The Jewish Community Life in Turisk
Since its foundation in 1097, until the Holocoaust
in 1942 ,the Jews of Turisk built and developed the
shtetl . The woods around it were cut down, and saw
-mills processed materials, to be shipped by the
stream and rivers .Trade and commerce bloomed.
Skilled Jewish workers built workshops of all kinds.
The Jewish population grew. In the 16th century, a
very large synagogue and a" Yeshive"were built. The
cultural and religious life flourished.
Several times Turisk was occupaied and parts were
destroyed,and rebuild. The Jews suffered,but always
In the beginning of the 18th century, Turisk became a
very important Hassidic center,as Rabbi Avraham of
the Hassidic branch of Chernobyll settled in Turisk .
Since then until the beginning of the 20th century the
Hassidic rabbis of Turisk became famous all over
Poland,with hundred of thousands of worshippers in
many cities and even in America. Every year in the
memorial week of the Magid thousands of
Hassidim crowded the Shtetl, praying for help,
believing in the Magids power to make miracles.
The "Hasscala" wave of the 19th century flooded the
Shtetl before the end of the century.ry floaded the
he 19th e miracles.din manyk .treams and rivers Beside the Yes-
hiva and "Heider" a Hebrew school was built with
a Hebrew library. A group of young men founded the
Zionist and Youth Organization, dreaming to leave to
Palestine. Some young men began studies and in a
very short time started writing in time very famous..
During the First World War, Turisk was occupaied by
Germany, and suffered from very harsh economic
difficulties. The Rabbis residence was burned
burned down. He was last Rabbi who left the Shtetl.
the war was over ,Turisk became a part of Poland.
The community recovered slowly, but the cultural
social and political life flourished. The Bund Socialist
party erected a new school teaching all the classes
in the Yiddish language. This was the first Yiddish
scool in our Region of 44 Jewish cities and Shtetls.
I want to point out :In Turisk, nine writers and poets+
poets were born and created in Yiddish and Hebrew
most of them became famous all over the world.
A new Zionist Youth Organization Hashomer Hazair
trained itself to defense against Ukrainian pogroms
and to be ready to emigrate to Palestine. Hundreds
of them took part in the trainings,as tens of them left for
Palestine.Turisk did not succeed in surviving economically
The majority of were poor people and looking
for ways to emmigrate, but the community continued
the cultural, educational and Jewish activities.
This was the situation when the Second World War
started. The Russian-German pact gave east Poland
to Russia. For a very short period we managed to be
Russian citizens, but we, the Zionist youth were arrested,
and a small group managed to run away
to free Lithuania. Germany attacked Russia on the
22nd of June 1941. Only a very small group of Jews
managed escape to Russia. Most of them survived the
war. In two days the German army occupaiyed Turisk.
The same day they started the killings in the streets.
All the Jews were forced to concentrate in a
small part of the Shtetl. Ten persons in a room, with
no place sleep, in the worst sanitary conditions imagi-
nable. Every day new ordersarrived men were forced to
work in very hard conditions outside the Ghetto, in the end
of the day less and less of them returned to the Ghetto.
Every day new orders: to collect thousands of warm
winter clothing for the German army. To collect tens
of kilograms of gold for the Germans, if not, they will
execute tens of citizen. More than a year of torture and
killings the terrible day arrived. All the Ghetto people
were forced to march towards the giant pits , of an
old bricks factory. Standing naked on the edge of the
pit were shotdown into the pits, by the Germans and the
Ukrainian militia. The mass murder lasted till dawn.
Masses of Ukrainians came to the Ghetto to rob the
abandonet property. Some youngsters in hiding opened
fire. They runned away calling the militia for assistance .
When they arrived, the youngsters set the
wooden houses of the Ghetto on fire. The entire Shtetl
was burned down, only the roads remained.
This was the end of the 900 year old Jewish Turisk!
Only a 13 year old boy,Shmulick Boymel, survived.
When Shmulik came to the edge of the pit he stood
naked with mother and sisters. The shooting and killings
went on and on, they were waiting to be shot.A second
before being shot his mother gave him a push shouting,
'run shmulikl run! He fell into the pit ,his family was
shot and fell after him. When he awoke he climbed
out ,found some clothing, and ran into the nearby
forrest. His survival is quite an unbelievable "story".
When the war was over he met a young girl, who also
survived . They married and emigrated to the U.S.
Together they started a busines while raising a fine Jewish
family. Working haed for years , he became a very wealthy
man and newer forgot where he came from. In time they
became one of the biggiest donors for the people of
Israel, and Jewish communal needs in the U.S.A.
We the Turiscians in Israel were not aware of it.
In 1992, when Gorbachove was in power, the Turiscians
in Israel collected money to erect a tombstone at the
mass murder grave. While coming to erect it we saw the
bad situation of the grave. Rumors among the Ukrainians
told of a boy who ran away from the horrible pit and
survived, lives in the U.S.A…Back in Israel we decided to
look for help to collect funds in order to enable the
renovation of the mass murder grave.
Mr.Sam Boymel donated the money for the project. With
the help of local engineers the renovation succeeded.
A group of twelwe Turiscians ,two generations,who live in
Israel and the Boymel family with son and brother from
Cinncinati U.S.A. went to the grave for the uncovery
During the voyage we discussed the idea to establish
a place in Israel to memoriase of our Shtetl-Turisk.A place
where the coming generations can come+ witness
learn about their roots, about the Jewish Stetl ,its life,
In Israel, we were informed of a museum project by the
"Moreshet "Institution to memorialise the heroic uprising
in the Ghettos. The Mordchai Anieliewich Museum will
become a Holocaust Study and Research Center. The
exhibitions will commemorate the actions of the Jewish
Youth Movements during the Holocaust, their roots in
evident hundreds of the Jewish shtetla in Poland.
Our shtetl, Turisk, because of its unick history for more
than 900rd years as an important" sample "of Jewish life
culture, and creativity, was chosen to represent all the
Stetlach in Poland and Ukraina ,the cradle and soil were
the youth movements grow to become the initiators and
leaders of the resistance and upraising in the Ghettos.
Mr. Sam Boymell made a generous donation,together with
other donors. The building is almost finished. With more
than half complete. Now we must fill the "shell".
We the Turiscians in Israel are appeal to you-" to lend
a hand" (a Yiddish saying) to help finish the very
special and important project ,for us and the generations