S: Family Report; Written and Designed by Goldie Wolowik
BC: To be continued .......... | l/ l/// lll/ l/l//l/l/l// | LYL 6956582
FC: MY FAMILY | PAST | and PRESENT | CREATING THE LIGHT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS | B"H | Written and Designed By: Goldie Wolowik 5771-2011
1: I was born on Monday, September 15,1997 Yud Gimmel Elul at Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, New York . It was just one day after my uncle Sruly's Bar Mitzvah! A few hours after I was born I was named Golda after my great grandmother, my mother's father's mother. She was a very special woman. I have six brothers and one sister in my family, and Baruch Hashem two parents. People tell me I look like my very dear father, with brown hair and brown eyes, and that makes me beautiful. At home I love to take care of my younger siblings. They keep me entertained and when I am in a bad mood they cheer me up. | I enjoy traveling and am lucky to have visited Israel, Florida, California, Arizona, Illinois and many more places. One of my most vivid memories from when I was younger is when I went to Israel when I was five years old. While I was there, I went camel riding. I was very scared but after I went I was so proud of my- self, because I was so young to go on a camel. I experience a lot of special moments with my mother's parents. Their home is my home away from home and I love staying and helping out in their house. In the summer I enjoy going to Camp Gan Yisrael in Kalkaska Michigan. I have many good friends from my years at camp. I have a happy personality and I always love to help friends and family in all ways. My helpful personality is a trait that my great grandmother, grandmother and mother all have. I feel that my personality is unique and just for me. I enjoy shopping, going to Seven Eleven and hanging out with friends. I chat and text friends for fun!!! I don't get an allowance but my parents give me money when I need. I enjoy history and historia and do not enjoy math too much. I look up to my mother who is a Shlucha and is raising a beautiful family. When I finish going to the best school I hope to be a shlucha in some far off place or near my dear parents. I like the color plum especially on me. Slurpees are an extra special drink and keep me awake if I ever feel like falling asleep. The greatest gift I ever got is my little sister Chaya Mushka. She is so dear to me because she is my first sister. When my brother Levi passed away I knew that I would miss him forever. | A L L A B O U T M E
2: My father was born on April 16,1969 Chof Daled Nissan in Montreal, Canada. He is the 3rd of 12 children ka"h. In my father's family there are nine boys and three girls. The first seven are boys. My father went to yeshiva in Montreal until 1986, then he went to study in New York. He barely ever went back to Montreal because he never wanted to miss a farbrengen of the Rebbe OB"M. After finishing Bais Medrash my father spent a year and half of Shlichus in Yerushalayim. While in Yerushalayim my father got Smicha from Reb Yekusiel Farkash. My father has a great blend of knowing how to learn, loving to learn, and having a great sense of humor. After his year and a half in Yerushalayim he came back to New York and studied for Dayanus which he received from Rav Hershbrung in Montreal. Just before Perestroika in Russia my father was sent by an organization called Chama to go to Samara, Russia to help the community. He spent a few weeks there and when he came back he decided to return to Russia for almost a year to a city called Gorky. While in Russia he learned how to speak Russian. He helped many people discover their Jewish roots. When my father was 24 he married my mother. They moved to the Five Towns and established the Chabad Center in 1995. My father is a well-loved and respected Rabbi in the community. He spends his time learning with his many chavrusas from 5 AM untill 12:30 AM daily. He helps many people but above all he is always available for his family. My father always makes sure to be home every night for supper and homework. He affectionately calls me his Bas Yechida and loves to spoil me- his girl. | M Y F A T H E R
3: My mother was born in Brooklyn New York on July 2nd, 1972 Chof Tammuz. She is the oldest of nine children and the first grandchild on her father's side. She grew up in Crown Heights and went to Beis Rivka for all of her school years. My mother always traveled around being a counselor and head counselor in camps in places such as South Africa, Brazil, Russia, Arizona, St. Louis and Michigan. She enjoys being creative in running programs. After my parents got married my mother became Program Director at Chabad of the Five Towns. She runs a preschool called Gan Chamesh and recently started a library in memory of my brother. | As busy as my mother is she always makes time to be with her children. I enjoy shopping with my mother for myself and my siblings. I also enjoy helping her in the many Chabad events she runs. My mother enjoys cooking and entertaining guests. Challah is one activity I usually do with my mother. My mother is very close with her siblings and many cousins. My mother was very close with all of her grand parents and her great grandmother. She was lucky to grow up with her great grandmother, who passed away at 106 when my mother was 34. Bubby Maryasha lived right near 770 and my mother would eat many Shabbs meals with her before the Rebbe's farbrengens. Her father's parents lived in Crown Heights and being that she was their oldest granddaughter my mother spent a lot of time with them and was very close to them. Her grandmother passed away when she was in 12th grade and after that she moved in and lived with her grandfather for the rest of the year. Her grandfather passed away two years ago. Her mother's parents lived in Cleveland, Ohio and she spent many summers there helping them in their various activities. Now B"H her grandparents live in Crown Heights and she enjoys visiting them with all her children. As you can tell my mother is a great woman and a role model. | M Y M O T H E R
