Charlap Family logo flag by Gil Dekel

A modern design of Charlap Family Flag (Design © Gil Dekel)

By Arthur F. Menton
and Dr. Gil Dekel for additional notes {in brackets}, corrections, and images.

 

Chapter XXIX – The Family of Ze’ev Ben Avraham of Tykocin

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Rabbi Ze’ev Ben Avraham Charlap and his wife Gittel established their home in Tykocin. Ze’ev was probably older than his brother Moshe who had also been a rabbi in Tykocin. Gittel gave birth to four sons, all of whom rose to be prominent scholars and rabbis. Abraham Gershon, Ephraim Eliezer Zvi Hersh {אפרים אליעזר צבי הירש חרל”פ}, Moshe Aryeh and Yaacov each established themselves in different locations. Their towns became destinations for pilgrims seeking advice, blessings, miracles, or Talmudic interpretation.

Moshe Aryeh lived in Bialystock and later in Trestina. A fragment from Bialystock records gives some information about him.

R’ Moshe Aryeh was a brother of the Mezritch Rebbe, the well-known Gaon and Kabbalist, Rabbi Eliezer Charlap. While in Bialystock, he authored Bar Sheva, a treatise on Chumash and the Megilot. Scholars and rabbis praised him for his zealous devotion to his subject, the clarity of his writing, and for his grammatical style. His books received wide approval. He was also the author of the book Divrei Chofetz, two volumes of homiletics which were collected and published in Warsaw in 5656 [1895-96), and also Dikduk Katan [A Small Grammar] published in Wilna and Grodno in 1833. Later he became the Trestiner RebbeChaim Lublinski’s devoted daughter, who lived in Bialystock, had in her possession a document inherited from her father. It was a list of subscribers to Bar Sheva, along with their comments. The rabbis wrote about Moshe Aryeh, how he was a distinguished scholar, sagacious and well-versed and how it was an honor to be associated with him. The Brisker Rebbe, Rabbi Aryeh Leib Katzenellenbogen, and Rabbi Eliakim Getzel Meir from Shishlowicz referred to him as a “Bialystocker.” In fact, during Shevat of 5590 [1830] he was registered as a member of the brotherhood of the Bialystock Bet Midrash. However, by 5592 he was in Trestina where he was welcomed as a learned rabbi. He was a singular person; a giant of Talmudic scholarship whose death was a serious loss but whose writings on grammar and Tanach will stay with us.[1]

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A reference to Chaim Lublinski is found further on in the same source. It describes him as “a grandchild of a daughter of the Mezritch Rebbe, a Talmudic gaon and great Kabbalist and holy man, Rabbi [Ephraim] Eliezer Charlap.”[2] Ephraim Eliezer had three daughters but it is unclear which was the grandmother of Chaim Lublinski.

Moshe Aryeh’s and Ephraim Eliezer’s brother, Yaacov, lived in Orlov. He became known as the Konavitscher Rebbe. The origin of this appellation is open to conjecture. Most prominent rabbis have well documented pedigrees, yet our efforts have uncovered nothing of Yaacov’s personal life, his marriage, or descendants. Except for the above reference, the same can be said about Moshe Aryeh. Until new information is exposed, Moshe Aryeh and Yaacov Charlap will remain shadowy figures in the annals of the Charlaps. That is not the case for their brothers Ephraim Eliezer and Abraham Gershon.

Abraham Gershon was born about 1790. He was not yet twenty when he married Elka Rabinowitz and settled in Suchawole. Nine children ensued from this marriage. All reached adulthood, married, and had large families. The oldest was most likely Sarah Freidel who married Israel Moshe Fischel Lapin. Sarah Freidel was the mother of five sons and a daughter, all born in Grodno. In 1862, Israel Moshe Fischel and Sarah Freidel made aliyah. Their names and three of their sons with their wives are recorded in a “List of Bnai Israel of Grodno who settled in the Old City of Jerusalem.” Fischel Lapin is listed as a sixty-six-year-old merchant who “brought with him 60,000 rubies, but his business was not successful. Nevertheless, he was an upstanding citizen.” Son Eliezer, married to Chana Leah, was forty-two and operated a food store. Betzalel and Avraham were leather merchants, married to Tsirel and Esther Chana, respectively.[3] Tsirel’s father was Michel ben Mordecai Rabinowitz. Mordecai had married his cousin Tsipe Henia, sister of Elka Rabinowitz Charlap.[4]

Fischel had been born in Grodno in 1810. He became wealthy as a contractor in the construction of the Grodno railway. He was a religious man and was saddened by the anti­semitism of government, church, and people. Fischel was especially affected by the 1840 ritual murder affair in Damascus.

In February of that year, a Capuchin friar and his servant were murdered. The Jews of Damascus were accused of the crime and charged with using the victims’ blood for the baking of Passover matzohs. Many Jews were arrested, tortured, forced into confession and conversion. Others died as martyrs. Sixty-three Jewish children were held as hostages by the authorities. The Western world was shocked by the brutality of the affair, although there were enough events of a similar nature in their own history. Energized by the publicity, Moses Montefiore and French Jewish attorney Adolphe Cremieux led a delegation that secured the release of the captives in August. Under pressure, the Sultan of Turkey issued

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an edict banning the circulation of blood libels. He was also persuaded to allow European Jews to settle in Eretz Yisrael.

The Damascus trial convinced Israel Moshe Fischel Lapin that if Jews were ever to find freedom and security, they would have to establish their own government in their ancestral home. He was attracted to the writings of Rabbi Yehuda Alkalai of Sarajevo who had proposed the creation of Jewish colonies in the Holy Land as a necessary preparation for the Redemption which would be ushered in by the Messiah. Fischel joined with Alkalai in founding Kol Yisrael Chaverim (All Israel are Friends) and was elected its vice-president. The aim was to encourage and finance land settlement in Eretz Yisrael. Fund appeals were addressed primarily to Jewish notables such as Montefiore and Cremieux

for he knew that his schemes would not succeed without the support of their money and political influence. Alkalai [and Lapin] imagined that it would be possible to buy the Holy Land from the Turks, as in biblical times Abraham had bought the field of Machpela {מכפלה} from Ephron the Hittite… [Their schemes] included the convocation of a Great Assembly, the creation of a national fund for the purchase of land, and the floating of a national loan. Such ideas were to reappear later in Herzl {הרצל} and actually to be realized through the Zionist movement.[5]

In 1862 Fischel realized his dream. He and Sarah Freidel, along with some of their children, went “home” to Israel. The respect and love accorded to this man is evident from the following biographical excerpt:

Rabbi Yisrael Moshe Fischel Lapin emigrated from Grodno to Jerusalem with his family. He was the son of Rabbi Aryeh Leib Hacohen Lapin and lived from 1810 to 1889. Among his sons, who gave him great nachos were Rabbi Betzalel and Rabbi Eliezer.

Rabbi Fischel was an extremely prominent citizen of the Grodno area. Biographers report him as a generous religious man, and he was looked upon as a revered genius of his generation. He was in continuous consultation with such outstanding leaders as Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalischer, and Sir Moses Montefiore. Rabbi Fischel Lapin became very wealthy as a building contractor and led the construction of the first railroad in Grodno. He was called g’vir {גביר} (superman) in both physique and mind. When such a g’vir emigrated to Eretz Yisrael it was a unique and inspiring event. At that time, Grodno was consumed in commotion and preparation for the farewell ceremonies. A special canopied carriage was prepared to transport the Lapins to the port of Odessa, where they would board the ship which would take them to the Holy Land. The emigration of Reb Fischel was the premier event of the early 1860s for the Grodno community. He had been an outstanding citizen who possessed both wealth of knowledge and worldly goods.

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He was accorded the title Ha-Naggid, in accordance with traditional Hebraic form.

Reb Fischel was generous in his dispersal of money in Grodno and in Jerusalem, where he fed the poor at his own table. He lavished his benevolence on Torah institutions in Jerusalem. He also established a foundation for the poor which included both a shelter and a kitchen. He was Director of the organization known as Help For the Neglected of Jerusalem. It was established to combat the missionary activities of Christian groups who were exploiting the impoverished conditions of some of the Jews to gain converts. Reb Fischel’s aim was to help the indigent become self-sufficient and thus to regain their self-respect. Young people were trained in trades and professions and the more mature were given help in finding employment. They could then earn a living instead of beg for charity. With their heads held high they would no longer be victims of Christian proselytizing.

Reb Fischel was one of the first Ashkenazi Jews to help Rabbi Yehuda Alkalai in forming Kol Yisrael Chaverim. Formed in 1871, this organization fostered settlement of Eretz Yzsrael. The goal was to build homes and entire villages and to teach the immigrants – arts and culture, as well as trades.

He was one of twenty prominent Jews who formed a company known as Petah Tikvah {פתח תקוה} (Gate of Hope). In 1876 they purchased a huge tract along the Jordan River near Jericho. Reb Fischel invested a fortune establishing agricultural settlements and to help in the rebuilding of Jerusalem. He died in that holy city after giving away all of his wealth. Yet his descendants were successful in their own right.

Reb Fischel was the grandfather of the great Zionist businessmen Betzalel and Leib Jaffe. His own son Betzalel, born in Grodno in 1856, was one of the most respected businessmen in pre-state Israel.[6] In the 1880s he developed public service carriage transportation in Jerusalem. He was also the prime mover behind Chevra Lishikim (a housing company) which built the neighborhood of Shaarei Pinah {שערי פינה}. Betzalel lost a personal fortune in this venture. Moving to Jaffa in 1890, he continued his charitable activities and was a founder of Shaarei Torah (Gates of Torah), a professional and vocational school. Betzalel Lapin was active in fund raising for hospitals and the sick. He was a delegate to the first convention for organizing the settlements of the Yishuv, held in Zichron Yaacov {זכרון יעקוב} in 1913. During World War I, Betzalel was dedicated to helping Jews who were drafted into the Turkish army. Betzalel died in Jerusalem in 1939.[7]

This reference to Betzalel Lapin omits an important interlude in his life. As a young adult he had emigrated to the United States and lived in New York City. Betzalel never felt

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at home in America. His father had imbued him with a love of Eretz Yisrael and the proto­ Zionist Lovers of Zion movement had been particularly strong in Suchawole. Suchawole was not far from Suwalk, where Rabbi Shmuel Mohilewer {Samuel Mohilever שמואל מוהליבר} was formulating his program for uniting secular and religious Jews in a thrust for a national homeland in Palestine. Betzalel was spellbound by the charismatic oratory of Mohilewer. The memory of those meetings with young visionaries in Suwalk continued to haunt him in America and he sought out other recently arrived Jews who were sympathetic to the Lovers of Zion movement. By the time he was twenty he had rejoined his family, most of whom were already living in Jerusalem.

Betzalel’s brother, Eliezer Lapin, was a scholar among the activists of Mea Shearim {מאה שערים}. He, too, was a founder of Shaarei Pinah. Eliezer learned Arabic and his proficiency in that language was acclaimed. With R’ Eliezer Zvi Kibunke of Grodno, Eliezer was instrumental in restoring the Mount Zion neighborhood of Jerusalem.[8]

Still another source corroborates the details of the Lapins’ journey to Eretz Yisrael.

In 1862 a family from Suchawole found their way to Israel. Sarah Freidel bat R’ Avraham Gershon Charlap, together with her husband Moshe Fischel Lapin, went to Odessa and from there boarded a ship which brought them to Jaffa in the Holy Land. Sarah Freidel’s grandfather was Rabbi Ze’ev Charlap, Rosh Yeshiva of Tykocin. The sea voyage had been long and difficult. Nevertheless, in Jaffa they hired donkeys and camels and continued on to the Holy City of Jerusalem where they settled. Others from Suchawole followed and before long a community of Suchawole landsleit existed in Jerusalem.

 

I was in Jerusalem and {in} Moshav Motza one day and had a chance to talk with some of the first immigrants from Suchawole – those who had come in the First Aliyah. There was R’ Yerachmiel Steinberg, still a wonderful old man, and builder with the Lapins of the new Hebrew community of Moshav Motza. His father was Rabbi Herschel Steinberg, son of Avraham Yitzhak the doctor. The grandfather was born in Suchawole and was an expert on the history of the town, relating his knowledge to his son and grandson. They were eager to listen to stories about the people and events that happened years ago. Each day Yerachmiel would visit his grandfather’s house and soak up these stories. They came flooding back upon my visit to him in Moshav Motza… all the people and the life of the town… We felt an immense need to remember, to recall the past of Suchawole, where we were born and were raised. Our home that was, but is no more, the town that

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was so dear to Suchawole’s children.[9]

We should interject here that the Suchawole Yizkor Book also contains the names of Leibel and Liebe Charlap. When last heard from they were listed as living on Janova Street with their two children.[10]

Shlomo Lapin was another son of Fischel and Sarah Freidel. It is unclear if he ever joined his family in Eretz Yisrael. It is certain that he stayed behind in Grodno when the others made aliyah in 1862. He had an excellent religious education and like his brothers was successful in business.

The nineteenth century was a time of building and expansion in Grodno. In 1869 an orphanage was founded, and it became one of the most solidly built and luxurious structures in the city. R’ Zalman Graditsky was the leader of this institute and was ably assisted by R’ Shlomo Lapin. Other participants were R’ Yechezkiel Ratner and R’ Yehuda Leib Diskin. Slomo Lapin, first-born of “superman” Fischel Lapin, was among the most generous donors to the library. He taught at the orphanage and managed the institute’s affairs, ensuring that everything ran smoothly. His brother, Alexander [Avraham], established the first lithography plant in Grodno. It was known as Lapin Brothers Printing… A Talmud Torah was established in Grodno in 1844, a community charity in 1864, and a hotel in 1888. In 1875 the community set up an organization to provide kosher food to Jewish soldiers. Passover seders were also held for the conscripts whose army camp was just across the river. This latter organization was founded by R’ Lev Zalmanis, son-in-law of R’ Gedaliah Zvi Lapin(er).[11]

Shlomo Lapin was the father of eight sons and four daughters. His daughter, Chana Leah, married her cousin Yaacov Jaffe. Yaacov’s mother was Shlomo’s sister, Chaya Leah; his father was Dov Ber Jaffe. Yaacov’s grandfather was Rabbi Mordecai Gimpel Jaffe of Ruzhany, a leading member of the Hibat Tzion (Lovers of Zion) movement.

Mordecai was born in Utanya, Kowno Guberniya in 1820 and studied at the Volozhin Yeshiva, where he became known for his religious scholarship and mastery of Hebrew and secular subjects. He pleaded the case for Russian Jews with Moses Montefiore, asking him to use his influence with the Russian government. In 1855 he was appointed rabbi in Ruzhany, Grodno Guberniya and served there for over thirty years. During that time he opposed the religious reforms advocated by Moshe Leib Lilienblum and others.

