Boris Dorfman with young Jewish people

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This is me with a group of young Jewish people at the opening ceremony of the monument at the scene of mass shootings of Jews in 1941 in Zolotchev district, Lvov region. The photo was taken in 2001. I retired about 16 years ago. I was happy to resign. I have all my time for myself now and can spend more time promoting the Jewish movement. I was a member of the board of the Sholem Aleichem Society for six years. I attended conferences in Kiev and studied at the Moscow affiliate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I attended a number of congresses as a Jewish representative from Ukraine. My wife became a teacher of Hebrew. She is the director of a Jewish Sunday school, which has been operating in Lvov for twelve years. Our family takes an active part in the work at this school. Of course, most of our students come from mixed marriages, but we have a curriculum and teach Hebrew, Jewish traditions, holidays, songs and dances. I am grateful for perestroika. Of course, life is difficult now, but Jewish life has revived. We've come out of the underground. There are synagogues and Jewish organizations. My wife Betia and I have traveled to England, Holland and Germany at the invitation of various Jewish organizations. We spent five days in London. I spoke at a meeting and gave interviews to radio and newspaper reporters. I understand that Yiddish is my main language. One can manage anywhere if there's a Jew who knows Yiddish. I work as a guide on a 6-hour 'Jewish Lvov' bus tour. There's a lot to tell about Lvov. There were three religious movements here: the Hasidim, Orthodox and Neolog Jews. There used to be many synagogues: smaller and bigger ones, and every guild used to have its own synagogue. Pavel, an architect from Rome, built a synagogue in the center of town in 1582. People call this synagogue Golden Rose. It was a magnificent building and a popular place among Jews. In 1942 this synagogue was destroyed by the Germans. There were only ruins left. After the war local residents began to steal everything they could: wooden structures, bricks and decorations. There are only one and a half walls left, but still it's a world heritage site. It's included in the UNESCO list. It will probably be restored one day, but until then the Golden Rose only remains in the memory of many old residents of Lvov and in pictures by Lvov artists.

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Interviewee: Boris Dorfman
Ella Orlikova
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Lvov, Ukraine


Boris Dorfman
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Working in natural and technical sciences

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