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[Page 299]

Our Families – For our children and for future generations

Translation by Rachel Zetland

Donated by Jay Snider


[Page 310]

In their memory

Ada Sidelman[1]

We were a very close knit class and were active outside the classroom as well. The blue box of the Keren Kayemet was very important to us, as was the Hebrew language… Once, we agreed to speak nothing but Hebrew for a whole week. Whoever broke this rule had to pay a fine to the blue box. We spoke Hebrew for a whole week. When our parents would talk to us in Yiddish we didn't answer, or we would answer in Hebrew. They got angry at me more than once, 'why am I not answering, what has gotten in to me? What's this game?…'

I will never forget the celebrations at school. At Hanukah we put a big show on with all the pupils. On Purim, we would all go around the town in our costumes to raise money for Keren Kayemet le-Israel with the blue box. On Lag Ba'Omer we would spend the entire day in the field with bows and arrows. Before Shevu'ot we would go out to the nearby forests with the teacher, pick flowers and vegetables for the holiday. The next day we would spread out in the town with the produce and raise money for Keren Kayemet le-Israel. At the end of the year we would go out on trips. I particularly remember the trip we took when I was in 7th grade. It was a big trip, for three days, to Lutsk, a large city in our area. We sailed on steamboats on the Styr River. I remember perfectly the large synagogue of the Karaites[2], a very old synagogue and a cemetery.

In the Tarbut school there was a big library. From 5th grade I served as the librarian. I remember every book and every author. There was not a book in that library I did not read and then later I recommended books to other pupils. That is where my ongoing love for books began.


  1. Ada Sidelman from the Pugacz family remembers the fervor with which the children at Rafalovka the Station (New Rafalovka) studied Hebrew. This section is partly translated, partly summarized. Return
  2. The Karaites (literally, People of the Scripture) originate in the 9th century C.E., when a number of sects arose and denied the existence of oral Torah. They believed in the strict interpretation of the scripture, without rabbinical mediation and thus became distinguished from Rabbinical Judaism. According to the Karaites, this movement at one time attracted as much as 40% of the Jewish people. Today, Karaites are a very small minority, and most Rabbinical Jews do not even know that they exist.Return


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