsztejn was born in Ila, Poland in 1886. He was a merchant and married to Pasha nee Baranovitz. Prior to WWII he lived in Gorodok, Poland. During the war he was in Gorodok, Poland.
Szymon was murdered in the Shoah.
This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed here) submitted by his uncle, Gershon Tzofin
Shmuel Epshtein was born in Ilja, Poland in 1920 to Max and Chana. He was a child. Prior to WWII he lived in Ilja, Poland.
Shmuel was murdered in the Shoah.
This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed here) submitted by his cousin, Nekhama Hershkovitz Zupraner\Max Epstein was born in 1890. He was married to Chana. Prior to WWII he lived in Ilia, Poland. During the war he was in Ilia, Poland.
Max was murdered in the Shoah.
This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed here) submitted by his niece, Nekhama Hershkovitz ZupranerEster Epstein was born in Ilja Area, Poland in 1915 to Max and Chana. She was single. Prior to WWII she lived in Ilja Area, Poland. During the war she was in Ilja, Poland.
Ester was murdered in the Shoah.
This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed here) submitted by her cousin, Nekhama Hershkovitz Zupraner
Chona Epstein was born in Ilja, Poland in 1910 to Lea. He was a merchant and single. Prior to WWII he lived in Ilja, Poland. During the war he was in Ilja, Poland.
Chona was murdered in the Shoah.
This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed here) submitted by his community member, Yehoshua Lapidot
Rachel Epsztejn was born in Ilja, Poland in 1880. She was a merchant. Prior to WWII she lived in Ilja, Poland. During the war she was in Ilja, Poland.
Rachel was murdered in the Shoah.
This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed here) submitted by her community member, Yehoshua Lapidot
Szepsel Shabtai Epsztejn was born in Ilja, Poland in 1906 to Lea. He was a shoemaker. Prior to WWII he lived in Ilja, Poland. During the war he was in Ilja, Poland.
Szepsel was murdered in the Shoah.
This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed here) submitted by his acquaintance, Yona Rier
The Central Database of Shoah Victims' names has been upgraded with improv