Felix Aronovich

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This is a picture of my son Felix Aronovich. The photo was taken at his office desk in Kiev in 2002. When my husband died in 1983 our son was 15 years old and I decided it was time for him to learn a profession. He finished the Machine Building Technical School in Irpen. He worked as a joiner and turner at the plant and then entered the Metalwork Faculty at the Polytechnic College. At that time perestroika began and people got an opportunity to do business and earn money. My son quit college and began to travel to Poland. He took electric appliances that were in demand in this country and brought back food products to sell in Kiev. Felix lived in Poland for several years. When he returned to independent Ukraine in 1993 he started his own business: training school for masseurs, barbers and make-up specialists. He didn't make enough money and I decided to help him. I started to learn accounting at the age of 70 to help my son. We were floundering in the world of business until we managed to make our way. My son began to expand his services issuing licenses and registering companies. He owns a big law company now. Felix went back to the Polytechnic College, this time he decided to study at the Management Faculty. He finished it successfully and will soon graduate from the Faculty of Law of Kiev State University. My son married a Russian girl called Margarita. They have an 8-year-old daughter called Karina. She's my darling granddaughter. She studies in the Jewish grammar school Simcha. She's very fond of studying Jewish traditions and wants her parents to observe them. I also began to get interested in the Jewish way of life. I can say that my granddaughter helps us to become obedient Jews following traditions and celebrating holidays. Even my Russian daughter-in-law celebrates holidays with us. On Pesach I invited my children, put a dish that I got from my mother with all the traditional food on the table and conducted the seder and my granddaughter asked me the four questions [the mah nishtanah]. On Purim and Chanukkah we attended parties organized by the Kiev Jewish community. My son supports me financially, buys me expensive tours to health and recreation centers and I share with him what I have saved: the warmth of my soul.

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Interviewee

Fira Usatinskaya