Communella Bunikovskaya

I, Communella Bunikovskaya, photographed at my desk in the Jewish boarding school where I taught biology. Kiev, 1998. In 1988 I became a teacher of biology and chemistry at the Jewish boarding school. Besides, I read lectures in school from the 'Knowledge' association of lecturers. I retired in 1998. I was a member of the association of lovers of books and read lectures for children in libraries and schools. I read lectures on art. Just to give you an example I told children about artists that make cards. I began my volunteer activities 8 years before Hesed was established. I read lectures to Jews about great Jewish artists: Levitan, Serov, Antokolskiy, Bukst, Kibrik, Tyshler, Anatoliy Kaplan [graphic artist that illustrated books by Jewish writers Sholem Alechem, for example]. Probably under my mother's influence I got an idea to prepare a number of lectures on the following subject 'Jewish contribution into the world art'. I have a collection of books about artists, sculptors and graphic artists. I have many books about the Jewish culture and traditions. I celebrate Jewish holidays on a common level, but I do not follow all traditions strictly. I read lectures on Jewish subjects: 'Jewish ritual silver', Jewish ritual bronze' [about dishes for rituals, candle stands and description of when and how they are to be used] 'Jewish memorial art' [about Jewish cemeteries and gravestones]. I read these lectures at the Jewish library in Hesed, and in Hesed. I go to the 'Warm house' [where single pensioners can get free meals provided by Hesed] of our neighborhood and the Jewish library. I tell people about Jewish holidays and we celebrate them there, I don't observe any traditions or celebrate holidays at home. On 28 April 2001 my sister Inna and Michael moved to Israel. At least 25 people came to the railways station to say 'good bye' to them when they were leaving. They are pensioners and live in Richon Le Cion. Unfortunately, I cannot afford a trip to Israel, but I hope my sister will help me make this dream come true. My granddaughters also spend their vacations with me. I receive a pension of 151 hrivna 84 kopeks [about $30] and assistance from Hesed. This is hardly enough to buy food, but I can manage. I also receive food packages provided by Hesed and get free dinner twice a week. Well, I am not starving, that's what I can say.