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Mordecai was a follower of Fischel Lapin and Yehuda Alkalai and became very active in furthering the Zionist settlement movement among the Jews of Russia. He traveled widely through the Pale preaching his message of redemption in the Holy Land and supported Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalischer’s Hevrat Yishuv Eretz Yisrael (Central Committee for Jewish Colonization in Palestine). He also published many articles in the Hebrew and Yiddish press, most notably in Ha-Lebanon. Mordecai Gimpel, acting on his convictions, made aliyah and helped establish the Jehud colony near Petah Tikvah. He died there in 1891 or 1892.[12]

Mordecai Gimpel’s sister, Batja, married Nahum Kook, grandfather of Abraham Isaac Ha-Kohen Kook. Abraham Isaac Kook was the great rabbi and mystic who emigrated to Palestine in 1904. He was appointed first Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Eretz Yisrael in 1921. Rabbi Kook evolved a theory that accepted non-observant Jews as partners in the building of Eretz Yisrael. This concept was anathema among some of the religious, but followed directly in the tradition of Mordecai Gimpel Jaffe and Israel Moshe Fischel Lapin. Rabbi Kook assured his more conservative colleagues that “If being a Zionist [secularist] is to struggle for the upbuilding of the land invested by G-d with holiness, where the gifts of prophecy were bestowed on the Jewish people and divine providence made itself manifest, then it is honorable to be a Zionist.” On the other hand, Rabbi Kook criticized those who reduced Jewish identity to the level of nationalism. To him, the Zionist movement represented the beginning of messianic times; since a material substrate was necessary for the advent of the Messiah, the Land of Israel served that function. “The secular Zionists unwittingly fulfilled G-d’s intention even though they denied the authority of religious tradition.” Abraham Isaac Kook died in 1935 at the age of seventy, but his influence was such that after the Six Day War of 1967, his philosophy was the foundation for the messianic Zionist movement Gush Emunim, which advocated Jewish settlement of the newly acquired territories.[13]

Dov Ber Jaffe and Chaya Leah Lapin had five sons and a daughter. Two of the sons achieved prominence. Betzalel was born in Grodno in 1868 and became a Zionist leader, both in Russia/Poland and in Eretz Yisrael.

He was a key figure in the Zionist movement in the area of his native Grodno. He was a member of Bnai Moshe and established a modern cheder in his home town where, in 1907, he was one of the organizers of the “Grodno Courses” for the training of Hebrew teachers. Betzalel took part in the first Zionist Congresses, was active in the organization of the Zionist movement in Lithuania, and in the publication of Zionist literature in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Russian. In 1909 he went

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to Eretz Yisrael and, upon the resignation of Meir Dizengoff, was appointed Director of the Geulah Company for land purchase. Under his directorship (1910- 1925), this company was instrumental in extending the area of Tel Aviv and turning it into a city. He was one of the founders of Tel Aviv and a member of the town’s first governing committee. Betzalel was also a member of the Vaad Leumi during its early days (1920-1925). In 1912 he introduced the first modern irrigation into Petah Tikvah, utilizing the waters of the Yarkon River. He was one of the few who fought to safeguard achievements of the Yishuv during its harassment by the Turkish authorities in World War I. After 1918 he was among the organizers of the Yishuv’s Provisional Committee and also served as president of the Jaffa-Tel Aviv community.[14]

Betzalel Jaffe remained active in building the foundations of the Jewish state until his death in 1925. His brother Leib, eight years his junior, was no less active in Zionist affairs. A Zionist leader, writer, and poet, he was born in Grodno in 1876.

He participated in the First Zionist Congress and in those following it and was one of the foremost Zionist propagandists in speeches, discussions, articles, and poems in both Russian and Yiddish. Leib was a member of the Democratic Faction of the Zionist movement and was an opponent of the scheme to settle Jews in Uganda. At the Helsingfors Conference in 1906, he was elected to the Zionist Central Committee in Russia. For a time he edited the Zionist periodicals in Russia, Dos Yidishe Folk and Haolam, in which he published articles on current and Zionist affairs. At the Eighth Zionist Congress of 1907, Jaffe was elected to the Zionist General Council and he directed the regional Zionist Committee for the five provinces of Lithuania. During World War I he was active on behalf of the Jewish Society for the Help of War Refugees (YEKOPO). In 1915 Leib Jaffe was called to Moscow to edit the monthly of the Zionist Organization, Yereyskaya Zhizn. During the brief period of the February Revolution, he was at the center of Zionist propagandist and administrative work. With the consolidation of the Soviet regime, Leib returned to Lithuania, where he was elected President of the Zionist Organization and edited its newspaper, Letste Nayes (later Die Yidishe Tsaytung). In 1920 he went to Eretz Yisrael, where he was elected to the Vaad ha-Zirim (Zionist Commission). He was an editor of the newspaper Haaretz and was editor­ in-chief from 1920-1921. In 1923 he joined the Keren Hayesod and in 1926 became its co-director. Until his death he traveled widely in all countries of the Diaspora on public relations missions, establishing contacts with intellectual circles. Leib was killed on March 11, 1948, when a mine planted by an Arab terrorist exploded in the courtyard of the Jewish Agency compound. Leib Jaffe’s literary work was devoted to the renascence of the Jewish people and to the love of Eretz Yisrael. He

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published three collections of Jewish-Zionist literature in Russian and also two Russian anthologies of Hebrew poetry, and a selection of world poetry on Jewish national subjects. His own poetry found its best expression in Russian. In 1892 his first poem appeared in the Russian Jewish Voskhod. His first collection of poems, Gryadushchee (The Future) appeared in Grodno in 1902 and also contains translations of Hebrew poetry. His second collection Ogni na Yysotakh (Fires on the Heights) appeared in Riga in 1936. Leib also wrote poems in Yiddish and in Hebrew. A Yiddish collection, Heymats Klangen was published in 1925. A selection of his articles appeared in Tekufot in 1948. His son Benjamin edited Ketavim, Iggerot ve-Yomanim (1964) and Bi-Shelihut Am (1968; letters and documents 1892- 1948). Leib Jaffe edited Sefer ha-Congress (Book of the First Zionist Congress, 1923).[15]

Israel Betzalel Charlap was a son of Abraham Gershon who, like his sister Sarah Freidel, married into the Lapin family. Israel Betzalel’s wife was Shayna Fruma, daughter of Gershon. She must have been a first cousin to Israel Moshe Fischel whose father is listed as Aryeh Leib Lapin Ha-Cohen. Israel Betzalel and Shayna Fruma settled in Sokolka, a town southwest of Grodno halfway to Bialystock. They had four sons and a daughter. All, with the exception of son Miron, assumed the family name of Lapin. It is unclear why three of the sons would abandon such a distinguished name as Charlap.

Miron, born in 1843, worked as a tanner in Suwalk. His first wife was Rachel, daughter of Abel Margolinski, a rabbi in Baklerowe. Rachel died after giving birth to a daughter, Elka. She was all of twenty-six years. Elka married Shepsel Lewinowski and had a son but little else is known about her. After Rachel’s death, Miron was wed to her sister Henia who was ten years younger than Rachel. Henia bore three sons and four daughters.

Son Abel died in the south of Russia after World War I. Three others, Gershon, Fruma and Sonya, stayed in Europe and were martyred during the Holocaust. Aside from the 1883 birth date for Gershon, nothing else is known about them. Gershon’s twin sister, Chaya Leah, married Ephraim Bacer and had a son, Gedaliah, who drowned in either Kowno or Wilna.

The remaining two children of Miron Charlap emigrated to America. Shayna Raizel became Rose and married Aaron Robinson. Her descendants have not responded to family overtures of friendship. On the other hand, Yerocham Fischel’s family has shown an extraordinary interest in the family history and has attended several reunions.

Yerocham Fischel was born in Suwalk on November 7, 1890, the youngest of

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Miron Charlap’s children. Fischel was a true son of the Haskalah. He was literate in Russian and German and studied medicine. In 1921 he married Rachel, daughter of Abraham Kaplan and Chana Pesche Rozinofsky and moved to Berlin, Germany. A son, Miron, was born a year later. Rachel was pregnant with her second child when Fischel decided to take the family to America. They landed in New York on January 2, 1924. Their destination was the home of Uncle Louis Bloom of Canton, Ohio. Yerocham Fischel is described as a blue-eyed blonde. Rachel was a tall, fair woman with brown eyes and hair.[16] That April Rachel gave birth to a daughter they called Hannah. Now a widow with four grown children and nine grandchildren, Hannah spoke about her background.

My father was raised in Suwalk. He must have come from an “enlightened” home because he left Poland to enroll in the University of Berlin. He studied medicine there and became a physician. My mother’s family was definitely religious. Her father was a melamed in Suwalk. My maternal grandmother, Chana Pesche (I’m named for her), died when Mom was only seventeen. My grandfather remarried but didn’t have any more children. He died in 1939 on the eve of World War II. The Louis Bloom who sponsored my parents’ entry into America was married to my mother’s aunt, Ida (Chaya). The Blooms had a dry goods store in Canton.

 

We lived in Pittsburgh until I was three. Then my parents separated and my mother took us to New York City. We lived around St. Mark’s Place. Now they call it the East Village. One summer we went up to Ellenville and stayed there awhile. Returning to New York around 1933 we found a place on the Upper West Side. It was the Depression and my mother had a hard time taking care of us. Even so, she didn’t neglect our Hebrew education. We were enrolled in the school of the Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue on Central Park West. We always had a kosher home, but we spoke English and weren’t overly religious. We only saw my father on occasion, yet I felt close to him. During my teen years I began to gravitate towards a more traditional life style. Religion assumed more importance. My husband to be, Jerry Hurewitz, was brought up in Borough Park and went to Jewish day schools. He had a more religious upbringing. My children are all religious and I am blessed with many beautiful grandchildren.

 

My brother Myron has also led a successful life. Like our father, he is a medical doctor. Myron is named for our grandfather Miron on the Charlap side. He was born in Berlin, Germany and now lives in Newburgh, New York, with his wife Miriam.[17]

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The next child of Israel Betzalel Charlap and Shayna Fruma Lapin was Lifsche, born about 1850. In 1873 she married Israel Leib Margolinski, brother of Miron’s wives. A year later their first son Hirsch Wolf was born. He lived a scant three years. Ten years elapsed before Lifsche delivered Elka. Then Chaya Sarah arrived in 1886 and Nathan in 1889. Elka married Baruch Raczkowski and had a son Abrasha who was last seen in France in 1944. We do not know his fate. Chaya Sarah and Nathan emigrated to America, married, and had many descendants.

After Lifsche came Sholem Avram. In 1883 he married Shayna bat Leib Bardin of Sejny, Suwalk Guberniya. Of their four children, three found haven in the New World. Daughter Olga was sent to Siberia and was not heard from again. Her brother Frank and sister Lena lived in the Chicago area. Another brother emigrated to Toronto. All married and had children.

Sholem Avram’s younger brother, Moshe Aryeh, was born in Sokolka in 1863. He came to the United States in the early 1880s and settled in Des Moines, Iowa. Officially, Moshe Aryeh became Morris in America, but he was universally called Kelly. His four children produced a generation which spread throughout the mid and far west and in the process lost much of their Judaic heritage.

Perhaps the oldest of Israel Betzalel’s children was Chlavno, who settled in Chicago where he was known as Charles Lappen. His wife, Florence Sokolow, gave him eight children and the family expanded tremendously in the next generation, spreading throughout the United States.

An unexpected Charlap/Lapin connection was discovered through the wedding of Jennifer Krantz, a great-great-granddaughter of Golda Smolarcyk. The following letter arrived explaining the circumstances:

At a family wedding in Los Angeles last month, I discovered that my cousins of the Krantz family had received an elaborate genealogical tree which included their mother Sarah Krantz. I happen to be related to Sarah through both my mother and father. She and my mother were sisters and she was also a first cousin of my father. …That there is a Ser-Charlap connection is quite startling to me.[18]

I was intrigued that the signature at the bottom of the letter contained the hyphenated name Lapin. The writer may have been related to the Krantz family, but they simply married into the Smolarczyk branch of our family. Thus, Chava Lapin-Reich was not a relative because of her Krantz background. But what about the Lapin side? Conversations with Chava revealed that she is the widow of Shmuel Lapin. Shmuel, named for his paternal grandfather, was the son of Berl and Fanny Lapin.

Before World War I, Berl was a correspondent for a Warsaw based Yiddish newspaper. He was on assignment to South America and was investigating the

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Jewish community of Santiago, Chile. Berl’s parents had also gone to South America for his sister Marsha was still a young girl when she died in Argentina. Berl’s brother Moshe ran afoul of the repressive Russian authorities and was exiled to Siberia. He escaped and made his way to France. He married and assimilated into French life. Moshe came to the United States after World War I and died around 1921. His son was known as Paul Lappe. For several years we would receive Christmas cards from the Lappes. I don’t know why they thought we’d appreciate them. We are a solid traditional Jewish family. I can’t say we are strictly shomer Shabbos, but we keep a kosher home, we don’t work on Shabbos, and Jewish learning means a great deal to us.

 

Another sister, Munya, was stranded in Volkovisk by the Great War. There she married Paul Winik and in the early 1920s emigrated to America.

 

My husband, Shmuel, was one of three children. His sister died of polio in 1928 at age twelve. But Shmuel and his brother Adam inherited their father’s writing ability. Adam worked as a journalist in San Francisco. He was only forty­ seven when he died in 1961. Shmuel was also a fine writer, well educated in English and literature. He became executive director of YIVO Institute. He was in his early forties when we lost him in 1973. All of Bert’s children died prematurely.

 

But there are talented progeny in the next generation. Adam’s son and daughter are both writers. It runs in the family. I have three sons. The oldest is a rabbi and educator in Jerusalem. Another teaches Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland and my other son has given me two grandsons, one named Shmuel for my dear husband.[19]

With Chava’s aid, further research turned up additional information. While in Santiago, Berl met a young lady from back home. The records show that on May 21, 1913, Bernardo Lapin Schologovich, a twenty-five year old correspondent, son of Samuel Lapin and Clara [Chaya] Schologovich of Russia, married Fani Charney Jarlip [Charlip], twenty­ five, daughter of Jaime Charney and Sofia Jarlip, also of Russia.[20]

Chava, her memory jogged by seeing the old marriage certificate, told us that her husband knew of the claim that King David was his direct ancestor. She also remembered that Fanny was born in Minsk Guberniya, probably in the Slonim area, home to so many Charlip/Charlap relatives. Later, Fanny had spent some time in Odessa. In addition, Berl’s family descends from the Grodno Charlaps, through Sarah Fraidel Charlap who became the wife of Israel Moshe Fischel Lapin. Shmuel Lapin, great-grandson of Israel Moshe Fischel, was a miller in the province of Grodno. Unlike many of his family, he did not see settlement in Eretz Yisrael as the answer to the problems of east European Jews. Rather, he

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was attracted to the ideas of Baron de Hirsch. In 1895 he took his family to an agricultural colony in Argentina. Joshua ben Yaacov Lapin, a grandson of Israel Moshe Fischel, was already director of Baron de Hirsch’s Argentine enterprise. One of the settlements was named Lapinville in his honor. That should have eased the transition, but Shmuel was unable to adapt and the family returned to Grodno. The climate in eastern Europe had changed for the worse. Agitation by the working classes had brought severe responses by the government and, as always, Jews were the special target. The social and economic conditions in Russia were so inhospitable that Shmuel could not re-establish a solid base for his family. Then his wife took ill and died. The children were sent to live with Schologovich relatives in Volkovisk.

