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 (09-010.52-F) -  Shelf Number: MDV 695

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Date: May 19, 2003

Participants: Petrunenko, Liza Iakovlevna; Reznik, Sonia Romanovna; Zhivokritskii, Alexandra Grigoryevna; Zhivokritskii, Abram Abovich. Interviewed by Dov-Ber Kerler.

Location recorded: Tomashpol', Vinnyts'ka Oblast', Ukraine

Language: Yiddish, Russian

Culture Group: Jews, Yiddish-speakers, Ukrainians

 Recording Content:   

Continuation of interview with Sonia (Sure) Romanovna Reznik and Liza (Leyke) Petrunenko. (Part 2 of 2. See MDV 694) The interviewees show Dov-Ber Kerler old photos from different periods. Professor Kerler then begins asking a series of questions to gather linguistic and dialectological data from the interviewees. Reznik and Petrunenko also share their memories of traditional foods associated with Jewish celebrations and religious holidays, including: gefilte fish on shabes (the Sabbath), Passover potato pancakes and Chanukah keyzelekh (dumplings). The interviewees recite a few Yiddish proverbs and idioms. Petrunenko has deep knowledge of folkloric practices to ward off the evil eye and other remedies, but she refuses to share most of them. She eventually demonstrates how to "katshen an ey" (“roll an egg”), a practice used to mitigate fear and apprehension.

In the next scene, despite the efforts of Professor Kerler and his local contact, a potential interviewee refuses to leave her home.

Professor Kerler is then led to the home of Alexandra (Sure) Grigoryevna Zhivokritskii and Abram Abovich Zhivokritskii, where he conducts a formal interview with them. Abram Zhivokritskii grew up in a small village where he was the only Jewish boy. He spoke Yiddish with his father, but not with his mother. Alexandra Zhivokritskii was born in Tomashpol’, as were her parents. During the war, her father served on the front, while she was in a ghetto in Zgivka, the small town where her uncle lived. After the war, her parents worked in a store and her uncle worked as a tailor.

Alexandra Zhivokritskii then shares the story of how she met her husband and describes the early years of their married life in the 1950s. The couple had two sons, but one who was employed as a cab driver in Israel was killed. Their other son lives in Ukraine. Alexandra Zhivokritskii’s parents Grisha/Ershl and Libe/Luba were not very religious, but her uncle Yankl was, and he would lead the family in Passover celebrations. Abram Zhivokritskii was in another, different ghetto during the war. They both recall shabes (Sabbath) celebrations and culinary traditions, including the difference between gefilte (stuffed) and gehakte (chopped) fish. The rest of the interview consists of questions related to linguistics and dialectology.