Khaye Roll, Translated by Jessica Cohen

The Women’s “WIZO” activists, 1934
Seated, from right: A. Bilgrey, P. Marangel, A. Bazner, C. Rol, T. Hirschorn, P. Rosen.
Standing, first row: Pohorile, Anmeldong, N. Nimand, S. Frankel, Bazan, Avner, Hirschorn, Hirschorn, S. Shechter
Second row: Frankel, Horenstein, Chalfan (Gafner), Sigman, G. Glanzer (Knobler), Buchwald, Buchwald, Hertzman.
Bottom row: H. Blai, P. Lustgarten, S. Horowitz.

On Shabbat afternoons, one could see women rushing from all over town to the town center, to the home of Sigman-Hirschorn, where the Hebrew school was located. The Hebrew school served as the location of the Zionist women's group, “Wizo” – “Kolo kobiet zydowiskich” and every Shabbat afternoon there was a lecture, a reading or another event held there. I believe it was the first time in the history of Buczacz that women gathered amongst themselves and lived their own lives. Not only young women, but also mothers and grandmothers gathered together and listened attentively to interesting lectures on Jewish or general topics. The debates were sometimes fierce and the atmosphere was always refreshing and lively. We did not miss any opportunity: a visitor in town, a townsman who had returned from a trip abroad, particularly from Eretz Yisrael, any cultural or social event – all these were echoed in the women's organization.

The founder and the first chairwoman, who continued in this capacity for several years, was Ms. Betty Medwinski, whose energy and dedication contributed to the organization's development and to its becoming a wide-reaching and influential institution. We maintained contact with the kindergarten and with the Hebrew school. We had a committee for social welfare and especially for assistance to expectant mothers without means, for whom we delivered various food items, soap and diapers both during the months before the birth and afterwards. A poor mother who was in distress, always found a listening ear and quick assistance. Apart from all these, the young members collected donations for the Jewish National Fund and participated in any other Zionist activity. Hebrew courses and craft courses were organized.

In order to attract members from all different circles and to strengthen the warm ties, tea parties (“herbatki”) were held from time to time. Usually, one of the members would compose a feuilleton on current affairs, and others contributed to the success of the parties by serving good cakes. We were in touch with the Lvov center and sent delegates to all the congresses, and that was where we received our directives for activity. Among the first chairwomen were, besides Ms. Medwinski, Dr. Paula Wolftel-Asenfeld, Chaya Roll, Esther Eisenberg and others.

Some jokers would say that the only man who belonged to the women's group in our town was the headmaster of the Hebrew school in Buczacz, Mr. Yisrael Farnhof. He supported the group in every way, provided us with the school auditorium for our Shabbat meetings, and even gave lectures. He admired the women's organization very much, and presented it as an example for all the other Zionist organizations

Khaye Roll