By 1902 Berl, barely thirteen, found the insecurity intolerable and left home. He wandered throughout the Pale – between Warsaw and Minsk – finding temporary haven in various communities with Lapin, Jaffe, and Charlap relatives. His sorrow and loneliness was assuaged by a deepening love of nature. He found solace in the beauty of the countryside with its wonderful diversity of wildlife. He expended an inordinate amount of time and energy in learning about the flora and fauna, the sights and sounds of forest and field. A voracious reader, he educated himself and soon found an outlet in composing poetry. At fourteen he contemplated nature, eternal and vast, as a mighty panorama into which he could lose himself and by doing so could achieve serenity and peace. In 1909 he was in Wilna, the Jerusalem of the north. But he longed for a freer world and soon left for the Americas, but not before completing his first collection of lyrics. These paeans to nature, are filled with ecstatic praise, and fervent joy and exultation of youth. Berl is reminiscent of Wordsworth in his veneration of songbirds amid the blossoms. An encyclopedic entry adds to our knowledge of Berl Lapin:

Berl Lapin (1889-1952), Yiddish poet and translator. Born in Grodno, he lived in Argentina 1905-1909 and 1913-1917. In 1909-1913 he lived in the U.S. and settled in New York in 1917. His first lyric collection Umetige Vegen (Sad Ways) was completed in Wilna in 1910 [sic], where he had come under the influence of Chaim Zhitlowsky and the literary group Die Yunge. His excellence as stylist is reflected in his translations of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Russian lyrics, and American poems, and his collected poems Der Fuler Krug (The Full Pitcher), 1950.[21]

Die Yunge was a Yiddish literary movement which burst on the American scene in 1907 and captivated readers, critics, scholars, and the general public until after the conclusion of the Great War. The group was made up of Russian immigrants who had witnessed the failure of socialist uprisings against the tsarist regime. Many had relatives who had been victims of vicious pogroms and they dreamed of living under Western democracies where art and literature could flourish, and writers were unfettered from strictures of a coercive government. They were children of the Haskalah {השכלה} and the old traditions held little

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sway over them.

These talented young writers sought to emancipate Yiddish literature from lachrymose sentimentalism and from propaganda for social purposes. They abhorred the moralizing tone which still persisted from the days of the badchonim and maskilim. They remained aloof from the tide of Jewish nationalism, on the one hand, and political cosmopolitanism, on the other hand. They saw in art primarily the expression of an individual’s mood and unique sensitivity. They accepted the slogan of art for art’s sake. They de-emphasized content. They strained for perfection of form. They used the word and the word-combination not to elucidate concepts or to clarify problems but rather to communicate impressions and to satiate eye and ear with images and tonal effects. They wanted to lead the Yiddish muse out of its parochial hamlet and onto the world scene. They tried to raise the dignity of the Jewish vernacular to the level of English, German, and Russian. They insisted on grafting on to Yiddish the newest innovations of occidental literary theory and practice. They produced original works of merit and impeccable translations of foreign poetry. They enriched the Yiddish vocabulary with resplendent, beautiful sounding neologisms.[22]

Die Yunge was a self-imposed name. It was meant to convey youth, courage, dynamism, and progress. The group proclaimed that “only new writing was worth reading and only new values worth considering.”[23] At first, such statements were met with derision but as the group expanded and their work reached a wider audience, they commanded more and more respect. Berl Lapin’s arrival in New York added to Die Yunge’s prestige. The following passage gives a definitive review of his contributions:

Lapin’s contributions lie more in the refinement of Yiddish verse than in the introduction of new subject matter. He seeks quiet effects. He was most meticulous in his choice of language. He did not let words flourish as weeds in his poetic garden. He rather wooed each word until he extracted from it essential meaning, music, image. His ideal was clarity and not labyrinthian profundity …

 

Lapin’s mastery of form enabled him to enrich Yiddish poetry with impeccable translations of Shakespeare’s sonnets, Russian lyrics, and American hymns. To read or sing “The Star Spangled Banner,” in Lapin’s translation fills one with astonishment at the flexibility of the Yiddish verse even when it is fettered by a foreign model and a prescribed melody. His beautiful renderings of Robert Frost, A.E. Housman, Edwin Arlington Robinson, and Edna St. Vincent Millay proved

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to Yiddish readers that the subtlest nuances of modern poetry could be effectively reproduced in this revitalized tongue.

 

To his selected poems, published two years before his death, Lapin gave the symbolic title Der Fuler Krug (The Full Pitcher). The poet was the resonant pitcher that gathered up and poured out in a flow of verbal rhythms the joys and pains of all animate and inanimate objects that crossed his path from man and beast and bird and plant and rock and cloud. His songs of New York reproduced the roar of its cavernous streets, the jungle noises of its subterranean heart, the siren wails of its piers and ferries, the tramping of its hastening multitudes on its stony pavements. But Lapin also perceived the individual in the crowd, the uniqueness in each member of the so-called masses. When a “hand” died in the shop and was replaced, unmourned and immediately, by another “hand”, he, the poet, called upon the machines and tools to mourn the departed hand, for it was attached to a human being and with it also perished a good heart and a kind intelligence.

 

Lapin’s ultra-sensitive social consciousness led him to reject pure aestheticism as a way of life. But he did learn from Die Yunge not to let his social poetry degenerate into metrical propaganda but rather to clothe his social sympathy in well-proportioned, well-balanced, well-disciplined form.[24]

Chava had mentioned that Berl’s sister, Munya, had been wed in Volkovisk. She had been living with Schologovich relatives but her father, Shmuel, had kin who had been in Volkovisk for some time. One of these was Israel Lapin, an observant man and a follower of the religious Zionism espoused by his grandfather, Israel Moshe Fischel Lapin. Like so many of the Grodno Lapins, Israel sought his fortune in building and real estate. He married Rivka Collier and the path of their lives took many strange turns as described in the following newspaper announcement:

THE SAGA OF THE RE-INTERMENT IN ISRAEL of ISRAEL and REBECCA LAPIN

 

Israel and Rebecca Lapin were reinterred on November 8, 1976, on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem. Their bodies were brought from Salem, Massachusetts, United States. Delegations from the Etz Chaim Yeshiva and the Lubavitch Yeshiva took part in the ceremony. The couple’s wish to be buried in Israel has now been fulfilled – after fifty-seven years in the case of Israel Lapin (who died on September 18, 1919) and fifty-one years for his wife, Rebecca (who died on April 14, 1925). Israel and Rebecca (nee Collier) Lapin came to Israel  with their three children, two sons, John and Jacob, and daughter, Fannie, in 1885, as young religious pioneers from Volkovisk, Tsarist Russia.

 

After living for several years in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of

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Jerusalem, they moved out to help form and build the community of Mea Shearim {מאה שערים}, Jerusalem. Israel Lapin was a successful builder and realtor. Several of his buildings still stand and are in use in Mea Shearim. Mr. Lapin was affectionately known as “Der Neier Barron.” His sons attended the Etz Chaim Yeshiva.

As a result of restrictions imposed by Turkish law, Mr. Lapin fell on difficult financial times. In 1903, he left with his family for the United States, eventually settling in Salem, Massachusetts. In Salem, he recovered his fortune as a successful builder and realtor. He and his wife planned to return to the Holy Land in 1914, but were prevented from doing so by the outbreak of World War I. In 1919, at the age of sixty-five, while en route for Palestine, he died of a heart attack at the Salem railway station, and was buried in Salem.

 

His daughter, Fannie Lapin Glovsky, returned to Palestine with her husband, Samuel, in 1936. In 1939, they purchased grave sites on the Mount of Olives for the reinterment of her parents. Then came World War II and its aftermath, and then the nineteen year Jordanian occupation of Judea, which prevented the reinterment. Mrs. Fannie Lapin Glovsky died in Israel in December 1952. And now, finally, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren have made arrangements to bring Israel and Rebecca Lapin to their eternal rest on the Mount of Olives.[25]

We note from the above that Israel Lapin was one of the builders of Mea Shearim. At the same time, Rabbi Dov Ber Abramowitz was an executor of the Mea Shearim community. Dov Ber, grandfather of Abram Leon Sachar, was husband to Miriam Charlap. Israel Lapin and Dov Ber, both concerned with rabbinic yichus, certainly must have been aware of their common family connections. The announcement goes on to give a complete listing of the grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren of Israel and Rebecca Lapin “who are prominent members of the Jewish community in the United States and Israel.”[26]

We turn now to David Shlomo, son of Abraham Gershon Charlap, who raised three sons and two daughters. We know a little of Avraham, Moshe Aharon, and Elka. Avraham married a girl from the Scheinholz family and settled in Sejny, Suwalk Guberniya. His son, Ephraim, was a seventeen year old student when, together with his cousin Moritz ben Elias Scheinholz, he left Sejny for America. The boys traveled to Bremen where they boarded the SS Friedrich der Grosse on July 3, 1909. They were greeted by Moritz’s sister, Lily Berguson [spelling unclear] who was living on Greenwich Street in New York City.[27] We

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do not know what became of Ephraim after that.

Elka bat David Shlomo married into the Shereshevsky family. This family is descended from the famed Shershaver Rabbi, the father-in-law of Yehuda Leib ben Abraham Charlap. Elka had six children. It is believed that she and her children emigrated to America. We are uncertain about her husband. One son was Hersh Zvi Aryeh Shereshevsky, born in Grodno. In America he became known as Harry. His wife, Ida, gave birth to their only child, Phyllis, in Patterson, New Jersey. Harry then moved to Elmira, New York, where he was a silk manufacturer.[28]

David Shlomo’s son, Moshe Aharon, was born in Grodno about 1865. He owned a well-known hotel and operated a large cigarette factory in conjunction with his in-laws. An adjunct business was the manufacture of matchbooks. Which leads us to an interesting anecdote associated with the accession to the throne of Tsar Nicholas II.

Nicholas II was crowned in 1894 and immediately promised to continue the repressive policies of his predecessor. In January of 1895 he proclaimed, “The principle of autocracy will be maintained by me as firmly and unswervingly as by my late lamented father.”[29] Despite such assertions some Jews vainly hoped for a respite in the persecution. They pointed to the inclusion of three rabbis at the coronation ceremonies in St. Petersburg. Encouraged by this sign, the St. Petersburg Jewish community “reciprocated by commissioning Mark Antokolsky to produce a silver angel handing the crown to the new tsar and presented it to Nicholas.”[30]

In the same spirit, Moshe Aharon Charlap attempted to curry favor with the new regime. At great expense, he produced thousands of matchbooks with the portrait of Nicholas on the cover. He distributed them widely and expected the administration’s approval for his respectful gesture. The response was quite the opposite. Government agents raided his factory and arrested the hapless Moshe Aharon. The charge was subversion and disrespect of the royal authority. Paranoid tsarist advisers had determined that the matchbooks were produced so that each time a match was struck the face of Nicholas II would receive a blow. They saw this as a purposeful act of sedition. Moshe Aharon endured severe harassment from the “justice” system before being freed.[31]

Shortly thereafter, Mose Aharon married Minna Shereshevsky who was probably the sister of Elka’s husband. In 1900 Minna gave birth to a daughter, Sonia, and a son, Hesse. Seven years later, she presented her husband with another son named Zvi. In the mid-1920s Zvi was living at 60 Rue de Moulin in Liege, Belgium, with a cousin listed as Leon Charlaja [sic]. This is almost certainly a misprinting of Charlap or Charlak, but we have not

 

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identified how Leon fits in the family. Zvi, then known as Grygor, was a student at the university. After completing his studies in 1926 he came to America on a student’s visa. The records show that he arrived at Ellis Island on March 26 aboard the SS Berengaria from Southampton. The blonde, blue-eyed Grygor was planning to study for three years at Columbia University. He was to live with his aunt, Ella Sherin at 195 Governor Street, Patterson, New Jersey.[32] This was surely Elka. The Shereshevsky family had Anglicized their name to Sherin or Sheron. Grygor became Gregory, completed his MBA degree at Columbia, and then decided to study law. He enrolled in the University of Montreal, probably because he was fluent in French, but also studied at McGill University. He received his law degree and married Edith Nobleman. Gregory was “very active in all Jewish and civic affairs.” He supported two congregations, served as president of Canadian ORT, was a patron of the YM/YWHA, and was recipient of the Silver Certificate for twenty-five years of service to Bnai Brith.[33] Gregory’s sons, attorney Monroe and packaging entrepreneur Harvey, continue to live in Montreal. Both are married with children.

Harvey told us that his father sponsored the migration to Canada of Hesse and Sonia. Uncle Hesse settled in Montreal where he manufactured frames for handbags. His son, Carl, was an architect. Sonia’s first husband was a man named Metek. They moved to New York but her son George, a mining engineer, returned to Canada and lives in Toronto. He reassumed the Charlap name. All of the grandchildren of Moshe Aharon Charlap and Minna Shereshevsky married and there are now seven great-grandchildren. Harvey also mentioned that a large group of Shereshevsky cousins live in the Boston area and are known as Sheron. He remembers his father speaking of an Aunt Gittel who came to Montreal after surviving the Holocaust, but he does not know where she fits on our tree.[34]

One of the Shereshevsky cousins became Sonia’s second husband. Jacques Sherry was born in Grodno in 1899 to Yitzhak Shereshevsky and Rachel Makover. His parents worked with Moshe Aharon Charlap in the tobacco business. The Y. Shereshevsky factory was one of the major manufacturing businesses in Grodno. It was said to employ 2,000 people, almost all Jews. This was approximately ten percent of the entire Jewish population. Given the large number of children in Jewish families, Shereshevsky Tobacco touched nearly every Jewish family in Grodno. The Shereshevsky/Charlap management recognized their responsibilities to the Jewish community. “Work stopped on the Sabbath and Jewish festivals and it maintained a school for the children of the employees.”[35] Upon the advent of Polish independence after World War I, governmental authorities looked at the Y.

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Shereshevsky Tobacco Company with rapacious jealousy. By 1920 it was nationalized and the majority of Jewish workers were forced to leave.

When the government, a number of years ago, decided to convert the tobacco business into a national monopoly, several thousand Jews were thrown out of business; but Jews were allowed to continue to sell the tobacco made by the government. In 1937, however, the government declined to renew their licenses for this purpose, and it is estimated that 30,000 Jews lost their livelihood.[36]

It was too much for Yitzhak and he mercifully passed away in that year of 1937. His wife lived to witness the horrors of the Nazi invasion. She was deported to Treblinka and was never heard from again.

Jacques had worked for ORT in Ruzhany and Grodno. He also served as president of the Chalutzim {חלוצים} organization in Grodno. He left Grodno for St. Petersburg and then surfaced in Vienna where he operated a travel agency. He married in Vienna in 1930 and had at least one son. His wife may have been a victim of the Holocaust. He and Sonia married after the war and eventually settled in Tucson, Arizona. “While in Europe Sonia wrote a book proving that the Electric Company of Warsaw was German owned rather than French. After that she was on the German black list.” Sonia died in 1984.[37]

The most renowned of Ze’ev Charlap’s accomplished sons was Ephraim Eliezer Zvi Hersh {הרב אפרים אליעזר צבי הירש חרל”פ, הגאון ממזריטש} . He was most likely born in Tykocin somewhere between 1780 and 1793. He displayed unusual scholarship and creative thinking at a very early age. By the time he was twenty, his reputation was already reaching outlying shtetls. In 1926 he was invited to assume the post of Rabbi of Szczuczyn, a town some thirty miles northwest of Tykocin. His wife of several years, Sarah daughter of Yehuda and Chana, had already presented him with three sons, Ze’ev Wolf, Yisrael, and Yitzhak Yehezkiel. While in Szczuczyn, four more children were born, Rivka, Yente, Chana Dinah, and Yosef Shlomo. He also served as rabbi in Goniadz, Biezun, and Sochaczew.[38] By 1834 Ephraim Eliezer’s fame as a tzadik and wise man had spread throughout eastern Poland. In that year he became rabbi in Miedzyrzec {Międzyrzec Podlaski מזריץ’ (מזריטש) פודלסקי.} He was belovedly referred to as the Mezritcher Rebbe or even more often by the respectful title Gaon of Mezritch. He surrounded himself with an expansive library and it seemed that Sarah was always preparing for visiting rabbis and scholars who had traveled vast distances to confer with her husband. Despite the anti-semitism and political repression, Ephraim Eliezer’s outlook on life was very positive. He was repeatedly asked to preach his message of confidence to gatherings of Jews. Then in May of 1844 Sarah died at the age of fifty-nine. Ephraim was bereft without his life-long companion. He could not tolerate the

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loneliness. As soon as the thirty day mourning period had elapsed, he took a second wife, forty year-old widow Hinda Dyment. Then a fire consumed his treasured library and destroyed his spirit. Within five years, on August 1, 1849, the Gaon of Mezritch passed away. His writings include Ateret Zvi (Crown of Zvi), Raoch Nichoach (Pleasant Breaths), Hod Tehilah (Glorious Song of Praise), and Sefer Migdanot Eliezer (Book of the Sweets of Eliezer).[39] The latter is his most widely distributed book. An 1895 edition has the following introductory approbation:

These precious sweet sayings that I am putting before you today came from the  lips of the famous tzadik – words that soar with the wide wings of a great eagle, infused with the true genius of accepted G-dliness – the famous tzadik, Ephraim Eliezer Zvi Charlap. He served in a few of our sacred communities and is resting in peace in Mezritch. He preached a great deal and was a profound philosopher of Talmud, Gemara, Midrash, and Halacha. He passed judgment in decisions laced with golden thoughts. After him, the bright light of his views shine over the “orchard” of our lives. His oratory rings in the twelve speeches presented here; speeches filled with his depth of intellect and which were very pleasing to the ear. All of these I collected from manuscripts that were left by him and my spirit was moved to bring them to light for you to read.[40]

The first publication of Sefer Migdanot Eliezer occurred posthumously. Eliezer’s family and admirers arranged that a collection of his writings, rescued  from the disastrous fire be edited and formally published for the benefit of future generations. Among these admirers were the Gaon Rav of Kotsk, Yitzhak HaCohen Feigenbaum, Mordecai Chaim Leib Schweib, Moshe Katzenellenbogen, and Yaacov Shapiro. They looked upon Ephraim Eliezer Zvi Charlap as a holy tzadik, whose insights into Kaballah and Torah shown with a brilliance that rarely appears.