4: The oldest child in my family is Mendel. He was born on January 2, 1995 Rosh Chodesh Shvat. He goes to yeshiva in Detroit and is a great learner. Mendel always loved to read and has a lot of general knowledge. When Mendel was six and I was almost four he asked me to invite all my friends and collected all the junk around the house and made a sale to make money. | MENACHEM MENDEL | f
5: LEVI YITZCHAK | Levi was born on November 28, 1999 Chof Kislev. He passed away on Daled Adar 2008. Levi and I were very close. He was just two years younger than me and we did many things together. I fondly remember a special trip I took with Levi when I was seven and he was five. We flew together to Chicago to visit our cousins. I took good care of him the entire flight there and back. Levi is my special brother and I will miss him forever.
6: Binyomin was born on August 21, 2001 Beis Elul. He is 9 years old and is in Oholei Torah fourth grade. He is the clown of the family, is great at cracking jokes, and impersonating accents. Before he had his upsherin he had gorgeous long blond curls. His upsherin was in Meron. | BINYOMIN
7: YERACHMIEL | Yerachmiel was born on July 16, 2003 Yud Zayin Taamuz. He is in 2nd grade and goes to Oholei Torah. He enjoys sharing what his Rebbe tells him and always sings with his beautiful voice. Yerachmiel is my 4th brother. When he was born I cried that he was a boy and not a girl, but now I know there was no reason to cry because he is a great brother to have.
8: Dovid was born on September 11, 2005 Zayin Elul. He is in Pre1A and goes to Yeshiva Darchei Torah. He always has a smile, is a great artist and everyone loves his long eye lashes. At his upsherin he was saying the 12 pessukim and at the end of Torah he said Yaakov Dovid instead of just saying Yaakov. | YaAKOV DOVID
9: Sholom was born on April 8,2008 Daled Nissan. He goes to Gan Chamesh preschool and is in the purple room. Sholom has a distinct accent and I especially love how he says the words cup of water, garbage, and chocolate. He can always carry a tune and has a great voice. His hair is very stylish and looks great with his tall slim figure. | SHOLOM DOVBER
10: Chaya Mushka was born on October 28, 2010 Chof Cheshvan. She is the best gift I ever got because she is my only sister and was born after 13 years of me being an only girl. She is adorable, has a great, friendly personality and is loved by everybody. | CHAYA MUSHKA
11: Me and my Siblings
12: My father's father was born in Leningrad, Russia to Henya Rochel and Yerachmiel Wolowik on Chof Beis Iyar. After the war started my Zaidy was in several places in Europe. From 1949 until 1956 he lived in Eretz Yisroel and then came to Montreal by boat. The last time he saw his mother was in Eretz Yisrael. His father passed away in the war. It is not known if he passed away in battle or when the city of Leningrad was under a siege from the Germans for 900 days. (It was at this time that my zaidy and his mother were sent far away out of Leningrad, hoping that the war would be over and that they would all be reunited. Unfortunately, this was not meant to be.) Right when my grandparents got married they moved into a small apartment and then about ten years later they moved into the same house they live in today. Zaidy and Bubby live in Montreal because the Rebbe at yichidus kept on asking them "what about shechita in Montreal ??" It took seven years until the job was available. It was at that time that they realized the Rebbe's foresight. My zaidy still works in shechita today. | Zaidy Montreal | Old Pictures | f
13: 1- Leningrad 2- France 3- Israel 4- Montreal
14: My father's mother was born on September 4, 1944, Tes Zayin Elul, to Binyomin and Machli Fishman. She grew up in Westerly, Rhode Island. In Westerly it was very difficult for my Bubby's family to get kosher food, even canned food with a O.U on it. The way her family got food was either from Norwich, Connecticut or from the East Side (depending on where her uncle would go to get clothing for their dry goods store). There were six people living in her apartment as a child. When she was 11 years old she went to New York to live with her aunt and uncle to go to Bais Yakov. When my bubby was in high school, Bais Rivkah had no high school yet, so she had a couple of Lubavitch girls in her class. They were the ones who introduced her to the Rebbe. My bubby always thanks them for bringing her to the Rebbe and considers it a great zchus. Many times the Rebbe would give her horaos which she only realized later what they meant. | Bubby Montreal | Old Pictures
