Photo taken in:ChernovtsyYear when photo was taken:1970Country name at time of photo:USSRCountry name today:Ukraine
This is a picture of my mother Nehuma Roizen. The photo was taken in Chernovtsy in 1970. My mother went to Chernovtsy with my brother in 1946. My brother entered the Construction College there. When I finished school my father and I moved to Chernovtsy , too. We liked Chernovtsy. It was a nice old town that hadn't been destroyed during the war. People talked Yiddish in the streets. There was a big synagogue, a Jewish school and a Jewish theater in town. Before World War II the majority of the population was Jewish. There was still a significant number of Jewish inhabitants left after the war. We observed Jewish traditions in Chernovtsy. My mother had our special dishes and tableware for Pesach moved to Chernovtsy along with our other belongings. There was a major clean-up of our flat before Pesach. We searched the rooms for breadcrumbs that were burned in the stove. We bought matzah supplied from Mohilev-Podolsk and Moldavia. My mother cooked all the traditional food on the holiday. Although we didn't have enough food on other days, she always managed to save some money for holidays to buy some chicken and fish. We didn't observe Sabbath because Saturday was a working day. On Friday evenings my mother lit candles and said a prayer. Then we sat down for dinner. There was no special food for these dinners. My parents went to the synagogue on Jewish holidays - Pesach, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Purim. Father conducted seder on the eve of Pesach. We fasted on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We didn't conduct the kapores ritual because it was a problem to buy chicken. There was another famine in the late 1940s and there were no stocks in stores. Food was sold at the market, but at high prices. My mother had to use her imagination to feed the family. In the early 1970s Jews began to move to Israel. My brother Oosher moved there, too. Many of our friends and acquaintances left for Israel and we sincerely wished them a happy life. My husband and I were also thinking about going there, but my mother was ill and the doctors didn't advise her to move to a different place. So we had to stay with her.