This book [Sefer Mignadot Eliezer] honors the memory of that great Torah sage, whose genius in Kaballah was reflected in his commentaries. His keeness of mind was above all others and he bestowed his advice upon with generosity and compassion. He was the son of generations of famous scholars in a family that was centered in Tykocin. All of his brothers became famous rabbis. Rabbi Ephraim Eliezer Zvi was more than a genius; he was a noble saint, a person of G-d whose mysteries of the secret books were upon his tongue. He served in several communities and until 1849 was head of the Bet Din in Mezritch. He left us many books, commentaries, and explanations written over a period of fifty years. Many were

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damaged by fire, water, and insects. So now I have decided to copy some of these that were given to me by his elder son, Ze’ev Wolf, in Eretz Yisrael, after arriving from Poland. Ze’ev Wolf died soon thereafter. Because there was no order to these documents and the letters were very old, I arranged everything like a rose, copying portions of the Lord’s slave Eliezer, as though they were petals of the flower. His later writings were also about Torah and in addition to his commentaries, there was a small notebook containing twelve eulogies which had been given to his old and dear friend Mordecai Schweib.[41]

Even though Ephraim Eliezer Zvi Hersh Charlap achieved great fame, little is known about most of his children. Ze’ev Wolf married, had at least one son, and made aliyah. He lived in Jerusalem. Chana Dinah married on January 19, 1852 at the age of twenty-two. Her husband was Zyskind Rosenbaum, son of Yosef and Frume of Siedlce. Nothing is known of Yisrael, Rivka, or Yente.

Yosef Shlomo ben Ephraim Eliezer Charlap was born between 1830 and 1832 in Szczuczyn. He was married twice but had children only with Shayna Etka from Warsaw. There were four or five sons and a daughter. Nothing is known of the daughter. The sons were Ephraim Zvi {one of the founders of the city Rehovot, Israel אפריים צבי, ממיסדי העיר רחובות}, Moshe, “Shlomo” (probably Shmuel), Shmerel {Sigmund שמריה (שמרל) זיגמונד}, and another listed as Leyzor Hirsch. The last named was born in Miedzyrzec in 1852. He might be the same person as Ephraim Zvi whose birth year was between 1852 and 1858.

Other than his birth in 1859, Moshe’s early life remains a mystery. The evidence indicates that, like many other Tiktiner Charlaps, he went east to the area of Novogrudok or Slonim. There he married and had several children. At least one son and one daughter of Moshe stayed in what became the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. We have not found any mention of them or their progeny. However, another son, Zvi Hirsch Harlap {not to be confused with his uncle, Ephraim Zvi}, emigrated to Israel in 1920 at the age of eighteen.

Zvi Hirsch was among those pioneers who came to Palestine in what has become known as the Fourth Aliyah {העלייה הרביעית}. He and his companions were members of Hechalutz {החלוץ}, the organization which had prepared a whole generation of diaspora Jews for the physically demanding task of building a Jewish nation in Eretz Yisrael. The idea for this organization had roots in the old BILU {בילו} movement that was associated with the Lovers of Zion. But its new incarnation had been proposed by Joseph Trumpeldor {יוסף טרומפלדור} around 1908. He believed that young Zionists should be trained in their countries of origin for the trying new life in Palestine. In the wake of World War I, the Hechalutz movement gained strength in Russia and before its suppression by the Soviet regime, had supplied Jewish Palestine with a generation of devoted workers. They were idealistic in their goals and Spartan in their dedication. They had to prove that the Jewish nation could produce tough men and women who could, through self-denial and sheer will, master the challenge of any manual task.

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Zvi Hirsch Harlap, the scion of a scholarly rabbinic family, became the archetypal chalutz. He worked in agriculture and construction and endured harsh, primitive conditions to achieve his goal of helping to build the new Israel. Zvi Hirsch also did his part in the defense of the recently attained gains. Early in 1920, the year he had arrived, marauding Arabs had attacked four villages in the upper Galilee. At one, Tel Hai, the hero Trumpeldor had been killed. Jews across the political spectrum were energized to form self-defense organizations. Block houses and watchtowers were erected, barbed wire strung, and defense posts manned to protect settlements from attack. Zvi Hirsch served in a group known as the Border Cavalry. These pioneers were responsible, not only for guarding the settlements, but also the fields and herds of livestock.

There was no night grazing without armed guards. A troop of horsemen and a posse on foot, armed cap-a-pied, spread out in the valley, their ears cocked to every rustle and quiver; eyes piercing the darkness to detect the least shadow; sure hands on the butt ready at any moment to greet uninvited guests. Guarding the herds was more difficult and dangerous than guarding the settlement.[42]

Mania Schweitzer had also made aliyah in 1920. She was a fifteen year-old girl from Kamenetz-Podolsk. She and Zvi Hirsch were wed within a few years and in 1926 their son Amiram was born. Amiram studied architecture at the Technion and then received an M.A. in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. Today he divides his time between Israel and Berkeley. He is world-renowned for his architectural achievements and is also active in photography, writing, lecturing, and illustrating. He has received many awards for his architectural and photographic works, has exhibited and published both in the United States and in Israel. Among his books are: Israeli Synagogues From the Ancient to the Modern, New Israeli Architecture, A Survey of Building Construction in Israel, Greater Jerusalem, and As Time Goes By.

 Yosef Shlomo’s son “Shlomo” (Shmuel) was a free spirit and left, what he saw as the constraining Jewish life in Poland, for France. Paris was where he could realize his artistic aspirations. He desired

not only to escape the material narrowness of the ghetto, but also aspired to intellectual liberation… Art had been charged with a new mission, it struggled for expression, for liberation of the soul.

 

The Jew had his own answer for this. Paris…  his soul trembles, it suffers from visionary longing. His emotional world always moves between weeping and laughing…  These are the opposite poles around which [Shlomo’s] life revolves. He wants and has to give expression to them so that his soul may be freed of its

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nightmare. And he finds this expression in art.[43]

Montmarte had long been a haven for Jewish artists. It was there that Camille Pisarro had held sway as “Papa” to the impressionists. Shlomo had heard that perhaps as many as seventy-five percent of the Montmarte artists were of Jewish background and the new crop included the creative genius of Marc Chagall, Amadeo Modigliani, Jules Pascin, Chaim Soutine, Mane Katz, Jacob Epstein, and Jacques Lipschitz. In this atmosphere, Shlomo prospered; not as an artist but as an art and antiques dealer.

If he thought he would escape from Judaeophobia he was quite mistaken. Hatred of Jews was endemic in eastern Europe and Russian sponsored pogroms had made life nearly unbearable. The style in France might have been different from that in Poland but the poison of anti-semitism was still a potent force.

The era which filled liberals with hope for a new world order witnessed the slavery of competitive armaments and the preparation for wars on a terrifyingly large scale. As all Europe breathed a harsher air, a most rabid kind of anti-semitism appeared, taking possession of every country and endangering all that the Jews had laboriously won…   Even France, which had been a center for liberalism for several decades, was deeply affected by the new anti-semitism… The culmination of the long period of anti-semitic agitation came in 1894 when a Jewish captain, Alfred Dreyfus, was accused of selling military secrets to the German government. He was court-martialled and summarily condemned to solitary confinement for life on Devil’s Island. His punishment was dramatically advertised when he was publicly degraded in the court of the military school in Paris. Dreyfus protested his innocence to the end.[44]

Dreyfus was later exonerated but the virulence of the anti-semitic explosion was not easily dissipated.

The victory of Dreyfus cleared the good name of the Jews and ruined official anti­ semitism. Yet the whole affair had disastrous consequences. Years of inflammatory anti-semitic propaganda inevitably increased racial animosities. No progress was possible in a land where one’s very existence was a political question.[45]

It was recognition of this ingrained European trait that empassioned the young

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journalist Theodore Herzl, who had covered the Dreyfus trial, with Zionist fervor. Others were energized in exactly the opposite direction. They attempted to prove that Jewish background was no hindrance to being true Frenchmen. They adopted French names, emulated French behavior, disassociated themselves from the “anachronistic” Mosaic religion, and completely assimilated into the French nation. The experience of the twentieth century highlights the folly of this path, but in spite of the disillusionment many French Jews continue to proclaim that they are Frenchmen not Jews.

This is the apparent course of Shlomo Charlap’s family. Now called Samuel, he married and had one son. Guy Jose was born in 1921, educated in France, and became a successful international business executive. He married and had five children but Shlomo’s descendants have, to this point, shown little concern for their rich Judaic heritage.

Shmerel, brother of Samuel and the youngest son of Yosef Shlomo, was born in Warsaw on June 1, 1879. His son Teddy lives in Brooklyn {Edward Teddy Charlap, born 1915 has passed away in 2004.}

My father was born in Warsaw and lived there until he was about twelve. At a very early age he left home. His older brother Shlomo was living in Paris and Dad went to live with him. Shlomo was an arty type and was involved in antiques. I believe he was successful but he probably assimilated very rapidly into French life. I know his son Guy considers himself a Frenchman. His Jewish background is unimportant to him. Dad learned the diamond cutting trade and married a woman named Taube Lowenstein, also from Warsaw. Then in 1910 they emigrated to America.[46]

Teddy’s recollections are confirmed by the records. Taube· and Shmerel, then known as Bertha and Sigmund, had left Paris and were temporarily in England, living with Bertha’s brother on Ravensdale Road in London. On September 21, 1910 they boarded the SS Oceanic at its berth in Southampton. Sigmund is listed as a thirty-one year-old jeweler. Bertha was three years his junior. Their destination was a brother-in-law [illegible name] living at 543 Black Avenue, Brooklyn. Sigmund and Bertha landed at Ellis Island on September 28, 1910.[47]

Shortly after they arrived Bertha gave birth to a daughter. Then tragedy struck. Bertha and the baby girl died at about the same time. Dad told me that he was overwhelmed by grief and got on the first boat he could board to get away from New York. He wanted to forget that terrible chapter in his life. He landed in Argentina and worked there for a while as a jeweler. But he was still tormented and couldn’t settle down. He continued traveling around South America and then went back to Europe. He returned to the U.S.A. and married my mother, Grace Osina,

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who was born in Siedlce. She was ten years younger than Dad. I was born on September 14, 1915. My kid brother Emile came two years later. Dad never lived to see my Bar Mitzvah. He died in January of 1928.

 

Emile was only ten and I guess he needed a father figure. He was attracted to the Boy Scouts and it was there that he first heard a bugle and fell in love with the sound. He was thrilled with the idea of making music. But we were very poor after Dad died. I was a kid myself and was supporting the family. We had no money to spare for instruments and music lessons. Well, Emile scavenged everywhere and found a beat-up old bugle that was terribly bent out of shape. The kid was determined and with an iron bar carefully straightened it and then polished it. He taught himself how to make notes and then tunes from that relic. Then he found a trumpet in a junk pile and started playing that. We still had no money for lessons but he found another kid who was taking trumpet lessons and bartered for his knowledge of the instrument. Emile would practice seven hours a day blasting out over the rooftops of Brooklyn. The whole neighborhood would complain. By the time he was eighteen he was playing with Bunny Berrigan’s band. Then he played with Xavier Cugat, Benny Goodman, and Ben Bernie. While with the bands he got interested in arranging and landed a job in the new television broadcasting industry. He worked for Sid Caesar on “Your Show of Shows.” From there he worked his way up and became really successful as one of the leading orchestrators in the country. He’s worked with them all – Sinatra, Bob Fosse, Broadway, Hollywood, the Met, the Philharmonic. I’m very proud of him. He never had a music lesson in his life.

 

I’ve led a more prosaic life. I’m retired as a contract administrator with New York’s Environmental Protection Administration. I was married to Ruby Marcus in 1937 and have two great kids and four grandchildren. My son Robert moved back to a more traditional Judaism and my grandson David is frum. He’s also extremely interested in the family. Both he and his brother Matthew are mathematical and computer geniuses.[48]

Emile Charlap spends his summers on Fire Island, the beautiful beach and barrier island that runs for about fifty miles along the south coast of Long Island. He has instituted a unique cultural tradition, described below, that attracts the elite of New York’s musical world.

The evening was graced with the sublime sounds of a brass orchestra slicing through the sultry air of the selective, sophisticated suburban community of Seaview. A privileged group, crowded onto the deck and lovely landscaped gardens of Emile and Diane Charlap, was privy to an assemblage of the world’s finest musicians as “The Seaview Brass” delivered their seventh annual “Summer

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Musicale.” How does one entice such a prestigious group away from their lucrative gigs in concert halls and Broadway theatres for an entire weekend at no pay?… “They’re either afraid of me or they love me, I’m not sure which,” said host Maestro Emile, who is one of the biggest music contractors in New York. As such, he hires the musicians, does all the music preparation including orchestrations and manages the music production for practically all the motion pictures produced in New York, plus doing the same for recordings and other musical ventures.[49]

Two years before this Fire Island party, eighty of New York’s most prominent musicians, including members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera, the Broadway theatre, and celebrated jazz groups gathered at the fabled Sardis Restaurant to serenade Emile on his seventy-fifth birthday. A press release of the event stated that Emile’s

reputation had resulted in most of the important or big-budget movies of the past fifteen years being recorded here…  Charlap began his career as a trumpet player and then became a copyist for numerous Broadway shows including Cy Coleman’s Sweet Charity and the Richard Rodgers-Stephen Sondheim Do I Hear a Waltz. He effected a continuous working relationship with Bob Fosse for both stage productions and movies including Lenny and All That Jazz. Charlap turned to music contracting in the mid 1960s, when the film industry had little presence in New York. Working with what he calls “the world’s greatest, most versatile pool of musicians,” Charlap was responsible for a parade of movies being scored in Manhattan: The Wiz, On Golden Pond, Reds, Ghostbusters, The Cotton Club, Pochahantas. Other of Charlap’s contracting services include hundreds of record albums for artists such as Wynton Marsalis and Carly Simon. [50]

A highlight of the birthday bash was a new arrangement of “Happy Birthday” by eight-time Grammy Award winner, Dave Matthews. Emile was also presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award of the New York Recording Musicians. The ten-year-old boy with the bent and battered bugle had come a long way from his humble beginnings.

