Culture, Literature & Theater


2015: “Jewish Ethnography and Folkloristics in Poland before 1945”

The State Ethnographic Museum of Warsaw, September 1-3, 2015

The Gombin Society was represented at this important 2-day conference by President Arthur Gertzman and his wife Gloria and Bernie and Jane Guyer. This landmark conference was the first scientific program held in Poland to focus on Jewish Ethnography since 1938. All the conference papers and photographs are available in an issue of the Museum’s publication Etnografia Nowa. Featured in our newsletter, B’nai Gombin Issue #35.

The Hebrew Popular School in Gombin – the Children’s Mandolin Orchestra

The Hebrew Popular School in Gombin – the Children’s Mandolin Orchestra ~1925, (from the archive of Meir Holtzman z”l). The unforgettable music teacher Icek Rembaum (center). Meir Holcman is standing 2nd to the right. From the book: “Płock the History of An ancient Jewish Community in Poland, Tel Aviv”, 1967, page 442. By Icek Rembaum, a teacher and an educator in Gombin. He was born in Płock and served as the director of the Hebrew Popular School in Gombin. He had a very developed talent for music, and thus he organized orchestras and choirs in “Maccabi” and the schools he worked in. He had a special interest in sport. He perished in the Holocaust together with his wife Gita (née Rusak) and their only daughter Ester (Natusia) who was only 16 years old upon her death.


Rajzel Zychlinsky | Renowned Yiddish Poet of Gombin

Rajzel Zychlinsky (1910–2001) was born and lived in Gombin; she is considered one of the greatest Yiddish poets of the 20th century and a master of the small poetic form. When the 18-year-old poet made her debut with a poem in the Yiddish newspaper Folks-tsaytung in 1928, no one could have imagined that she would become one of the few surviving Jewish poets of Poland. In the five books of poetry she published after the Holocaust, Zychlinsky paid tribute to Eastern Europe’s destroyed Yiddish culture and memorialized the murder of many of the Jewish people and of her own family, which haunted the poet for the rest of her life. Read the complete article featured in Prism: An Interdisciplinary Journal For Holocaust Educators or her obituary written by her son Marek Kanter featured in B’nai Gombin Issue #13. In our Virtual Gombin Tour #3, Professor Karina Von Tippelskirch of Syracuse University read from and discussed the importance of her work.


In the first half of the 20th Century, Gombin had a rich amateur theater tradition. Among its most important institutions was the “Dramatic Circle” of Gombin, the subject of an article that appears in Yiddish in the Gombin Yizkor Book (1969). Performances were held at the Polonia Theater in Gombin; the images below show a collection of playbills, written in both Polish and Yiddish, indicating that the performances were attended by both Jewish and Polish populations. Past issues of B’nai Gombin newsletters addressed this history, B’nai Gombin Issue #22, April 2009 and B’nai Gombin Issue #23, September 2008.

Theater Playbills

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