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Twelve Tribes from Korivograd
The Photos and the Cousins
These photos and background fill out the story told by Arlene
Gorewitz Boumel, about her successful search to find her cousins from
Kirovograd (was Elisabethgrad).
on any picture to view full size)
This first photo was taken at
THE reunion in Jerusalem on April 23, 2000. I am the one standing
fifth from the right, with long brown hair and wearing blue jeans. My
husband is the bearded man standing on the far left... My son is standing
third from the left (you can only see the top of his face as he is
blocked by somebody else). The rest are my newly found cousins...
some living in Israel, some having travelled from Moscow and Perm,
Russia to join us. This group represents descendants of five
of the ten surviving siblings from my grandfather's family.
These are my great-grandparents,
Israel and Chaika Gurevich. Of the stack of photos that
we had from my grandfather (he received these from his parents sometime
between 1906 and 1930... we are not certain of the date).. these are
the only ones who were identified. The rest were of miscellaneous,
Israel Gurevich, Arlene's great-grandfather.
Chaika Gurevich, Arlene's great-grandmother.
When I located
the first cousin, still living in Kirovograd where the family had lived
for the past century, she sent me a letter with some photos attached. The
letter was translated by my contact in Kirovograd. I had no way
of knowing if this was REALLY a cousin... I wondered as I read her
letter how I would know if we were really related, or if it was a scam. ...
and then I looked at the photographs. These were the first two
she attached... the exact same ones I had. I stared at these
photographs for a long time, in disbelief. It was one of those
moments in a lifetime... of total shock... when you realize that your
whole life has just changed.
unidentified photograph turned out to be my grandfather's oldest sister,
Zelda Gurevich Kozokoff, with her husband Lev Kozokoff and three of
their four daughters. It was probably taken around 1926, in Moscow.
Zelda was born in 1895, and as she was the next sister down from my
grandfather, she was the one he knew and loved the best. (He
was twelve when he was sent to America, she was ten and missed her
big brother terribly.) He corresponded with her regularly until
she married and moved to Moscow with her husband... then another sister,
Liza, took over and kept up the correspondence.
The beautiful wide-eyed little girl in the center of the photograph
is Anya, who was probably around six when this photo was taken. She now lives
in Israel with her two sons. In the Reunion Photo (Photo #1) she is the
old woman wearing a flowered dress standing on the far right. Her two
sons and several of her grandchildren are also in the Reunion Photo.
The other two little girls in the photo, Fenia (the oldest) and Sonya (the
baby) are both deceased. They have sons living in Moscow whom I hope
to meet some day. There is a fourth sister as well, not yet born when
this photograph was taken. Her name is Sima Kozokoff Bronfman, she
lives now in Brooklyn, NY with her daughter Rita, son-in-law, and granddaughter. They
emigrated to the U.S. around 1990. I met both Sima and Rita at
a second family reunion in Carteret, NJ in July 2000.
This photograph (also originally
unidentified) is my grandfather's brother, Misha Gurevich, born
in 1904, with his wife Raya. Misha lived his entire life in Kirovograd,
Ukraine, in the same house where my grandfather and his siblings
were born. He worked for many years as an administrator at the
hospital in Kirovograd. Misha and Raya had two sons. The
oldest, Fima (now deceased), was a skilled surgeon in Kirovograd. Fima's
oldest daughter, Stasya Gurevich, now age 38, is the very first cousin
I found -- the one who sent me the first letter and the photographs
that I referred to earlier. She told me that until ten years
ago, she still lived in the same house where all of the Gurevich children
had been born, at the same address listed on my grandfather's
HIAS application. It was through the ownership papers on this
house that my contact in Kirovograd was able to find Stasya.. the ONLY
member of the family still living in Kirovograd. Stasya then
put us in touch with the rest of the cousins.
Misha's youngest son, Anatoly, lives with his wife and son
in Perm, Russia. Anatoly and his wife travelled to Jerusalem to
join us for the April reunion. In the REUNION PHOTO, he is
the man standing third from the right, with the black and white shirt. His
wife is to his right. Anatoly
bears a striking resemblance to the old photo that I have of his father.
This last photograph,
also originally unidentified, turns out to be my grandfather's youngest
sister, Fenia Gurevich Zvenitsky, born in 1908. The photo was
probably taken around 1938, possibly one of the last photos my grandfather
ever received from his family.
In this photograph, Fenia is with her two sons. The boy next to her is
Izeslav, probably around 8 in this photograph. Izeslav (now deceased)
grew up to become a pilot and aeronautical specialist. He was the instructor
to Yuri Gagarin, the first Soviet man in space. (I have a photograph
of Izeslav as a grown man, with his famous student as well as with some other
astronauts from the Soviet space program... sent to me over the internet by
one of the cousins.)
The baby in Fenia's
lap is Demitry, who is 62 years old now and lives in Moscow. Demitry's younger sister, Clara, not yet
born when this photo was taken, now lives in Jerusalem. Demitry travelled
to Israel to visit with his sister and join us for the Reunion. In the
Reunion photograph, he is the man in the center of the photograph, wearing
glasses and a white CK t-shirt. His sister Clara is the woman with the
blond hair and black-and-white shirt, standing to his left (as you look at
the photo). (Demitry looks so much like my grandfather that it was a shock
to meet him.)
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