Guest Book
Kolonja Izaaka Homepage
Background, Agriculture and International Support
The Salomon Salit Study
Life on Kolonja Izaaka
Colonist Families
The Destruction of Kolonja Izaaka
In Memoriam
The Kolonja Site Today
Links and Resources
JewishGen Home Page
KehilaLinks Directory
Kolonja Izaaka
Yiddish Script
(Kolonia Izaaka, Kolonia Isaaka, Isakowa, קולוניה איזאקה)
Lat: 53° 24', Long: 23° 45'

Kolonja Izaaka - Top Map

Special Greeting from the late Sarah Chinsky, native of Kolonja Izaaka.

Kolonja Izaaka, located 1.5 km southwest of the town of Odelsk in what is now Belarus, was a Jewish farming village settled in 1849 through land grants made to poor Jews. The community existed continuously for nearly a century until liquidated by the Nazis in 1942. Kolonja Izaaka's original settlers were a handful of Jewish families from Odelsk, Sokolka and Krynki. These colonists retained close ties with family and friends in those nearby towns. Welcome to this site celebrating the pioneering spirit of these Jewish farmers. Please contact Irwin Keller with your additions and your comments! Or discuss Kolonja Izaaka on Facebook [appears to have been deleted from Facebook] or by signing into our Guestbook.

NEW: Founding families, as per a newly transcribed 1853 Kolonja Izaaka Revision List!


This Shtetlinks site was developed by Irwin E. Keller, a descendant of the Knishevitsky family of Kolonja Izaaka.

Many thanks to Susana Leistner Bloch and Barbara Ellman
of JewishGen's Kehilalinks project for their support and guidance.

Thanks to Tomek Wisniewski for maps and materials, including a copy of Salomon Salit's book which he dropped in Irwin's lap in Bialystok in May, 2007. 

Much gratitude to Marilyn and Lynn Keller and all the neo-Knishevitskys of the Bnai Mayshe Family Club in the US for their ongoing enthusiasm for memorializing and re-imagining this plucky pioneer village.

Many thanks to Rachela Berger (of the Kolonja Izaaka Shteyerman family) and Gidon Fleishman for their ongoing interest and encouragement.

Love to Oren Slozberg for not begrudging me the time. And oceans of gratitude to Knishevitsky cousin Avra Cohn for her keen insights, tireless detective work and overflowing heart.

We dedicate this site to the memory of Sarah Ekshteyn Chinsky, who passed away in May, 2010. She shared her childhood memories of Kolonja Izaaka in the Sokolka Memorial Book and elsewhere. In 1999, she painstakingly recalled and registered the deaths of 60 of her childhood friends and neighbors from Kolonja Izaaka with the Yad Vashem archive so that others -- so that we -- could remember them. She singlehandedly kept Kolonja Izaaka's memory alive, and lived long enough to see this website, write its greeting page and reunite with other Kolonja Izaaka natives through it. May her memory be a blessing and an inspiration.

Chinsky Skype Chat

Above: A meeting of the generations. Sarah Chinsky and her son, Moshe, in Tel Aviv, having a Skype chat with Irwin Keller (inset) in California, Nov. 13, 2009.

Compiled by Irwin Keller

Updated: May, 2011

Copyright © 2011 Irwin Keller

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