Fanny Kharari and her husband

Fanny Kharari and her husband

This is my mother's sister Fanny Kharari (nee Shajevich) and her husband. I don't know his name. Fanny sent my mother this picture from Israel where she lived since the middle of the 1930s. I cannot remember the name of kibbutz where Fanny and her husband lived. This photo was taken in 1939.

I know little about my mother's family. I don't even know my grandfather's name. He died in 1940, when I was just a little girl. My grandfather's surname was Shajevich. My mother's family lived in Tartu [second largest town in Estonia, 170 km east of Tallinn]. My grandfather and my grandmother Teresa Shajevich were born in Tartu. I don't know what my grandfather did for a living, but I know that they were extremely poor. My mother didn't tell me much about her childhood. I also know that they were starved at times. There were four children in the family. I have no information about my mother's older brother. Mama didn't tell me about him, and I don't even know his name. My mother Hana, born in 1911, was the second child in the family. My mother's sister Fanny, following my mother, was born in 1916. I don't know, when Sonja, the youngest one, was born. My grandmother's sister Rokhe-Leya also lived in Tartu with the Shajevich family. She was single.

My mother's parents were very religious, and my grandmother was particularly religious. However poor the family was, my grandmother had crockery and utensils for eat and dairy products specifically. She also had a set of crockery for Pesach. My grandmother followed the kashrut. They always met Sabbath at home, and did no work on the day to follow. My grandmother and grandfather went to the synagogue on Sabbath and Jewish holidays, and they celebrated Jewish holidays at home in accordance with all rules. They spoke Yiddish and Estonian in the family. As for education they received, I know that my mother's sister Fanny finished a Jewish gymnasium in Tartu. My mother also studied therefore some time, but she never finished it. Perhaps, the family didn't have enough money to pay for her education. Her younger sister Sonja finished a Russian gymnasium.

My mother's sister Fanny was a Zionist. She looked forward to moving to Palestine and help building up a Jewish state. She did go to Palestine with a group of young enthusiasts like her. This happened in 1933. Before 1941 my mother corresponded with her. Fanny took part in building up a kibbutz where she stayed to work. Se married a teacher from this same kibbutz. I don't remember his first name, but his surname was Kharari. They had two children: son Robert, born in 1938, and daughter Miriam, born in 1943. Fanny wrote about her life and her family and sent pictures. I still have one.

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