Sheina Burdeynaya and her friends

This is me (second from left) and my friends. The photo was made in Rybnitsa in 1937 on the occasion of finishing the 7th form.. There were Ukrainian and Moldavian schools in Rybnitsa. My parents wanted me to go to a Ukrainian school to be able to continue my education further on. I had a private teacher of Ukrainian before I went to a Ukrainian school in 1930, when I was 8. At that time there was a common statement that children needed to study in their mother tongue. When I was at school, on the fifth day of the first week a Jewish woman came to school. She spoke to us in Yiddish 'Children, I will play Jewish games with you. Those of you that want to speak Yiddish come one step forward'. Many children stepped forward. Next Monday we were told that all children that spoke Yiddish would go to a Jewish school. That was how I got in a Jewish school. It was a very good school. During the period of famine in 1932-1933 we got brown bread and tea at the school canteen. I attended a drama club at school where we studied reciting and staged performances. We had parties at school. School changed my attitude to observation of Jewish traditions at home since it was a standard Soviet school with the communist ideology, only the language of teaching was Yiddish. I was a young dictator at my home. I am ashamed to think about it now, but once I didn't allow my father to go to the synagogue to order a memorial prayer. Once my father even beat me a little because I didn't allow my grandfather to pray. In 1937 Moisey Yakovlevich Pogorelskiy, director of our school, was arrested and disappeared. His wife Ida Abramovna was my first teacher. In 1937 I as many pupils left our school for a Ukrainian school. We realized it was easier to continue our studies if we finished a Ukrainian school while the high education was in Russian and Ukrainian.