Jewish Community Life
Youth groups, religious classes and weddings
Photo taken in: Chernivtsi, 1936 Interviewer: Ella Orlikova
My father, Moshe-Joseph Waisman. He prayed every morning, facing the wall and always with a band wrapped around his arm. He had a seat of his own in our village’s synagogue. He paid for it, and nobody else had a right to sit there. We only spoke Yiddish in the family. Nobody was allowed to do any work on Saturdays, so all the food for the Sab- bath was cooked on Fridays. We observed all the holidays. In the fall, after the Jewish new year, we celebrated Sukkot for the harvest and ate all our meals outside in a hut.
Photo taken in: Lviv, 1935 Interviewer: Unknown
This is a photo of my Hashomer Hazair (Young Watchmen) group. My friends and I went to the Lviv region to a Pioneer camp. We rented an attic and lived there, sleeping on hay—the boys on one side, girls on the other. We wore gray shirts and dark blue ties as our uniform. The regular Pioneers wore red ties. We had shirts with pockets, whistles, and all that stuff. We all dressed this way.
Photo taken in: Ostrow Lubelski, 1922 Interviewer: Ella Orlikova
Rabbi Moisey Grinberg, my maternal grandfather. I got this photo when I was in Poland in 1974! One of the residents of the town, where my grandfather had been highly respected, had kept this photo. I guess my grandfather was born in the 1860s. I met him only once, when I was four years old. He was a handsome, tall Jewish man with a big half-gray beard. He died in 1933.
Photo taken in: Chernivtsi, 1936 Interviewer: Ella Levitskaya
Me and my friends during our time as members of Betar, our Jewish youth group. I am on the right in the second row. Betar was Zionist and rather right wing. They said Jews had to live in Palestine, sing Jewish songs and have military training. Senior members of Betar wanted to go to Palestine. Those who wanted to move had to work for a property owner for about a year to learn how to farm before they could obtain a certificate and move to Israel from the British Embassy.
Photo taken in: Odessa, 2001 Interviewer: Natalia Fomina
Here I am with my grandson Dennis on the first day of Chanukkah. In the late 1980s, the revival of Jewish life in Odessa began and a Jewish cultural association was founded in 1989. The Jewish community was given back the ownership of the main synagogue on Richelieu Street. In 1993 I was offered the position of director of the Jewish charity center and we got an office in the Jewish Cultural Center. We started by pro- viding services to forty people but now we provide services to about 9,000 people in Odessa and the surrounding region.
Photo taken in: Kyiv, 1975 Interviewer: Leonid Aptekar
My daughter Svetlana’s wedding. In the late 1980s the revival of Jewish life in Ukraine began. First, books by Jewish writers that hadn’t been published in decades appeared. Then came theater productions by Jewish playwrights and concerts of Jewish music. Jewish newspapers and magazines started to be published, and various Jewish organizations were established. My grandchildren are religious and have everything a Jew needs for a prayer. Their lives are still ahead of them and I hope they will be all right.
Photo taken in: Odessa, 1913 Interviewer: Alexandr Beiderman
Members of the Jewish sport club Maccabi, including my father Moisey Dusman standing second from left. At 13 my father had his bar mitzvah and got a tallit and tefillin. However, I never heard of my father going to the synagogue. At 17 he became a volunteer with the Jewish self-defense movement. There were many such units in Odessa in those years, to fight against the street thugs who were beating up Jews.