Veniamin Shubinsky

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This is my father, Veniamin Shubinsky. The photo was taken in 1932 in Zvenigorodka. My father, Binyumin Lab, was born in 1876. He had many different professions. When he was young he visited the United States. One of his relatives, who also went by the name of Veniamin, moved to America after a pogrom in Odessa, and sent an invitation for my father to come and join him there. In America, he owned a chocolate factory and a factory manufacturing wallpaper. My father worked at the latter one. He spent two and a half years in America; then he returned to Ryzhanovka. Later, after he got married, he moved to Zvenigorodka, opened a confectionary shop and manufactured wafers. He made wafers with his own hands. He made a mixture of flour, eggs and milk. Then he poured this mixture into two presses and closed them. Beneath the presses stood two big Primus stoves, which heated the presses. After enough heating, the hot wafers were taken out and processed on the table. My father was very religious. He prayed every day. He attended the synagogue. He also fasted when it was necessary. My father kept every rule, every tradition. Every Saturday, when he went to the synagogue, he took me with him. Since he wasn't allowed to carry anything in his hands on Saturday, I carried his tallit. When I turned 13, my younger brother accompanied my father to the synagogue. We weren't allowed to carry anything in our pockets either, according to the Jewish tradition, that's why we would tie our handkerchiefs around our necks. In America, however, my father embraced some secular manners as well. He could speak English after spending more than two years there even though he wasn't really educated. But people often came to ask his advice when they were in need to know how to deal with the one or the other situation in life.

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Interviewee

Iosif Shubinsky