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Oral history interview with Samuel Rabinovich

Oral History | Accession Number: 2009.29.35 | RG Number: RG-50.590.0035

Samuel Rabinovich, born on March 10, 1900 in the colony of Rosh Pina, Argentina, describes his parents, Salomon and Rebeca Cherniavsky, who were born in Czarist Russia and arrived in Argentina on the Pampa ship in 1891; his older brother, who was four years old in 1891; his four sisters and three brothers; how his parents lived in the Hotel de Inmigrantes for many months after their arrival and were then sent to the San Antonio colony; the founding of the Rosh Pina colony by the JCA (Jewish Colonization Association); how every farmer received two oxen, a plow, a horse, a dairy cow, and a home; attending school for two grades, after which he had to help with farm chores; his teacher, Iedidia Efron, who was the father of the journalist Paloma Efron (Blackie); receiving instruction in Yiddish and Spanish; his family buying clothing in Dominguez; his mother and sisters doing the housework, sewing, and embroidering; the Shabbat meal (cholent), making Matzah for Passover, and making wine; the synagogue in the colony, which was very active during Shabbat and holidays; the games played by children, including marbles and rag balls; how the school became the site of dances, lectures, and amateur theatre; many benefits being organized for the victims of WWI; the purchasing of plays in Basavilbaso, by the printers, Kitz and Feldman , who sold books in Yiddish; Jewish weddings in the colony; working in the fields after leaving school; his sisters, who handled the diary production until they were married; one of his brothers leaving in 1920 to study in the Mechanic School of the Army in Buenos Aires; opening a business in the province of Corrientes; his father’s death in 1928 and his mother’s death in 1929; how the situation in the colony became difficult due to either locusts, hail, draught, or floods; one of his brothers moving to Rosario; selling their land so each brother could buy his own home in Rosario, where all the brothers eventually settled; the contract the Jewish farmers had signed with the JCA; political activism in the colonies; the Socialist Party’s beginnings in Dominguez and its leaders Bortsnik and Aksenzoff; the creation of Fondo Comunal (a communal fund) in 1904 to help the colonists market their produce; being initiated into the Zionist movement during the first years of WWI; how Isaac Kaplan and Drugovisky used to come to Rosh Pina and talk to the youth about the Keren Kayemet (Jewish National Fund), Zionism, and the dream of a country for Jews in Eretz Israel; the increase in enthusiasm after the Balfour Declaration in 1917; arriving in Rosario and becoming active in the United Jewish Appeal; being active in a cooperative called Mutual, which provided peddlers with merchandise and gave them credit; his critique of the Alberto Gerchunoff grand opus “Los Gauchos Judios” (The Jewish Gauchos); and his views on the failure of the Jewish colonies.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Samuel Rabinovich
interview:  1989 November 10
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, acquired from the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina-Communidad de Buenos Aires
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:23:40
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