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Landsmen in New York

Congregation Letterhead

The Congregation was incorporated on June 15, 1906, in the State of New York. The Synagogue was originally located on 245 Division Street, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. In the early 1950's, the Shul relocated to 240 Henry Street, also on the Lower East Side.

Jonah and Lenah Goldstein
Went to America, 1910


Among the landsmen who helped establish the society was Yonah Ichwejt (later changed to Jonah Goldstein). He was born in Romany, Poland, a small village just six miles to the west of Radzilow, where he married Leja Kielczewska (Lenah Kelchefsky). Jonah was a mainstay of the Shul, greatly involved in all its activities through the years.


The building inside was very imposing and beautiful, a typical two-level Orthodox Shul, with the women upstairs and the men downstairs. It was designed with a U-shaped second floor, with the open end of the "U" being where the bima was. The first floor had a bima in the center and another in the front, along with the Ark. All were made of dark woods. Near the entrance there were bookcases on either walls. Pews surrounded the Shul and the center Bima. Congregants affectionately referred to themselves as "Lubbadubbers and Rogerlubbers."

The Congregation maintained three cemetery sections for its members: Beth David, in Elmont, Long Island; Mokom Sholom, Bayside, on the Brooklyn/Queens border; and Washington Cemetery, in Brooklyn. Most of the Congregation members are buried in Beth David.

Sefer Torah


The permanent Rabbi was brought over from Radzilow, circa 1920. The Congregation's Sefer Torah, which was originally from Radzilow, was brought over by landsmen when they emigrated to America around 1912. This group included Meyer Hersh Baginski. In 1997, the Torah was donated to The Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, Yeshiva University, in New York, where it is currently on display and being used by its students on a regular basis. A beautiful Torah mantle properly memorializes the Synagogue. According to the experts, the Torah is a rare example and in excellent condition, "beautifully written in Ari Z"1 (Chassidic) script, in Polish style."

Yarmulke From 100th Anniversary Party


As of 1968, Rabbi Joseph Malinowitz was the presiding Rabbi of the Congregation. In 1997, the members voted to dissolve the Society, though it has not yet been finalized. Bruce Goldstein, the grandson of Yonah Ichwejt, is the current Vice President, overseeing the dissolution. Donald Feldman is the current President. Recent Past Presidents include Irving Bagwin and Herman Bagwin, two of the sons of Mejer Hersh Baginski.

Letter Acknowledging Gift of Sefer Torah:
Written to Debbie Schaffer, granddaughter of Mejer Baginski, daughter of Herman Bagwin

Yeshiva University
500 West 185th Street
New York, N.Y. 10033

August 20, 1997

Ms. Debbie Schaffer:

On behalf of Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, an affiliate of Yeshiva University, I acknowledge with profound thanks the gift of a Sefer Torah which you are making on behalf of the now defunct CONGREGATION ANSHE LEBEDOWE AND RADZILOW, named for two towns in Poland. By means of this letter, I express to you the sincere gratitude of the many students within Yeshiva University's affiliated schools who will benefit from the use of this Torah.

Sefer Torah Scroll

Torah Scroll


Having just returned from a visit to Poland, where there are less than 10,000 Jews left of the more than 3,000, 000 who were there before the War, I realize what a sacred memorial this Sefer Torah is. It represents the living heritage of a dynamic Jewish community that was decimated by the Nazis and their, all too willing, cohorts in Poland. For us at Yeshiva University this Torah represents the victory of Torah over Tyranny. No matter how hard our enemies have persisted in their attempts to destroy us through the ages, the Torah and its teachings continue to formulate the prescription for Jewish life to which all of us adhere, and it is the eternal possession and legacy of our people.

Your most meaningful gift of this Sefer Torah is, therefore, especially precious to us. You are a faithful daughter and granddaughter in fulfilling the wishes of your forebearers in presenting this gift to an institution which has as its motto "Torah Umadda" - living a Torah life and the pursuit of worldly knowledge to contribute to the strength of the Jewish people and our nation.

May you be rewarded with great satisfaction throughout the years ahead in the knowledge that your gift will be a living tribute to those who went before, and who will not be forgotten. In this connection, we at Yeshiva University will seek the funds to have a special Torah mantle made to have the name of the Congregation inscribed, so that when this Torah is used, all will recognize from whence it was received.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Herbert C. Dobrinsky
Vice President
For University Affairs

Pictures and Congregation information courtesy of Bruce Goldstein, Debbie Schaffer and Donald Feldman.

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