Nissim Kohen’s grandfather Yuda Haravon, grandmother Bienvenida ( Bohora) Haravon and uncle Isak Haravon

Nissim Kohen’s grandfather Yuda Haravon, grandmother Bienvenida ( Bohora) Haravon and uncle Isak Haravon

This is a photo of my grandfather Yuda Haravon (first from left), my grandmother Bienvenida or Bohora Haravon and my uncle Isak Haravon (in the center). My grandparents died in 1938. My grandfather died in Kyustendil and my grandmother in Sofia. The photo was taken in Kyustendil around 1932.

My mother's kin comes from Kyustendil. My mother's parents Yuda and Bohora Haravon lived there. I went there every summer when I was a student in the first grades of the Jewish school. My grandfather was a tinsman and my grandmother - a housewife. My mother's kin is very large. She had six brothers - Yosif, Rahamim, Shimon, Nissim, Chelebi and Mois Kohen. What is interesting about them is that my grandmother's parents left as early as the beginning of the 20th century, around 1906-1907 to the blessed land (Palestine at that time) to die there. They left their lands, their children and set off. My mother Sarina Kohen was 8-9 years old then. As far as I know my grandparents have graves in Jerusalem.

There were a lot of Jews in Kyustendil. They had their own synagogue and a community house. My grandparents lived in the Jewish neighborhood, which was around the synagogue. I remember that they lived in a small house, which had a ground floor and another floor. A relative of my grandfather's lived on the ground floor. His name was Manoah, and on the next floor lived my grandfather's family and my uncle Isak Haravon.

My maternal grandfather had two sisters, Reyna Elazar and Sara Elazar, who had many children. They both adopted the family name Elazar after they married, but I do not remember if their husbands were relatives. Both sisters were very different. Sara was more talkative and funny and the other one was stricter and more aristocratic. My grandfather was the eldest. He was a silent, but a pleasant man.

My uncle Isak Haravon had a shop for electric materials and he also repaired electrical wirings. He was a 'Tolstoist' [follower of the Russian novelist and moral philosopher Lev Tolstoy] by faith - he was a vegetarian and he did not drink any alcohol. During the Holocaust Isak Haravon was in Kyustendil. My uncle moved to Israel around 1948.

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