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What and who provided our family members with the freedom to choose a different and diverse ways of life? This question prompted me to look for an answer and got me into three-year research about our family.


The result is a story about a Jewish family from Eastern Europe, from the Pale of Settlement (Techum HaMoshav) territory. It characterizes those Jewish people that decided to leave behind the religious life and look for something else – Zionism. They became hard-working Israelis, liberal, productive and most important, they were part of those that fought and created the state of Israel.


To understand the roots of that freedom, we start the journey with Avrum and Raizel Kiperman, that were born in a Jewish farming communities (Shtetels) located in the Soroca district of Bessarabia, today Moldova.

Avrum Kiperman was born in Vertiujeni around 1859 and Raizel was born in Dumbrăveni in 1858.


At about the same time, in Rezina, not far from Vertiujeni, Avraham Roshcovan and Zissel, were born. They are the parents of Hana and Esther. Hana will marry Arie Kiperman and her sister Esther will marry Kissil Grobocopatel.


Also, around 1860, Dov Berl Mushinsky was born in Vertiujeni, the father of Yaakov Mushinsky, who married Esther Kiperman.



What is this territory called Bessarabia?


In May 1812, a treaty was signed between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire, which set the conditions for ending one of the many wars between the Russians and the Turks, that began in 1806. According to the treaty 'Peace of Bucharest', the Ottoman Empire transferred to the Russian Empire a large territory with a population of a half-million. The Russians gave that territory the name Bessarabia. Today, more or less, Moldova.

The Jewish Farmers

Generally, Jews were not farmers. The Rabbinical establishment, that led the Jewish communities, did not encourage working in agriculture for fear of assimilation. The Rabbis knew that Jewish farmers shall be exposed to other ways of life, and it might affect them. It did.


By 1804 the "Jewish Regulations Law" of Tsar Alexander I was published. The law demands the transfer of Jews from the countryside to the cities, because they 'blame' the Jews for spoiling Russian farmers by selling them liquor and wine.


At the same time, the "Jewish Regulations Law" encouraged the very few Jewish farmers to stay in the countryside and even provided them a tax exemption plus financial assistance. Tsar Alexander I wants the Jews to be productive, to contribute to Russian economy and to be like the rest of the citizens of his empire. As a consequence, a number of agricultural Jewish (Shtetels) settlements were established in the Kherson Oblast region, South of Ukraine, despite the heavy opposition of the Rabbinical establishment. By 1812, after Napoleon withdrawal, the transfer law was repealed.


By 1825 Tsar Nicholas I came to power. Also, he looked for ways to 'rehabilitate' the Jews, and established a committee to recommend ways to make the Jews good and contributing citizens of Russia.


By August 1827, the exemption from army service, given to Jews 30 years earlier, was canceled, and Jews were required to enlist in the army. However; some could continue to be exempted from recruitment against 1000 Rubles, such as:

(1) merchants that are registered in the 'Tsarist Merchants Association'.

(2) craftsmen registered in a 'Tsarist craftsmen association'.

(3) Rabbis.

(4) Jews graduating from official Russian schools, and finally

(5) Jewish farmers.


In other words, the Jews could either (a) join the army or (b) work productively or (c) seriously study at a formal Russian school.


From the point of view of the Rabbinical establishment, this was a disaster. To avoid army service, few Jews turn to agriculture. Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneorson, the third Admor of Chabad, from 1827, encouraged and also funded Jews to become farmers and to establish settlements, to avoid army service.


On April 13, 1835, the Tsar Nicholas I signed the new "Jewish Constitution", which was partly based on some of Tsar Alexander's regulations. Most of it was bad news, but some are interesting to understand how come some Jews became farmers.


Section 23 said: "The Jews are allowed to own private land or to permanently settle on government lands throughout the areas within the "Pale of Settlement", which is west Russia. The Jewish farmers shall enjoy taxes exemption for 25 years. Also, they will "receive an exemption from army recruitment and an exemption from the "Zmastevo" taxes, a kind of property tax, for 10 years."


In addition to the benefits, the Tsar gives the Jews financial credit to purchase agricultural equipment. The Tsar tries to encourage Jews to work, especially in agriculture, to produce food. These decisions of the Tsar accelerated the settlement in Western Russia in general, and in Bessarabia in particular. In 1860, shortly after Avrum and Raizel were born, there were already 11,000 Jewish farmers in Bessarabia out of 100,000 Jews.

Zionist Bessarabia

Immigration of Jews from Bessarabia to Zion started as early as 1880. Seven delegations from Bessarabia participated in the founding conference of the "Hibat Zion" (Zion Lovers) movement in 1890 in Odessa, seven years before the first Zionist Congress in Basel. By 1922 there were 140 Jewish schools in Bessarabia, of which 105 were teaching in Hebrew with 16,000 Jewish students.

Dumbrăveni, Our Shtetel

Now that we have a better understanding of what Bessarabia is, we can try understanding the agricultural communities of Dumbrăveni and Vertiujeni, where Avrum and Raizel Kiperman were born and raised, and where their parents and grandparents lived. Our grandparents Leib and Esther were born there too, and so were Dov, Fania, Batia, Leah, Yosef (Esther's son), Shlomo and Haim. Frida and Yosef (Hana's son) her brother, were born in Rezina, but grew up in Dumbrăveni, our Shtetel.

Tsar Nicholas I wanted more Jews to be farmers, make food, partly because it served his desire to colonize Bessarabia. In 1836 Dumbrăveni was the first Jewish agricultural settlement in Bessarabia out of 16 such settlements. The settlement was located in Soroca region in Bessarabia, today Moldova.


Twenty-Four families from Mežibož in the Podolia region, the Admor town, purchased 12,870 dunams from Princess Contacuzino from Iași, Romania, in order to establish Dumbrăveni. About 90 families from Mežibož and Mohyliv (Moghilev) were in the first pioneers' wave to start Dumbrăveni.

Raizel was born in Dumbrăveni in 1858, 22 years after the founders from Mežibož, Podolia founded the Shtetel. It is likely that Raizel and Avrum's grandfathers were among the pioneers that created the Shtetels and came from Mežibož and Mogilev. They established new communities in an attempt to live a better life, even if their main motive, and that of their Rabbis, was to avoid military service.

The match between Avrum and Raizel occurred around 1880. They got married and built their house in Dumbrăveni, as was customary at the time, near the house of Raizel's parents. Chaim Kiperman writes, that Avrum was not a farmer, he made hats ('Shloypkeh Macher'), a craftsman in a Jewish agricultural settlement. He had a workshop with 2-3 interns. He had a horse and a cart, with which he traveled between fairs to sell hats.

There were 5 synagogues in Dumbrăveni, that served different classes and groups. Synagogues were much more than houses of prayers. They were the center of social life and also centers for receiving information about the going-on in the world. That is where you can make your networking.