15: G-Hi Bubby What is your full name? B-Since my mother's mother came to America as a little girl, and my mother A"H was pure American as well as myself I was given the English name Sharon Rochelle Fishman however my real name is Sara Raizel Wolowik. G-Who were you named after and is there anything special about your first or last name? B-I was named after my father's mother. G-Where were you born? B-I was born in a small town called Westerly Rhode Island (40 miles south of Providence). G-How many children are in your family and what number child are you? B-I am the third and youngest child. There was a twin girl that was born with me who only lived two weeks. G-Where did you live as a child? What was your neighborhood like? B-Until the age of 11 I lived in Westerly. We were the only religious family there. G-What was the apartment or house you lived in like? B-The house was very simple with one bathroom and no dryer. The nicest part was the very big yard with several fruit trees and a garden with various vegetables that my zaidy took care of. G-Describe the basic mode of transportation B- There were cars without air conditioning. G- Please tell me a little about your parents. | B- My father was born in Lithuania. My parents had great mesiras nefesh to send all three of us away to New York to learn. They did this to ensure that we had a Torah Chinuch. The word Mesiras Nefesh did not exist. It was simply the right thing to do! Even with no other Yidden around, we kept Shabbos and Kashrus 100%. No matter how hard my father worked, he made sure to learn everyday. I would often see him with a sefer in his hand. Every evening he reviewed my Chumash with me. This was the Chumash my zaidy taught me. By the time I was eight years old I finished all five Chumashim G- How did your family earn money? B- My father and uncle owned a business called "Fishman Brothers Clothing and Dry Goods." People bought merchandise on an installment plan. This means they were able to come in one time a year, spend $50 ( a lot of money then) and pay a dollar a week for a year. My father and uncle went door to door to collect this money. G- How did your family compare to others in the neighborhood? B- I imagine that most of the non-Jews were poorer than us, they spent a lot of money on drinks. Some of our Italian neighbors were hard working middle class people. G- Did you know your grandparents? B- My mother's father lived with us. He was from Poland. He ran away from the Russian Japanese War to America (as a result he was the only one left alive from his entire family) | I N T E R V I E W
16: My father's parents were born in Lithuania. They lived in Yonkers, NY. They were niftar before I turned 11. I saw them maybe a few times. I do know about Bubbe Zlata from what my father told me about her. G- Do you know farther back than your grandparents? B- My older brother would know about them G- What were you like as a child? B- I think I was well behaved. Until the age of 11, I had no friends because nobody around me was Jewish. G- What did you do for entertainment? B- I always liked to read. I had one doll that a relative gave me. Many summer afternoons I loved going to the beach five miles away. G- What do you remember about the time before you went to school? B- My Zaidy took me to kindergarten. We were afraid of dogs on the way, so he would go to the garden in the back of the house, take out a big stick that was used to grow string beans, hold it in one hand while he would hold my hand with the other. This stick was for in case we met a dog. Probably it was only for me to feel safe and secure. G- What kind of school did you go to? B- Through 5th grade I went to public school. When I came to Borough Park at age 11 I went to Bais Yakov. I was a good student with good marks and nice friends. From ages 11-16 while my parents still lived in Westerly, I was in Borough Park, except for when I went home for yomim tovim or summer camp. | G- Did you have any hero or role model? B- Many of my teachers in Bais Yakov H.S. and seminary left a very positive impression on me, as well as what I read about Sara Shneeror who founded Bais Yakov. G- How did spend your vacations? B- When I was not in camp and came home for the summer my mother and I went for the afternoon to the beach for five cents. G- Did most of your family live in the same community? B- My mother was an only child so there was no family. From my father's side the family was small and did not get together. G- What did you want to be? B- I wanted to be a teacher and I was. G- What big world events do you remember from when you were in 8th grade? B- I don't remember. G- What invention do you remember? B- It was the beginning of plastic bags. My aunt used to wash them. I didn't know anyone who had an air conditioner or a ten- speed bike. G- Describe a person or a situation from your childhood that had a profound affect on the way you look at life. B- Some of my teachers in Bais Yakov of Williamsburg H.S. had a profound affect on my life especially, the teachers who were talmidos of Sara Schneeror. Above all, the Rebbe had and has the most profound affect on my life. I am grateful to Hashem for both, especially for the chassidic approach towards Torah and mitzvos.
