Aron Gorokhovskiy

Aron Gorokhovskiy
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This is my grandfather on my mother's side, Aron Gorokhovskiy. The photo was taken in Kiev in 1928. I knew my mother's parents well. When I was born they had lived in Kiev for several years already. Before they moved to Kiev my mother's family lived in Gornostaipol, Kiev region, where both my grandfather and grandmother were born. My grandfather, Aron Gorokhovskiy, was born in 1870s. My grandmother Haya was few years younger than my grandfather. I don't know her maiden name. My grandparents got married in Gornostaipol in 1899. They had a traditional Jewish wedding. There were seven children in the family: Shyfra, Michael, my mother Golda, David, Hanne, Naum and the last daughter Polina. My grandfather Aron was a shoemaker and my grandmother was a housewife. They were a poor family since what my grandfather made for their living was hardly enough for them to lead a hand-to-mouth life. My grandmother kept a few chickens in the backyard. They didn't have a kitchen garden or an orchard. Their family was religious. All I know is what my mother told me. They observed all Jewish traditions. They spoke Yiddish at home. My grandfather went to the synagogue on Saturday and on Jewish holidays. On weekdays my grandfather prayed at home twice a day: in the morning and in the evening. My mother Golda and Hanne studied Hebrew, the Torah and reading and writing in Yiddish with a melamed at home. My grandfather couldn't afford to pay him, but he fixed his shoes in return. The younger children didn't study at home. They went to a Jewish elementary school. My mother's family moved to Kiev in 1924. They settled down in Spasskaya Street in Podol, an ancient neighborhood in Kiev where craftsmen lived. My grandfather purchased a shoemaker shop from an old shoemaker that had decided to retire. This shop was near the house and all tenants of the house were my grandfather's customers.

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Interviewee: Raissa Smelaya
Ella Levitskaya
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Chernovtsy , Ukraine


Aron Gorokhovskiy
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before WW II:
Self-employed craftsman in non-elite crafts

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