Rabbi Isroel Lunin
By Shulamit Goloventshits
Translated by M. Porat. - Vol.Y. Book, page 493Isroel Lunin arrived in Volozhin in the year 1910. He came to study at the Yeshiva
Eyts Hayim that was headed at that time by Rabbi Refoel Shapiro. He married a native girl; Sheyne Berger, daughter of Feytshe and Tsvi-Hirsh. After their marriage he established a commerce of leathers and linen in partnership with Itshe Meyer Berman and Lipe Levin. The linen was transported by railroad to Vilna. The business
flourished after a short time.
R' Isroel adopted himself to the social life of Volozhin. He was elected as gabay manager of the Klayzl Small synagogue. He devoted much of his time to aid and assistance of the poor and to the economic development of the town. He was amongst the founders of the public Bank; Yiddish Folks Bank.
He became its first director. The bank assisted Volozhin craftsmen-and businessmen. Isroel was also among the founders of the self-defense group during the First World War and was an active participant in its activities.
R' Isroel was concerned about the Yeshiva building. He examined and rebuild it
after the war caused much damages to the building. He became very busy with writing letters to Volozhin descendants in the States in which he asked for their assistance in the rebuilding of the Yeshiva. The founds soon arrived and the Yeshiva was reconditioned.
He worried also about other dwelling conditions and economical aid for the
Reb Isroel Lunin was much honored by the Volozhin inhabitants. It may be
demonstrated by the following event. Volozhin had a dozen of
horse-harnessed-cart drivers (Baleygoles). Their main work consisted of
driving passengers from the town to the rail station. One day Hayim Meyer
Yeshaye bought a bus to transport the passengers. The cart drivers
worried for their Parnosse bread yearning, they turned to Reb Isroel for help.
Isroel had a strong desire that he must assist the Baleygoles immediately. He
suggested to Hayim Meyer to organize cooperation with the cart drivers. Hayim
Meyer adopted Reb Isroel Lunin's suggestion. The poor cart drivers
Parnosse was saved.
Isroel Lunin was elected as head of the Volozhin Kehila (congregation)
soon after the Polish rule was established (early 1920s). He adopted himself to the new spirits of the more modern times. He assisted in the founding of the Hebrew Tarbut School.
Lunin became an ardent Zionist. I remember Grabovski's arriving from Vilna
to collect donations for Keren Hayisod. He called an assembly in the
Klayzl. The response was very weak. Lunin decided to make another effort to reach the Volozhiners. Together with Shlomo Hayim Brudno and Yani Garber they did a lot of Zionist publicity. The effect was big. At the following visit of Mr. Grabovski a
considerable amount of money and valuebale objects were collected for
The final fate of the Volozhin Jews was also Isroel Lunin's and his family
fate. They were murdered and burnt with his beloved shtetl congregation on
May 1942 Volozhin.
Picture scanned from Vol.Y.Book, page 494The family of Isroel Lunin
We did not succed to obtain R' Isroel Lunin's picture. We present there a
picture of his family: Standing from right to left: Alter Shimshelevitsh
(Isroel's brother in law) the first victim during Volozhin holocaust, was
shot immediately with the Germans arrival. Haya Lea Shimshelevitsh
Berger, Sheyne Lunin (Isroel's spouse). Seating: Shlomo Berger (Isroel's
brother in law, deceased in Israel).
Tsvi Hirshl Lunin
By Hessl Perski
Translated by M. Porat - Vol.Y. Book, page 590
Tsvi was born in Volozhin in 1921. He was the son of Isroel and
Sheyna Lunin. He ran away from the Volozhin Ghetto. But was caught by the Germans
and brought to Ghetto Krasne. There he worked some time and succeeded to secretly
buy a rifle. He ran away once more, this time to the partisans. Hirshl joined
the unit named Staritski. He was entrusted with the dangerous duty to follow
German movements and to mine their
Hirshl with other members of his Partisan unit penetrated into Ivianits. He fought a bloody battle against the garrison and drove the Germans away from the shtetl.
Once he was sent with a partisan group to accomplish sabotage acts in the
Nalibok forest near Volozhin. The detachment stumbled across a German
ambush. During the fight all the partisans were killed. Hirsh was the sole
survivor. He defended himself until the last bullet. In his last fight he was
severely wounded. Tsvi-Hirsh Lunin passed away on March 8, 1943.