These are letters, stories, and songs from or about people in the four seperate databases, but most are about Shchedrin.
1913 Kosher Cows Orlando, Florida. The Shader Family saga: from Shchedrin to Pittsburgh to Orlando, from Heritage Florida Jewish News, January 3,1992. Obituary of Ralph MEITIN.
Jacob M. Rothbart was a friend of Nathan Smith (ca 1882-1978) from 1920 until his death in Israel. In this biographical sketch in recalls Nathan and his wife Esther Lifshitz Smith, their children and how the children were early "pioneers" of the young Israel state. read
Pittsburgh born Shchedriner, Harry Katz, at 90 writes about his life to his grand niece. May 25, 2005. What was it like to grow up in Pittsburgh in the early 1900's through World Was II. read
Shchedriner, Yakov Gorelick, at 67 writes about "The Samavar". September, 1972. A heart-warming story of his Uncle Moishe's samovar that came to America and then went home to Shchedrin. I remember my grandfather, Leibl Sverdlov, who could suck on a sugar cube throughout two or even three glasses of tea in metal holders poured from his samovar on Avenue Z in Brooklyn in the late 1940's. read
Shchedriner, Yakov Gorelick, at 75 writes "Portraits of My Mother and My Father" reprinted from The Forward, October 26, 1980. Jacob's mother was orphaned and then as a young mother her husband went to America for seven years...and then returned to Shchedrin. Read this story to find out why and what happened to his family. read

Sophie (Sorka Minna) Steinberg nee' ZUBER was born in Shchedrin in 1903. These are interviews when she was in her 70's. At age 16, with the three older siblings gone and six more at home, her father was killed. She writes about her family before and after the Bolshevik Revolution; Her siblings; smuggling her sister Chana and herself across the Russian border to come to America; life in America; and what became of the three siblings who never got out of the U.S.S.R. read in pdf, or htm

The Founding and Death of Jewish Shchedrin from Bet Hatefusoth Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, March 2000
The Founding of Shchedrin is excerpted from Tzemach Tzedek and the Haskala Movement, by Joseph Schneersohn, ca. 1962, pg. 10.
The History of the Family Golodetz Dr. Lazar Golodetz, Translated from the German by Dr. Shlomo Noble, Secretary, YIVO Commission on Research
An Interview with Mollie Plotkin Cohen, the granddaughter of Shchedriners. She was born Feb 1884 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Ghosts of Schedrin by Alan Goldberg.
[Ed. Note: found this on web at SoundClick
play from site
"My Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather Zalmen Epstein settled in Schedrin, ByeloRussia. At it’s peak 4,000 Jewish souls called Schedrin home, including several generations of my ancestors.

This song is a snapshot of a muddy mainstreet in Schedrin on a winter’s day as people shop at the market, and then they disappear.

Around 1841, some 9700 acres in Byelorussia, southeast of Bobruisk were purchased as an estate in the name of Lubavitcher Rebbe Mendel Shneerson from Prince Schtzedrinov, in Minsk. 300 Jewish families were invited to settle in the new colony of Schedrin. 325 acres on the edge of town were given by the Rebbe to Chaim Golodetz, one of his Hasidim, who established an ‘estate’ for his family and ran a large and prosperous lumber company, employing many of the residents of Schedrin. The residents were granted special government privileges, among them a long term loan of 200 rubles, by the Provincial treasury, to be repaid with farm produce. The settlers prospered and were soon able to devote several periods of the year to Torah study. The establishment of the Schedrin colony impressed Russian Jewry and Government officials alike. The Governors of Minsk, Vitebsk, and Mogilev provinces wrote laudatory letters to the Ministry of the Interior in regard to the officially sanctioned colony In 1897, there were 4,022 Jews in Schedrin (95% of the total population of the town). It was a true Jewish “shtetl”.

In 1910, my grandfather's family came to America from Schedrin on the Lusitania from London to Ellis Island, and settled in Sioux City, Iowa. He was eight years old. His family left as many other Schedriners were also leaving, just before the Russian revolution, and before the Nazis came. One afternoon in 1941, the Germans came to Schedrin and told everyone to remain inside. The next morning they assembled them in the street and marched them to the edge of town. The people were told to dig a ditch, line up on the edge, and hold hands. They were machine gunned, falling into, and pushed into, the ditch which was then covered over with dirt. Records indicate that in 1941, there were 380 Jewish families (about 1,400 inhabitants) in Schedrin - all of whom were killed by the German killing squad, the Einzatsgrupen, on that fateful day. From 1841 to 1941 there existed in Byelorussia, the town of Schedrin. For 100 years it remained a Jewish community only to perish at the hands of Nazi exterminators."

DVORKIN, ELKINS, EPSTEIN, FISH (nee' PARKHOVHIK), FRANKLIN, KITAIN, KAPLAN, RASKIN are all Shchedriner families in Sioux City, Iowa
The Story, As It Is Best Remembered: SHCHEDRIN (Adopted from Jay Epstein's original)
About 1890 there was a fire in the town of Partichi near Schedrin and many of the families from Partich moved in with families in Schedrin. One family moved in with the Epstein's until their house was rebuilt in Partichi. In 1892 Tom Epstein accompanied his father to Bobroisk to hear a sermon by the Lubavitcher Rebbe (probably Shalom Dov Baer 1866-1920).

