Izia Antipka with Feiga and Marcello Iosifzon

Izia Antipka with Feiga and Marcello Iosifzon

This is me with Aunt Feiga and her husband, Marcello Iosifzon, photographed by a street photographer in Bucharest in 1938, when I had just arrived to study.  

My mother’s youngest sister Feiga, born in 1910, married Marcello Iosifzon, a Jewish man, in Bucharest. It’s a Romanian name, but I don’t know his Jewish name. He was a rabbi’s son. They were wealthy and didn’t want to have any children before the war. 

After I finished the elementary school I went to the vocational school of the Jewish association Tarbut where students were trained in crafts. I studied in the Tarbut school for a year before I went to Bucharest to continue my studies. I entered the Jewish vocational gymnasium to study a vocation along with other subjects. This gymnasium also belonged to the Tarbut. Its main purpose was to train professionals for Israel. It was free of charge. It was a boarding school where Jewish guys from different Romanian villages and towns came to study. We had uniforms, were provided meals and had classes. 

Of course, I missed home, the warm weather and delicious food. On Friday evenings I visited Aunt Feiga and we celebrated Sabbath. My aunt’s husband Marcello was a real dandy. He had posh clothes and shoes to match each suit he had. Aunt Feiga also enjoyed life. She always treated me to delicious food, even more delicious than my Mama or grandmother Yenta made. I also joined the Bucharest division of Hashomer Hatzair, participated in competitions organized by the Maccabi and played football. There was a small stadium with just two stands for football fans: one for Moldovan and another one for Jewish fans. There were no confrontations between them, but the atmosphere was tense at times. 

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