Welcome! This website was created on Dec 23 2007 and last updated on Sep 20 2017.

There are 2528 names in this family tree. The earliest recorded event is the birth of Ha`Levi, Shlomo in 1005. The most recent event is the death of Aithan, Yehudit (Ika) in 2017.The webmaster of this site is Judy A Goldberg. Please click here if you have any comments or feedback.
About Berdichevsky-Sokolka Families

I was never interested in my ancestors. 
After we moved to the US, my children grew up without an extended family and 
no one to tell them who is in our family and were they came from.  As they got 
older, I started to put on paper the little I know so it would not get lost. 
That led me to write to my aunt and ask her to send me what she knew about 
her side of the family. The information started to arrive but had to be 
organized, and in English, in order to make sense. 

The only way it could be done was with a genealogy program. Since I was 
working with a Mac computer that my cousin Doron recommended, the only 
genealogy program available for the Mac - Reunion. Once I entered 
the information on the computer, it looked so neat and easy to follow up that 
I wanted to know more......and from there it took a life of its own......

I have been researching our ancestors, off and on, since 1985
and still counting. It took me places I never thought I would go - and not 
only taught me about our family, but also about history and the history of 
Jewish families and their everyday life in the Diaspora. 

In the process I have received a lot of "bonuses"... Family members that 
were "lost", second and third cousins from different corners of the world that 
I would have never met if not for this research, were now reconnected.  It is 
very intriguing and rewarding to put the whole thing together... like a big 
puzzle that you have to put together without a major picture to guide you.

This tree was named after the two families that made up my nucleus family. My 
mother's Rachel Lev-Berdichevsky (Bernstein)from the Ukraine, and my father's 
Matitiahu Sokolka (who changed his last name to the Hebrew name Aithan) from 
Lithuania and Poland. The other major families in this research are: Verzoub 
of Uman Ukraine, Ramberg and Baron of Lithuania and Poland. All other families 
connected to these families are still being researched. New information is 
always welcome.

My thanks to all who contributed information and helped research, 
especially to my second cousins Esther Winograd, and Zohar Levitan who's lead 
made this web page posabile. 

I hope that you will have as much fun looking through this family tree as I 
had putting it together. With any questions or additional information 
regarding the families that are in this tree please feel free to contact me.
Judy A Goldberg

Some background information about the two families who made up my nucleus 

SOKOLKA: My grandfather (on my father side -  Moshe Avrahm Sokolka was born in 
Vistnitz, Poland in 1880 to Yitzhak Yaakov Sokolka, educated cigar merchant 
and a devoted Zionist from the time of Chovevei Zion, his devotion of Zionism 
prompted him to send his sons to Israel at the beginning of the 20th century 
to study & settle there. 
My grandfather, who was a successful young goldsmith and jeweler, arrived with 
his wife, Sara Hannah Ramberg, and older child in Eretz Israel in 1907 and 
settled in Jaffa where he built his business and home. His life story engulfs 
the development of jewelry making in the first half of the 20th century in the 
Middle East. 
In 1938 he moved his business and home to Jerusalem where he lived and worked 
until his death in 1952. He introduced the European methods of jewelry 
manufacturing and was one of the founders of the city of Tel Aviv and the Diamonds 
Exchange in Tel Aviv. 
Among his client were the big European jewelry stores, the Royal German 
Court, the Royal Jordanian, Iraqi, Syrian and Egyptian Courts of that time, 
and some of the richest families of Europe and the Arab world.
As his sons grow up they joined him in the business. His younger son Matitiahu
(my father) became a jeweler and executed most of the complicated work and his 
older son David help in the administration of the business. The business was 
named M.A. Sokolka and Sons, and was in operation until Matitiahu's death in 
For photographs of their work please turn to the album of their works in this 
web page under PHOTOS. Most of the Sokolka and Ramberg's descendents are 
living in Israel and some are in Europe and the USA.

