My parents were
born in Poland of Ashkenazic Jews who lived there for centuries.
Dayan of Radzilow
mother was born in Radzilow, Poland, in 1874, and her father was
a famous dayan, Boruch Itzchok Beinstock.1
She had several brothers, torah scribes (sforim) and one
step-sister Dora Cash.
My mother was
married in 1896 to my father, Max (Mordechai), who was born in
the town of Jedwabne in 1870. This town is 21 kilometers from
the city of Lomza, Poland, and was founded in 1455. In 1494, it
had 20 families and, in 1910, 2,929 inhabitants.
See maps of the region
It should be
noted that the Jewish population of East Poland, prior to World
War II was 2,750,000. At present, the population has dwindled to
35,000. The Poles are a Slavic people, who first established a
kingdom in 963 AD and 90% are Catholic.
My father served
in the Russian Army for 4 years, prior to his marriage, and his
father's name was Meyer Chaim Tishkofsky, who had 3 sons, my
father Max, Daniel and Morris (Moshe), and one daughter, Zelda.2
remembers he had a grandfather who lived to be 103 years. When
my father was 15 years of age, he recalls his grandfather
telling him he met Napoleon Bonaparte on his famous march
through Poland on his way to Moscow, and showed him the
direction in which to go to Warsaw.3
Alex's uncle Dawid
Tyszkowski (Daniel Tiskofsky) and his family,
who preceded his parents to London, in 1900-1901
I was born in
Jedwabne on April 12, 18984 and was brought
to London, England, in 1900, when I was 2 years old and my
brother Sol was 1 year old. Having a brother in England, a
clothing manufacturer, my father came to London, hoping to go
into the same business.5
recollection of London was when I witnessed, in 1901, the
funeral procession of Queen Victoria, who ruled England for 63
In 1903, I
entered Lower Chapman Grammar School in the East End of London,
at age 6, and continued in attendance at this school until June
1909, when I graduated from the 7th Standard (grade).
In June 1907, I
was awarded a present of "Captain Cook's Voyages" by the London
County Council for the best handwriting in the school. Our
grandson, Steven, still has this book in his library.
Max & Fannie Tish
Chaja Fejga Bejnsztejn)
My father was
not happy with his tailoring work in London, and so, in 1907, he
left for New York City, leaving his family behind. In New York
City, he contacted cousins of his,6 and soon
found employment as a tailor and finisher
of men's clothing for
a large clothing manufacturer.
On August 4,
1909, he sent for his family, and we landed in New York City on
the East Side in a tenement house at #5 Hester Street, a street
full of pushcarts and peddlers.
See the family's immigration listings on the Ellis Island
I enrolled at
PS 75 Grammar School, Norfolk & Hester Sts., then went of
Educational Alliance and, finally, to PS 62, from which I
graduated in June 1912.