KONOTOP Jews Past and Present


She deeply believed in the communist idea. She also was impressed by her meeting with Lenin and she had been all her life a member of the Communist party starting before the October revolution. We must mention popular historians, Jakov Zelinskiy and Semen Belinskiy. They fought during the Second World War. They worked for our country and had a great influence in the town.

It is impossible speaking about teachers not to mention Methodist historian, Yakov Zilberstein and Semeona Belenkogo. The fought bravely on the front, where they damaged their health. They honestly worked and enjoyed their deserved respect by many many Konotopians. I am asking for an apology from the reader for a lot of names, which are a small part of the people who deserve to be written about.

I will continue my list, reminisces by professions, physicians and medical workers. Now let's speak about doctors. I want to know, who didn't know the doctors: Sagalevich, Volovik, Pevsner, Narinskiy, and Spivak. I must mention the military doctor, Maria Gregorievna Aizenshtadt. When she was a prisoner of war in the concentration camp, she helped wounded people and she remained faithful to the Hipoccratic Oath. Before the Second World War doctor assistant, Isay Krasovitzki, began his work in our city. He was a doctor assistant with a kind heart and the knowledge of a professor.

I walked slowly along the graves looking at the photographs and remember, remember, remember…yarmulka, yarmulka, and the beard of Iosif Volovika, and the grave of Berinski, directed my remembrances to those old Jews, who even in difficult times remained loyal to ancient Jewish traditions, respected the Torah, prayed, used only Kosher food, and communicated in the mother’s tongue.32 In spite of the building of three synagogues that were confiscated — one hundred year old Rabbi Tilman, Moshe Luboshitz, Zama Elinson, Lev Feller, Zama Feldman, and obviously all of the minion coming together at Shlensky’s, where the shammes was Hersh Tzitovskiy, or at Zama Feldman and Ermonenka’s place and felt themselves to be Jews. At the same time, they had a lot of friends of different nationalities with whom they lived heart to heart and respected each other.


31 Lvovna was named after the father. It means Leo. Similarly, Lvov, the town, was

named after King Leo.

32 Yiddish.


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