Irina Golbreich and her friend Nina Polubelova

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This photo was taken in the Jewish community during the celebration of Pesach. I am on the right, my friend Nina Polubelova, a member of our choir, is beside me. We are wearing our concert costumes. This photo was taken in Riga in 2005.

We have the community, the place where we can come and feel at home. This is very important for all people, but it has particular significance for older and lonely people. I met many friends in the community, and it helps me to bear my loneliness after my husband died. We celebrate Jewish holidays and birthdays in the community. Knowing that someone is thinking about you is very important.

There are two choirs in our Jewish community. One is Shofar, and the second one is Rahamim. The Shofar members are younger, and Rahamim is attended by older people like me. I joined the choir in 1994. Since then the choir has become a part of my life. We sing Jewish songs in Yiddish and Hebrew.  Only few singers know the languages, and the others, like me, just learn the words off by heart. All members of the choir are fond of Jewish music and Jewish songs, and this common activity has made us friends. Our choir is one big family. We need each other and we care about one another.

The Rahamim social center provides significant assistance to our choir. We have a room for rehearsals, and the center also took care of costumes for our concerts. We sing in the community, and our choir is also welcome in the Jewish communities in other Latvian towns. We tour the country, and always many people come to listen to our songs. We sing for them, and we know that they need our songs. When I sing, I see the enlightened expressions in the audience. I know that what we do is very important. This gives me additional strength.

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Interviewee: Irina Golbreich
Ella Levitskaya
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, Latvia


Irina Golbreich
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Teacher of natural science and chemistry
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