Konotop, Ukraine History of the Region, Town, and Jewish Community

During the past decade the remaining Jews of Konotop were reunited by the establishment of the Jewish Community Center, Ester.xi Seniors gathered to elect the community officers, which included: the Sofia Abramovna Raibenbakh family, Mikhail Fedorovich Kerelikh, Semen Mikhailovich Peisakhovich, Alexander Ilich Pundik, and David Naunovich. A governing board was created: Chairman, Gregory Aisenstat; Vice-chairman, Gregory Petrushenko; Religious Affairs, Arkady Sorin; Youth Affairs, Viacheslau Karpachevsky; General Affairs, Mark Karlin; and former chairman of the Jewish Community of Orla, Leonid Volovik, who was also a former resident of Konotop. The Jewish Community Center, Ester, was registered in Konotop in 1995.

Center, Ester, activities are coordinated by:

1. Day Center: Acia Levitt

2. Warm House: Mark Livita

3. Religious programs: Yury Golubkov

4. Yiddish classes: Esfir Rozenfeld

5. Patronage services: Margareta Stoyanova

6. Volunteers: Bella and Ruvim Bomshteim, and Alexandr Levita

7. Robert Semenovich Agranovsky first served the Jewish Community in Konotop and now is a Hebrew teacher at the Konotop Ulpan (Akiva), Israel’s Educational Center for teaching Hebrew to immigrants.

In 1993 the newspaper, Lebn, was established and the first publication was distributed in 1994. Also in 1994, matzos were made available for Jews to celebrate Pesach. On July 14, 1997, the monument to the Holocaust victims was completed. Finally, on September 10, 1999, the Konotop Jewish Community Welfare Center, Hesed Ester, was opened with support from the American Jewish Distribution Committee, Joint. Leon Sragovich, a U.S. citizen, sponsored the “Save Our Souls” charity.

Among the deceased are:

1. Rabbis: Tilman (lived to be 100), Moshe Luboshitz, Zama Elinson, Lev Feller, and Zama Feldman.

2. Doctors: Sagalevich, Volovik, Pevzner, Narinsky, and Spivak, and military doctor, Maria Gregorievna Ayzenshtat and medical assistant, Isay Krasovitzki.

3. Shammes: Hersh Tzitovsky

4. Industry owners: brothers Anatoly and Alexandr Zvenyiatzky, Mikhail Perelubsky, Anatoly Glanz, and Zinovy Yudovich.

5. Worker from KEMF (Konotop Electromotor Factory): Semona Seraykova, Mordkhay Poliakov, Isaak Erenburg, and Felix Milshtein.

6. Alfimov, Furman, Sara Shalita and Liza Strelnik

7. First member of the Komsomol: Mikhail Galperin (He was the first vendor of cinema from Chernigov).

8. Baker: Solomon Zhesmer

9. Cameraman: Lev Rudnik

10. Bank specialist: Israel Pritikan

11. Photographer: Leib Glozshtaen

12. Lawyers: Pismenny and Shargorodsky

13. Owners of small shops: Maniak and Gutman

14. Restaurant owners: Mikhail Hotin and Moise Raeva

15. Tailors: Solomon Raeva, Tzaley Vinigradov, and Moishe Raibenbakh

16. Mechanic: Mendl Sterenzon

17. Twins: Bogachki (captured by German army in 1914)

18. Musicians: Iosif Apterman, Lea Zolotarova, and fiddler virtuoso, Lev Levantovsky

19. Escaped from the Austrian fascists: Levitan, Felzenshtain, and Robert Leer

20. Konotop artists: Alexander Imilievech Gofman (1861—1939) and Mark Grigorievich Vainshtein (1894—1952)

21. One mass grave contained 423 soldiers, killed in World War II

22. Soldiers killed in concentration camps were buried in the mass grave in the cemetery on Uspensko-Troicka Street.

23. Jews exterminated by fascists were buried in the Virovskoe (y) cemetery.

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