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elvira kohn

There was a Jewish community and a synagogue on Zudioska Street. I think there were about one hundred Jews in Dubrovnik. I didn't take part in the life of the community that much. I always attended the services and celebrations on main holidays but that was about it. It was a Sephardi community.

Dubrovnik was a small town and everyone intermingled; I didn't feel that I needed to be part of the community life. I felt Jewish, declared myself Jewish, had Jewish friends but didn't feel that I had to do more. On Saturdays I worked so I didn't go to the synagogue but sometimes I went to the services Friday night. My mother was more involved in the community life because she had more free time. She was very friendly with other Jewish women and they often visited one another.
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baby pisetskaya

In 1991 the Jewish life began to revive in Odessa: they restored the synagogue in Remeslennaya Street [Osipov Street at present] where my grandfather Menachem and great-grandfather Shlyoma once used to go.
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After my grandmother died I began to escort my grandfather to the synagogue. My mother stayed at home to look after the children. My grandfather took his tallit and tefillin in a bag to the synagogue with him.
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Kursk was an industrial town near Moscow. There were one and two-storied buildings in town. There are two rivers near Kursk: the Seyn and the Tuskar river; and there are mixed woods around the town. Many Jews lived in Kursk before the war. There was a synagogue in town.
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Grandfather Menachem went to the synagogue regularly. I remember that he put on his tallit and tefillin when he prayed at home. I was five then and remember that I stood beside him and kissed the cubes - tefillin, and my grandfather kissed the edges of his tallit.
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David was the son of the chazzan of the Berla Kalika synagogue in Uman. Manya and David moved to Kharkov in 1930. David worked at the Kharkov tractor plant.
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Shlyoma Karasyov, my maternal great- grandfather, worked as a shammash in that synagogue.
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Since my grandfather was a tailor he went to the synagogue for tailors located in Remeslennaya Street in the center of Odessa.
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Jankiel Kulawiec

Panic broke out, the Jews wanted to flee, but because it was a Saturday and they couldn't flee, they got all their things together on their carts, so that they could leave for the country in the night. And the Germans targeted that and let a few bombs off in that direction, right by the synagogue. The first bomb was a direct hit on the synagogue building. It was a massacre, I remember that I was in shock.
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There was one synagogue in town, a splendidly sacral, Jewish building, which had a different interior to all the other buildings. It was a stone building, and inside there were wonderful frescoes depicting Palestine, and in particular Jerusalem. Those frescoes, if I remember correctly, were the handiwork of an eminent Italian painter, but unfortunately I can't remember his name. [The mentioned synagogue was made of red brick. The etchings and paintings on the walls and ceiling were done by a Polish painter, Podoliak. The synagogue fell victim to the Nazi blitzkrieg on 9th September 1939.]

The synagogue was open on holidays and Saturdays to all Jews, but the Orthodox ones had these places of their own where they met, these shtibls. Those shtibls were mostly in private houses.
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He was hardly religious at all. He didn't work on Saturdays [Sabbath], but he didn't go to synagogue either. I don't even think he went to synagogue on Yom Kippur.
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Granddad went to synagogue every week too, and he packed me off to cheder when I turned six. I don't remember much more, because they died when I was eight or nine.
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Mico Alvo

We didn't have any religious objects in the house, and we didn't say any prayers. Only on religious holidays we would go to the synagogue. My mother never went to the synagogue. She would fast, but she wouldn't go to the synagogue. She bought kosher meat, but we didn't have separate plates etc. They were brought up in the French manner, which suggested that religion is a matter of conscience; they had very good principles.
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