Ephraim Zvi Charlap {אפריים צבי חרל”פ}, Sigmund’s older brother, was married three times. His first wife was Esther bat Yaacov Kruschen with whom he had two daughters, Shifra {Shaindel Shifra Shirion, 1881-1911} and Mindel {Mindel Zusman (Charlap) 1883-1966}. Both married but we have little information on Shifra other than she died in Israel. {Shifra children: Esther Keler (Shirion) 1900-1979, Yehezkiel Shirion, Shulamit Frida Gafni (Shirion), Chana Sokolski (Shirion), Sarah Helvitz (Shirion) 1910-1978.}  Mindel, born in 1883 was living in Eretz Yisrael in 1908 when she married Menachem Zusman. Shortly thereafter, the young couple emigrated to Australia. They must have taken a boat that traveled east through the Indian Ocean because they settled in Perth. The first of their eight children was born in 1909. Seven Zusman children managed to find Jewish mates in

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that remote town on the west coast of the sub-continent. There is now a vast family resulting from these marriages which we have barely begun to investigate.

Efraim Zvi Charlap - portrait photo

Photo of Efraim Zvi Charlap by Gil Dekel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

 

Ephraim Zvi’s second wife was Leah Slutsky {לאה חרל”פ לוצקי}, who also provided him with two children, Yisrael {11 Oct 1884 – 30 January 1974} and Tova {Tova Hofshi (Charlap) 1888-1968}. In a collection of documents that Dr. Susan Harlap had provided, I found a letter from Avi Harlap that had been given to Susan’s daughter who was doing genealogical research for a school project. The letter states that “Ephraim made aliyah in 1890 and he was a founder of Rehovoth. I am a member of the Rehovoth Charlaps.”[51] Thirteen years after Avi had written this, I began a correspondence with him which has resulted in a fruitful exchange of information. He pointed out that since his father died over two decades ago, he has been researching the Charlap family. Moreover, he has recorded some of his findings.[52] The following piece is about his grandfather.

Ephraim Zvi Charlap was born on the 15th of Tammuz 1858 in Tiraspole, an area of Moldavia which is in Russia.[53] … His second marriage to Leah Lutsky was arranged by a shadchan. In 1882 he settled in the town of Nezhin in the Chernigov area of the Ukraine. There he became a tobacco merchant. In 1882 he organized a Lovers of Zion chapter in his town and was named Chairman. With the arrival of Hanukah in December of 1889 he made aliyah through Odessa with his wife and children Yisrael and Tova and his daughters from his first wife, Shaindel [Shifra] and Mindel. His wife Leah died in Jaffa soon after they arrived in the Holy Land.

 

Ephraim moved to Rishon LeZion where he worked in masonry construction together with Aharon Eisenberg. Representatives of Baron Rothschild, patron of Rishon, gave him the right to stay {in the city} but he didn’t approve of the administration and left before long. On the 15th of Av 1890 he moved to newly established Rehovoth and married Yehudit bat Avraham Shpiner, born in 1868 in Kamenetz-Podolsk.

 

In Rehovoth, Ephraim and Aharon Eisenberg organized the workers and formed Agudat Poalim. Eisenberg had been farming in the Rehovoth vicinity. He worked on the new group’s constitution. Ephraim was the practical organizer who recruited workers, not only from Rehovoth, but also from Nes Ziona, Rishon LeZion, and other settlements in Judea. Among the prominent members were Ephraim Komorov and Menachem Shtemper.

 

Later, Ephraim Zvi was joined by Aharon Eisenberg, Yitzhak Hayotman, and Noach Shapira in founding Haasharot Agudat Achim {אגודת אחים, עשרות}. A secret organization of eighty members, it followed in the spirit of B‘nai Moshe {בני משה} which had been founded

 

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by Ahad Ha’am {אחד העם}. Haasharot trained members in the use of firearms, followed militaristic discipline and paraded smartly through the city, assisted the sick and injured, and provided defense for the Jewish community.

 

In 1891, Ephraim Zvi and Aharon Eisenberg formulated a plan for a new type of Jewish settlement with revolutionary rules. The workers of Haasharot themselves would own the land. Proceeds from the vineyards would go into a common account. A worker who was too old to work or who was in failing health would be cared for through a lottery. All workers would be represented by a slip inserted in a box. The needy person would select randomly from the box. He would receive the same income as that of the worker on the slip. To realize their ideals, Ephraim and Aharon bought 170 dunams {one dunam is about 1,000 square metres} from Reuven Lehrer at a price of seventy francs per dunam, to be paid out over sixteen years without interest. The land was north of Nes Ziona, called Nahalat Reuven {נחלת ראובן} back then. It was an excellent deal but after the first payment the savings account of Haasharot Agudat Achim was empty. They had underestimated the expenses for the training of the workers and the purchase of defensive arms.

 

Meanwhile Mikhail Halpern, one of the founders of Agudat Hapoalim in 1885, had returned from Russia. He had fell afoul of the Rothschilds and had been banished from Rishon LeZion. Now he returned to Eretz Yisrael with money. Upon hearing of the desperate straits of Haasharot, he put up some of his own money and sought contributions from workers and other Lovers of Zion in Jaffa. Sufficient funds were raised to pay off Reuven Lehrer. But the financial crisis had taken its toll. The organization was disintegrating, the moshav was not producing as was planned, and the winery seemed to be on the verge of closing.

 

Everything came back to life in 1900. Haasharot Agudat Achim had set an example of idealistic independence. They encouraged others to follow their lead. The young workers of Rehovoth marched to the Baron Rothschild’s moshav and urged the workers to demand financial independence. The people who lived under the Baron’s dictates must be allowed to forge their own destiny. A little later in that year, workers representing different settlements met in Jaffa and elected a Workers’ Committee. Ephraim Zvi Charlap was the elected representative of Rehovoth. He travelled to Paris to negotiate with the Baron’s court, but his overtures were refused. In February of 1901 the Vaad Hapoel (Committee of Workers) were joined by representatives of the farmers and traveled to Odessa to the headquarters of the Lovers of Zion movement. An agreement was reached on the establishment of Histradut PoalimI {הסתדרות פועלים}, its governing board, and its protocol. In May the committee was received by Baron Rothschild in Paris. Ephraim Zvi Charlap was present at all of these meetings.

 

Ephraim Zvi built a firing range in Rehovoth and arranged to obtain guns from Ze’ev Tiomkin of the Jaffa Lovers of Zion group. Ephraim also worked with engineer Mordecai Loveman in defining the borders of the moshavot and determining the output expected of them.

 

In 1903, after a feud between various workers’ groups, an agreement was

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signed in Zichron Yaacov. A common Vaad Hapoel for all the workers of Eretz Yisrael was established. Ephraim Zvi was an honored member and signed its constitution along with Menachem Ussishkin who was the power in the Odessa headquarters of Hoveve Zion (Lovers of Zion). [Ussishkin’s friendship was important] for funds from Hoveve Zion were used to buy land between Rehovoth and Nes Ziona. In a lottery on the disposition of this land, Ephraim Zvi won forty dunams on which he grew tobacco.

 

Ephraim Zvi Charlap had unlimited energy and devoted himself to every phase of strengthening the Jewish presence in the Rehovoth area. He served on the committee which reviewed the public needs; he insured {made sure} that Hashomer (the Guardians) would protect the settlements; he was a member of the religious committee; and he served on the Chevra Kadishe (burial society). He was a Zionist from the beginning and his home was used for discussions when Theodore Herzl {תאודור הרצל} visited Rehovoth. He was a delegate to the Seventh Zionist Congress in 1905 and with Lefkowitz founded the Rehovoth branch of Mizrahi … He was well respected by the Turkish governor of the region who stood at attention upon his approach. Ephraim Zvi Charlap wrote many essays and important letters. He was published in Hamelits and Hatziporah. This worthy descendant of the House of David died in Rehovoth on January 8, 1949.[54]

Ephraim Zvi Charlap was a man who was trained in the religious traditions, was of an entrepreneurial spirit, yet because of his love of Eretz Yisrael became a champion of workers and farmers. His devotion to their cause and his influence in the development of Israeli commercial agriculture must not be under-estimated. Ephraim Zvi was instrumental in the establishment of the first agricultural cooperatives, long before the newer kibbutzim and moshavim came into being. His work led to the 1903 organization of the first association among the early pioneering farmers. Called the Association of Agricultural Settlements in Judea, this group failed after a few years. In 1913, Ephraim and Ussishkin again attempted to organize the farmers. A meeting in Rishon LeZion chartered the Union of the Settlements. When World War I broke out, the Turkish authorities forced the abolition of this organization. Four years after the British conquest of Palestine, the third and successful attempt at organization resulted in Hitahdut Ha’ikkarim {התאחדות האיכרים}  (Farmers’ Federation of Israel). Since 1922 this organization has grown to include scores of agricultural cooperatives. It advises members on all branches of agriculture, planting, water supply, finance, and management.[55]

Ephraim Zvi Charlap’s friendship with Menachem Ussishkin was natural because the latter also worked with those whom he disagreed for the greater good of the Yishuv. It

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has been said that Charlap was Ussishkin with a kindlier streak.[56] To fully understand Ephraim Zvi perhaps we should take a little time to explore the character of Menachem Ussishkin.

Born near Mohilev in 1863, the son of a wealthy Hasidic merchant, [Ussishkin] got his training as an engineer in Moscow. A central figure among the Lovers of Zion, he spent his honeymoon in Palestine at a time (1891) when it was unfashionable, to put it mildly, to do so. A heavy-set man with massive shoulders and blue eyes, he had the reputation of being unbending and hard as nails. There was indeed such a streak in his character, but there is reason to believe that he deliberately cultivated the image of the tough, forbidding man, and that behind this facade there was a romantic, dreaming of the redemption of the soil of Palestine. He had the nature of a tsar, his opinions were issued in the form of edicts. He was dead sure that he was always right and no one could be as right as he. It was only his lack of linguistic ability which debarred him from the heights of Zionist diplomacy.

 

After having settled in Palestine, Ussishkin was made director of the Keren Hayesod. He was instrumental in buying lands which later became key areas in Jewish agricultural settlement. While a man of the right in his political philosophy, he warmly supported the socialist pioneers in their endeavors even when these ran counter to his own beliefs, for settling on the land remained for him the ultimate test of commitment to the Zionist idea.[57]

As a result of the agreement that was signed by Menachem Ussishkin, Ephraim Zvi Charlap, and others in 1903, immigration to Palestine increased markedly. The harsh conditions inside of Russia were largely responsible for the mass migration, mostly to America, but the percentage going to Eretz Yisrael jumped perceptibly with the implementation of the “practical Zionist” agenda. Land was purchased and eastern European Jews came to till it. Between 1904 and the outbreak of the First World War almost 40,000 Jews left Odessa for Palestine. [58]

Avi Harlap’s reminiscence of his grandfather’s life was a prelude to his memoir about his father.

Yisrael Harlap was born on the 22 Tishrei 1884 in the city of Nezhin in the Ukraine. His father was Ephraim Zvi Charlap and his mother was Leah bat

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Avraham Lutsky. On Hanukah 1889, his parents gathered him and his sister Tova, together with their older half-sisters, Shaindel [Shifra] and Mindel, and made aliyah to Eretz Yisrael. The family arrived on a boat from Odessa and settled in Jaffa. Ephraim Zvi found work in Petah Tikvah and later in Rishon LeZion and on the weekends he would come to Jaffa to spend time with his family. Ephraim was one of the founders of Rehovoth and after the first structures were erected he moved there with his family. Leah probably died while they were still in Jaffa. In Rehovoth, Ephraim Zvi married once again to Yehudit Shpiner who raised the children as her own.

 

Yisrael enrolled in the Talmud Torah on Rehov Yaacov Batring and finished six years of study in 1901. The school exists to this day and is called Bet Sefer Mamlechti Alef and is named for Smilansky.[59]After finishing his studies, Yisrael worked two years in vineyards and agricultural fields of the Menucha Nachala Company {חברת מנוחה נחלה}. After that, his father made him a partner in a tobacco farm that is near Nes Ziona.

 

In those days, the youth were uncertain of the future for few educational opportunities were available. Tִhere was an agricultural school at Mikveh Yisrael near Holon and there was a vocational school in Jerusalem. The economic situation throughout the Yishuv was very difficult. The land simply could not sustain additional families. Even so, in 1906 Yisrael met with a representative of the Ezra Company of Berlin, Mr. Toref, who had a plan to bring German-Jewish youth to Palestine. Yisrael was offered the job of organizing the effort to lead the group and settle them in Mahanaim {מחניים} or Hamra {חמרה}. Toref arranged financing by acquiring a letter of credit from Baron Kolwarsky who had a home in Rosh Pina. Israel took the group up to the Galilee with great expectations. But the socialist bureaucracy was already entrenched and was slow to move. Yisrael, frustrated by the lack of progress, was anxious to move on. The idea of farming the north of the country appealed to him. [“In the far north, colonies like Metulla and Rosh Pina kept their Rustic character and farmers tilled their own fields”.[60]]  Yisrael decided to stay on in Metulla. He became the first Jewish agricultural worker in Metulla at the Vinokur farm. Afterwards, he worked for the head of Moshav Leshansky for a year and then moved to the village of Tabor. One year later he and a group of friends gathered in Yavniel and sought permission to establish a settlement at Dalaika. With the establishment of the first homes the name was changed to Bet Gan and the young men began to think of marriage. Yisrael met a young Sabra, Malka Zabladowsky bat Yehoshua and Esther, who was born in Jerusalem in Sivan of 1888. She shared his commitment to the land and they were wed shortly after.

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During World War I, the Turks looked with mistrust on the Jewish settlers. There was the NILI Jewish underground which was sympathetic to the British. One of its members, Yosef Leshansky, escaped from Turkish captivity and fled to the Galilee. The Turkish military came to the area of Bet Gan and made several arrests. Yisrael was one of those taken into custody. He was tortured for several days and beaten severely on the soles of his feet. The Turks got no information from him.

 

Meanwhile, Yisrael and Malka had started a family. Yehoshua was born in 1913 and Amichai in 1917. After the war Chaya, Azania, and Adina were added.

 

After many years of investing his strength, health, and resources to the building of the moshav, Yisrael decided to leave Bet Gan and return to Rehovoth. After clearing up all his financial obligations he was left with forty lirot. He invested in a new transportation organization known as the Cooperative for Transportation of South Judah. Today it is Eged. Yisrael became a member of this bus company. He built apartments in Rehovoth on Rehov Bet Hapoelim for himself and his children. In 1957 he retired from Eged and devoted the rest of his life to helping the elderly. He was founder of Newe Amit, a major facility for retirement living and dignified care of old people. He lived there and managed it until his last days. Malka died in 1968. Three years later Yisrael joined his beloved wife and companion.[61]

The brief mention of Yisrael Harlap’s experience at the hands of the Turks during World War I calls for some expansion. At the start of the war there were only 85,000 Jews in all of Palestine. The community suffered severely with the outbreak of hostilities. Turkey became xenophobic and looked upon its non-Ottoman population with extreme suspicion. Jewish leaders were submitted to repeated harassment and many were put on trial for subordination of Turkey’s war effort. Relief from overseas to the destitute in the Yishuv was intercepted and halted by order of the local Turkish command. Despite being paranoid about the Jewish population, the Turkish military placed all Jewish males subject to conscription. Those unlucky enough to be drafted served under terrible conditions, often doing the jobs no Turk would undertake. A large number were killed or died from starvation or disease.[62] The conditions were reminiscent of those faced by Jewish recruits of the tsarist armies of Russia.