17: G- What's different about growing up today from when you were growing up? B- Today we have too much of every thing, and yet we think we don't have enough. In my youth we had very little and we were fully satisfied with the little that we had. G- What was your first job and did you like it? B- My first job was teaching and I always loved to do it. G- What job did you do most of your life? B- Most of my life I was a home maker raising a large family. At times it was very difficult and I could not have done it with out a little bit of outside help. G- How did you meet zaidy? B- We met in Crown heights through a mutual acquaintance . G- Where did you get married? B- In New York in a simple hall in Brooklyn. G- How many children do you have? B- Nine boys and three girls. G- What was the experience like for you when you had your first child? B- I don't know. G- What are some memories of raising your children? B- Each child had a lot of different special moments. G- What is something funny or embarrassing one of your children said? B- One of my friends wrote about each of my children in a diary and that is what each of my children had. | G- What is it like to be a grandparent? B- It is very nice and special because you have all of the nachas of seeing them grow up without the difficulty of bringing them up G- What do you remember about me when I was born? B- I remember that it was my third son's first girl and I was so excited. G- Do you enjoy traveling and where have you gone? B- I love to travel. I have gone to Israel to visit my father, and to California to visit my children as well as to New York to visit my children. G- What has been your greatest adventure so far? B- When I went on a plane the first time in 1963. Zaidy and I were just married and we flew to Minnesota for his job interview. G- What do you do now for enjoyment? B- I volunteer to cook for shut-ins. The program is called Meals on Wheels. I enjoy what I do and the nice people with whom I do it. G- What kind of things bring you the most pleasure? B- Speaking to my children, their spouses and children. G- Did World War 1 have any effect on your family?
18: G- What has been your greatest adventure so far? B- When I went on a plane the first time in 1963. Zaidy and I were just married and we flew to Minnesota for his job interview. G- What do you do now for enjoyment? B- I volunteer to cook for shut-ins. The program is called Meals on Wheels. I enjoy what I do and the nice people with whom I do it. G- What kind of things bring you the most pleasure? B- Speaking to my children, their spouses and children G- Did World War 1 have any effect on your family? B- My father's father came from Europe to America before the first war. No one knew there would be a war, He was hoping to make money in order to be able to pay for his wife and children to also come to America. However my bubby and her children were stuck in Europe and had no contact with Zaidy. This was a very difficult time. G- What impact did World War II have on your family? B- My father lost everyone in World War II except for his parents and siblings who were already in America. | G- What advice do you want to give me for school? B- Enjoy every minute. Choose good friends and spend quality time with them. Study for tests but don't over study. Always make sure you have done your best. Don't get upset if you don't get a great mark; study more next time. G- What is most important thing to you now? B- That everyone is healthy and we should greet Moshiach G- What has changed in your life? B- I have become more realistic and down to earth. I really enjoyed doing this interview with you. I hope I answered enough questions and made you very happy!! G- Thank you so much Bubby. You are a great role model. I look up to my grandmother because she left her home at a very young age to stay with her aunt and uncle to go to Bais Yakov. I am very proud to be her granddaughter and I am extra proud to have had the honor of being her first granddaughter to graduate from Bais Rivkah. I hope my entire family will be able to learn something new from this interview. Bubby, all of the information you told me to keep under a tichel I will surely keep there.
