Nessim Kohen

This is my mother's father, Grandpa Nessim Kohen with a book in his hand. The photo was taken in the yard of his house in Sofia on Opalchenska Street in the 1930s. He read a lot, both religious books and fiction. He was a very educated man. My maternal grandfather Nessim Kohen was born in Tsarigrad [Bulgarian name of Istanbul] in the 1860s. His father was a rabbi in Tsarigrad. My grandfather moved to Sofia and traded textiles at first; he had a textile shop. He passed his business to his sons, but the shop went bankrupt and my uncles started their own businesses. My grandfather had to continue working at a stall, which was in fact a wheelbarrow on which he arranged the goods. With this wheelbarrow my grandfather went to the central market in Sofia. It is located close to the Jewish neighborhood. When this business wasn?t successful either, he left for Palestine for a year, but he returned. My maternal grandfather was a very religious man. He observed all religious rituals very strictly. Every night he read prayers, and he wore a kippah and tallit when he went to the synagogue. From my stays at my mother's family in Sofia I remember that the Jewish rituals were very strictly followed there. The whole family didn't work on Sabbath.

Photos from this interviewee