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baby pisetskaya

There was a substantial Jewish population in the town at the beginning of the 20th century. They were involved in commerce and crafts. There were tailors, barbers and shoemakers among the Jewish population. There were a few synagogues and a shochet in town. There is a popular park called Sophievka in Uman, it was founded by Count Felix Pototsky at the end of the 18th century.
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Rafael Genis

Our house was on the central street called Kvedarnos. That street name has been kept. Our town was Jewish. More than a half of the three-thousand strong population were Jews. It is hard to remember everybody, but I still can recall some last names. Gorol sold hardware, tiles, rolled iron; Katz dealt in textile. There were three restaurants in our town, owned by the Jews Lurie and Rodinkovich and a Lithuanian, Eliosius. Every Friday, Lithuanian workers went out partying. There was also a Jewish intelligentsia. Jacques was considered to be the best doctor. We bought the medicine in Friedman's pharmacy. There was one synagogue in our town. It was attended by Jews every day, especially on Jewish holidays and Sabbath.
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gabor paneth

My father's youngest brother Jeno was the closest to my father. He maintained his Orthodox life style but moved to Budapest. He lived in the Jewish quarter of the town and worked as a melamed. His wife Margit wore a shaytl (wig). They had two daughters. Marta was a Zionist and she made aliya (emigrated to Israel) at the age of 16 in 1941. Her sister Edit married an architect who, as I remember my father saying, was somewhat of a caricature of the Orthodox Jew. He was loudly religious but didn't really seem to know that much. However, when they made aliya with their five children in 1957, they settled in one of the most Orthodox areas in Israel, in Bnei Brak. Jeno and Margit also left for Israel in 1951 and settled on a kibbutz.
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Margarita Kamiyenovskaya

My mother went to a private Realschule [2] in Kiev. She did well and finished a full course there. This is all I know about my mother's childhood. Her family lived in Kiev. She told me about the Jewish pogroms [see Pogroms in Ukraine] [3], which had taken place in Ukraine before the revolution [see Russian Revolution of 1917] [4] and during the Civil War [5].Once my maternal grandfather was chased by pogrom-makers. He barely reached his friend's house. He even lost his rubber boots on the way. He spent the night at his friend's place after having called home. There were a lot of Jews in that district. There was a military unit in the vicinity. The Jews collected money and paid the soldiers monthly so that they maintained order. After that no pogroms took place in that district.
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Eva Ryzhevskaya

My father's parents lived in the Ukrainian village of Pismennoye, Dnepropetrovsk oblast, located 100 kilometers from Dnepropetrovsk [450 km from Kiev]. Dnepropetrovsk oblast was included in the [Jewish] Pale of Settlement [1], and there were a lot of truly Jewish towns. Pismennoye was a Ukrainian village. There was only one Jewish family in that village - my father's.
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Henrich Kurizkes

My parents got married after my father moved to Tallinn. They got acquainted at a party and got married in 1922. They had a traditional Jewish wedding. All local Jews had traditional weddings. Wealthy or poor, there was a chuppah and a ketubbah issued by a local synagogue. Religion was an integral part of the life of Jewish families at the time.

There was a large Jewish community in Tallinn. There were many wealthy Jews, big businessmen and store owners. They contributed significant amounts of money to charity. There were Jewish craftsmen: tinsmiths, barbers and tailors. There were many Jewish lawyers, doctors and teachers. When Estonia gained independence [3], and the first Estonian Republic [4] was established, the higher educational institutions canceled the Jewish quota and Jews got greater access to higher education.

The Jewish community was very proud of the Tallinn synagogue [5]. Built at the end of the 19th century, it was very beautiful.

There was no Jewish neighborhood or Jewish street in Tallinn. Jewish houses were scattered all across the town. There were wealthier houses in the central part of the city where land was more expensive, and the poorer settled down in the suburbs.

Jews faced no anti-Semitism in Estonia. In 1926 the Jewish Cultural Autonomy [6], giving more extensive rights to Jews, was established. There were various Jewish organizations in Tallinn, including the Women's Zionist Organization, WIZO [7], children's and young people's organizations, such as Betar [8] and Hashomer Hatzoir [9], the Maccabi sport club [10] and others. Jews enjoyed many freedoms.
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Amalia Laufer

Kabaki was a Ukrainian village. There weren't many Jews there and no synagogue or cheder in the village. About seven kilometers away was Kuty village whose inhabitants were Jews in their majority. There was a synagogue and a cheder in this village. In Kabaki there were only ten Jewish families.
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bella zeldovich

At the end of the 1980s Jewish life revived in Odessa. The synagogue in Osipov Street was opened and the building of the main synagogue in Yevreyskaya Street was returned to the Jewish community . There are two Jewish schools, kindergartens, the charity center Gemilut Hesed and an Israeli cultural center in town. We receive Jewish newspapers and watch Jewish programs on television - all in Russian. There is a kosher store in the yard of the synagogue in Richelievskaya Street, and a slaughterhouse in Stolbovaya Street that supplies kosher meat to Jewish organizations and kosher stores.
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Anna Ivankovitser