Tom Epstein received a letter at the end of WW II telling him that his brother and sisters had gone to Tashkent during the war but he never heard anything after that one letter.

[NOTE: Smuel EPSTEIN died in 1942 in the Caucasus.]
Motl (Mordekhai) EPSTEIN was married five, or six times, and had a total of about fourteen (14) children. He was a tall man, 6 foot 2 inches. Motl killed a goy in Shchedrin by throwing him into the icy river in the winter. Motel was coming home one night and one of the goyim who lived outside of Shchedrin was drunk, and was crossing the bridge going to Shchedrin. As he passed Motel he starting calling him "dirty Jew" and other names that infuriated Motel. So Motel threw him over the bridge. The next day Moel sent his oldest son, Yankif, out to see if the man was still there, but the police had already found the body. But the police figured that the Russian had been drunk and had fallen off the bridge.
Tante Manya Finkelstein Graver goes to Shchedrin in 1935. Two years after Roosevelt recognized Stalin U.S.S.R. This story is not so much about Shchedrin as the landtman's need to communicate with loved ones after the 1917 Revolution. This picture came back with Manya.
Many prominent Pittsburghers are Schedriners, who are related in some way to the Horvitz clan. Harry L. Katz wrote an article for The Jewish Chronicle (Pittsburgh, Pa) about his family and the Aunts and Uncles on his mother's side. read Butter and Guns
Sometimes I read a story on the web that moves me. The remarkable spirit of generosity of people. The Human Spirit: Two Chickens at a Time By BARBARA SOFER, March 17, 2005.
Harry L. Katz writes How Yitzchak Labzofsky Became Jacob Katz and other stories.
The "Boba" Riva [OKUN]. The most popular person in the shtetl was the "Boba" Riva, and most of the newborn children "belonged" to her. There was no obstetrician in the shtetl, and the Boba Riva was very proficient in delivering babies.

As the children grew older their afffection for the Boba Riva was always present since they knew she delivered them, and they called her "Boba". She, herself, had eight children of her own. She had six sons, named Elkoneh, Moshe, Leizer, Tzaleh, Perez, and Shloimeh and two daughters, Tema and Zelda.

All of her sons were handsome, tall, stalwart, and strong. The majority of them were builders. Elkoneh was a master at his craft as builder, and many rich landowners commissioned him to build their luxurious homes. He, Elkoneh, build at his own expense, a big synagogue on the main street of the shtetl and people called it the Elkoneh schul. In my boyhood days, I recall my parents worshipping in this shul. There was also a branch of the Lubavitcher yeshiva "Tomhei Tmimim" in this shul. Almost all of Boba Riva's sons were active in the Chevra Kadisha, (The Hebrew words mean “Holy Society”), the burial society of the shtetl.

Leizer immigrated to America and continued his profession as a builder of homes in New York. He was also the chairman of the Schedriner Landsmanshaft. [a landsmanshaft was an organization formed by people from the same town, shtetl, or region, of Eastern Europe. One of its main purposes was social, to enable the immigrants to associate with people whom they knew in the Old Country and to make them feel more at home in their new environment. The landsmannschaft also provided emotional and financial support to its members in the form of sick benefits, interest-free loans, aid to grieving families following a death, as well as financial aid to those who remained behind back home. In late 19th and early 20th century New York, one often became a member of a landsmannschaft because it owned one or more burial plots. This was an alternative to purchasing an expensive cemetery plot. Each landsmannschaft would have a chevra kadisha (burial society) whose responsibility was to purchase, maintain and sell individual graves. by Ada Greenblatt,]

Also in New York lived Boba Riva's daughter, Tema, and her family. [The Zeligman's and Seligman's].

The descendants of Boba Riva can be found in New York, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, California, and even as far a Canada.

Written by Gerald Muselson [spelling error], 1985 for the Fulton Senior Voice. Gerald lived at 119 9th Avenue in New York City.
An article in the University of Scanton (Pennsylvania) school newspaper, Aquinas, Gallery Exhibit Memorializes Holocaust. Abe Plotkin was a Corporal in the U.S. Army when his unit liberated Ohrdurf Concentration Camp.
Kaplans: From Schedrin to Sioux City. Compiled by Marilyn Elaine Dvorkin Warren

Go to Downloads  or click on Family Group Record - pbs kbyu  print and mail as many FGS as you can for each family branch or email the information; or click on Pedigree Chart - pbs kbyu

If you do not have Acrobat reader go to

NOTE: E-mail jpegs, GEDCOMs, additions, and correction. Snail-mail photos (which I will return) or any information to be posted. You can fill in on-line login by asking for login permission.

  • Stories from Holocaust Survivors

  • This is a link to stories of people who helped rescue Jews: Irena Sendler

    Contents of this website Copyright © 2004-2006 by Andrew I. Sverdlove. Reproduction for commercial purposes prohibited. Reproduction for non-commercial purposes permitted, provided acknowledgement is given to researcher(s).