Relationship Family/ Pre-Marriage Name First Name Father’s Name Mother’s Name Occupation or Nickname Place of birth/ Residence Age or birth date Place and date of death
Widow Shaf/Sheyndling Rachel Housewife Shkud 70 Alka Hill
Widow Shaf/London (my mother and my dear sisters)[1] Leah Mayer Tsipa Housewife Mosedis, Shkud 43 Alka Hill
Daughter Shaf Gita Ber Leah Student Shkud 15 Alka Hill
Daughter Shaf Miriam Ber Leah Student Shkud 13 Alka Hill

According to Hana Shaf-Brener, Rachel Shaf (nee Sheyndling), a widow, 70 years old, lived in Shkud.

Leah Shaf, the daughter of Mayer and Tsipa, widow of Ber, aged 43, lived in Shkud with her two daughters, Gita and Miriam. Leah, Gita, and Miriam were Hana Shaf-Brener’s immediate family.

According to the Lithuania Marriages database, Ber Safo, a widower of 65, son of Shaf and Khana, married Leya, daughter of Meyer and Tsipe London, age 28, in 1923. Libe Shaf, born in 1907 to Yosel and Roche (nee Sheinling) of Skuodas, married Motel Slez, son of Abram and Mine (nee Grin), of Skuodas, in 1938.

According to Jewish Gen’s Lithuania Tax and Voters Lists database, the Shaf family was already established in Skud in 1846. Ber Shaf, son of Shaya, was born on 16 June 1858. He was a trader and apparently quite well off.

Jewish Gen’s All Lithuania Revision List Database Part 5 lists Ber Shaf, son of Shaya, born 8 June 1858. Ber had two brothers, Srol and Iosel. The Lithuania Deaths database tells us that Ber Shaf, son of Shaya and Khane, a farmer, died in 1928, age 70.

Jewish Gen’s Yizkor Book Necrology Database lists Dov Shaf and Yosef Shaf.

Israel Isaiah Shaf Photo Kehilat Shkud 38
Israel Isaiah Shaf
Photo Kehilat Shkud 38

A prominent member of the Shkud community was Israel Shaf, a teacher in a cheder (Kehilat Shkud 28, 55), the Yiddish pro-gymnasium (29, 56), the folk-school “Yavne,” and the Hebrew pro-gymnasium (56). He was also active in the Jewish National Fund (16, 53).

Leon Bernstein’s memoir “My Little Town Shkud,” recalls Israel Shaf: “As in the majority of Lithuanian shtetls, a Hebrew folk-school was established in Shkud, which later became a Hebrew pro-gymnasium. There, among others, the well-known Hebrew poet Yisroel Shaf affected a poetic-biblical style, similar to the style he used in his stories.”

For more details on the life of Israel Shaf, see his bio in Kehilat Shkud.

Handwritten Letter by Israel Shaf. Photo Kehilat Shkud 39.
Handwritten Letter by Israel Shaf. Photo Kehilat Shkud 39.

16 Farewell PartyA farewell party for the wedding of Israel National Fund member Rachel Savel in Shkud, 27 Iyar, 5690 [May 25, 1930]. Bottom row (right to left):Israel Tenor, Miriam Savel, Meir Taitz (now in Israel). Second row: David Davidov, Rachel Savel, Israel Shaf, Yentel Savel-Vrotnitzki (now in Israel), Moshe Yankelovitz. Third row: Shlomo London, Masha London, Liba Tov, Chaim Natanson (now in Israel), Rachel London, Mina Cohen, Michel Chin, Alexander Pinta (now in Israel), Itta Yankelovitz, Yitzhak Cohen. (Photo Kehilat Shkud 16)

According to Kehilat Shkud, Israel Shaf’s brother, Yossel Shaf, was  the author of proverbs and sayings, many of them published in the Kovne Yiddish newspaper (Kehliat Shkud 38). The document “Jews in the Memory of Skuodas People” (see link on this page) lists Yosel Shaf under the heading “Beer Warehouses” in its business directory (18). According to Jewish Gen’s Lithuania Deaths database, Yosel Shaf died in 1934, age 72. Yosel’s son Hirsh (“Ikale”), who died young, founded Shkud’s Macabi sports association in 1924 (Kehilat Shkud 25, 54). According to Jewish Gen’s Lithuania Deaths database, Hirsh Shaf, son of Yosel and Rokhe, born in 1892, died in 1927 of flu.

Liba Shaf was a member of Shkud’s Ha’Noar youth association:

18 HaNoar“Ha’Noar” association in Shkud, 20 Sivan, 5695 (June 21, 1935): Bottom row (right to left): Yitzhak Aibel, Yechezkel Yudelman (now in the USA), Shoshana Yudelman (now in the USA), Benjamin Shtiris, Mira Chatzkel, Sarah Fil (now in the USA), Abraham Yorburski.
 Second row: Leah Mines, Shlomo London, Chaya Sheindling Mevezis (now in Israel), Mendel Baskind (now in South Africa), Liba Shaf, Shraga Perlgeber (now in Israel), Miriam Savel, Alexander Pinta (now in Israel), Yeshayahu Fogelman.
 Third row: Liba Tov, Leah Perlgeber, Yehudit EIsen Halpern (now in Israel), Mendel Segal, Roda Chin, Sarah Reif Piotrkowski (now in Israel), Tova Levin, Miriam Katz Gelfand (now in Israel), Liba Horvitz, Pesia Dorfman, Mane Yudelman (now in South Africa).
 Fourth row: Eliezer Baskind (now in South Africa), Leib Friedman (now in South Africa), Klein (now in France), Feiga Hadasin (now in South Africa), Mina Cohen, Rosa Axelrod, Abraham Tenor (now in South Africa), Temma Meller (now in Canada) (Photo Kehilat Shkud 18).

A 1966 article published in a Lithuanian newspaper describes a visit to the mass graves of murdered Shkud women and children at Alka Hill:  “A place for Chana Shafaite-Breneriene was measured here too. But on the first day of the war, she managed to escape, though her mother and sisters went to death” (A. Straksys “No One is Forgotten,” Musu Zodis Nov 17,1966). And Hana Shaf-Brener describes how she escaped the massacres: “I, Hana Shaf, at 17 years old, escaped from Shkud alone, about 4:30 in the afternoon of 22.06.1941, on the first day of the war, when the German motorcycles had already been in Shkud for two hours and they had “conquered” Shkud, without any resistance, quietly, without any fuss. After my escape, the Lithuanians announced that they had shot and killed me. It was a blow to their honour that I had escaped from their hands. In February 1945, when I was serving in the Red Army, I approached the liberated town hall in Shkud, to discover the condition of my family and the condition of the Jews of Shkud. The reply was very brief and to the point: Just one month from the outbreak of war, nobody of Jewish nationality remained in Shkud. Nobody survived in Shkud: not by hiding, not by escaping, not even from the road of torment to Dimitravas, which was very strictly guarded” (Shaf-Brener 19).

The Mosedis Shtetl Project has some information on the Shafs.


[1] Note by Hana Shaf-Brener, compiler of the book Testimony on the Murder of the Jews of Skhud, Lithuania