Natan graduated from the Railroad College and got a job assignment at the railcar depot in Chernovtsy. His mother's sister was living here. For a few years, Natan served in the army in the Far East, where people had no idea about what Jews were like. He never heard Yiddish and when he came to Chernovtsy he was surprised to hear Yiddish spoken in the street. Out of about about 150,000 people in Chernovtsy, 60% were Jews. He liked it so much there that he requested to be sent to Chernovtsy after finishing college. The reason he gave was that he had a fiancée in Chernovtsy. His words proved true. I had a friend who lived in the same building as his aunt. Once, his aunt mentioned to my friend that her nephew was visiting her and that it would be good if he met a nice girl. This friend of mine introduced us to each other in March. We courted for half a year and got married in September. His mother's name was Hana, the same as mine. Somebody told her that it was against Jewish tradition for a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law to have the same name. She said: 'My son wants to marry her. And if something bad were to happen, let it happen to me.' We didn't have a Jewish wedding. Mama made dinner for the family and close friends. My husband moved in with us. Mama and I spoke Yiddish, and he learned the language during those years. Some time later he entered the University of Railroad Transport Engineers.
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mario modiano

Father and Mother had Jewish friends and they would gather on Sundays in the home of one of them in turn to play cards and share a meal. We, the children, would gather in a room or the courtyard and play. My elder brother Lelo would go out with his friends.
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anna schwartzman

arkadiy redko

Ilintsy was a district town in the district of the same name. Before the Russian Revolution of 1917 [1] this was one of many Jewish towns in Vinnitsa region. Its population was about 10,000 people, of which about 5,000 were Jews, so about 50 percent of the total population. Ilintsy was located on the bank of the Bug River. There was a market in the main square and a church nearby. There was a synagogue not far from the main street. I don't remember whether there was as shochet in Ilintsy, but I guess there must have been one, considering that there was a synagogue. In 1934 during the period of the Soviet authorities' struggle against religion [2], this synagogue was closed, and the building housed a machine and tractor yard. There was a club in Ilintsy where they showed movies and conducted meetings. There was also a cinema where we, boys, used to go, when we managed to save a few kopeck.

There was a cheder in Ilintsy before 1917, but after the Revolution it was closed. There was a seven-year Jewish school. There were no religious subjects taught after the Revolution, but teaching was in the Yiddish language. The school was near the church and the market. There was a football ground near the school. There was a big sugar factory in Ilintsy where many townspeople had seasonal jobs. Jews in Ilintsy were craftsmen and tradesmen, shoemakers, tailors and store owners. Perhaps, Jews also owned bigger stores before the Revolution, but they were dispossessed after the Revolution of 1917. There was also a very good assistant doctor in Ilintsy, a Jewish man. There was no Jewish neighborhood in Ilintsy; the majority of Jews lived in the center of town. Farmers lived on the outskirts keeping livestock and working their fields. There were district fairs in Ilintsy. There were no Jewish pogroms in Ilintsy [3], which otherwise happened frequently during the Revolution of 1917 and the Civil War [4]. Jews got along well with their neighbors. People respected each other's religion and traditions.
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Leon Glazer

In Bielsko there wasn't a Jewish quarter as such. The Jews lived all over Bielsko, but in 1939 this Jewish quarter did come into being. It was built by Jewish factory owners, and called 'Tel Aviv.' Totally new houses. Not Jewish in the sense that for instance you see these poor Jewish districts. Nice houses built, villas really. Two and three story. Only rich Jews lived there. Every factory owner built themselves a house there. But then I can't say much about that district because I didn't go there much; I didn't have any friends there.

Where Bielsko now merges with Biala, that's the former Jewish district. There were fewer Hasidim in Bielsko; there were some, but fewer. There were mostly assimilated Jews. Most of them had property, meaning factories.
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Alla Kolton

My grandfather on father's side, Mordukh Sasonko was born in 1879. He was a craftsman, he soldered, brazed utensils and saucepans. Unfortunately, I know nothing about his ancestors and about the family name of Sasonko in general. Neither do I know about grandfather's brothers or sisters. His family lived in Bobruisk in the Jewish Pale of Settlement [3]. Bobruisk was considered a poor town and my father's parents were needy people. Grandfather Mordukh and his wife Grandmother Golda, were certainly religious in thier youth. Grandfather knew Hebrew well. In Bobruisk all Jewish religious traditions were strictly observed. They celebrated all the holidays. On Saturday it was prohibited even to light a match. A Russian woman would come and light a fire. But I can't tell you about the details.
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Alina Fiszgrund

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