BERDICHEVSKY: My great grandfather Moshe Aaron Berdichevsky was born in Zinkovich 
Village near Braslve, Ukraine in 1845 to Zvi Hirsch Bernstein the Rabbi of Tranovka, 
Ukraine. Moshe Aaron Berdichevsky was the last rabbi in a dynasty of 50 generations 
rabbis on his father side and on his great grandmother Beila Ha'Levi Horowitz. (See 
the earliest recorded event on this web page is the birth of Ha'Levi, Shlomo in 1005).
His older son Yechiel Micah Yosef Berdichevsky had a Rabbinical Smicha (ordained) and 
was to continue the rabbinical dynasty. 
But, his eyes were looking west to the Enlightment Movement and at age 25 he left the 
Ukraine and went west. He settled in Germany and became a well known author, and 
never returned to the Ukraine. His younger brother, Menachem Mendel (my grandfather, 
who also had a Rabbinical Smicha) who lived with his family in Odessa, Ukraine was 
the communicator between his older brother and his father. 
Moshe Aaron Berdichevsky became the Rabbi of Pilba (1869-1871) near Mdzibuz at the 
age of 24 and at 28 when,Rabbi Akiva Chiot of Dubova near Uman passed a way, he 
became the Rabbi of Dubova and served in this position until his murder fifty years 
In summer 1919 his son Menachem Mendel and his family came to Dubova to visit the 
grandparents. In the Dubova's pogrom that was headed by the Cossack Petlura that 
summer, on the 12 of Av 1919 (August 8), one of many pogrom in this town that summer, 
my grandfather and his father, Moshe Aaron the Rabbi of the town, were murdered with 
very many other Jewish citizens of Dubova. (See bellow the chapter from the book 
Dubova Scroll that describ the pogrom) 
By the time the pogrom was over, the Rabbi's wife Esther was beaten and was left with 
a fractured skull but alive, and my grandfather left a pregnant wife with six 
children,ages 12 through 2 years old.  
Two years after the pogrom my grandmother Yael (Yente) Berdichevsky (Verzoub) took 
her children and headed to Eretz Israel, were her late husband and her always dreamed 
of going. It took her and her five children a year to reach the shores of Tel-Aviv, 
on the month of Nisan 1922. 
A single mother of five who raised alone her children who grow up to became well 
balanced contributing adults to the Jewish society in Eretz Israel and later in the 
State of Israel. 
The memories of the pogrom never left them and only strengthen their belief that the 
place for the Jewish people is in the State of Israel. 
Most of the Berdichevsky descendents are living in Israel and some in Europe and the 

Translated from 
Dubova Scroll by Rachel Feinberg
Chapter 32

12th of Av (August 8, 1919)

That morning,another miracle happened at the Rabbi's home. That house saw miracles 
not once. At the time of the first massacre, byt the 'Inverted First,' the 
rioters/hoodlums overlooked the Rabbi's home. The dangerous hoodlums from the foreign 
mob of Kazikov & his gang members also did not harm the Rabbi's house on the 20th of 

These events left a great impression on the village Jews. They started to believe 
that the rioters had no control over the Rabbi's house, and every person in the 
community that had any valuables left brought them to the Rabbi's wife for safe 
keeping in her house, so it will be close to the rabbi. All her trunks and cupboards 
were filled with other people's property. They brought their expensive jewelry and 
bundles & bundles of assorted paper currency that the Rabbitzin (or rabbi's wife) 
from Dubova did not even know their name and value. All over her house, they were 
hanging silk clothing and forma fur coats. They deposited a big fortune in her hand. 

When the gang of rioters broke/stampeded the town, from child to old men, all the 
Jews ran into the Rabbi's house. Whoever succeeded in getting in was assured to stay 
alive on account of the rabbi. The Rabbitzin had plenty of flour in the house and she 
baked bread & cakes. And she fed the crowd of people until G-d's mercy was on them 
and the danger was over. 

In those days of wrath, the Rabbi made a point to always be dressed up, and he lay on 
the sofa in his room. That room that is called by family homeowners as the "court 
room." An open book was on the table in front of him. 