Land owners, farmers, and the rich went to the "Kloise" synagogue headed by Rabbi Aharon Ziegelbaum and Rabbi Haim Kornblit.


The commons went to the "Shul" headed by Rabbi Ephraim Fleischer and Duddel Bolshevik.


"The Kleizel" mainly served the family and friends of Rabbi Idel (the red) Bronstein.


Avrum prayed in the synagogue of the artisans "Schneidershe Shul" led by Rabbi Ortzi the Tailor and his son Moshe, but on Saturdays and holidays he went to the "Deutsche Shul", the central synagogue where the Rabbi of Dumbrăveni, Rabbi Moisheleh Sternberg, and later his son Levi Sternberg, gave sermons.

Yosef Mushinsky, who was born in Dumbrăveni, describe Dumbrăveni as surrounded by wheat fields, corn, plantations and forests. Each house had a large yard with a well, from which water was fetched. Near each house there was a cow or two, some chickens, geese, goats and fruit trees. The common crop in Dumbrăveni, as well as in other settlements around, was tobacco.


Next to the public school there was a natural green lawn with trees and bushes. A kind of a park. Dov calls the park "Barg", others called it the "Tulike". Young and old from the Shtetel liked spending time in the Tulike on the grass and playing among the bushes.

Dumbrăveni was a very organized shtetel with schools, bathhouse, Mikves, bank, post office and police station. Every year, in the 'Talmud Torah' yard, they dug a deep pit ('Lidovni') and in the winter they filled the Lidovni with large blocks of ice brought from the frozen streams around the Shtetel. The Lidovni was covered with a straw roof and everyone had ice during the summer.


Vertiujeni was established two years after Dumbrăveni, in 1838, on the Dniester River bank, on a land purchased by 47 families, where few old houses already existed. They purchased 390 'Deceitines' (4200 dunams).


By 1897 most of the Jewish residents in Vertiujeni were not farmers. 60% of the population in Vertiujeni were Jew, 1047 to be precise. The distribution of land was not equal, just 37 families had land suitable for agriculture. The Jews in Vertiujeni were very orthodox religious and opposed the Zionists of Dumbrăveni or any Zionist for that matter.

Avrum Kiperman was born in 1859 in Vertiujeni. His father's name was Yehuda Arie Kiperman. Avrum's grandfathers came from Mežibož in Podolia in 1838 and were among the founders of Vertiujeni.

The Expansion Begins


In 1884, Esther was born to 26-year-old Raizel Kiperman. Four years later, in 1888, Leib Arie was born. It is worth noting that, to the best of our knowledge, Avrum and Raizel had only 2 children, relatively few for the time, and also that Raizel brings the firstborn Esther when she is 26, relatively late.


Recently we met Eliezer Kiperman, Shmuel Kiperman's grandson. Please refer to his story within this website. According to Eliezer, Shmuel Kiperman is the son of Avrum and Raizel, brother to Arie and Esther. He also told us that there were two more brothers or sisters, making it a total of five. This remain a mystery to us, but certainly Shmuel Kiperman is either Avrum & Raizel's son or a very close relative.

Esther and Leib hear about Zionism throughout their entire childhood. As mentioned before, seven delegations from Bessarabia participated in the founding conference of the 'Hibat Zion' movement in 1890 in Odessa, Esther was 6-year-old. Seven years later in 1897 (when Esther was 13) the first Zionist Congress takes place in Basel. Rabbi Moishele Sternberg of Dumbrăveni is a dedicated Zionist and it affects the entire Dumbrăveni community. The Rabbi always had authority within the shtetel.


Around 1902 Esther is a growing lady, and the family is looking for a good match for her. The groom was found in Vertiujeni, Avrum's shtetel, and his name is Yaacov Mushinsky. Yaakov is one of the 10 sons of Dov Mushinsky, a rabbi from Vertiujeni. He was not The Rabbi of Vertiujeni, because in 1899 Avraham Yosef Fritzman was appointed as the Rabbi of Vertiujeni.


The Mushinsky family from Vertiujeni is very religious and against Zionism. At one point the Mushinsky family shunned their son Yaakov because Dumbrăveni people generally and the Kiperman family specifically and Esther in particular are very Zionist.

Typically for a Rabbi's son, Yaakov was a 'Yeshiva' graduate and qualified to be a 'Mohel' and a butcher. After their wedding, they decided to settle in Dumbrăveni, and built their house near Avrum and Raizel house. Unfortunately, Yaakov could not be the butcher for Dumbrăveni, since that position was already occupied as "Hazaka" (like a possession) by others and Yaakov had to make a living as a butcher for other villages and small towns. That was not easy. Nevertheless, easy or not, the family began to expand. In 1908, when Esther was 24, she gave birth to Berl Dov, the first grandchild of Avrum and Raizel. Like her mother Raizel, also Esther, give birth relatively late.

World War I breakout in 1914 and Yaakov is drafted into the Russian army. Esther is pregnant. Dov Berl (6) stays with his grandparents Avrum and Raizel and will continue to stay with them from now on until he left to Zion.


By 1915, while Yaakov is serving the Tsar's army, his daughter Leah was born. At the end of 1917 the Bolshevik revolution takes place and the Russian army became messy. Yaakov is not a sucker; he takes advantage of the mess and returns home to Dumbrăveni. When he arrives home, exhausted and dirty after 3 years of absence, he knocks the door and Raizel don’t recognize him. Only Avrum realized it was Yaakov.

Esther's brother, Leib Arie, was born in 1888 in Dumbrăveni. At that time, there were about 1700 residents in Dumbrăveni. But life was difficult and many left Dumbrăveni in search of livelihood. In 1910, for example, the number of residents dropped to 1132.


By 1911, when he was 23-year-old, Arie Leib too began wandering around Bessarabia, looking for the future. During one of his journeys, he arrives to Rezina and sees a beautiful young lady. Ita Hana Roshcovan is a 19-year-old beauty from the town of Rezina on the banks of the Dniester River. By 1912 they get married. They return to Dumbrăveni and build a house next to Avrum and Raizel house.

Leib was a fabric and fur shopkeeper. According to him, there was almost nothing in the store. A tiny shop. He traveled between fairs trying to sell his wares. Anyway, he and Ita Hana start working on the expansion of the family. On May 13, 1913, Fania was born and in June 1916, Batia was born. Both were born in Dumbrăveni. Around 1917, during World War I, perhaps following the Bolshevik Revolution, Leib and Ita Kiperman moved with their young children to Rezina in the hope for a better life.


