This book is an important autobiography in Yiddish in three parts that includes not only the authors earlier experiences in Warsaw, but also, especially, London. Selig Oberman details memories of the Black Lion Yard Shtiebel, Bethnal Green Synagogue and the Dalston Talmud Torah.
Selig Oberman, or to give him his full name, Asher Zelig Oberman was born in 1873. He got married in Warsaw and then came to London in 1892. He had a long record of service to the Jewish community in London, particularly in Jewish education. He was also a pioneer of active Zionism in the East End. He worked for the Brick Lane and later for the Christian Street and Bethnal Green Talmud Torahs. He was appointed President of the Dalston Talmud Torah in 1926. He was a member of the Council of the Talmud Torah Trust and was a delegate to Jewish Education Conferences. Retired to Brighton, he wrote these memoirs in 1941, and they were published in 1947. The book was printed in Whitechapel by the Narod Press. Selig Oberman died in 1954.
The first section of the book deals with Selig Oberman’s early life on Poland:
In the second part, Selig Oberman describes the experiences of an immigrant to London:
The Shtiebel Kehal Chasidim became affiliated to the Federation Of Synagogues on 1896. In 1904 it moved to 14 Black Lion Yard, a narrow street off Whitechapel Road. This was the center of the Jewish jewellery trade. It was bombed and destroyed during the war. Selig Oberman, writes about and members of the shtiebel. Abraham Warshaver, whom he mentions in the third paragraph was Abraham Sugarwhite, a gifted baal tefillah and gabbai of the shtiebel for many years. In 1920 the Black Lion Shtiebel was visited by Rabbi Meir Dan Plotzky, the Kli Chemdas. I have written previously about members of the Shtiebel who subscribed to his book Chemdas Yisroel here.
The third part of this memoir is about the Dalston Talmud Torah. Selig Oberman was associated with the Talmud Torah for many years, and was its President.