Movements in Ostrowiec

Excerpt from "Ostrowiec, the Town where I grew up" by Simcha Mintzberg, Yizkor Book, 1971, page 122

…As the Republic of Poland was established, Jewish life became easier and a period of intense social life began.

The first public library was established in our town by the senior Zionists, the brothers Shmuel and Ezra Bumstein; Eliezer HaLevi the bookkeeper, and me. The library held many Hebrew, Yiddish and Polish books, and many of the youth visited it frequently. Under the same roof, many public groups started to form- mostly belonging to Zionist parties, but also representatives of the "Bund," the Poalei Tzion, left and right and more. In this cultural frame, debate nights were held between the different parties, and the leaders of the various parties from the main centers across Poland attended these. I remember the big Herzl rally held at the library on the day of his passing. The city's finest gathered in the hall decorated with Zionist flags and Herzl's portrait. I gave my first speech there in honor of Dr. Herzl. That is how cultural activity happened in the library's joint hall.

Eventually the differences between the parties deepened and frequent arguments arose between the Zionists, the "Bunds" and the Poalei Zion. The partnership began to weaken and each movement opened its own branch. The Zionist movement remained in the library hall and the "Bund" and Poalei Zion opened centers of their own. And so Jewish life between the two world wars began to develop on a political party basis. Hebrew and Yiddish speaking schools opened.

The "Mizrahi" developed fine activities as well as founding a quality Hebrew school. I wish to mention one of the founders of "Mizrahi" in the city, Reb Moshe Lederman, may God avenge his blood, a dear Jew who dedicated his entire life to Zionist activity in the city. Another person worthy of mention is the gentle Reb Yehoshua Kuperman, and also the learned member of the Rabbi's family, Reb Leibush Halshtok, may his memory be a blessing.