Photo taken in:KievYear when photo was taken:2004Country name at time of photo:UkraineCountry name today:Ukraine
This is I, Hertz Rogovoy, a volunteer doctor of Kiev Jewish Charity Fund Heset-Avot. I am receiving patients in Hesed medical office. The picture was taken in September, 2004.
When Ukraine was declared independent in 1991, a lot of Jewish community appeared. There is a cultural center, which I like, and Hesed, performing great useful work. I do not trust other societies because I do not understand what they are dealing with. Why there are at loggerheads with each other, and what are they trying to divide. I am a member of the Kiev organization of Jew-veterans of war. I deal with medicine. I attend sick people in the hospital, officially receive war veterans. I have my reception hours. I am "a call-doctor" - veterans call me at any time, when they require a medical consultation. There are getting less and less people in our organization. I was confounded at the last meeting. If earlier I used to come to the meetings beforehand, so I could occupy a seat as the hall was crammed, at that time there were only 35 people or so. People are getting older, die, but the organizations grow. I am very grateful to Hesed, and to those people, who give money to support its work. I know about Hesed not by hearsay. I have been working here since my retirement. I am taking patients in Hesed medical office every day. My conscience is clear, I am a volunteer and work for free. I consider, that my work, and the work of Hesed on the whole are needed. I see those who come here. These are indigent and miserable lonely people, who cannot make a living with their pension. One can judge it by the clothes they wear, and how during free dinner they eat potatoes in the canteen, and put fish cutlet in a bag and take it home. They even take slices of bread home. They are not just given dinner, they also receive provision and clothes, medical care, medicine. We have day hospital, I also work there. There one can be examined and treated. Another important thing is that Hesed provides the opportunity for those lonely old people to communicate with each other. People suffer from loneliness more than from diseases and poverty.
Recently in the honor of the Victory Day and for my volunteer work Hesed gave me a wonderful present - paid for my trip to Israel. I have dreamt of it for so many years, and now my dream came true - I saw this beautiful country. I admired everything I saw. I saw many cities and historical places in Israel. All I could physically visit, considering my weakness, and pain in my leg. I attended museums.
I still remain religious. Though, there are only two holidays that I mark - Pesach and Yom Kippur. I certainly go to synagogue during those holidays. I attend the synagogue my father went to, the one located at Shchekavitskaya street. Unfortunately I do not know Hebrew, but I have a contemporary prayer book with Russian translation. The last 35 years I keep a tradition not to eat or drink during Yom Kippur. This year I fasted, too, even though I turned 80, and then I took my economy car, given to me as a handicapped during Great Patriotic War, and went to the synagogue. Though, I understand that I should not drive. I cannot stay there for the whole day, so I go there by 4 and stay by the end of the praying. Then I go home for the feast. This is the day of our family get-together. My grandchildren come. My daughter, though half-blood, always attends synagogue with me. My wife is aloof to that. She went there with me for two or three times. My daughter supports me and goes there with me. She knows how important it is for me. This is our tradition, along with the 9th of May, the victory day’s tradition. The whole family gets together to go to the monument of the military honor. This tradition will be kept on, until I am alive.