Rezina sits on the banks of the Dniester River. Archeological remains found in Rezina suggest a settlement of 2500 years ago. Ancient settlement in a good location. Hanna Ita Roshcovan was born in 1892 to Zissel and Abraham Roshcovan. A high middle-class family that was engaged in the tobacco trade and had crops fields and vineyard. When Hana Ita was a child, her father Avraham died. Her mother Zissel and she moved to live with her older sister Esther who was already married to Kissil Grobocopatel, a wealthy man. Rezina was then a medium-sized town. At that time, there were 3 watermills in Rezina, one brewery, one leather processing workshop, dockyard on the river, four limestone quarries (apparently for cement), one of which was owned by a guy name M. Grobocopatel. And another interesting detail documented on the records. By April 1886, there was a row of shops on the main street of Rezina, including tobacco shops, named after Lev Selmov Roshcovan, Ita Hana family.

By 1917, Fania (4) and Batia (1), and World War I was in full swing, and the most important milestone for Zionism, the Balfour Declaration, made waves among the Zionist in Europe. The Bolshevik Revolution took over Russia, and Yaakov returns from military service. Leib and Ita Hana decide to move to Rezina to Esther Roshcovan, her sister. And this also happens in 1917, the Soviet of Rezina Workers is established as part of the revolution.

By 1918, World War I end. Gradually, small Russian soldiers' groups, in a big mess, returning home from the front in Europe. Some pass-through Bessarabia and around Rezina there are pogroms, robberies and rapes committed by the Russian soldiers.


By the end of World War I, in January 1918 the of Republic of Moldova gets its independence on what was Bessarabia. But, two months later, in March 1918, Moldova unites with Romania and this is a significant change in Moldova, because it's actually passes from Russian admin to Romanian admin. A huge change for the population.


1918 is also the year in which Frida was born in Rezina, third daughter to Hana and Leib.

Aunt Esther from Rezina

Few words on Hana Kiperman's sister, Aunt Esther (Roshcovan) Grobocopatel, a unique woman.


Aunt Ester from Rezina gave birth to 12 sons until she got what she wants, a daughter, and she called her Onia.


Two of her sons were killed during the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.

One son was drowned in the Dniester River.

Three were exiled to Siberia in 1930's by the Bolsheviks.

Haim Grobocopatel was the manager of an oil factory in Rezina.

Paicey (Pesach) lived in Rezina.

David studied accounting in Chisinau and worked at a Bank in Rezina.

Yosef and Onia stayed in Chernivtsi (Chernovich) west of the Dniester and were in contact with the family the whole time.


Pacey and Chaim arrived to Chernivtsi in 1940 for a visit.

Sosia and another brother lived in Žmerinka. They were well educated and communists. They were murdered during World War II the Nazis.


Aunt Esther Roshcovan and Kissil Grobocopatel were murdered in the Holocaust.

Pacey survived the Holocaust and his fate is unknown.

Yosef and Onia escaped with Haim and Batia to the east, inside Russia.


Kissil, who came from a wealthy family, is said to have visited the Holy Land. He worked on the train station, probably in Rîbnița (no train in Rezina.) Kissil had 2 brothers who lived in Baltz and had clothes shop. It is said that he was one of the first in Rezina to have a telephone, in 1925.

Back to Dumbrăveni and Bulboci

In 1920, there are 749 houses in Rezina providing shelter to a population of 4320, mostly Jews, which was common around Bessarabia. Not a small town. Yosef Kiperman was born in Rezina on January 6th, 1920 and sometime after his birth, Leib and Hana went back to Dumbrăveni.

Rezina was not friendly enough from the financial aspect.


Berl Dov Mushinsky (12) continues to stay with grandpa Avrum and grandma Raizel (Rosa) in Dumbrăveni. Every Sunday he travels with a horse and cart, together with his friend, the young Moshe Sternberg, the Rabbi's son, to 'Gimnasia Tarbuth' (Tarbuth School) in Soroca. The Tarbuth school was a Jewish Zionist high-school, teaching in Hebrew, thus preparing the students to go to Zion. They were among the first class of the 'Gimnasia Tarbuth' in Soroca. Moshe's grandfather and father were a highly respected Rabbis and a dedicated Zionists. Later, Moshe will go to Zion and study law at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. On Fridays they both return to Dumbrăveni and Berl will stay with his grandparents.


Fania (7) was too studying at the 'Gimnasia Tarbuth' in Soroca and she is staying with her aunt in Soroca, one of Hana's sisters, and sometimes with her uncle, one of Hana's brothers.


Batia stayed in Rezina and studied in the elementary school.


In January 1920, Yosef Mushinsky, son of Esther, was born in Dumbrăveni. Two Yosefs added to the family. Both born on January 1920 and are named after Raizel's father, Yosef, who died around that time.

In 1924, Shlomo Mushinsky, son of Esther Kiperman Mushinsky, was born in Dumbrăveni.


By 1925 the butcher of Rezina died. Finally, some good news. Why? Because it is very difficult to obtain 'Hazaka' (possession) for key positions in a Jewish community. The possession is regarded as a property and it is inherited or purchased for a lot of money. The family from Dumbrăveni hears the news from the Grobocopatel family in Rezina and Avrum decides that this is an opportunity to help Esther and her husband Yaacov to earn a respectable living. He buys the "Hazaka" of the butcher and a house in Rezina and gives Yaakov and Ester Mushinsky. They have in Rezina the family of Ita Roshcovan and Grobocopatel and it helps them to integrate within the Jewish community.


Esther and Yaacov with Yosef (5) Shlomo (1) Leah (10) move to Rezina. Dov (17) still studying in Soroca, and on weekends stays in Dumbrăveni with his grandparents, who finances his school and takes care of all his needs.

By 1926 Haim Kiperman was born in Dumbrăveni. Fania (13) studies in Soroca at the Tarbuth school.

Batia (10), Frida (8) and Yosef (6) study in elementary school and help in the household in Dumbrăveni.


By 1927 the house of Arie Leib and Hana in Dumbrăveni was destroyed by fire, including the furniture, the clothes and everything that can caught fire. With the help of the Jewish community, Leib and Ita found a small home in a small village not far from Dumbrăveni called Bulboci, with only 10 Jewish families. Leib and Ita moved to Bulboci with the baby Haim and later Frida also joined them.


They had a cow and Frida remembers how she milked the cow. Leib and Ita opened a small grocery store in Bulboci which was managed by Ita. Leib went through villages and sold everything possible. They were uncomfortable in Bulboci, so around 1929, when Leib was offered a job from a fur store in Chernivtsi, without any hesitation, they decided to move to Chernivtsi.

