Motal was in the Kobryn Uezd of Grodno Governorate until the collapse of the Russian empire in 1917. Between World War I and World War II it was in the Drahichyn county of the Polish Polesie Voivodeship. It is near the center of Polish Polesia which constituted an irregular rectangle of roughly 110 miles from east to west and 50 miles from north to south.
Motal was a Shtetl. In 1937, Motal had 4,297 inhabitants, of whom 1,354 were Jews. (Reinharz, 1985).
The Destruction of Motele (Hurban Motele) was published in Hebrew by the Council of Motele Immigrants in Jerusalem in 1956. It was edited by A.L. Poliak, Ed. Dr. Dov Yarden. The book has 87 pages and contains memoirs and events leading up to the destruction of the Jews of Motele in 1942. An English translation is available on the website of the JewishGen project.
- Chaim Weizmann, Israel's first President, was born here
- David Bloch - Blumenfeld, mayor of Tel Aviv
- Saul Lieberman, rabbi and a scholar of Talmud
- Leonard Chess (Lejzor Czyz) and Phil Chess (Fiszel Czyz), founders of Chess Records
- Haim Israeli, Israeli defence executive
- Azriel Shohat, Israeli historian
- Michael Tzvi Halevi Tennenbaum, theologist, rabbi of Lomza
- Dov Yarden, Israeli historian of middle age
- Jehuda Reinharz, Chaim Weizmann: The Making of a Zionist Leader (1985).
- Itzhak Epstein, Jewish Motol: Genealogical and Family History Bibliography pdf
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