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PAGE 12A Single Jewish Female Seeks Male Looking for Marriage TJCDate Profile: Yifat613 ABOUT ME" Creative, funny, warm-hearted, religious, and a great cook! Looking to settle down, but not to settle. MY LIFE & AMBITIONS: I'm a graphic designer, sick of doing bar mitzvah invitations, looking to take my career to the next level. ON OUR FIRST DATE, REMIND ME TO TELL YOU THE STORY ABOUT... How a refrigerator light left on over Shabbat led to my losing a roommate. DON'T BOTHER ASKING ME TO... ...Come to your Shabbat dinner if your idea of a fine wine is "the blue bottle." HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 4, 2013 Seeking Kin: Wha,! became of thre,,, Grocm0000 s,!udents? Courtesy Ruth Marcus The fate of three of the 15 students in the first graduating class of Grodno's Tarbut Gym- nasium in 1930 (pictured with six of their teachers and the principal) remains a mystery. The three students are Velvel Poliak, Yitzhak Levin/Levine and Max Margolis. By Hillel Kuttler BALTIMORE (JTA)--In 2008, Ruth Marcus began looking ahead to 2010: the centennialofthebirthofherlate father, Yitzhak Eliasberg, and 80 years since Grodno's Tarbut Gymnasium graduated its first class, Eliasberg included. Marcus, a retired statistician who lives in the Tel Aviv suburb of RamatAviv, set outto research the fates of the 15 students, six teachers and the principal who were photographed in the school's courtyard in June 1929, a year before graduation. She had the picture, but besides her father knew no one's name. Nearly five years later she has determined what became of all but three students in the photo. Marcus remains in contact with the relatives of her father's classmates and of one teacher, and has become a repository of photos and infor- mation on other graduating classes in Tarbut Gymnasium's brief existence. In October, Marcus was the guest of honor when a Grodno university opened an exhibition on the history of the Jewish school. As Israel's national an- them, "Hatikvah," played at the ceremony, Marcus cried freely. "It was one of the most emo- tional moments of my life," she said. "I thought of my father: What would he think if he saw me there?" The Tarbut Gymnasium was established in the late 1920s and functioned until the early 1940s, when the Soviets and then the Nazis invaded the city thatthenwas in Polandand now is in Belarus. The 1930 class covered a range of ages, depend- ing on when students entered. Eliasberg was 20 at graduation; some were as young as 17. Tarbut occupied an entire brick building, with the school on the first floor and the school's teacher-training institute on the second. The structure now serves as a music school, and Marcus has visited it on all five trips to Grodno in recent years. Her 12-year-old grandson, Taniel, wants to come along next time. To gather information on the Tarbut students, Marcus interviewed people in Israel and scoured the archives at Yad Vashem, the country's pre- eminent Holocaust research institution, and Kibbutz Kfar Menachem, the farming village establishedbyimmigrants from Grodno who like her fatherwere members of the Hashomer Hat- zair youth movement. Marcus also mentioned the photograph on JewishGen.org's special- interest group for Belarus, and her search caught the eye of "Seeking Kin." The three students whose fate remains unknown are Velvel Poliak, Max Margolis and a boy whose surname was Levin or Levine and whose first name may have been Yitzhak. Poliak apparently moved to Montevideo, Uruguay, shortly after graduating Tarbut, so a Spanish-speaking friendis help- ing Marcus write to every Poliak household in that country. She heard that Margolis settled in the United States, became a doctorandworked for the United Nations. Of Levin or Levine she knows nothing. One highlight of Marcus' research was her meeting in March 2010 with Devorah Lip- schitz Kaplan, one of only three females in the class. "It was such an exciting mo- ment," Marcus said of seeing Kaplan, who then was 98 years old and quite alert, but would die two months later. "She was like the last of the Mohicans." Besides the woman herself, a treasure that Marcus encoun- tered in Kaplan's Rehovot home was a second photograph of the 1930 graduating class. In the style of the time, it consisted of individual portraits aligned across the page. A ribboned strip in Hebrew mentions the Jewish calendar year and reads "5690--The first graduating class of the Tarbut Gymnasium of Gmdno--1929-30. For Marcus' purposes, the great value of the picture lay in the surnames written under each portrait. She now had more to goon. Another stroke of luck oc- curred on a recent visit to Kfar Menachem, near Rehovot. In a folder in the kibbutz's archives, Marcus found a portrait of a boy. Her jaw dropped. The portrait was of the same Poliak from the two class pictures. On the back of the portrait he had written his first name and an inscription in Yiddish. Seeing the portrait, Marcus immediately thought of the Israeli song "My Little Sister," which includes the lyrics, "They call her Libi, Libi, Libi, Libi." In the archives morn, overjoyed at stumbling upon Poliak's first name, Marcus began to sing, "They call him Vetvel, Velvel, Velvel, Velvel." The inscription indicated that Poliak had sent the picture in 