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MIEDZYRZEC - Once upon a time, long, long ago, in a land far, far away, a young Jewish man took his family and moved West. His name is unknown to us and we know nothing about him or his family. His home was MIEDZYRZEC (which means "between the waters") which is located at the confluence of two rivers and is located 78 miles East Southeast of Warsaw. Since Jews were not required to have surnames until the early 1820s, he took the toponymic MIEDZYRZECKI (from Miedzyrzec). The spelling of surnames is a 20th Century convention; in the 1800s, there was no "correct" spelling for surnames and we have found MIEDZYRZECKI spelled "Mendersitsky," "Mindershisky," and many other variations. We believe MIEDZYRZECKI is the proper spelling.
KALUSZYN - Our first true knowledge of our ancestors is in the shtetle of KALUSZYN, a small community located along the highway which runs from Miedzyrzec to Warsaw, about 25 miles East Southeast of Warsaw. The first ancestor to whom we actually trace a relationship is ELEAZER MIEDZYRZECKI. Beyond his name, we know little else; we do not know when or where he was born or when or where he died. We know that he had at least one sibling, a brother REUVEN. Family lore is that our ancestors were Chasidic and that Eleazer and Reuven Miedzyrzecki were Tallis makers (this was a trade carried on in the Jewish community of Kaluszyn). This family trade was handed down to their children and my grandfather, Yitzchak, was also a Tallis maker in Kaluszyn.
ELEAZER married Rivka Ruchel LIBERMAN whose family, we believe, came from Kaluszyn, and together, they had 5 children: Yitzchak, Kayla, Abraham, Yehudit and Tauba. I am a descendant of Yitzchak. We are, in 1999, 6 generations of descendants from Eleazer and Rivka Ruchel Miedzyrzecki.
MY grandfather, Yitzchak, married Mariam BIDERMAN whom we believe came from Kaluszyn or Minsk Maz in March of 1891. Her parents were Abraham and Chana Leah Biderman (Chana Leah came from the ALTERMAN family).
THERE is little known about Reuven Miedzyrzecki. We have heard that he was married 3 times and had several children (we have heard that there were at least 17 children). Two of the children of Reuven have been identified and we have some information on their descendants. We have not included their information on our Family Tree or Family Report but it is available to those who are descendants of Reuven MIEDZYRZECKI.
IN the early 1920s, Kaluszyn was a predominantly Jewish community; 82% of the population was Jewish (5,200)*. There was an established Jewish cemetary and synagogue. The community lacked electricity except in public buildings; there was no plumbing; streets were unpaved. Few of the former residents of Kaluszyn have fond thoughts of their home.** Today, there is nothing remaining of the former community; there are no Jewish residents in Miedzyrzec or Kaluszyn. My family began its exodus from Kaluszyn in the early 1900s just before WWI.
* Nahum Goldman Museum database.
** From Kaluszyn to Charleston by Henry Yaschik, 1990, p2
What history there is of Kaluszyn can be found in the Yizkor Book SEFER KALUSHIN published in 1961 by the Kalushiner Societies of Israel, the United State, Argentina, France, et al.
TODAY - The descendants of Eleazer and Rivka Ruchel MIEDZYRZECKI are disbursed around the world. There are descendants in Israel (Gellman and Nahari families), Argentina (Wolnowicz family), Australia (Liebhaber family). We are in 12 states (California, Arizona, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. We occupy positions in many of the learned professions: education, medicine, health care, engineering, computer sciences, law, accounting, journalism and in commerce. our family continues to grow and surely our forefathers would be proud of us. The search for "roots" continues. We are seeking information on MIEDZYRZECKI, BIDERMAN and ALTERMAN from Kaluszyn. REUNION HELD
Updated December 24, 2004


Warren A. Kohn
17 Faversham Court
Columbia, SC 29229
United States
(803) 788-7466

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