After his graduation from the Tarbuth school in Soroca, Berl Mushinsky joined the 'Chalutz' (pioneer) movement with a clear aim of going to Zion. In 'LaG BaOmer', 19th May 1927, Avrum Kiperman with his horse and chariot, takes his beloved grandson Berl to the 'Chalutz' camp "Bilichni" near Balti (Beltz) where Berl met his future wife, Tova. In the meantime, he also joins Gordonia, a Zionist youth organization. According to Gideon Mishaeli, Dov's youngest son, Dov was very involved in Gordonia, a movement that was influenced by A.D. Gordon, and Dov was appointed as Gordonia's secretary in Chisinau from 1927 until he left for Zion in 1929.

On November 20, 1929, a month after Arie and Hanna moved to Chernivtsi, Avrum Kiperman hitched the cart to his horse in Dumbrăveni and took his grandson Dov (21) and Tova, who had just married, to the train station in Mărculești. A journey of 26 km south of Dumbrăveni. Dov said that on the one hand, Avrum was happy that he can accompany his eldest, married grandson on his journey to Zion. On the other hand, he was concerned that this might be his final farewell to his grandson, whom he raised and provide for education.


In Mărculești, Dov and Tova take a train to the port at Constanța, and from there, with the ship "Sinaya" to Jaffa. Dov and Tova arrived to Jaffa three months after the historical Arab riots against Jews and a month after one of the biggest global financial crises, the "Black Thursday" in 1929 when the New York stock exchange collapsed and the fallout affected the entire world.

Dov was the first representative of the family in Palestine (not yet Israel).

By the way, the first organized group of pioneers from Dumbrăveni arrived Zion in 1924. Nevertheless, individuals from Dumbrăveni arrived in Israel as early as 1880. In 1933, Dov's parents, Yaacov and Esther Mushinsky, with Yosef (13) and Shlomo (9) arrived to Zion. Leah (19) came in 1934. Tova's parents came to Zion in 1933.

Chernivtsi (Chernovits)

The Kiperman family moved from Bulboci to Chernivtsi in October 1929. They rent a wagon with two horses and setoff on a 212-km journey. Every 20 km they replaced the leading horse with the second horse, allowing one horse to rest at a time. Chernivtsi is a completely different place. Big and important city, not a shtetel, but a commercial and cultural center.


For about 150 years, until 1918, the Austro-Hungarian Empire ruled Bucovina and its major city Chernivtsi. The admin and language were German.


During the World War I, Chernivtsi was taken over by the Kingdom of Romania, and everything was Romanian.


By 1940, the Russian Red Army captured the city and it was annexed to the Soviet Union, and everything was Russian.


After one year, in 1941, it was occupied by the Germans and their allies the Romanians and again the language is Romanian.


In 1944 the Russians came back to rule and everything went back to Russian.

When the Kipermans moved to Chernivtsi, in the fall of 1929, the population in the city was 112,000, of which 40% were Jews, who formed a very important part of the city's culture and economy. In fact, in 1912 the mayor was a Jew. Zionist youth movements were very active in the city and the idea of going to Zion to create a state for Jews was the trend among the youth. The move from Bulboci to Chernivtsi was a big geographical, cultural and mental transition for the family. The city was cosmopolitan and the young Kipermans could be exposed to Romanians, Ukrainians, Germans, Jews and Poles. The dominant language on the street was still German.

The Kipermans that arrived to Chernivtsi included the parents Leib and Hana, Haim (3) and Batia (13). Fania (16) is still studying in Soroca, and Frida (11) is staying with Avrum and Raizel in Dumbrăveni, helping with the household. Yosef (9) stay in Dumbrăveni to complete Grade 3 of elementary school.


1929 is a tough time for Avrum and Raizel. They are already 70 years old. Four years earlier, Esther and the children left Dumbrăveni and moved to Rezina. Now Leib and his family are leaving for Chernivtsi. Dov, the grandson who grew-up with them, left on November. They stay with Frida and Yosef for a year and in 1930 they actually stay alone in Dumbrăveni.

In Rezina, Esther and Yaakov Mushinsky are staying in a beautiful house on the Dniester with Leah (15) Yosef (10) and Shlomo (6). Yaakov is the butcher and the 'Mohel' of the local community in Rezina and the income is not bad.


Midale was born in August 1930, the daughter of David Grobocopatel and Lioba, her brother Yechiel was two years older. Her father David works at Rezina Bank.

At first, Kuperman family (maybe relatives?) assisted the Kipermans to find their way in the city and gave them small (very small) shelter until Leib found another small apartment. The apartment he found was in terrible conditions with water leaks, cold, and it was hard staying there. Leib and Ita worked hard to make a living. They bought different products and sold them in a market. Over time, they found a more reasonable place to live on Steingasse Street, close to the city center and life began to look better.


Steingasse was called before, O. Josif, and today the street name is Pereyaslavska. During the Holocaust, their apartment was located within the area that was designated by the Nazis as the ghetto of Chernivtsi. From the ghetto, they took the Jews to different places, including death camps.

In 1930 Frida (12) finally joined the family in Chernivtsi. Fania (17) was graduated from the Tarbuth school at Soroca and moved to Chernivtsi where she started studding accounting. From 1931 to 1940 she worked as a cashier at the Opera House, where they also showed movies, which allowed her sisters to go to the movies for free. The money she earned went to mom Hana. Batia worked in a sausages-shop or a butcher shop.


Frida learned sewing from 1931 to 1933 with 10 girls in the class. By 1933, a representative of HaShomer Hatzair (Youth Zionist movement) appeared in the class and convinced the entire class to join the movement. Frida was 15 years old at the time.

By 1933, after graduation, Frida started working at sewing workshop. She didn't like the work and went to work at a T-shirt factory where she worked for several years. Yosef worked at a textile and clothing shop by the name Tesatura-Iasi Feller (looks like there are still such name.)


In 1935, Yosef joined the Gordonia movement (another youth Zionist movement) and met there his future wife, Atara (Kranci) Zinger. Batia was attracted to Communism and met Carl and in 1938 they got married. Frida was in HaShomer Hatzair and recruited her small brother Chaim. Fania was busy with work. Each and every one freely picked their way and the parents gave them that freedom.

In 1934, Yosef (14) and Chaim (8) travelled to Dumbrăveni to visit their grandparents and Chaim remembers the visit.


Esther and her family already left for Zion in 1933 and Avrum and Raizel are alone in Dumbrăveni.

By 1936, Avrum and Raizel sold their house and property in Dumbrăveni and moved to Chernivtsi. They were 78 years old. This was the end of the family's presence at Dumbrăveni.


Five years later, Dumbrăveni will be completely destroyed and its entire Jewish population will be brutally murdered.


By 1937, the HaShomer Hatzair and Gordonia movements suggested that Frida and Yosef should go to 'Hachshara', a training camp, in preparation for life in Zion. They were scheduled to go on 1939. Frida spent a year and a half in such a training camp in Galatz.


Life in Chernivtsi is a celebration for the Kiperman youth. Trips, shops, training, ideology, social life and friends. Vibrant fantastic life. How far is it from Dumbrăveni.


