Zareby Koscliene


by Israel Steinberg (A Teacher in Zaromb)

A small group of people who were active in the community, began the important work of establishing a Folkshul in Zaromb.  The organizers of this first secular Jewish Educational institution were Zavel Graffe, Nathan Lava, Haddas Grinshpan, Yosef Grinshpan, Golde Rosental, Shmuel-Lib Ruskalenker and other fellow members of "Tzeiri-Zion.”

The Yiddish Folkshul was founded in April, 1919.  It was a secular school.  The language of instruction was Yiddish and Hebrew was taught as one subject.  Two teachers worked at the school, Israel Steinberg (myself) and Moyshe Bergman.  At the beginning, we had about 80 students who were divided into 4 groups.  In December of 1919, the school became part of the governmental school system, but despite the fact that the language of instruction now had to be Polish, the character of the school remained the same.  The content was still aimed at Jewish nationalism and Yiddish continued to be taught.  The number of students kept growing until we had 260 divided into seven classes.  We had a very nice house with 4 rooms and the same two teachers.

There was an active parent committee which helped to build the school, to strengthen its educational policies and to keep close contact with all the mothers and fathers of the students.  Soon the Folkshul became popular among the entire Jewish population of Zaromb and almost all the children of school age went there.  Soon the school also developed a fine reputation among non-Jews.  The government inspectors determined and reported that the Jewish children were good students, well disciplined and that the school was well organized.  They also showed that in several subjects, the students surpassed those studying at the Polish school.

It was a pleasure to work with the students in Zaromb.  They were attached to their teachers, like children to a father.  They were not afraid, they obeyed their teachers out of deep respect.  The worst punishment for a pupil was for the teacher to show disapproval of the pupil's behavior.  The general tone of the school was one of active learning, good discipline and a tone of harmony and solidarity.

Naturally there were some pupils who were more able and talented than others, but there were almost no "street children" to disrupt the school activities.  The student committee played an important role in maintaining the tone of the school.  I particularly remember the student committee made up of Endl Rosenblum, Freydke Burstayn, Yoshua Fridman, Dina Lashinski, Yakot Shtshupak, Dvora Fridman and Feygl Migdal.  That was a real student government.

The students ran the children's library, were responsible for the supplies needed by pupils; they were concerned with order and discipline in the school, they tutored those students who were weaker in the various subjects; they organized several clubs, including a drama club which made quite a name for itself with its performances.  I remember the play, produced in the Polish language, "Karpaccy Gorale".  It was quite daring for students to put on such a serious play, but it was so successful that the audience, both Jews and non-Jews, were entranced.  These were golden children whose names are engraved forever in the heart and memory of their teacher.

Through the murderous fascist hands, the great majority of the Zaromb students and their later teachers along with them, were cut down, their lives cut short only a few individual students and their first teacher survived who can bear witness to the pulsating Jewish cultural life in Zaromb which existed but is no more.  The names of the tortured, slaughtered and incinerated children of Zaromb will always be remembered and in spite of our enemies we will continue to spin the golden threads of knowledge, of Jewish Nationalist culture -- the symbol for "Am Israel Khai," the people of Israel live!