19: Little is known about my grandfather's parents. They lived in Leningrad, Russia and when the war broke out Zaidy Yerachmiel told his wife and young son to run to the mountains to hide, hoping to be reunited after the war. Zaidy Yerachmiel perished either in battle or from starvation in the Leningrad siege. My grandfather was very close to his mother, Henya Rochel. She raised him by herself from the time he was two. They traveled from place to place, finally settling in Israel, where they pioneered Kfar Chabad. At age 16, my grandfather went to learn in yeshiva in Montreal, to be near his mother's brother, Reb Peretz Mochkin, one of her 13 siblings. Henya Rochel stayed in Eretz Yisrael. She passed away when my grandfather was 23 just six weeks before his wedding. | Zaidy Yerachmiel | Bubby Henya Rochel | Bubby Cheyena My great grandmothers mother with 2 of her children | Bubby Henya Rochel
20: Zaidy Binyomin | Zaidy Binyomin was born in Brisk, Lithuania, to Zalman Yehudah and Zlata Fishman. For school he went to a cheder in town. His father went to America by boat before the war to get money to take his entire family to America. After the war Bubby Zlata came to America with her children. When my zaidy came to America he went to three different schools and got smicha in Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchok Elchonon (also known as Y.U.). However, he never wanted to be called Rabbi. Being that my zaidy was self-employed it was not hard to keep Shabbos. He sold clothing and dry goods on an installment plan. All the non-Jewish people respected that he kept Shabbos. Out of respect, when they paid him on Shabbos, they just slipped the money under the door and did not ring the door bell. In 1933 he got a job as a Rabbi in Savannah, Georgia. On Sukkos the sukka was decorated with fruit. In the morning they woke up and all the fruit was gone. My zaidy never got mad; he said that everything is hashgocha protis. He had a famous expression, "It is not necessary or it won't help." At the ripe old age of 97, Zaidy Binyomin fulfilled his lifelong wish of moving to Eretz Yisroel. He passed away at age 99.
21: Bubby Machli, my great grandmother, was born in the early 1900’s to Avraham and Sara Cohen. She grew up in the Bronx and after she got married she moved to Westerly, Rhode Island. She went for higher learning to Hertzelia which was a frum teachers college. My bubby had great mesiras nefesh to send her children to New York for school. Most of her life she was a home-maker and sometimes she would help out in the family business. The thing that my father's mother remembers the most about her mother was going to the beach. Bubby Machli would always say “ Between me, you, and the lamp post.” | Bubby Machli
22: My grandfather, Moshe Yehudah Kotlarsky, was born on May 28, 1949 on Rosh Chodesh Sivan in Brooklyn, New York to Hershel and Goldie Kotlarsky. He was the second oldest in his family. My grandfather went to United Lubavitcher Yeshiva on Bedford and Dean. He was a bright and talented child. Whenever there was public speaking and the class had topics to choose, everyone loved to hear my grandfather deliver his speech. When my grandfather was older he went to Montreal to the Lubavitcher Yeshiva with his older brother. At that time, the Rebbe began the teffilin campaign, and my grandfather thought of an idea that he hoped the Rebbe would like to help spread his message. He designed a pin that said "I put on teffilin today, did you?" He sent it into the Rebbe. The Rebbe added B.H to the pin. In 1970, my grandfather met my grandmother and they got engaged in one week. It was one week to camp and my grandfather was the director in Gan Yisroel Montreal, and my grandmother was part of the head staff in Gan Yisroel in Michigan. They got married in December 1970, the 23rd of Kislev, right before Chanuka. My grandfather spent a year in kolel and then was instructed by the Rebbe to stay in New York and work for Merkos. Boruch Hashem my grandfather has the zechus to work for the Rebbe and open Chabad Houses all over the world. He travels from one end of the globe to the other, helping shluchim all around the world. Another amazing thing he does is that he is the Chairman of the International Convention of Shluchim that meets yearly in New York on Shabbos Mevorchim Kislev. He also sets up regional kinusim all year round where shluchim meet to chart out their work, get inspired and inspire other shluchim. My grandfather had the zechus to have countless brachos and horaos from the Rebbe regarding the printing of Tanya, the opening of Chabad Centers, and the spreading of Torah and mitzvos in general. And now I will end how my grandfather always does: May Hashem bless you with peace, health, kindness, and prosperity, true Yiddishe Chassidishe nachas to and from all your loved ones with wisdom, patience, kindness, and understanding to be able to withstand all the trials and tribulations one may encounter both material as well as spiritual and may we speedily in our days greet the righteous Moshiach | Zaidy Moshe | f
