Avi Dobrysh

Here I am at home. The picture was taken in Tallinn in 2005.

I have always identified myself as Jew. Sometimes I go to the synagogue. I used to be there more often, but now I live out of town and don’t always get a chance to get there. I go to the synagogue, without knowing and understanding things. Our rabbi Shmuel said that the fact that I go there is also pleasant for God. So I go to the synagogue. We are lucky to have such a rabbi. He is very prudent and patient; in spite of being so young he understands that too much pressure and compulsion can take away people from God and traditional Jewish values.

Since 1992 I have been a board member of the community. I’ve been reelected three or four times. I am an oppositionist, always openly and frankly saying what I think. Many people thought that I wanted to be a leader of our community, but I’m not seeking that. I know that I am unfit for that as I don’t have the rights skills to be a chairman.

I am involved in construction and the history of Estonian Jews. We are creating our own museum. I am collecting quite a lot of material and will be active helping out. I recorded about 30 audio interviews with Estonian Jews. We would like to publish a book with the title ‘Jews in the history of Estonia’ in collaboration with Elhon Saks, who is a member of our community. I prepared materials about Jewish sportsmen and I am currently compiling data on lawyers and economists. Elhon Saks is collecting materials on culture, medicine etc. We are planning to create something like an encyclopedia. This is my last job, and I hope I’ll be able to cope with that.