1939 is the year when Frida, Yosef and Atara are leaving Chernivtsi to Zion. They are not telling papa Leib. They just tell mom Hana. They traveled from Chernivtsi to Bucharest by train where they waited for several days until more youths gathered from different countries, and then from Bucharest by train to Constanța.


On May 1939 the British published the White Paper prohibiting Jews from coming to Zion. Two months later, on July 8, 1939 silently at the night, the ship Colorado left the port of Constanța, Romania with 377 Jews on board, including Frida, Atara and Yosef Kiperman.


After 17 days on the sea, on July 25th the ship is approaching the coast of Herzliya but discovered by the British warship "Imperial" and the British Navy is using force to overtake the Colorado. The 'illegal' pioneers destroyed their original documents by the order of the Colorado ship captain and claimed they are refugees from Germany and Austria. The British did not buy the story.


The ship was taken to the port of Haifa on July 28. The 'illegal' pioneers were held on the ship by the British for 12 days and on August 8th, 1939, the British soldiers took them off-board Colorado to a detention camp in Haifa where they were held for 19 days, until their release on August 27th, 1939.

By 1940, Batia (24) a good communist, married Carl, also a communist, and they lived in Bucharest for few months, then returned to Chernivtsi. Fania (27) works at the same place in Chernivtsi, the Opera House, from 1931 to 1940.


Haim (14) is at school. Haim, Fania, Leib and Ita, Avrum and Raizel, who are already 80 years old, stayed at the house in Steingasse. With them are also Yosef Grobocopatel from Rezina and his sister Onia. Also, Pacey and Haim Grobocopatel came to visit the family in Chernivtsi.

The Soviet Occupation

By June 1940, Chernivtsi was annexed to the Soviet Union. The Soviets nationalized all private property. On June 13, 1940, Chernivtsi elite was deported to Siberia, including about 10,000 Jews, Rabbis, Zionist activists, Bund activists and more. Most died in Siberia from cold and hunger. After a year of Soviet terror, the Soviets retreated from Chernivtsi between June 23 and 30, 1941.


When the German invaded Russia, the Soviets started helping many youths from Chernivtsi to escape east. Many of those youths were Jews and some enlisted into the Red Army. Among the many youths fleeing east to Russia and other Soviet countries were Batia, Chaim, Yosef and Henia Grobocopatel and his sister Onia. The escape described in details Haim's book "The Tribe".


The German / Romanian Occupation

On July 5, 1941, the Romanians, allies of the German Nazis, conquered Chernivtsi (Czernowitz). They immediately began looting and ransacking houses and shops, murdering, raping in indescribable acts. Avrum and Raizel, the 82-year-old are in Chernivtsi, and with them are Aryeh, Hana and Fania.


Within a month the Germans and the Romanians murdered about 5,000 Jews in Chernivtsi and rapped thousands. Within a few months, until the beginning of 1942, most of the Jew's property was confiscated and handed over to non-Jews Romanians. The surviving Jews were left with nothing.


The Ghetto


When the Chernivtsi Ghetto was created, there were about 46,000 Jews in the city. By October 1941, more Jews from the surrounding area were brought into the ghetto, and their number increased to 75,000. More than 50,000 Jews, most of them already destitute, were imprisoned in the ghetto which was included few small streets, including Steingasse Street, where our family house was located.


Many Jews left homeless and spent the freezing nights under the sky. The electricity to the ghetto was cut off. Within a few days a 3-meter fence was constructed surrounding the ghetto with barbed wire. Upon entering the ghetto, the Jews of Chernivtsi were required to transfer all their money to the National Bank of Romania. Those who did not transfer their money were subject to the death penalty. Just like that. Many Jews killed themselves.


The deportation of the Jews to the camps in Transnistria, including Leib and Ita and Fania, began on October 13, 1941. They were deported to the Mohyliv (Moghilev) ghetto. Elderly Avrum and Raizel were left alone in the Chernivtsi ghetto, sick and exhausted. The Jews were loaded onto train-cars without food and water. Most of them lost their clothes during the deportation, including the clothes they were wearing. Many died, mostly the babies, the sick and the elderly. They died on the way inside the train cars, and many of those who survived the journey perished or murdered in the camps, in the forests and on the road sides.

Fania in the Skazyntsi - Starvation Camp


As mentioned, grandpa Leib and grandma Ita, together with Fania are deported to the Mohyliv ghetto. The Mohyliv ghetto is a transitional ghetto. In Mohyliv there is a committee of Jews and the committee decides who stay in the ghetto and who will be sent to the starvation death camps in Skazyntsi and Peciora (Pechiora) and other ghettos.


Fania was sent to the Skazyntsi starvation death camp located 4 km from Mohyliv, which is considered the most terrible camp in Transnistria. Those sent there died of starvation. During her stay in Skazyntsi, she took care of a woman who had typhus, but she died, like many others. Fania continued to care for her orphan. His name was Harry Held. The relationship with the father, Avraham Moshe Held, became tighter and they decided to get married after the war. On September 12, 1942, the Skazyntsi camp was closed after one year of death. Fania was survived and returned to Mohyliv.


On February 6, 1942 Avrum Kiperman was killed near Chernivtsi. He was 83 years old. Raizel died around the same time in 1942 at the age of 84 and they are buried in the cemetery in Chernivtsi.


In Mohyliv ghetto, Arie Leib managed to get a job of heaters' installation and maintenance for the Romanian guards, a very important job, that kept him and Ita in Mohyliv, and especially helped them getting food and clothing and surviving three very difficult years.

The Escape


At the end of June 1941, many started escaping east into Russia and the Russians helped them escaping because Russia needed them in the army, in the factories and in the kolkhozes. The intention of Yosef Grobocopatel, who knew how to analyze the reality, was to reach Rezina with a horse and cart, but already on the way it became clear that the Romanian Army have reached Rezina and they are changing direction and fleeing eastward to Poltava in Ukraine, after barely surviving on the road, and hardly crossing the Dnieper. They travelled by horse 860 km in one month.


Many refugees flee to the east and the Russians help them by allocating trains cars. In Poltava they boarded a train to speed up the escape. The train brought them to Krasnodar, Russia, a distance of 1030 km. In Krasnodar they were dropped off the train and sent to a kolkhoz where they lived and worked until March 1942. During that time Yosef was drafted into the Red Army.


Because the Germans are advancing, they took a train to the Caucasus, to North Ossetia, 616 km, and again they were sent to a kolkhoz where they receive housing and work. In Ossetia Yosef and Henia's son, Sioma died.

