Efim Zhornitskiy’s parents Shoil Zhornitskiy and Sosia Zhornitskaya

Efim Zhornitskiy’s parents Shoil Zhornitskiy and Sosia Zhornitskaya


My parents Shoil Zhornitskiy and Sosia Shornitskaya. This photo was made in Tulchin in 1914 on the occasion of their wedding.

My father Shoil Zhornitskiy was born in 1888. After finishing cheder (they learned Torah and Talmud in cheder and that was all) he became an apprentice for a furniture upholsterer. My father was very qualified. He restored furniture at the mansion of the counts Pototskiy and Sheremetiev My father met my mother at his sister Pesia's wedding in 1904 when he was 16.

My mother Sosia Portnaya was born in 1890. She studied without her father's knowledge. She could read and write in Yiddish and knew Russian literature well. My mother helped her mother around the house. She went to the market with her mother. The market was held twice a week in Tulchin. Farmers from the surrounding villages brought their food products: milk, eggs, poultry and vegetables. My mother was a very reserved shopper and made good choices at the market. All the relatives always treated my mother with big respect.

My parents got married in 1914. They never told us whether they married for love or convenience. My relatives said that some members of the family of the counts Pototskiy where my father worked as upholsterer gave my parents bedcovers from Warsaw as a wedding gift. They lasted for many years through the revolution and war and my wife used them after the war to cover our bed. My parents settled down in the house of my father's mother Haika. They had the smallest room with earthen floor. The window was very low and it was always dark in their room. My father's sister Khona and her daughter Fira lived in the biggest room. My father worked as an upholsterer and his brothers helped him with his work. They had a workshop and a store - two in one -- at the market and their business was so successful that they even had to hire employees. Later, when furniture was not so much in demand my father started up a soap-making business. He made soap in our kitchen. Later he organized a soap-making workshop and became its manager. They did not work on Shabbat.

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Efim Zhornitskiy