It is no wonder that such an atmosphere would induce sympathy for the allied cause against the Turks. Aaron Aaronson of Zichron Yaacov organized a Jewish underground group which he called NILI. The Aaronson family and their associates gathered intelligence information and smuggled it to the British command in Egypt.[63] When the Turks

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discovered the existence of NILI a new wave of spy trials ensued and every Jew became a suspect. It was under these circumstances that Yisrael Harlap was imprisoned and interrogated.

Yisrael Harlap was following in the footsteps of his father in refusing to acknowledge the ultimate authority of the Turks in Eretz Yisrael. In 1898, just a few years after Ephraim Zvi Charlap had helped found Rehovoth, Theodore Herzl visited the Holy Land with a small group of supporters. The trip was disappointing because of the poverty and squalor he observed. The heat and dust, the dismal and desolate countryside depressed him. Furthermore, “the local Jewish leaders and rabbis were afraid of meeting him for they worried about the reaction of the Turkish authorities.” Ephraim Zvi and the settlement of Rehovoth were proud of his visit. “Herzl was favorably impressed by the cavalcade of twenty young and daring Jewish horsemen who, singing Hebrew songs, welcomed him to Rehovoth. They reminded him of the cowboys of the American west: ‘I had tears in my eyes…’”[64]

All of Yisrael Harlap’s children married. They had twelve children among them and the generations continue to replenish the soul and people of Israel. Yisrael’s oldest son, Yehoshua, was present at many of the galvanizing events leading to the establishment of the State of Israel. In Israel, he was one of the most trusted associates of Chaim Weizmann. The following passage begins with a gin rummy game in 1947 when Haganah and lrgun were trying to smuggle Jews into Palestine past the British blockade. Yehoshua Harlap was present.

…  remember vividly because the game was ended early on account of gunfire on the front lawn, or so it seemed.

The behavior of the British during that period can be characterized as the eighth wonder of the world in its shameless brutality. It reached its climax when the Exodus which [had left] the peaceful waters of Philadelphia [and was now] carrying 4,500 immigrants to Palestine, [was] turned back … The incident became infamous as historical fact, as well as the subject of Leon Uris’ literary creation and Otto Preminger’s cinematographic talents. That summer brought with it the prolonged vicious circle of repression, terrorism, reprisal, and executions; one could never be sure whether what one heard was the rattle of someone pulling down the shutters or the rat-tat-tat of a machine gun.

On the occasion of the interrupted gin rummy game there was no mistaking the nature of the sounds; for an hour we could hear the whine of bullets. When a quiet interval elapsed I decided to leave, but the driver suggested that we wait a few more minutes. Sure enough, it began all over again. I have never quite doubted the thesis that all Israeli drivers have a secret line to Staff Headquarters and are really generals in disguise. I always thought that Yehoshua Harlap, the Chief’s [Chaim

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Weizmann] adjutant, guard, and confidant, was one of them; he was so knowledgeable. The shooting continued till one in the morning. The company that evening included besides the Chief [and Harlap], Mrs. Weizmann, Moishe [Maurice Samuel], and myself, Isaiah Berlin, and Dr. Bergmann. We spent the evening chewing over the rights and wrongs of the situation, specifically what we ought to do if a wounded terrorist came to the door for refuge from the British. We finally decided to give him refuge and turn him over, not to the British but to the Haganah In the morning we found out what all the shooting had been about. The Etzel [Irgun] had made extensive preparations for blowing up the military camp which lay between the village and the Weizmann house. The British were trying to frustrate that attempt.[65]

Two years later Yehoshua was still working closely with the first president of the State of Israel. They had just completed a triumphal tour of the United States and were resting in New York. Weizmann was moody.

He hadn’t wanted to be in New York on Israel’s Independence Day. He told me point blank: “For once I am going to make a liar of you.” I went down to the garden taking Yehoshua Harlap along. Yehoshua was Weizmann’s bodyguard, driver, confidant, and devoted companion. He remains to this day the guardian of the Weizmann residence in Rehovoth. If I couldn’t persuade Weizmann at least I could persuade Yehoshua, and then I could trust Yehoshua to persuade the Chief. The place was packed to exploding and some 150,000 people were milling around the streets outside, unable to get in. Dull speeches were being relayed to them over the loudspeaker system but they stood there stubbornly expectant. “What are you waiting for?” I asked someone in the crowd. “Weizmann,” came the answer. And others joined in. “It’s inconceivable that the President of the State of Israel should be in New York and not come tonight.” And they stood and waited. We went back to the hotel and I told Weizmann that tailors and shopkeepers, shoemakers and just ordinary Jews were waiting for him, and had been waiting since the morning. When Yehoshua added his plea, in Hebrew of course, Weizmann relented. The Jews reached out to touch him as he passed. They cheered, they stomped, they clapped. And he was no less moved than they.[66]

Yehoshua’s brother, Amichai Harlap, was an important figure in developing the automobile market in the new State of lsrael. His son, Shmuel, expanded the business and has been written about in the Israeli press.

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The importer of Mitsubishi, Mercedes, and Hyundai automobiles is Dr. Shmuel Harlap, who until twelve years ago was deeply involved in the academic world as an interpreter of Plato. This year [1994] he believes he will garner twenty­ five to thirty-five percent of the market.

 

Shmuel Harlap, head of a group of companies called Kolmobil-Kolmotor, is an importer of automobiles, but he also holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy. His company brings in revenues of $400 million and stands in first place in the Israeli car market.

 

The company was established in the 1930s by Joseph Miller, a businessman from Haifa.[67] He started by importing Swedish ball bearings. In the mid-1950s Amichai Harlap joined the company. Amichai succeeded in getting the rights as the Scania truck agency in Israel and in 1963 did the same with Mercedes. At that time, it was very sensitive to bring in German imports and all the involved parties agreed to minimize publicity. In 1965 the Harlap family, together with their partner Israel Stockman, bought Miller’s share and immediately after achieved a major breakthrough.

 

By 1965 there was a desire for larger, more luxurious taxis. At first Mercedes refused the request for a seven-passenger vehicle, so Amichai Harlap improvised. He sent a smaller model to a factory to be stretched and retrofit. Mercedes was so impressed that they changed their position and even used that new model as a special line which spread throughout the world. Because of Amichai’s improvisations Mercedes cornered the taxi market, eliminating BMW and Opel as serious competitors. Everyone visiting the factory was told, “This is the car of Israel.”

 

After the Six Day War there was a shortage of trucks in Israel so Pinchas Sapir, Minister of Finance, impressed Amichai Harlap and another importer, Pinchas Rutenberg, to obtain trucks by whatever means were necessary. Amichai convinced the Mercedes people to transfer trucks bound for Argentina to Israel. Until that time the Americans were the major supplier of automotive products to the Arabs in Jordanian-controlled Judea and Samaria. Now that market opened up. The Arabs wanted Mercedes and Scania buses. But the Arab boycott of Israel was in effect. At the end of 1975 Marcus Wallenberg, a relative of the Swedish diplomat who saved the lives of so many Jews during the Holocaust and who died in the Soviet gulag, became president of Scania in Sweden. He surrendered to the boycott and stopped doing business with Israel. Amichai Harlap had died earlier that year.

 

It’s difficult to determine if there was a relationship between Amichai’s death and the change in policy. Amichai’s place was taken by Israel Stockman and Tamara Harlap. Tamara, Amichai’s second wife, is the daughter of Joseph Miller. The son of Amichai and Tamar, Yoav Harlap, is responsible for new company

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prospects.

 

Shmuel is Amichai’s son by his first wife [Matilda Solomais]. Shmuel studied philosophy at Hebrew University and then received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, majoring in Plato. He stayed on at Harvard as a lecturer, but in 1982 joined the family business. There may have been some disagreement and Tamara left. Shmuel took on more and more responsibility as he learned management techniques.

 

In the mid-1980s Shmuel realized that it would be advantageous to import Japanese products. He pressed his German contacts to intervene with the Japanese on his behalf. They put him in touch with Honda and Mitsubishi. He didn’t even know how to spell the latter’s name and preferred Honda. But his marketing proposal to them was turned down with a curt reply that because of the Arab boycott they had no interest in doing business with Israel. So Harlap turned to Mitsubishi. With the help of his German contacts and after some conflict with Subaru importers within Israel, he signed a contract in August 1987 … From three percent of the market, it reached twelve-and-a-half percent in 1990 and sixteen percent in 1991. In 1993 Harlap had eighteen percent of the market. In 1993, he succeeded in getting the Freightliner agency, an American truck company owned by Mercedes. Meanwhile Harlap was discontented with the rising costs of Japanese imports. He found a solution in Korea. On the same day as the famous handshake between Rabin and Arafat on the White House lawn, Hyundai agreed to come to Israel under the aegis of Shmuel Harlap.[68]

{Tova Charlap, daughter of Ephraim Zvi Charlap and Lea, married Natan Hofshi (Frenkel), the renowned vegan pacifist. Their children: Avshalom, Lea and Geula. Grandchildren: Amalia Dekel-Beck, Rina Bilu, Sigalit Hofshi. Great-granchildren: Yaron Dekel (co-founder of the first Israeli Punk rock band), Ofer Dekel (author; lives in China); Dror Dekel (senior optometrist), and Doctor Gil Dekel (author, university Lecturer and Reiki Master/Teacher; lives in England, UK.}

Ephraim Zvi Charlap married his third wife, Yehudit bat Avraham Shpiner, in 1891. Over the next two decades nine more Charlaps were added to the family, giving Ephraim Zvi a total of thirteen children. The oldest son of Ephraim Zvi and Yehudit was Aryeh.

Aryeh Harlap was born in Rehovoth on 9 Av 1893, a settlement founded two years earlier by, among others, his father Ephraim Zvi Charlap. His mother, the former Yehudit Shpiner, had made aliyah from Kamenetz-Podolsk. Aryeh studied with Zionist groups and received a thorough education in Jewish nationalism. As a young man he was a principal organizer of Jewish workers in Eretz Yisrael. He was also active in the founding of the Maccabi movement in the Yishuv.

In 1914 Aryeh Harlap joined the British army and served in various overseas campaigns. Upon his return to Palestine after the war, he joined his family in establishing a building supply business. A year later he married Nechama bat Zvi Rothstein {נחמה בת צבי}.

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Aryeh did not identify with a specific political party but he was a member of the Organization For the Defense of Long-Term Workers. He was also a nurse in the administration of the Free Builders of Rehovoth. He had two sons and a daughter and five grandchildren.[69]

Michal, a sister of Aryeh Harlap, married Moshe Levin. Their daughter, Dvora, grew up surrounded by the orange groves that were cultivated by her parents. During World War II, Dvora served in the British army. She had been one of “136,000 young Jews who had volunteered shortly after the outbreak of the war to place their services at the disposal of the British military authorities.”[70]  This, despite the British blockade which prevented Jewish refugees fleeing Europe to find safety in Palestine. The British Foreign Office and the High Command in the Middle East treated the Jews with suspicion and often with contempt.

The mental response of the mandatory government was dull and flat-footed, turning people [Jews] who had no other wish but to serve the allied war effort into enemies. Such resentment, which gradually turned into hatred, found little open expression while the war was in its critical phase, but it provided the background to the anti­British terror in the later stages of the war.[71]

In 1941 the young Jews who volunteered for service had suspended their efforts against the British in the face of the greater German threat. And the threat to the Yishuv was very real. A giant Axis pincer movement was advancing through the Caucasus and across the vast North African desert towards the Suez Canal. The loss of Suez would be catastrophic. Hitler’s next step would be to seize the oil fields of the Middle East and destroy those Jews who were living in their ancient homeland.

At El Alamein in Egypt, Hitler’s dream was thwarted. The advance of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel’s vaunted armored corps was halted. The allied forces won a decisive battle because they had “the best combination of air, sea, and land power, the most effective supply, and the imponderables of brilliant leadership and solid troop morale. The course of Western society was decided on these dreary sands of North Africa.”[72] Dvora Levin was one of those “solid troops.” Also serving in this grand campaign was a Lieutenant Colonel Stanley (Pete) Rosenfeld of the U.S. Air Force. He and Dvora met, either in Egypt or in Palestine, and later wed {Their daughter, Sharona Rosenfeld Silverman, relayed to Gil Dekel in 2021: “They met in Cairo. My father was a lieutenant colonel in the US Army and my mother was in the Palestinian brigade of the British army. They were both stationed in Cairo for a period of time. They got married in Israel in 1945.”} After the war they returned to the United

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States where Pete studied accounting and rose to become comptroller for McCrory Stores.

One other son of Ephraim Eliezer Zvi Hersh Charlap { אפרים אליעזר צבי הירש חרל”פ, הגאון ממעזריטש} for whom we have historical data was Yitzhak Yehezkiel. He and his wife Taibe had a minimum of three sons: Ze’ev Wolf, Yehoshua, and Moshe.

Ze’ev Wolf, born in 1844, was the oldest. He was married to Sarah Goldberg on the seventeenth day of Tevet in the year 1867. They established their home in Warsaw where Sarah gave birth to three sons and four daughters. The entire family emigrated to the United States well before World War I. Ze’ev Wolfs grandson probed his memory and provided the following:

My grandfather was known as William in the United States. I don’t remember him but I do have vivid memories of my grandmother. She lived in Borough Park, Brooklyn. She was very religious and after shul, we four brothers would visit her. We’d bring a box of candy to sweeten her Shabbos. She only spoke Yiddish and I didn’t understand her but she apparently was able to understand our English. She lived upstairs in the house owned by Aunt Bessie and her husband Ben Ginsburg.

 

Ben was in business with my father and his brothers. My father was Moshe Aryeh, known as Morris and Murray. His brothers were Joseph and Jacob. Dad was brought to America when he was four years old. At a very early age he went on the road selling ladies’ garments. He joined the others to form Charlop Brothers, a dress manufacturing operation.[73]Their specialty was half-sizes, which meant for overweight women. They did well but the business disintegrated right after the 1929 crash. Dad then studied for the test to be an insurance broker. He sold insurance for the rest of his life. My Uncle Joe had served with the U.S. Army in France during World War I. The trench warfare was brutal and the Germans used poison gas. Joe was the unfortunate victim of a gas attack. He suffered terribly and shortly after the war died of the effects.

 

My mother was Pearl Sokolski, born in New York City in 1891. She married my father in 1913 and a year later my older brother Elliot was born. After another year, my brother Joe was born. Then there was a little rest. My brother Wink [Winton] wasn’t born until 1918 and I made my debut in 1923. We were raised in Borough Park in a fairly traditional Jewish household. Mom kept a kosher house and Dad laid tefillin every day. We observed Shabbos and went to shul. Wink was a great athlete and played varsity basketball and tennis at Brooklyn College. I also took up tennis. We were both ranked players and competed in national tournaments most of our life. Elliot was an artist and aeronautical engineer, educated at NYU. I graduated from CCNY as a mechanical engineer.

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My brother Joe was a successful businessman. He owned a string of laundromats, one was in a jungle neighborhood in Jamaica, Queens. He had been held up several times but had successfully repulsed the savages who attacked him. Then one day he was accosted at his car by this black hoodlum who was out on parole after a rape conviction. Joe had collected the day’s receipts and was on the way to the bank. He resisted once again but this time the guy had a gun. During the struggle Joe was shot in the back. He managed to make it to the hospital, but he had lost too much blood and died.[74]

“Wink” Charlop is five years older than his brother Herb and remembers more of the family history.