1931 from Montevideo to his friend in Grodno, Yisrael Einstein. Finding the photo- graph was pure serendipity both because Einstein was not a member of Tarbut's class of 1930--he was in the class of 1931---and because he lived on Kfar Menachem only a short time, yet left behind a plethora of phot0n. For all Marcus knows, said, Poliak returned from Mort- tevideoto Grodnoandwas killed in the Holocaust. But she hopes he remained safe in Uruguay. Perhaps became the school had a strong Zionist orienta- tion and several students were members ofHashomer Hatzair, a good many of them departed shortly after graduation for prestate Israel and thereby avoided the Holocaust. Marcus' father, for example, reached the country in 1932, lived briefly on various kibbutzim and settled in Tel Aviv, where he worked for a citrus-growing company. He died in 1982. Six additional graduates im- migrated to prestate Israel; three went to the United States, one of whom later moved to Israel; and Poliak went to Uruguay. Three graduates remained in Grodno: One was killed in the Holocaust and two survived, with one of the survivors head- ing to the United States and the other, his first cousin, to Australia. Six of the seven faculty members shown in the picture were killed in the Holocaust; the only survivor was Shmuel Amarant, who taught history and psychology. He fought with the partisans and later reached Israel. One person whom Marcus located was the son of Tarbut student Mordechai "Motl" Bass. Noah Bass, a physician in Pittsburgh, was easy for Marcus to find online because he was named for his paternal grand- father, who had co-founded the Tarbut school. Motl Bass and his wife sur- vived the Holocaust by escaping from the Grodno ghetto and hidingwithaPolish family. They later settled in Atlanta, where their son was born. When Bass visits his son, Avi, who lives in Jerusalem, he makes sure to see Marcus, too. Marcus finding him "was exciting," Bass said. "I was surprised that some- body was looking .... If she had found us when he was alive," Bass said of his father, who died in 2002 at age 89, "it would have been very interesting for him to find out what happened to his classmates." Please email HiUel Kuttler at seekingkin@jta.org if you know the whereabouts of the descendants of Velvel Poliak, Yitzhak LevirdLevine and Max Margolis. If you would like "Seeking Kin" to write about your search for long-lost rela- tb.es and lHends, please include the principal facts and your contact information in a bn'ef email. "Seeking Kin" is spon- sored by Bryna Shuchat and Joshua Landes and family in loving memory of their mother and grandmother, Miriam Shuchat, a lgelong uniter of theJewishpeople. PAGE 12A Single Jewish Female Seeks Male Looking for Marriage TJCDate Profile: Yifat613 ABOUT ME" Creative, funny, warm-hearted, religious, and a great cook! Looking to settle down, but not to settle. MY LIFE & AMBITIONS: I'm a graphic designer, sick of doing bar mitzvah invitations, looking to take my career to the next level. ON OUR FIRST DATE, REMIND ME TO TELL YOU THE STORY ABOUT... How a refrigerator light left on over Shabbat led to my losing a roommate. DON'T BOTHER ASKING ME TO... ...Come to your Shabbat dinner if your idea of a fine wine is "the blue bottle." HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 4, 2013 Seeking Kin: Wha,! became of thre,,, Grocm0000 s,!udents? Courtesy Ruth Marcus The fate of three of the 15 students in the first graduating class of Grodno's Tarbut Gym- nasium in 1930 (pictured with six of their teachers and the principal) remains a mystery. The three students are Velvel Poliak, Yitzhak Levin/Levine and Max Margolis. By Hillel Kuttler BALTIMORE (JTA)--In 2008, Ruth Marcus began looking ahead to 2010: the centennialofthebirthofherlate father, Yitzhak Eliasberg, and 80 years since Grodno's Tarbut Gymnasium graduated its first class, Eliasberg included. Marcus, a retired statistician who lives in the Tel Aviv suburb of RamatAviv, set outto research the fates of the 15 students, six teachers and the principal who were photographed in the school's courtyard in June 1929, a year before graduation. She had the picture, but besides her father knew no one's name. Nearly five years later she has determined what became of all but three students in the photo. Marcus remains in contact with the relatives of her father's classmates and of one teacher, and has become a repository of photos and infor- mation on other graduating classes in Tarbut Gymnasium's brief existence. In October, Marcus was the guest of honor when a Grodno university opened an exhibition on the history of the Jewish school. As Israel's national an- them, "Hatikvah," played at the ceremony, Marcus cried freely. "It was one of the most emo- tional moments of my life," she said. "I thought of my father: What would he think if he saw me there?" The Tarbut Gymnasium was established in the late 1920s and functioned until the early 1940s, when the Soviets and then the Nazis invaded the city thatthenwas in Polandand now is in Belarus. The 1930 class covered a range of ages, depend- ing on when students entered. Eliasberg was 20 at graduation; some were as young as 17. Tarbut occupied an entire brick building, with the school on the first floor and the school's teacher-training institute on the second. The