Sholom Rondin’s parents Shlomo-Girsh Rondin and Rachel Levenchuk with their friends

My parents: Shlomo-Girsh Rondin (third on the left) and Rachel Levenchuk (4th on the left) and their friends. Photo made in Gomel in 1918, few months before their wedding.

My father Shlomo Rondin, born in 1900, was my grandmother's older son. He was very religious even as child. He was constantly praying. He finished a yeshyva and knew Talmud and other religious books. He was an older son and had to go to work to help his parents to raise younger children. Perhaps that was why he didn't become a rabbi. My father was also very talented in making clothes.He was an apprentice and very soon became a professional tailor. My father fell in love with a Jewish girl when he was very young. His darling was a Jewish girl Rachel Levenchuk. She was the same age as he.

My mother was born in 1900. She studied at the primary school for Jewish children. She studied in Russian. They didn't study any Jewish traditions or Yiddish or Hebrew. Such schools were in various areas of the Russian Empire for children from poor Jewish families. Children studied to read and write in Russian and mathematic. My mother learned Yiddish and Jewish traditions from her mother and her mother learned them from previous generations. My mother got married when she was very young.

My parents got married at the end of 1919. My parents had a beautiful Jewish wedding. There was a rabbi at their wedding paying honors to the handsome and intelligent bridegroom. My grandmother on my father's side liked her daughter-in-law and the newly weds settled down in my father's family. Their marriagetook place during the Civil War when the Red army came to Gomel. They incurred big losses and needed to recruit local men. They came to my grandparents' home and told my father to get ready to go to the army. He was 20, his wife was pregnant, he never held any weapon before, but he couldn't disobey, sine they might have shot him as a deserter. Shortly afterward my father perished in the town of Bragin (near Gomel) when he was 20. His comrade brought his belongings home at the beginning of 1920. Later my grandmother went to visit the common grave where he was buried. When my mother became a widow at 20 she stayed with her husband's parents.