From time to time, he would call his wife to remind her not to forget to serve tea to 
the nursing mothers and small children. Sometimes he'd call his son to change the 
book that was in front of him. He would eat very little. He would just put something 
in his mouth to relieve himself, and he mainly survived on different drops 
(medication) to strengthen his heart. 

He survived this way through the summer until Teesha Be'av (9th of Av), until the 
great massacre. 

The day after Teesha Be'Av when Kasakov's troops broke into Dubova with their swords 
in the air and shining daggers, the Jews of the town as usual ran for cover to the 
Rabbi's house so that the murderers could not control over them. 

The Rabbitzin immediately went to work baking rolls and cakes as usual. On the table, 
the Samovar was boiling to revive the nursing mothers and children with a hot drink. 
The Rabbi asked his son for help in dressing. He wanted to lay down on the couch in 
his court room. Every minute, men, women and children burst into the house with a 
frightened look. The house became too small to contain them. All the rooms, the 
kitchen and the foyer were filled with people. All the Jews of Dubova came to save 
their lives under the old & sick rabbi's wings. 

In this way, a few hours passed, and all of a sudden the catastrophe occurred. 

A hurl (knock) from the outside shook the walls. The glass windows shattered with a 
(ring) piercing vibration and into the house burst a group of 
robbers/rioters/thieves. They were all young and in their hands, swords and bats. 
Without hesitation, they jumped over the Rabbi who was lying quietly on the couch. 
With savage screams they piled on tope of the holy man's boney, meager, frail old 
body using their impure hands. Bitter and muffled screams were heard from the streets 
through the open door and the stunned crowd of Jews fearfully fled the old Rabbi's 
house to any place their feet could take them. 

And so fell the last "fort" of the Dubova Jews. The rioters beat the rabbi savagely. 
Blood poured out of his ears. They twisted his arm against his back. Besides him, the 
rioters did not touch anyone. Immediately they turned to the trunks and cupboards 
where they were blinded and overwhelmed by the hidden valuables of the village Jews. 
The rioters were so stunned by the money and the jewelry that they forgot about the 
people around them. The fortune and expensive items/treasures that the Dubova Jews 
and their wives gave to the rabbi's wife for safe-keeping turned the rabbi's modest 
home into a gold mine, while the other Jewish homes in the town were already 
completely barren. The first thug that broke into the house came out loaded with 
money and jewelry. Word spread quickly among the rioters that the small home of the 
Jewish rabbi has unlimited hidden fortune! So everyone ran to that house to grab and 
profit from the bundles of money, gold coins and beautiful items. 

Groups of rioters all armed with axes and clubs burst into the house, the cupboards 
and trunks. They broke and destroyed everything in the way. 

The rabbi laid in his court room on the (made) couch against the fluffy pillows and 
down comforters that cushioned his wounded body. On the table still lay the open 
book. His wife sat quietly on the chair and put cold compresses on his head. The 
robbers went wild. They broke tables & benches. They turned empty cupboards upside 
down and shattered the furnace, but they did not touch the two old people. They 
didn't look at them as though they never saw them. 

This went on as long as they could find something to steal. Finally, there were no 
more gold coins or jewelry to find and then they turned to the quiet old couple that 
was sitting in the disheveled (rabbi's chambers) courtroom. 

When the rioters came in and saw the overturned empty cupboards, they jumped on the 
old man raising their wooden clubs, "Tell, Old Devil, where did you hide your money!" 
They kept screaming at him while beating him with the handles of their rifles. 

And the rabbi from Dubova continued to lie on his comforter now soaked in his 
blood. On the table next to him lay the open book and his wife emphatically begged 
and swore that she doesn't have any more money. The insistence of the old couple made 
the rioters angrier and more convinced that the couple was hiding the information 
from them. 

Now, the torture began. Like this, they thought they could get the secret out of 
them. They especially tortured the rabbi. With buckets, they began to pour all the 
water from the kitchen barrel on the rabbi. Then, they dragged him from where he lay 
to the floor and repeatedly kicked him in the head. 

