Photo taken in:ChernovtsyYear when photo was taken:2000Country name at time of photo:UkraineCountry name today:Ukraine
This is me with my daughter Svetlana Sofovich and my granddaughter Milana. The photo was taken in our home in Chernovtsy in 2000. After finishing school my daughter wanted to study at the Medical Institute. There was a big competition at Chernovtsy Medical Institute. Besides, they didn't admit Jews. She went to Leningrad but failed at three exams and returned to Chernovtsy. Svetlana went to work at the Electronmach factory. She became fond of electronics. She studied at Chernovtsy University by correspondence and upon graduation continued to work at the factory as an engineer. My daughter met her husband, Maxim Sofovich, at a party in the Jewish club for young people in 1995. At the beginning it was called Jewish Club of Young People, later it changed its name, but I don't remember what it's called now. Young people studied Jewish traditions, history and language there. They also studied foreign languages and computer training. There were literature, music and dancing classes. Young people could also go in for sports. Maxim and Svetlana went to the synagogue, concerts of Jewish music and Jewish club together. Maxim studied at Chernovtsy University and did some work for the Jewish community. He was an Orthodox Jew and observed all Jewish traditions. Maxim was much younger than Svetlana and I was concerned about it. But he was insistent and proposed to Svetlana several times until she gave her consent. They had a traditional Jewish wedding with a chuppah at the synagogue and a wedding party in a restaurant. There were many guests at their wedding. I helped and supported them as much as I could. Svetlana's daughter was born in 1996. They named her Milana after my father Mendel. My granddaughter also has the Jewish name of Nehama after my mother. After my granddaughter was born, they moved to Maxim's mother who had better living conditions. Svetlana was often ill after her daughter was born, and this had an impact on her marriage. Maxim was reproaching her. He told her that she did everything wrong and that she wasn't religious. He didn't help her but spent all his free time praying at home and in the synagogue instead. Svetlana was feeling ill and the baby required care. Maxim reproached her for not having more children like other Jewish patriarchal families. He went to study in Kiev and then moved to the US with a new wife. We've never had divorces in our family before. We told my granddaughter that her father is in Kiev. We didn't tell Milana that he went to the US. My daughter and her child moved back to live with me. My son spends a lot of his time with Milana, but he cannot replace her father. I think that a child must have a father. My son wants to marry a Jewish girl, but there isn't much choice in Chernovtsy because many young people are leaving. I look forward to having more grandchildren.