My parents lived on the Lower East Side before moving to Brooklyn. They had apartments on East 5th Street and East 7th Street. They would go to the Rockaways in the summers to escape the heat. My brother Joe was born in Arverne, Rockaway. We continued to go to the Rockaway beaches throughout our early years. I also remember summer vacations in Lakewood, New Jersey. Then, as we grew older, we were sent to Jewish summer camps. My Bar Mitzvah actually took place in one such camp up in the Catskills – Wurtsboro, New York. We were fairly observant and attended a Young Israel synagogue.

 

My grandmother was always with us. She used to teach us Yiddish songs. But my grandfather died before I was born. I’m named for him. I guess my correct Hebrew name is Ze’ev, but in Yiddish it’s Velvel. My English name at birth was Woodrow Wilson Charlop. Perhaps my father got disenchanted with politics for sometime later, my name was changed to Winton. But everyone calls me Wink.

 

The Charlop Brothers dress manufacturing business was started by my father and Joe. Their brother Jack (Jacob) and Ben Ginsburg joined the company later. Jack was resented by the others. Maybe it was because he was a lawyer. Anyway, when the business failed at the start of the Depression, it was my father who paid off all the bills. But somehow Ben remained in the business after the others left. He and his sons patiently built it up again and were very successful.

 

Dad was also involved in real estate. He helped erect office buildings on Fifth Avenue. I remember the day that Charles Lindbergh was given a triumphant ticker-tape parade. We watched it all from one of Dad’s buildings.

 

Athletics was always a big part of my life. I was on the Brooklyn College varsity basketball team and played a lot of tennis. I played against the top players and did fairly well. I pushed Gardner Malloy, the Davis Cup champion in a very tight match. One of my big wins was against Richard Raskin, the ophthalmologist who was a top-ranked player. I whipped him pretty easily. Later he achieved some kind of notoriety by going through a sex change. He became Renee Richards and

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competed on the women’s tour. I still refer to her as him. I continued to play in the senior circuit and was New York State Men’s Champion. I was ranked number one in the sixty year old group and again in the sixty-five group.[75]

Yehoshua was another son of Yitzhak Yehezkiel Charlap. He was born circa 1850 and was married to Bella Burstein. They had a large family that may have numbered as many as ten children. Most of these children stayed in Poland or Russia and we have no information about them. They and their children are presumed lost victims of the Shoah. Something is known about two of Yehoshua’s sons, Beryl and Yeshaya.

Beryl Charlap was born in 1880. Near the turn of the century he emigrated to the United States but found the society hostile and returned to Poland. He became a rabbi and linguist, one of those who sought to strengthen traditional Jewry in the face of the crisis presented by the secular challenge. Beryl was a supporter of Rabbi Yitzhak Yaacov Reines, founder of the Zionist Mizrahi movement. Reines had also established the yeshiva at Lida where

secular studies – with an emphasis on the pragmatic – were taught side by side with traditional studies … A scholar lacking general knowledge was subject to indifference and contempt on the part of the rank-and-file … The program was not revolutionizing values, but rather was an attempt to find new means to strengthen the basis of traditional society within new social conditions.[76]

Beryl married Chana Rakowski, had five children, and was buffeted about by both World War I and the Russian Revolution. He had moved his family to Russian territory to avoid the violence of the war. In so doing, his identity was changed to Boris Chodorowski. He died in Bialystock in 1920, still struggling against both the Bolshevik forces, which were becoming increasingly antagonistic to Zionism and Judaism, and the Poles who were doctrinaire anti-semites.

Beryl’s oldest son was Jack Chodoroff. He spoke about his life and the tough times in Poland and Russiaץ

I was born in Bialystock on June 2, 1912, the oldest of five children. After me came Leon, Cyla, Menachem, and Eliezer who we called Rashka. My mother came from a religious family. Her father was a rabbi, attorney, and writer who translated the works of Zola into Hebrew and Russian. He loved my father who was a true scholar. Papa was a respected rabbi and a deeply religious man. He was fluent in Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, Polish, French, Italian, Latin, and Greek. You

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know he was an associate of Rabbi Reines but he also admired and was friendly with Nahum Sokolow, the great Zionist. Sokolow was twenty years older than Papa, a giant of a man. He and Chaim Weizmann were responsible for persuading the British to issue the Balfour Declaration. Sokolow traveled throughout Europe – to France, Italy, the Vatican – to plead the Zionist cause. Papa helped him, writing and translating many documents. Papa died before his work was complete. He was only forty.

 

We children suffered a variety of fates. My little brother Rashka, who was born about the time my father died, fell from a window in Bialystock in 1923. He was only three when his shattered body was found. My brother Leon and sister Cyla were murdered by the Nazis. Leon was with that group of Jews who were locked up in the Bialystock synagogue before it was torched. It was a mass funeral pyre. My dear brother and all those other Jewish saints were burned alive. Cyla was incarcerated in a concentration camp with her husband and little son Beryl. The boy was two-and-a-half when he was wrenched from his mother by some beast and shot to death. Cyla finally perished at Auschwitz. Her husband, Grisha Gutman, somehow survived the war and managed to get to America. He died in 1959 in Memphis, Tennessee. My brother Menachem was an ardent Zionist. He joined Betar {ביתר} and made aliyah. In Israel he took a Hebrew name and was known as Menachem Savidor. I was always very proud of him. He became Speaker of the Knesset.

 

I, too, am a survivor. Like my father I am a linguist. I inherited his love of language. I know several languages and write poetry and novels. In Canada, I had to support myself and my wife Ruth. I opened a retail men’s clothing store in Toronto in 1961 and for twenty years it kept us in relative prosperity. I have no complaints other than the loss of my family in Europe. The Shoah was a tragedy that is beyond our comprehension.[77]

Jack died in December 1993. His broken-hearted wife Ruth followed one month later. We have been unable to locate any of Jack’s poems or novels.

Jack’s brother, Menachem, was known to the close relatives as Max. He was born in Bachmut, Russia on August 20, 1918. Between 1937 and 1939 he studied philology and administration at the University of Wilna. But he was attracted to the ideas of Ze’ev Jabotinsky and participated in training for his planned move to Eretz Yisrael.

In Poland, the Irgun [Irgun Zvai Leumi], in particular Avraham Stern, was building up a network of dedicated militants like Menachem Begin {מנחם בגין}, commander of Betar {ביתר}, Nathan Friedman-Yellin, and Samuel Merlin, editors of Die Tat, and Dr. Israel Scheib, an almost mystical visionary rabbi, who edited Der Moment and dreamed of a Hebrew state. They maintained contact with the Poles. Arms were collected

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and in some cases shipped back to Palestine in washing machines, in vans of personal belongings, and in mislabeled crates …Officers’ course was planned. There, under Polish officers, courses were offered in a wide variety of subjects: codes and secret communication, sabotage, partisan warfare, even conspiracy. When the course finished, Stern arrived to give a stirring graduation address.[78]

In 1939 Menachem Chodorowski (Charlap), buoyed by the idealism of the Revisionist leaders and fortified with the practical training of Betar, left a Europe that was being engulfed in war. His group, which included several Betar comrades, took a rather tortuous path. They journeyed across Russia and Siberia and managed to reach safety in Japan. The Japanese were themselves engaged in violent expansion of their empire and in 1940 would formally join Germany and Italy in what would be called the Rome-Berlin­ Tokyo Axis. Despite their sympathies with the war aims of Hitler, the Japanese were decent hosts to the Jewish refugees. Menachem Chodorowski found no fault with his treatment in Japan. But he had a burning desire to reach Eretz Yisrael. The Betar group managed to book passage to India where they were assisted by the Kadouri family, Jews who traced their roots back to the Babylonian exile. After a few months in India, they set sail for Palestine. The British had set a tight blockade against Jewish immigration, but Menachem was able to enter the cherished land of his dreams.

By mid-1941 the British military position was perilous. The Germans were advancing across North Africa and threatening Cairo and the Suez Canal. France had fallen and the Vichy government, nominally in control in Lebanon and Syria, could be expected to accede to Nazi war plans. Menachem Chodorowski, now known as Savidor, was soon a member of the British army. He served with the Jewish Brigade in North Africa under the over-all command of Field Marshall Montgomery. Dvora Levin, granddaughter of Ephraim Zvi Charlap, was serving in the same area. These forces were active in the decisive battle at EI Alamein, where the British inflicted a disastrous defeat on the German army. “The Battle of El Alamein,” said Churchill, “was the turning point in British military fortunes during the World War. Up to Alamein we survived. After Alamein we conquered.”[79]  Menachem continued serving with the British army as it cut through the German and Italian defense lines. By May of 1943 the end was at hand for the Axis in North Africa. British and American forces had split the German army in two and Tunis had fallen to the Allies. Bases were now available for the Allied assault on southern Europe. With the invasion of Italy, Menachem was appointed interpreter and personal assistant to General C. E. Weir. Weir was to assume command of all British forces in Austria and Italy. A full five years of Menachem’s formative years were spent in British uniform. It is believed that during that time he provided valuable information to the Jewish underground.

With the end of hostilities, Menachem searched across Europe in an effort to find

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relatives who may have survived the atrocities. He was successful in locating his brother Jack and together they returned to Israel. Menachem began writing for HaBoker (The Morning), a now defunct newspaper associated with the General Zionist Party. With the struggle for independence and with the proclamation of the State of Israel he joined the new Israel Defense Force. He served until 1953, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He founded the first Army School of Organization and Administration. Obviously, a candidate for advancement in rank, he was passed over because his sympathies were not with the dominant Labor Party.

Upon entering civilian life, he became Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Communications. In 1954 he commenced a decade-long position as General Manager of the Israel Railways. Menachem was recognized as an authority on transportation management and economics and published many articles in the field. In 1959, he enhanced his knowledge with graduate study at the Sorbonne in Paris. He was an advocate of close Israeli-French cooperation and was vice-president of the Israel-France Chamber of Commerce. Europeans recognized his brilliance and leadership qualities. He was made a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur and Officier de la Couronne Belge. From transportation, Menachem turned his attention to the major Israeli export. From 1966 to 1977 he was Director General of the Citrus Products Export Board. Part of that time he had a major interest in the Medijuice Corporation.

In 1977 he was elected to the Knesset where he became a leader of the Likud faction. He was appointed Speaker of the Tenth Knesset and served with distinction from 1981 to 1984. With all of these activities, Menachem still had time for charitable and cultural pursuits. He was Chairman of the Maccabi Sports Movement for ten years, Chairman of the Lord Kagan Fund for Soviet Immigrants, and Chairman of the Kalman Ginsberg Fund for Orphans of Warriors and Children of War Invalids. He was also President of the Rotary Club of Tel Aviv and Chairman of the Tel Aviv Philharmonic Choir.

Menachem married a Sabra named Raia Karukes in 1951. They had two beautiful children, a son Dov and a daughter Anat. Menachem and Raia both died in 1988. They are buried on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem in a special plot reserved for leaders of the State of Israel.[80]

Menachem Savidor’s uncle, Yeshaya Charlap, was most probably born in Suwalk Guberniya in 1885. When he was fifteen he emigrated to America. His son, Sidney, an extremely cordial and charming man, told us the following:

Dad was brought over to America in 1900 by his uncle Morris Charlap. Morris had been in Philadelphia for over a decade and by the time he was thirty was a fairly successful clothing manufacturer. He started M.C. Brands. They turned

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out a line of high-quality merchandise. Dad was still a teenager and at first wanted to return to Poland, but he became acclimated to American ways and decided to stay. His first job in Philadelphia was as a cigar maker and in 1909 he was still plying that trade.

 

My mother was also a cigar maker and they must have met in the factory. Her name was Ida Levin and she was born in Suchawole in 1887 or 1888. They were married on May 9, 1909. Their marriage papers list their address as 620 Wharton Street. My brother Clarence was born a year later and my sister Evelyn was born in 1913.

 

Then came World War I and the economic situation in the area changed dramatically. Dupont Chemicals was headquartered in nearby Wilmington, Delaware. They built up a company town across the river at Carney’s Point, New Jersey. The houses and stores were all owned by Dupont and they were built to service the gunpowder factory at the point. Dad saw an opportunity and in 1917 moved the family to the adjoining town of Penn’s Grove. He opened a grocery store to cater to the booming population.

 

I was born in 1918 and around 1920 Dad decided to move once again to Vineland, New Jersey. Mom had relatives who were living there. He tried a variety of businesses in Vineland including a hotel and drug store. But by 1922 we were back in Penn’s Grove and Dad opened his clothing store which stayed in business until 1967.

 

In those days, there was a substantial Jewish community down here. We had our own shul and rabbi. It bordered between Orthodox and Conservative. Dad served as the amateur cantor. I went to Hebrew school every day after public school. Our house was kosher and Dad was very Zionistic. We always received the latest news from the Charlaps in Israel.

Clarence studied law in Washington, D.C. but after flunking the bar exams a couple of times he joined my father’s business. The clothing store was doing well and after my army stint, I too joined in. During World War II, I had been stationed down in the Panama Canal Zone for almost three years. In addition to the retail business, I was owner of the local radio station. That thriving Jewish community of Penn’s Grove has now dwindled to four people. The kids grew up, went to college, and found jobs elsewhere.[81]

One of Clarence’s sons has attained world-wide fame as a mathematician. Leonard Stanton Charlap was born in Wilmington, Delaware on August 1, 1938. He received his B.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then was a National Science Foundation fellow at Columbia University. After being awarded a Ph.D. from Columbia in 1962, he was honored as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. After three years at the Institute, Leonard began a distinguished teaching career, holding

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professorial posts at the University of Pennsylvania, State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Oxford University. He returned to Princeton in 1981 to become a member of the research staff at the Center for Communications Research. He is renowned for his expertise in computational number theory and flat Riemannian manifolds.[82]

We now turn our attention to Moshe, the remaining son of Yitzhak Yehezkiel Charlap. Moshe was born in September of 1863 and emigrated to America around 1890. Known as Morris, he established himself in Philadelphia where he was involved both in manufacturing and retailing of men’s clothing. In 1896 he married Elizabeth Belastosky who had arrived in America in 1891. Morris is listed in the marriage documents as twenty-nine years old and living at 712 South Front Street. Lizzie was twenty-one and lived at 1107 Federal Street.[83] Morris and Lizzie had two sons, Irwin and Harold, and a daughter, Mildred.

The sons were in the insurance business and Irwin’s son Walter continues that tradition. Mildred married a lawyer named Herbert Cohen who rose to be Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Their son Donn is also a prominent attorney in York, Pennsylvania. Harold married Nan Hirschman who was an immigrant from Russia. Their two sons achieved fame in widely divergent fields. “Moose” inherited the fabled Charlap musical talent and E. Paul became an international business executive.

Moose was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Wisconsin, and the Philadelphia Conservatory. He composed many songs and the scores for several Broadway shows, including Peter Pan and Ten Little Indians. He also wrote and directed the music for television shows such as The King and Mrs. Candle and the ballet So This is New York.[84] His songs have been recorded by the leading popular artists and Edyie Gorme is particular fond of Moose’s music. Moose was married twice, having a son and daughter with each of his wives. His second wife is the acclaimed cabaret and jazz singer Sandy Stewart. Her son is the jazz piano virtuoso Billy Charlap. Billy’s half-brother Tommy is an excellent jazz bassist. Sandy, Billy, and Tommy often join with Dick Hyman and his daughter in Dick’s “All in the Family” jazz concerts. Moose was only forty-five when he died in 1974.