structure now serves as a music school, and Marcus has visited it on all five trips to Grodno in recent years. Her 12-year-old grandson, Taniel, wants to come along next time. To gather information on the Tarbut students, Marcus interviewed people in Israel and scoured the archives at Yad Vashem, the country's pre- eminent Holocaust research institution, and Kibbutz Kfar Menachem, the farming village establishedbyimmigrants from Grodno who like her fatherwere members of the Hashomer Hat- zair youth movement. Marcus also mentioned the photograph on JewishGen.org's special- interest group for Belarus, and her search caught the eye of "Seeking Kin." The three students whose fate remains unknown are Velvel Poliak, Max Margolis and a boy whose surname was Levin or Levine and whose first name may have been Yitzhak. Poliak apparently moved to Montevideo, Uruguay, shortly after graduating Tarbut, so a Spanish-speaking friendis help- ing Marcus write to every Poliak household in that country. She heard that Margolis settled in the United States, became a doctorandworked for the United Nations. Of Levin or Levine she knows nothing. One highlight of Marcus' research was her meeting in March 2010 with Devorah Lip- schitz Kaplan, one of only three females in the class. "It was such an exciting mo- ment," Marcus said of seeing Kaplan, who then was 98 years old and quite alert, but would die two months later. "She was like the last of the Mohicans." Besides the woman herself, a treasure that Marcus encoun- tered in Kaplan's Rehovot home was a second photograph of the 1930 graduating class. In the style of the time, it consisted of individual portraits aligned across the page. A ribboned strip in Hebrew mentions the Jewish calendar year and reads "5690--The first graduating class of the Tarbut Gymnasium of Gmdno--1929-30. For Marcus' purposes, the great value of the picture lay in the surnames written under each portrait. She now had more to goon. Another stroke of luck oc- curred on a recent visit to Kfar Menachem, near Rehovot. In a folder in the kibbutz's archives, Marcus found a portrait of a boy. Her jaw dropped. The portrait was of the same Poliak from the two class pictures. On the back of the portrait he had written his first name and an inscription in Yiddish. Seeing the portrait, Marcus immediately thought of the Israeli song "My Little Sister," which includes the lyrics, "They call her Libi, Libi, Libi, Libi." In the archives morn, overjoyed at stumbling upon Poliak's first name, Marcus began to sing, "They call him Vetvel, Velvel, Velvel, Velvel." The inscription indicated that Poliak had sent the picture in 1931 from Montevideo to his friend in Grodno, Yisrael Einstein. Finding the photo- graph was pure serendipity both because Einstein was not a member of Tarbut's class of 1930--he was in the class of 1931---and because he lived on Kfar Menachem only a short time, yet left behind a plethora of phot0n. For all Marcus knows, said, Poliak returned from Mort- tevideoto Grodnoandwas killed in the Holocaust. But she hopes he remained safe in Uruguay. Perhaps became the school had a strong Zionist orienta- tion and several students were members ofHashomer Hatzair, a good many of them departed shortly after graduation for prestate Israel and thereby avoided the Holocaust. Marcus' father, for example, reached the country in 1932, lived briefly on various kibbutzim and settled in Tel Aviv, where he worked for a citrus-growing company. He died in 1982. Six additional graduates im- migrated to prestate Israel; three went to the United States, one of whom later moved to Israel; and Poliak went to Uruguay. Three graduates remained in Grodno: One was killed in the Holocaust and two survived, with one of the survivors head- ing to the United States and the other, his first cousin, to Australia. Six of the seven faculty members shown in the picture were killed in the Holocaust; the only survivor was Shmuel Amarant, who taught history and psychology. He fought with the partisans and later reached Israel. One person whom Marcus located was the son of Tarbut student Mordechai "Motl" Bass. Noah Bass, a physician in Pittsburgh, was easy for Marcus to find online because he was named for his paternal grand- father, who had co-founded the Tarbut school. Motl Bass and his wife sur- vived the Holocaust by escaping from the Grodno ghetto and hidingwithaPolish family. They later settled in Atlanta, where their son was born. When Bass visits his son, Avi, who lives in Jerusalem, he makes sure to see Marcus, too. Marcus finding him "was exciting," Bass said. "I was surprised that some- body was looking .... If she had found us when he was alive," Bass said of his father, who died in 2002 at age 89, "it would have been very interesting for him to find out what happened to his classmates." Please email HiUel Kuttler at seekingkin@jta.org if you know the whereabouts of the descendants of Velvel Poliak, Yitzhak LevirdLevine and Max Margolis. If you would like "Seeking Kin" to write about your search for long-lost rela- tb.es and lHends, please include the principal facts and your contact information in a bn'ef email. "Seeking Kin" is spon- sored by Bryna Shuchat and Joshua Landes and family in loving memory of their mother and grandmother, Miriam Shuchat, a lgelong uniter of theJewishpeople.