David Grobocopatel, studied accounting in Chisinau and worked at Rezina Bank. By June 1941 he gets a wagon and two horses from the bank, allowing him to escape east, like his brother Yosef. He takes his wife Lioba, his son Yechiel (13) and his daughter Midaleh (11) and they start escaping. They are caught in Okny (Okina) Ukraine and taken to Rîbnița ghetto, opposite Rezina. Midale remember how near the ghetto, there were convoys of Jews marching to their unknown fate.

The group of Yosef Grobocopatel continue east, and by February 1943 they take a train to the Caspian Sea to Makhachkala, the capital city of the region, 317 km. They survived in Makhachkala on the streets for about two weeks until they were able to board a ship and sail about 610 km to Krasnovodsk (today Turkmenbashi) in Turkmenistan.


After a few days, they boarded a refugee train that would take them further east. On that train they surprisingly met three cousins ​​from the side of Hana's Roshcovan family, with a husband of one of them, and they joined the two groups. By the way, these cousins ​​survived the Holocaust and came to Israel, at least one of them to Ashkelon.


After a very long journey of 2185 km they arrived in Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan. In Tashkent they got another train east, but during the journey, when they understood that the train is going to Siberia, they jumped off the train at the first opportunity. It turned out that they got off the train at a place called Taldykorgan in Kazakhstan, 1070 km from Tashkent. Someone took them to a nearby kolkhoz and gave them a place to stay in an unfurnished clay hut. A few months later, Batia managed to find a job in a nearby mining town called Tekeli, and Chaim joined her.


Batia worked in a clinic and Haim learned quickly to be an electrician. He works in the electrical department of the mines in Tekeli and managed very well. On April 1944, when Chaim was 18 years old, he received a draft order from the Red Army. The mines obtained an exemption for him because of his importance to the factory.


1944 is already a year when the Germans are retreating from Russia. In fact, from the beginning of 1943, after the battle of Stalingrad, the Germans were retreating.


On March 18, 1944, the Red Army liberated Mohyliv (Moghilev) and exactly one month later, on April 18, 1944, they liberated Chernivtsi. Arie, Hana and Fania Kiperman survived the hell and returned to the house in Chernivtsi, on Steingasse Street. Only now Arie find out that his parents Avrum and Raizel did not survive.


Batia and the group return to Chernivtsi and leave Haim in Tekeli. Because of the exemption from the army, Chaim had to stay in the factory, and only by January 1946 he was able to return to Chernivtsi. As mentioned, the details of the escape are told in Haim's book "The Tribe".

Coming Home


The reunification of the family in Chernivtsi after the hell of the Holocaust was extremely moving. People experience so much suffering, horrors, human abnormality, and death for four terrible years, day after day, on a brink of death every day, not knowing the fate of their loved ones and somehow survived.


Yosef Grobocopatel was released from the Red Army and returned to Chernivtsi to Henia.


Batia returned in mid-1944 realized that her husband Carl would no longer return. She met a guy named Abrasha Gertzman, an engineer, an officer with the rank of 'mayor' in the Red Army and they were married in Chernivtsi in 1945.


Onia returned with Batia and met Boris Gitelman and they also married in early 1946.


Pesach Grobocopatel and his brother Haim, brothers of Yosef and Onia, survived the war and arrived in Chernivtsi. Haim Grobocopatel married Sarah and they had a daughter named Rosa. Sara and Rosa arrived to Israel. Haim Grobocopatel died in Chernivtsi.


David Grobocopatel, the son of Ester from Rezina, was murdered in the Rîbnița ghetto in 1941. His wife Lioba, his son Yechiel and his daughter Midaleh survived the Holocaust. After the war, Lioba and Midale went to Iasi, Romania. There was no point in going to Rezina. Their home was destroyed and most of the Jews in Rezina were murdered.


Yechiel was 17 years old and after their release from the Rîbnița ghetto, the Russians sent him to Donbas, Ukraine to work. After a while, for some cash, he escaped to Chernivtsi hiding in a barrel and arrived at the Kiperman family house.

On April 28, 1946, 3 months after Chaim returns from Tekeli, Batia is already pregnant and she stays with her husband Abrasha in Chernivtsi, but the parents Hana and Aryeh with their young son Chaim take advantage of a short window of opportunity given by the Russians and leave Chernivtsi to Romania, to Fania at Gura Humorului. After 3 months in Gura Humorului, Chaim travels to Bucharest with his father Arie and finds an opportunity to go to Zion with a group from Gordonia.


He says goodbye to his father Arie and gets on the train with other Holocaust survivors. The journey is well organized by representatives from Zion as part of Aliyah Bet. They traveled by train to Bakar via Belgrade and Zagreb, and there they boarded a ship called "Hagana". By October 1946, after 3 months of hardships, trains and ships, including quarantine camps, he arrives as a free man to Haifa.

On July 30, 1946, Batia gives birth to her twins, Misha and Boria in Chernivtsi, just as Chaim begins his journey to Haifa. Onia with Boris Gitelman in Chernivtsi, USSR.


By April 1947, Fania in Gura Humorului, in Romania, gives birth to Rosica (Vered) and Lilika (Lea).

Despite the love to the grandkids, Hana and Arie decided to go to Zion. They leave by December 1947, right after the historic UN decision on the rights for a state for Jews in Palestine. They sailed on a ship that was stopped by the British Navy and the British arrested all those holocaust survivors and sent to detention camp in Cyprus. With thousands of other Nazi camp survivors, they are imprisoned in a British camp. Imagine! The exhausted Jews, including Arie and Hanna, are detained by the British in Cyprus.


These unfortunate holocaust survivors will be released only after May 1948, when the British mandate over Palestine ended. So, at the end of 1948, most of the family are in Israel.


By 1950 Lioba and Yechiel Arrived to Israel by a ship from Constanța.

Midaleh marries Max and they stayed in Iasi, Romania.


Now, what was going on in Palestine (not yet Israel)? Let's go back to 1929, the year Dov and Tova arrived to Palestine, and to some extent paved the way to Palestine for the rest of the family.

In Palestine (Not yet Israel)

By 1929, Zionism had been breathing and kicking for 40 years. There are already kibbutzim, moshavim, settlements, cities and even Tel Aviv. There are about 165,000 Jews. But the Zionists community is small, weak and under murderous attacks by the Arabs, as happened in the events of August 1929, only 3 months before Tova and Dov Mushinsky arrived Palestine. They arrived at the end of the fourth Aliyah (IV) with Gordonia's first group, the Masada group.


The year 1929 is not a good for Zionism, because it is a relatively quiet time for Jews in Europe. Very few arrived. Throughout the Soviet Union, Jews are still enjoying a good time, a consequence of the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. Western Europe is peaceful. The silence before the Holocaust.

Tova Mishaeli is the only woman in the Masada group and she is pregnant. They live in tents, draining swamps, and expand the family, no matter what.