After they left the house, his wife put a pillow under his head on the floore and the 
rabbi requested that his open book be placed on a chair next to him. The image of the 
blood-soaked old man lying on the floor with his open book next to him sparked a wild 
laugh from the incoming hoodlums. They kept on coming in groups to look for gold and 
packages of money. 

"Tell us, Old Devil, where is your Kike G-d now!" They screamed with a wild laugh 
while endlessly stabbing him with their daggers. And the rabbi from Dubova fially 
made a sound and said to his wife, "Please tell them in their language (Ukraine) that 
they better shoot me in the head." 

"You better shoot him with a bullet," repeated the old woman his request word for 
word in the Ukraine language. Ferocious laughter muffled her quiet voice, desperate 
with sorrow and tears.  

"Tell us, where is you kike G-d!" they mocked. 

"My G-d in Heaven I am receiving with love the torture that you have brought upon me! 
but I cannot stand when your name is defiled (taken in vein)!" The rabbi's speech 
was weak. He spoke in fragments an dhis wife repeated his words in a warm and soft 
Ukrainian slang. He continued, "Ask them again! please, in their language! please.!" 
She did as he asked while she begged and cried. She asked for a bullet for herself 

But Kasakov's thugs did not fulfill their request. They did not want to kill them 
with a bullet from their rifles. They tortured him from Wednesday morning until 
Friday morning while she stood there on guard at all times to take care of him until 
his soul returned to his creator. It seem to her that at any moment he would die 
despite that he spoke all the time and his mind was clear. He did not stop praying 
and his voice grew weaker. 

She dressed him in white clean clothes. She prepared his talis and white robe that he 
used to wear on Yom Kippur and Passover Sedar. She prepared everything ahead of time 
so that she would not miss the moment he would return his pure soul to his creator, 
and could run out to find 2 or 3 old Jews to help her bring him immediately to 
burial. That way she would avoid shaming the dead by leaving his body out and 
maintain his dignity. She did not want the murderers to contaminate his 
body with their touch. 

So she was thinking for herself and then she thought of another plan: Maybe with the 
last of her energy, she would be able to carry his body to the garden of the farmer 
nearby. When they would stop torturing him, maybe he could regain his strength. But 
she couldn't move, because when she sat in her house, she guarded the attic. There 
her son, her daughter-in-law and their five kids were hiding. 

This was Mendel, the younger brother of Michal Yosef Berdichefsky. The Hand of G-d 
was in this younger son of the rabbi from Dubova. He was already middle-aged, a man 
of 37 years, a father of six children. His oldest son was already in the army, and 
still the father was as handsome as was in his prime! as though he was a recently 
married groom. His black eyes were burning with the flames of youth. His dark curls 
emit a shiny glow like velvet. His body stood firm and erect. In those crazy-ridden 
days, all these qualities made him very suspicious in the eyes of the "goyim." The 
look of Mendel Berdichevsky was the look of a typical communist. Therefore, he was in 
great danger that summer of 1919! much more than the rest of the Jewish Youth in 
Consequently, each time there was a tumult/commotion in the village, all hurried to 
hide Mendel, son of the rabbi, so that he would not attract the stares of goyim to 
his shiny black hair. 

He chose to hide in the attic of his father's house.

On the first day of the Big Massacre, at the time that the rioters exercised their 
control over the rabbi's house, Mendel hid in the attic joined by his wife and their 
five little children. With them in the attic hid a Jewish butcher, the rabbi's 

They settled comfortably into the attic. They brought up their bedding, a bucket of 
water, a box of sugar, bread and butter. Then they removed the ladder and the old 
couple stayed downstairs by themselves so that no one would suspect that there might 
be someone else in the house. However, there was a dangerous obstacle that could have 
brought disaster on the hidden family. 

