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Email: secretary@gombinsociety.org

Family Stories

Genealogical and personal accounts of the Jewish families of Gombin.

Click on one of the Names below to view the story of that Name.

Hania (neé Teifeld) Shane

Hania Teifeld Siblings

Shane-Teifeld H: Memoir of My Survival; The Life of Hania Shane-Teifeld. As told to niece, Aida (Guyer) Cutler This memoir was written by Hania (neé Teifeld) Shane over a period of years and dictated to her niece, Aida (neé Guyer) Cutler, between 2000 and 2002, in Detroit. Hania died in 2002. Aida is the daughter of Hania’s sister, Zelda, who is mentioned in the memoir, but who had already emigrated to Argentina when the Second World War began. Tragically, the two sisters never saw each other after the War. Hania also wrote a short article that appears in Yiddish in… Read More »


View Survival by Devotion, “A brief bio of my father”, Samuel Frankel, by Gayle (Frankel) Sokoloff

Sklarok / Szklarek

Szklarek Lewis family tree

These set of documents that were handed down to us from our Grandmother Rose Lewis (wife of Harry Kutcher) as being her family documents. The family emigrated to the UK some time between 1886 and 1891 and changed their name to Lewis. There are discrepancies in the dates of birth even between UK documents which I assume are due to language problems/ mistranslations, but on the whole the data between the Szkareks and Lewis tie up quite well. Spelling variations Names: Abraham; Abram Icek; Iczek ; Isaac;Yitzak Surname: Sklarok; Szklarek; Shklarok Town/City: Gombin; Gambin; Gombyn; (now) Gabin District: Gostinsk: Gostynsk;… Read More »


sanitt family photo

View photos from the Sanitt family


View the Rissmann family tree here.

Mindy (Bigeleisen) Ballen-Prosperi

mindy ballen prosperi father

I am Mindy Ballen-Prosperi, the daughter of Samuel and Rosalind Bigeleisen (later changed to Ballen). My father, Samuel Bigeleisen (can also be spelled as Bigelajzen) was born either in Gombin Poland or in Ozorkow, Poland (where they originally came from) in either June 1921 or in 1924 (he may have changed the year to meet requirements to come to the United States). As my father did not wish to talk about his very difficult past, most of the following information is derived from bits and pieces of documents and there is room for correction or interpretation. We know that my… Read More »

Ellen Kaplan (nee Max/Manczyk)

Robert Max's father

My connection to Gombin is through my paternal great-great-grandfather, Jankiel MANCZYK, who was married to Ryfka ROZENBERG. Jankiel was born in the late 18th or early 19th century. Chiel Manczyk One of their children was Chil (b.1832), who married Hana LEWKOWICZ. They had five sons including Luzer (b. 1867) who married two BAUMAN sisters and remained in Gombin. He fathered 10 children and died in Gombin in 1916. Abram, the second son (b. 1872), married Minnie, a first cousin in Newark, NJ. He also fathered 10 children. Abram is my grandfather. He immigrated to the US in 1891 along with… Read More »

Remembering Ada Holtzman

ada holtzman

“Back to Gombin” Again, Remembering Ada By Meredith Nelson As Gombiners plan a 2018 trip to Poland, its excitement and anticipation are tempered. It’s hard to imagine such a journey without Ada Holtzman. September 29th marked the yahrzeit of Ada’s death. “Ada was larger than life,” said Mindy Prosperi, one of untold numbers of people who discovered their families with Ada’s help. “She was the soul of so much of the work we’ve done. Even people who just called up desperate for information, could always rely on her. She changed their lives.” Ada’s indefatigable research on Jewish life in Gombin… Read More »

Ada Holtzman

My father Meir Holtzman and my mother Rywcia (Rivka) Gostinska were born in Gombin in 1914 and emigrated to Palestine in August 1939, on an illegal ship “Colorado”. My parents settled in Israel and were “khaluzim”, among the founders of Kibbutz Evron, near the Lebanese border. I was born in the end of 1951, in Naharia, the third daughter out of five. One child Igal, the first born, died when only a baby. I have a brother Avi Holtzman who lives together with his wife and three children in Kiriat Ata Israel, sister Raya, married to Mel Jaffee and lives in California… Read More »

Guyer/Rissman (Bernard Guyer)

July 08, 2007 My name is Bernard Guyer. At the time of this writing, I am living in Baltimore Maryland and am 64 years old. My father was Sydney B. Guyer (Simcha Chaja, from Sanniki, a village outside of Gabin); 1904-1980. My mother was Anna (ne: Rissman) Guyer (Chana Ryzman, from Gabin); 1905-2004. My family has rich connections to Gabin. These I want to document on this family web-page; I hope to add more material to these pages over the next few years. I’m also hoping that my sisters, cousins, children, and nephews and nieces will be willing to add their own perspectives and… Read More »