Photos from Chelm - Archive Project

 As you all saw at our annual Memorial Ceremony in May, a lady known as Bilha gave us a stack of photos from her father's home in Chelm. These photos show us how the lives of Jews in Chelm were prior to the war. A thriving city, full of Jewish culture and politics - a city overflowing with idealists.

On that same evening, we were invited by Mrs. Sonia Elster to her home in order to archive photos from Chelm prior to the war that are in her possession, along with descriptions and stories for each picture.

On Friday morning, June 26, 2009, we, the archival team, boarded the train Haifa-bound and continued on to the home of Mrs. Sonia Elster.

As a real Polish woman, Sonia hosted us enthusiastically with breakfast, and only then did the archiving work begin.


During the archiving process: Sonia Elster and Benzi Levkovitz

During the archiving process: Sonia Elster and Chaim Lender

The archiving process was an exciting experience. Sonia had much to explain about each picture, including stories and jokes. Some of her photos are already available on our website.

We have yet to complete our work, and we plan on returning.

We call on all first, second and third generation Chelemers to join us in this project - by locating your photos and stories. All of us younger Chelemers will be able to discover how life was once in Chelm, and to re-discover the lives of grandparents when they were our age.