Tova goes to agricultural farm on the outskirts of Hadera where young pioneers are trained in agriculture, including beekeeping. By 1930, when she was alone in the Workers farm (Meshek HaPoalot) ill with malaria, Tova gave birth to Aharon David. The first son of the fourth generation. The one who helped her with the birth was Aric Sharon's mother, who was a guide in the farm (Meshek HaPoalot). According to Tamar, Aharon David is the first child of the Gordonia movement, a pioneering movement that named after A.D. Gordon, a colorful figure who became a legend of hard working in the Jordan Valley and was from the leadership of Hapoel Hatzair.


Dov spares no efforts to obtain certificates from the British authorities, required for the entrance to British Palestine, for his parents and family. By 1932 he finds an opportunity when the High Commissioner, Sir Arthur Wauchope, visits Hadera. Sir Wauchope was the fourth British High Commissioner and was friendly to Zionism. Dov turns to him directly for assistance. So, by 1933 Dov's parents, Esther and Yaacov Mushinsky arrived to Haifa with Yosef (13) and Shlomo (9). This is already considered the Fifth Aliya.


They sell the house and property in Rezina for a small amount, plus they sell the butcher's "possession" that Avrum Kiperman bought for them 8 years earlier. They traveled by train from Mărculești to Constanța, where they boarded an ordinary passenger ship that took them to Haifa. Dov is waiting at the port to receive them. He arranged for them to stay in Haifa for one night. The next day by train they go to Hadera, where Masada group was stationed, close to Tova and Dov.


They don't like the pioneers' way life at Masada group, but had to accept the reality. Not religious enough. The pioneers that came to Palestine distance themselves from the religious life of Jews in Europe. Yosef (13) joined a school in Hadera and finished 6th, 7th and 8th grades within one year. Good for him.

The religious parents of Tova from Viznitz, Shlomo and Tzipora Shefler arrived too in 1933. Shlomo had a sawmill in Viznitz and the Sheflers were a wealthy family. Tova's parents stayed with her. They purchased 2 dunams around HaGalil Street and built 2 houses with 3 shops, including their grocery store, and a large house with few apartments for rent. Esther and Yaakov Mushinsky rented an apartment from them until they moved to Rehovot.


The revenue was poor and over time the Sheflers became penniless, so by 1941 they moved to Holon, to live near their daughter Hilda, Tova's sister, and her husband Jacob who was released from service in the British Army.

By 1934, Leah Mushinsky arrived. She was part of Gordonia movement in the Avuka group. Gordonia's large group in Hadera includes not only the Masada group but also the Huldah group, and one of its members is no other but Haim Shpayer, the future husband of Lea Mushinsky.

In 1935, when David was 5 and Tova was pregnant with Tamar, Dov and Tova looked for a place where David could be with other children. So, they left the Masada group in Hadera and moved to the Schiller Group near Rehovot and there is when, on September 15, 1935, Tamar Lin (Mishaeli) was born. After one year they moved to Kfar Gibton near Rehovot. Dov started working at KKL (Keren Kayemet LeIsrael) and among other things, he goes to schools to collect the blue boxes with small contribution to the Zionist movement. Tova grows strawberries near the house.

Since Dov moved to the Schiller group, Esther and Yaacov with Yosef and Shlomo also leave Hadera and move to Rehovot in 1935. Yaacov tries to provide services as a butcher. Not very successfully. Meanwhile, Leah also joined them. Esther opened a small restaurant on Herzl Street corner of Batia Makov and Leah with Yosef are helping her. Over time, the restaurant became a popular labors' kitchen.

By 1936, Sylvia Schwartz (14) arrived from Iasi, Romania, and Leah assigned Yosef the role of a Hebrew teacher for Sylvia, the younger sister of her best friend Rebecca. Dov serves as the secretary of the packaging labors' organization (Irgun Ovdei HaAriza) and with his encouragement, Yosef becomes a citrus fruit specialist and works at Beer Tovia. Dov trusts Yosef and enlist him to the Hagana (Para military organization) at the age of 16 in Rehovot.


In 1938, Yosef was sent to Beit-Hashita for 3-months training as part of Migdal & Homa program. When he returns, he joins HaShomer-HaTzair movement. Yosef is part of the national regiment called the "Valley Guard Regiment" and as part of it, his is among those founded Kibbutz Lahavot-HaBashan with Sylvia and they got closer. In the meantime, Sylvia leaves for another training and Yosef is getting a job at HaShomer-HaTzair in Rehovot.

Over time, Dov and Tova moved to Rehovot and in 1939 they moved to Kfar Billu where they had a small farm. Around 1939 Leah and Chaim got married. They lived at a packaging shed in Rehovot.


1939 Frida, Atara and Yosef Kiperman arrived to Haifa, as mention before. Yosef and Atara came as part of Gordonia and join kibbutz Chanita. In the meantime, Yosef works as a shepherd and weaves pullovers for the members. Gradually, he gets to manage the construction work in the kibbutz.

Frida arrives with a group of 70 youths called "Yassour". At the beginning, the group settled in Magdiel and lived there for about a year until mid-1940, making a living from all kinds of odd jobs. From there they moved to a tents-camp in Ein-HaMifartz near the railroad tracks. Frida worked in "Naaman" factory making bricks, for over a year. By July 1940 they were under attack by Italian air planes in Haifa Bay.


In 1940 on a Saturday morning, a military jeep with drunken British soldiers was driving wildly in Rehovot and they ran over Yaacov Mushinsky killing him instantly. He was 60 years old and is buried in the Rehovot cemetery. By 1940 Nava Shpayer was born to Leah and Chaim in Rehovot.

By 1941 the group "Yassour" moves to Ramat-Yochanan and joins the group of "Shamir". Many of the "Yassour" members did not like the union with "Shamir" and about 20 members left.


Also, by 1941 Frida relationship with her boyfriend Fishel Blutzerkovsky cools down and Frida volunteers to work in Mishmar-HaEmek high school as part of the "return for work-days" where she meets Rahamim, a gentle young man from Iraq who has been in Israel already 8 years and serves as a teacher in the famous high school called "The Mossad".

On December 9, 1942, after a year of dating, Frida and Rahamim got married in Rehovot, and Aunt Esther sponsored the wedding. Aunt Ester wants to ensure Rahamim knows the Bible and only after he passed the test, she gives the go-ahead. Tamar (7) remembers the ceremony.

In 1943 Ben-Zion (Beni) was born to Atara and Yosef in Chanita.


Frida insisted on being part of the first group to set foot on the ground of kibbutz "Shamir" on the Golan Heights. The ground breaking was on November 1944 on a hill called Umm al-Aqrab.