The 7 year old Raisaleh, Medel's daughter, did not want to stay in the attic with her 
parents. She wanted to be downstairs with grandma and grandpa. Out of fear that she 
would cry and raise her voice to be heard from the attic, they fulfilled the little 
one's wish and took her down from the attic. So the girl stayed with the old couple 
all the time. When the thugs broke into the house to beat up the old man, the little 
girl hid behind the furnace so no one could see her. Later, she would return and sit 
on the floor with Grandma and watch her bandage Grandpa's head. 

So, Raiseleh sat with the elders until Thursday night. In the later hour, after 
midnight, all of a sudden, she got scared of the rioters and she asked to go upstairs 
to her mother. After the old woman took her up to the attic, the girl hugged her 
mother crying, "Mommy, I'm scared! the hoods gouged out Grandpa's eyes!"

It was already dawn, the rabbi laid practically dead, but still mumbled a few words 
here and there. He continued to ask for a bullet. "In their language! ask! in their 
language! Esther!"

His wife, the rabbitzin, didn't listen to his words. In the last moment, she had to 
leave her post. She sat on the foot stoop of her house. Her  head smashed, blood 
pouring from her wounds, and with all her might, she hit her heart with a fist. Like 
her husband, she too was saying her last prayers while at the same time, she begged 
G-d to protect the rest of the chicks in the attic, "Do it for the sake of the 
innocent babies!"

At that moment, another group of armed  young hoodlums broke in. A farmer lady passed 
the house with a bucket of water in her hands and rescued the fainting rabbitzin from 
the hands of the ruffians. The gang was about to leave when a coughing sound was 
heard from the attic. 

It was rabbi's neighbor, Moshe the butcher. All his life, he used to cough. Three 
whole days, the rabbi's daughter-in-law fed him sugar so he would not cough. But all 
of a sudden, he coughed. The band of hoodlums were overjoyed. With screams and wild 
laughter, they dragged everybody out of the attic. When they saw Mendel, they all 
called in one voice: "Here is the Communist!"

The local farmers dressed him. Mendel Berdichevsky was always dressed in the best and 
most beautiful clothes. Between the goyim, a fight started for his clothes. They 
could not share between his beautiful shirt and his shoes. The conflict continued 
until one shoe was left in one hood's hand and one in the hand of his rival. 

And then, they killed Mendel. Because they concluded he was, in fact, a communist, 
they chopped off his fingers and toes. Moshe the butcher, a simple Jew, they killed 
with a gunshot. 

And then the miracle happened. 

At that exact moment, the church bells started to ring. It was already Friday 
morning. With dawn, they called a meeting. The Dubova Farmers got tired of dragging 
dead Jews to the lime pits and on the 3rd day of the massacre, they demanded Kasakov 
stop killing women and men. So the rabbi's wife, with her young daughter-in-law and 
the five little children were transferred to the rescue home of Dimitri Shbolinskythe 
good man to watch over them. 

And the church bells continued to ring. The sun came out and the local "goyim" 
gathered the dead. By the Rabbi's house stood a big cart pulled by two horses. It was 
filled with dead Jews of every age and gender: men, women and children. Two horsemen 
threw the bodies of Moshe the butcher, the Rabbi and his son on top of the pile of 
dead bodies. They shared between them the talis and the white robe of the rabbi, the 
one that his wife had prepared to robe and bury him in. the cart was led to the 
bottom of the hill where his body was thrown first into the bottom of the pit among 
the rest of his dead community.

Translated to English by the Rabbi's Great Great granddaughter Ahdee
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Getting Around
There are several ways to browse the family tree. The Tree View graphically shows the relationship of selected person to their kin. The Family View shows the person you have selected in the center, with his/her photo on the left and notes on the right. Above are the father and mother and below are the children. The Ancestor Chart shows the person you have selected in the left, with the photograph above and children below. On the right are the parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. The Descendant Chart shows the person you have selected in the left, with the photograph and parents below. On the right are the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Do you know who your second cousins are? Try the Kinship Relationships Tool. Your site can generate various Reports for each name in your family tree. You can select a name from the list on the top-right menu bar.

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