Moose’s brother E. Paul made his mark in the world of business. He was born in Philadelphia in 1924 and was educated at the University of Pennsylvania. Upon graduation he went into the sales field and at age twenty-one married beautiful Corinne Brout. It took only five years for Paul to found the Nylast Chemical Corporation in New York. In 1955 he sold the company to the Seaman Brothers Corporation where he assumed an executive position. In the late 1950s he founded the Savin Corporation, manufacturers of copying

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machines, and served with them as president and chief executive officer through 1986. Late in his career he was chairman of the Hem Pharmaceuticals Corporation, a drug research organization. He was also a director of Nu-kote International, Uniroyal-Goodrich Tires, and Mariner’s Hospital in Tavarnier, Florida. Through this busy career, Paul managed to have three wives, four children and five grandchildren. Paul died in March of 1991.[84]

Paul’s dynamism always created loyal support and an army of detractors. His last venture at Hem engendered some of the more vehement arguments about his methods

In recent weeks both Fortune magazine and the Wall Street Journal reported on claims by Paul Charlap that his new company – Hem Research Inc. – has a drug that arrests the progress of AIDS. Charlap is anything but modest in his claims. “This drug cures chronic fatigue syndrome and three kinds of cancer right now, and it stops the AIDS virus in its tracks.” He complained that giant Du Pont was trying to keep his drug off the market. Taking him at his own estimate, Fortune gushed, “Paul Charlap has always been at odds with Fortune 500 giants.”

But is he the man for the job? Perhaps Fortune forgot that Charlap is the man who presided over the collapse in the mid-1980s of Savin Corporation, the once flourishing photocopier firm … After leaving Savin, Charlap retreated to the Florida Keys. But now he is back. A diminutive man with a gravelly voice, the tenacity of a bulldog and the energy of a hurricane, Charlap recently grabbed a Forbes reporter by the arm and poured a monologue into his visitor’s ear, all the while shaking him vigorously to make sure it was sinking in. Over breakfast, Charlap waved his arms while riveting his listener with his glittering blue eyes, much as cobras are said to transfix their prey. A reporter less than half Charlap’s age could have used a nap after a few hours of trying to keep up with him.[86]

The innuendo that Paul was responsible for the failure of Savin is a bit unfair. Paul had the vision, talent, and energy to build Savin into a highly successful leader in the copying machine industry. His very success encouraged Ricoh, Savin’s Japanese supplier, to enter the market on its own. Paul took up the challenge and determined to build a product that was superior to Ricoh’s. He spent $100 million to design his own line and to inaugurate a factory in up-state New York. But the timing was unfortunate. The copy machine field was the new battleground of the giants – Xerox, IBM, Panasonic, and others. The competition was fierce. A business recession and cost overruns compounded the problems. Savin was in over its head. Paul resigned his position as the company’s stock tumbled.

A year before he died, Paul was busy promoting Hem and its main product Ampligen. In his enthusiasm for the supposed wonder drug, he announced, “I’ve already got someone working on the screenplay. This would make a great, great movie. Here I am,

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sixty-five years old, scurrying around like a maniac, and I’m never going to stop.” He never was able to prove the efficacy of Ampligen. Cancer, the enemy he was trying to defeat, interfered with his plans.

Susan Levitt is Paul’s oldest child by his first wife Corinne. Late in December of 1989, Susan invited us to her home in Greenwich, Connecticut. She and her husband Marty were eager to hear of the family research and had asked Corinne and Susan’s brother Peter to join us for a delicious luncheon. Susan is not only a great chef. She describes herself as a farmer and raises much of the produce she uses in her cooking. Peter Charlap has achieved prominence in the art world as a painter, sculptor, and teacher. Chairman of the art department at Vassar College,

his application of color and texture is one of his most engaging signatures. [It] is full of references to painters long dead and to living contemporary masters. Charlap refers often, but his artistic references and quotations are skillfully integrated. All this, plus obvious talent, produce work that is distinctive and original. Charlap’s work is figurative … It calls to mind the superior brush strokes of 19th century French artist Eduoard Manet … His sculptures reveal a genuine knowledge and appreciation of human form and posture as well as an understanding of how rigid materials can be assembled to make fluid, believable shapes.[87]

Peter received a bachelor and master degree in Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University respectively. He also studied at the Academie Cantonale de Beaux Arts de Sion in Switzerland. He has taught at Cooper Union and the University of Connecticut, in addition to Vassar. His works are in important corporate collections and can be seen in many museums and galleries. Since 1979, Peter has had a series of impressive exhibitions – one-man shows and group exhibitions.

 

 

Footnotes:
  1. A.S. Hershberg, Pinchas Bialystock (Bialystock Records) (New York: Bialystock Jewish Historical Association, 1949), p. 200
  2. Ibid., pp. 224-225.
  3. Jerusalem Census of 1875 conducted by Sir Moses Montefiore.
  4. Rabinowitz family tree in possession of Hannah Hurewitz of Bellerose, New York.
  5. Arthur Hertzberg, The Zionist Idea (New York: Harper & Row, 1966), p. 104.
  6. Suchawola records list Betzalel as having been born in 1855. He was over twenty years younger than his brothers, Shlomo and Eliezer.
  7. “Toledot Adat Yisrael B’Horodno” (“History Of the Jews of Grodno”), in Grodno, ed. Dov Rabin (Tel Aviv: Encyclopedia of the Jewish Diaspora, 1973), pp. 111-113.
  8. Ibid., p. 113.
  9. R’ Yerachmiel Steinberg, Man of Motza,” in Sefer Suchawole, ed. Chana Steinberg, M. Vinhotzker, Y. Levine, V. Tzibon (Jerusalem and Tel Aviv: Encyclopedia of the Jewish Diaspora, 1957).
  10. Ibid., p. 608.
  11. Rabin Op. Cit., pp. 109-110.
  12. The Jewish Encyclopedia, (1901), s.v. “Jaffe,” by Goodman Lipkind.; also Encyclopedia Judaica, (1971), s.v. “Jaffe, Mordecai-Gimpel,” by Israel Klausner.
  13. See Chapter XXVII for a discussion of Rabbi Kook’s relationship with Yaacov Moshe Charlap. A collection of Kook’s writings along with introductory comments is found in Abraham Isaac Kook, ed. Ben Zion Bokser (New York: Paulist Press, 1978.)
  14. Encyclopedia Judaica, (1971), s.v. “Jaffe, Bezalel,” by Yehuda Slutsky.
  15. Encyclopedia Judaica, (1971), s.v. “Jaffe, Leib,” by Yehuda Slutsky and Melech Ravitch.
  16. U.S . National Archives, Records of Alien Passenger Arrivals, Port of New York (Ship Manifests), vol. 7859, page 8, lines 6-8.
  17. Interview with Hannah Charlap Hurewitz, Bellerose, New York, October 5, 1995.
  18. Letter, Chava Lapin-Reich to Arthur F. Menton, January 26, 1996.
  19. Interview with Chava Lapin-Reich, Forest Hills, New York, February 17, 1996.
  20. Rejistro Civil la Circunscripcion de Santiago, Chile, Matrimonio Rejistro No . 4, lnscripcion No . 368, May 21, 1913.
  21. Encyclopedia Judaica, (19 ), s.v. “Lapin, Berl,” by Melech Ravitch.
  22. Sol Liptzin, The Flowering of Yiddish Literature (New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1963), pp. 206-207.
  23. Nahma Sandrow, Vagabond Stars: A World History of Yiddish Theatre (New York and Philadelphia:  Harper & Row and the Jewish Publication Society, 1977), p. 168.
  24. Liptzin, Op. Cit., pp. 215-216.
  25. The Jerusalem Post, November 9, 1976.
  26. Ibid.
  27. U.S. National Archives, Records of Alien Passenger Arrivals, Port of New York (Ship Manifests), July 15, 1909, Roll 1302, Group 10, List 3.
  28. Interview with Phyllis Shereshevsky Shapiro, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, July 18, 1994.
  29. Alexander Komilov, Modern Russian History. volume II (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1917), p. 278.
  30. Salo W. Baron, The Russian Jew Under Tsars and Soviets (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1976), pp. 52-53.
  31. Incident reported by George Sackheim, Skokie, Illinois, March 7, 1996.
  32. U.S. National Archives, Records of Alien Passenger Arrivals, Port of New York (Ship Manifests), vol. 8657, page 43, line 26.
  33. Who’s Who In Canadian Jewry, (1967), s.v. “Charlap, Gregory.”
  34. Interview with Harvey Charlap, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, July 9, 19 94.
  35. Encyclopedia Judaica, (1971), s.v. “Grodno (Horodno),” by Dov Rabin.
  36. Raymond Leslie Buell, Poland: Key To Europe (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1939), p. 304.
  37. George I. Sackheim, Scattered Seeds (Skokie, IL: R. Sackheim Publishing Co., 1986), p. 134.
  38. Natan Zvi Friedman, Otzar HaRabonim (Bnai Brak: 1975), p. 67.
  39. Ibid.
  40. Mordecai Chaim Leib Schweib, Preface to Sefer Migdanot Eliezer (Book of Sweets of Eliezer) (Warsaw:  R’ Yaacov Zev, 1895). Translated by Aharon Manor.
  41. Yaacov Shapiro, “Hakdamat Hamatik” (“Translator’s Preface”), Haskmot Geonaynu Zemanaynu (Convention of the Sages of Our Time), undated fragment, transmitted from Ellis Charloff to his son Sol. Translated by Aharon Manor.  See also page 3 in book Sefer Mignadot Eliezer (Warsaw:  R’ Yaacov Zev, 1895).
  42. David Ben-Gurion, “In Judea and Galilee,” in Sound the Great Trumpet, ed . M. Z. Frank (New York:  Whittier Books, 1955), p. 67.
  43. Karl Schwarz, Jewish Artists of the 19th and 20th Centuries (New York: Philosophical Library, 1949), p. 168.
  44. Abram Leon Sachar, A History of the Jews (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1965), pp.338-346.
  45. Ibid., p. 347.
  46. Interview with Edward (Teddy) Charlap, Brooklyn, New York, Sept. 13, 1995.
  47. U.S . National Archives, Records of Alien Passenger Arrivals, Port of New York (Ship Manifests), vol. 3448, page 93, lines 20-21.
  48. Interview with Edward (Teddy) Charlap, Brooklyn , New York, September 13 , 1995.
  49. Jeanne Lieberman, “A Touch of Class in Brass,” Fire Island Tide, August 18, 1995, p. 19.
  50. Press release by Dan Langan, Langan Communications.
  51. Letter, Abraham (Avi) Harlap to Osnat Charlap, August 18, 1982.
  52. Letter, Avraham (Avi) Harlap to Arthur F. Menton, August 20, 1995.
  53. There is confusion between this Tiraspole and a town just west of Brest-Litovsk with a similar name that was the home of some Charlaps. Steven Charlip of Plantation, Florida, had mentioned the more northern town in speaking of the family history. The “Moldavian” Tiraspole is on the Dneister River northwest of Odessa.
  54. Avraham Charlap, “Ephraim Zvi Charlap,” undated manuscript. Also refer to footnote 2, Chapter XXV.
  55. Encyclopedia of Zionism and Israel, (1971), s.v. “Hitahdut HaIkkarim,” by Y. Ziv-Av.
  56. Telephone conversation with Abram Leon Sachar, October 26, 1989. Dr. Sachar even suggested the possibility that Ussishkin’s affinity for Ephraim Zvi Charlap might be based on a family relationship, but no such connection has been established.
  57. Walter Laqueur, A History of Zionism (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1972), pp. 473-474.
  58. Ibid., p. 278.
  59. Moshe Smilansky (1874-1953), foremost literary spokesman of the First Aliyah, leading farmer and communal leader, soldier of the Jewish Legion in World War I.
  60. M.Z. Frank, “The Last Men on the Rampart,” in Sound the Great Trumpet, ed. M.Z. Frank (New York: Whittier Books, 1955), p. 45.
  61. Avraham (Avi) Harlap, “Yisrael Harlap,” undated manuscript.
  62. Palestine During the War (London: Zionist Organization, 1921), p. 31.
  63. J . Bowyer Bell, Terror Out of Zion (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1977), p. 16.
  64. Laqueur, Op. Cit., p. 110.
  65. Meyer Weisgal, So Far: The Autobiography of Meyer Weisgal, 1894-1977 (New York: Random House, 1971), p. 248.
  66. Ibid., p. 270.
  67. Yehuda Manor (Mankuta), the hero of Zaromb, worked for Joseph Miller after Yehuda’s arrival in Israel.
  68. “The Profession ls Ph.D. in Philosophy, His Business is Car Importing,” clipping from unidentified Israeli newspaper, February 2, 1994. Translated by Aharon Manor.
  69. Harlap, Aryeh.” Excerpt from an unidentified directory of noted Zionist figures, published in Israel and translated from the Hebrew by Eyal Peretz.
  70. Laqueur, Op. Cit., p. 535.
  71. Ibid., p. 536.
  72. Louis L. Snyder, The War: A Concise History, 1939-1945 (New York: Julian Messner, 1960), p. 274.
  73. The 1920 New York City Directory lists Charlop Bros. & Co., cloaks, at 151 West 26th Street in Manhattan. Principals were: Morris A. and Joseph J. Charlop and Barnet Ginsberg. Jacob Charlop, a lawyer, is listed at the same address.
  74. Interview with Herbert Charlop, New York, N .Y., October 16, 1995.
  75. Interview with Winton “Wink” Charlop, Brooklyn, New York, October 17, 1995.
  76. Yitzhak Yaacov Reines, “The Modem Yeshiva of Lida,” in The Jew in the Modem World, ed. Paul R. Mendes-Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 321.
  77. Interview with Jack Chodoroff, Toronto, Canada, June 4, 1990.
  78. Bell, Op. Cit., pp. 44-45.
  79. Snyder, Op. Cit., p. 283.
  80. Details on the life of Menachem Savidor were obtained from the following sources: Interview with Jack Chodoroff, Toronto, Canada, June 4, 1990; Letters, Dov Savidor to Arthur F. Menton, April 24, 1991 and March 31, 1996; Who’s Who in World Jewry, (1981), s.v. “Savidor, Menachem.”; Who’s Who in Israel, (1969-1970), s. v. “Savidor, Menachem.”
  81. Interview with Sidney Charlap, Penn’s Grove, New Jersey, October 17, 1995.
  82. Who’s Who in the East, 15th ed. (1975-76), s.v. “Charlap, Leonard Stanton.”; American Men and Women of Science, 19th ed. (1995-96), s.v. “Charlap, Leonard Stanton.”
  83. State of Pennsylvania, Affidavit of Applicant for Marriage #89537, November 12, 1896.
  84. ASCAP Biographical Dictionary. 4th ed. (1980), s.v. “Charlap, Morris (Moose).”
  85. New York Times, March 21, 1991; Who’s Who in America, 40th ed. (1978-79), s.v. “Charlap, E. Paul.”
  86. Jason Zweig, “This Would Make a Great Movie,” Forbes, February 5, 1990, p. 65.
  87. St. Louis Post, February 13, 1993 and June 15, 1995.

 8 June 2021. Last updated 10 June 2021.

The book of destiny : תולדות חרלף = Toledot Charlap – Toldot Harlap – by Arthur F. Menton.
First published 1996. Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y : King David Press. ISBN 0965444104.

Text © Arthur F. Menton and © Gil Dekel.
Images © Gil Dekel.
Photo of Efraim Zvi Charlap by Gil Dekel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Permission to publish on this website was granted from Arthur F. Menton.
Publication on this website © Gil Dekel. Do not make any copies of this text and/or images without explicit written permission. Formatted for the web by Dr. Gil Dekel.