They were 25 women and men, including Rahamim, who walked carrying the heavy tools by hands. They pass through the many Jamuses of the Hachula swamps. No road to the place. First, they clear stones to create a leveled surface on which to build the tents. They built 2 wooden barracks and the rest lived in tents. Rahamim was a shoemaker and he was also the Muchtar of Shamir, representing the kibbutz for different discussions with the Arab neighbors.


But Rahamim prefers Mishmar-HaEmek, the work with the children in the Mossad, besides, they wanted to have a child, and so in 1945, after about a year in Shamir, they return to the Mishmar-HaEmek and after several months on February 14, 1946, Shaul Gilboa was born in Mishmar-HaEmek.

In October 1946, Haim Kiperman (20) arrived to Israel. He joins Kibbutz Ramat-David to the group "Ma'ayanot" and with him is Atara's twin brother, Lomo.


Also in 1946, Yosef and Atara leave Chanita and move to Kiryat-Amal (near Tivon).

Yosef works at Solel-Boneh and builds his own house on a hill near the old Beit-Shaarim.

Chaya Shpayer was born to Leah and Chaim in Rehovot.


By 1947 Chaim joined the Haganah. In November 1947, the United Nations decides on the right of Jews for independent state in Palestine. Following the decision, a civil war sparked between Arab and Jews.

In April 1948, Kaukeji's army attacked kibbutz Mishmar-HaEmek with small army and cannons. The kibbutz members defend the kibbutz together with units of the Hagana and Palmach. Rahamim is the commander of Position 13 and Frida defends in Position 11.


By 1948, Chaim is no longer in the "Hagana" and returns to his group which moves to Hadera and from there by the end of 1948 they established kibbutz Tel-Gezer. After one year, he left the kibbutz and the kibbutz was disbanded.


By 14 May 1948, the British mandate on Palestine ended and the last British soldier left Palestine. Finally, Israel became independent and finally the name Israel was chosen.


After the Independence, five Arab armies attacked the very small Israel believing they can easily wipe Israel out. But the Israelis gave them a fight and managed to survive.


The grandparents Arie and Hanna were released from the British detention camp in Cyprus where they spent six months and they arrived to Israel. They got a house in Tel Hanan.


In 1948, Gideon son of Tova and Dov was born.

Ilana, daughter of Atara and Yosef, was born too.

Erika, daughter of Onia, was born.

The family status in 1950 is like this.

  • Aryeh is 62 and Hana 58 in Tel Hanan and they cultivate a vegetable garden near the house.

  • Frida and Rahamim in Mishmar-HaEmek with Shaul and Hillel Gilboa (Rafi was born in 1952 and Sarah in 1955).

  • Atara and Yosef in Kiryat Amal with Beni and Ilana (Aviva was born in 1956).

  • Chaim, 24, enlisted in the IDF (Israeli Army). He married Tzipora in 1953. Yossi was born in 1955 and Michal was born in 1960.

  • Batia in Chernivtsi with Misha and Boria. Abrasha in a Soviet prison.

  • Fania and Moshe Held are in Gura Humorului with Harry, Vered, and Leah.

  • Esther (66) in Rehovot.

  • Leah (Mushinsky) and Haim Shpayer with Nava and Haya, Rami was born 1952.

  • Yosef and Sylvia Mushinsky with Dvori and Avi in Rehovot. Ronit was born 1956.

  • In Kfar-Bilo live Dov and Tova with David, Tamar, Gideon and Kobi.

  • Shlomo and Solly live in Holon with Theodore, Shoshi and Miri.

  • Onia and Boris Gitelman live in Chernivtsi with Erica.

  • Sarah and Chaim Grobocopatel live in Chernivtsi with Rosa.

  • Yosef and Henia Grobocopatel with Kiki and Hana in Bucharest.

  • Lioba Grobocopatel, David's wife arrived Israel 1950 with Yechiel.

  • Midaleh and Max Zukerman are in Iasi, Romania.

​Although this chapter ends in 1950, I find it appropriate to mention several events.


By 1952 Moshe Held, husband of Fania and father of Vered and Leah, passed away. He was the mayor of Gura Humorului.


Haim Grobocopatel died in 1952 in Chernivtsi.


By 1953 Abrasha Gertzman was released from a Soviet prison. By the end of 1946, Abrasha was arrested and imprisoned for 7 years for no wrongdoing whatsoever! They asked for permission to go to Israel. They charged him for spying for France. Batia left alone with the twins. When he was released, he was broken and destroyed completely. They again requested permission to go to Israel. For 16 years, the Soviets refused Batia requests to go to Israel. However; when the family finally got the permission, the Soviets called Abrasha for reserves service in Moscow and poisoned him. Just like that. Terrible story.


By 1958, Fania arrived to Israel with Vered and Leah and later Harry came too. Vered and Leah moved to kibbutz Ein-Dor to study and they are still there. Fania lived in Mishmar-HaEmek for 5 years until she met Noah Schneider, moved to Jerusalem and her life changed. Finally, some peace of mind.


In 1959 Midale, David Grobocopatel's daughter and her husband Max Zuckerman came to Israel.


By 1963, Yosef Tepper (Grobocopatel) with his wife Henia, son Kiki and daughter Hana arrived to Israel from Bucharest.


In 1964 Yosef and Atara visited Batia in Chernivtsi, met Shmuel Kiperman and took some important photographs. Later they met Frida and Rahamim for a trip to Europe.


In 1969 Batia with Misha, Boria and Abrasha, dying and in a critical condition, from poisoning, finally arrived to Israel. Abrasha, was immediately taken from the airplane directly to the hospital where he died after few days. He is buried in Mishmar-HaEmek.


By 1972 Onia and Boris Gitelman with Erica arrived Israel.

On Friday March 21, 1969, Shaul Gilboa's plane crashed in a battle in the Jordan Valley. He was the pride of his parents, family and kibbutz. The next day, Shabbat, thousands came to the kibbutz. Among them were the Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan, Ezer Weizman, Moti Hod and the whole family. I vividly remember that day. I was with my parents in the room when at about 6 o'clock evening 3 senior Air Force officers entered. They didn't have to say anything. Just stood their silently. Everything stopped at once.


Since then, the family expands so much that we are no longer see each other as often. There are approximately 200 family members in Israel and representatives in other countries.


We recently found out that Avrum Kiperman had a sister named Rachel Malka who married Velwell Kretzstein and they had 4 daughters and 2 sons. A large part of their descendants lives in Israel.

The freedom we have, as limited as it may be, is one of the most important and fundamental value for us but, it is also the most difficult to get. Freedom is not a value that is taken for granted, it is a value that people have to fight for. Globally, a small minority of lucky ones, like us, get some kind of freedom.


We are in a huge debt to Avrum, Esther, Arie and all parents and grandparents that educated us to be open minded and specifically, respect others' rights and freedom.


Written by Hillel Gilboa

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