KONOTOP Jews Past and Present


Those wise elders taught us how to be a man and how to be a Jew. I want to remember some leaders of industry, brothers Anatoliy and Alexandr Zvenyiatzky, Mikhail Perelubskiy, Anatoly Glanz, Zinoviy Yudovich; workers of the biggest factory, KEMF,33 Semona Seraykova, Mordkhay Poliakov, Isaak Erenburg, and Felix Milshtein; and some good women: Alfimov and Furman. And what about Jewish women! What beautiful women were Sara Shalita and Liza Strelnik. They died so young. What respect is deserved by the small frail old woman, Mondrus, who lost three sons during WWII, Elya, Zinovi, Naum, and Gregoriy, who became an invalid.

Simple Jewish women and men, young and old, of different professions, barbers, plumbers, engineers, salesmen, believers in atheism... The first member of the Komsomol was Mikhail Galperin and the first vendor of the cinema from Chernigov Gubernya, who died when he was 91. The baker, Solomon Zhesmer, and the cameraman, Lev Rudnik, book specialist Isral

Pritikin, and photographer, Leib Glozshtaen, and lawyers, Pismenny and Shargorodsky. Some people can still remember what it meant, “Judovich shop,” such as “At Maniak,” and “At Gutman.” But those were not their private shops in Konotop. Those people put their love and heart into their work. Do you remember the restaurant “Uncle Misha,” the owner of which was Mikhail Hotin or Moishe Raeva, when I was a boy, who told me about the speaking mastery of Trotsky, which he heard many times in the far past. And what about the tailors: Solomon Raev, Tzaley Vinigradov, and Moisei Raibenbakh. They were famous people of Konotop. I would like to name all of them by name, but it is impossible. Let's remember Mendl Sterenzon. He was a very skillful mechanic. What a kind person was Avraam Atkin. We must remember two brothers, twins, named Bogachki living through German capture in 1914, Levitan and Felzenshtain, running away from fascists in Austria, and Robert Leer. With difficult lives, Jan Hubner and fiddler virtuoso, Lev Levantovskiy, and other musicians, Iosif Apterman. Lea Zolotarova didn’t learn how to speak Russian. She tried to escape the pogroms of Denikin34 and ended up in Konotop.


33 KEMF, possibly Konotop Electromotor Factory.


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