Simon Fainaru with his niece and nephew

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The old man in this picture is Simon Fainaru, my great-grandfather, my maternal grandmother Seindla Schatz’s father. The photo was taken in the 1880s I believe, in Iasi. The little girl near him is Ela Finkelstein, his niece, and the boy is Ela’s brother, but I don’t remember his name.

From what my grandmother used to tell me, he was a very religious man, who wore payes and a beard. I remember she mentioned to me that he was sometimes harassed by hooligans in the street, who used to pull him by the beard. He owned a shop with cereals and other grain products. He died before I was born, but I don’t know exactely when, and I am sure he was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Iasi.

Ela Finkelstein, my mother’s cousin, became a good friend of hers when they were both young. Ela was about a couple of years older than my mother.

Ela never married, and she left for Israel after the war, I don’t know exactly when. She died there. I don’t know anything about her brother, but I remember he used to write to my mother for a while; after that, she was angry with him, but I don’t know why. He lived in Iasi before World War II, but I have no idea what happened to him after that.

Interview details

Interviewee: Felicia Menzel
Andreea Laptes
Month of interview:
Year of interview:
Brasov, Romania


Simon Fainaru
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before WW II
before WW II:
Businessman, Retail merchant
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