23: My grandmother Rivka Kotlarsky was born on August 25, 1949 , Rosh Chodesh Elul, in Paris, France. She was the fifth daughter born to Rabbi Shlomo Shneur Zalman and Shula Shifra Kazen. She was just three years old when she moved to the U.S.A. She arrived with her family in New York in January, 1953. A short while later she moved to Cleveland. My grandmother went to the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland for elementary school and to Yavne High School and Seminary. After my grandmother graduated seminary, she lived with her sister Blumah at her grandmother. She came to New York and taught fourth grade in Prospect Park Elementary School. In 1970 she got married to my grandfather in the Jewish Center. Today the building is called Ohlei Menachem. Their wedding was so large they needed two halls, one for the women and one for the men. My gandparents ka"h have nine children, four girls and five boys. When the children grew up she went back to teaching. First she taught seventh grade in Beth Rivka Elementary School and now she teaches 10th grade Parsha in Beth Rivka High School. My grandparents always have a bed for me at their house and they always make me a home away from home. | Bubby Rivka | g
24: My great grandfather Tzvi Yosef (Hershel) Kotlarsky was born in Adomou, Poland to Devorah Nechama and Yakov Dovid Kotlarsky. His father supported the family by shechting and being a mohel. It once happened that his father went out to shecht and got stuck in a snowstorm. In the meantime his mother went into labor, so my Zaidy, who was six at the time, had to run a kilometer away to the nearest neighbor so his mother could have someone with her. Once he came back he had to take all the little kids into a different room and watch them until the neighbor came out to wish them mazel tov on their new baby brother. My zaidy learned at home until he went to Lubavitch Yeshiva in Warsaw. After a year of learning in Lubavitch Yeshiva, the school moved to Otvosk, and my great grandfather went with it. When my zaidy turned 18 he got a draft notice from the Polish army. My zaidy went to the Friediker Rebbe to get a brocha and the Rebbe told him "go and don't delay." My zaidy went to the Polish army and was a soldier in the cavalry unit, which ended up being very useful. When World War II broke out my great grandfather was able to flee and go back to yeshiva. A bit after he settled in yeshiva the yeshiva got nine visas to go to Kobe, Japan and again it was my zaidys luck to get one of those visas. He got to Japan and settled with 25 other bochurim. Soon after they had to leave Japan and they again got nine visas and my Zaidy again had the honor of getting one of them. From Japan they went to Shanghai and from there they got onto the President Piers Boat and started traveling. Since they were traveling during the time of Tishrei and they weren't sure when Yom Kippur was so they fasted for two days straight. For Sukkos they made a makeshift sukkah and only ate in it. Eventually, after stopping in Hong Kong and Honolulu, they made their way to San Fransisco, California. In California they were met by an immigration officer who took them to Canada, their final destination. When they arrived in Canada they were instructed by the Rebbe to establish a Lubavitcher yeshiva. When Yom Tov time came around my zaidy went to spend yom tov with the Rebbe. While there, he was instructed to establish another Lubavitcher yeshiva in Crown Heights and teach there as well. After three months of teaching in the yeshiva the Rebbe instructed him to work in Rabbi Gurarys office and from there he found his shidduch. My Zaidy Lolly passed away two and a half years ago on Yud Aleph Kislev. | Zaidy Lolly | f
25: Zaidy Lollys Travels: 1. Poland 2. Japan 3. China 4. California 5. Montreal 6. New York | f
26: My Great Grandmother Goldie Schimelman - Kotlarsky was born on January 20, 1921 in Brooklyn, New York to Meir and Devorah Rivkah Schimelman. She was the youngest of three children, and the only girl. She lived in Coney Island until her brother needed a yeshivah to learn in and then the family moved to Browinsville . Their home did not have running water. Since there was no Jewish school for girls, my Bubby went to George Washington Grade School. In 1947. She graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School, where most of her classmates were Jewish. Few, however, were really observant. During World War II she worked in a law firm, Habeas Corpuses, so that bochurim would not be forced to join the war and thereby be shipped oversees. My bubby was offered many shidduchim but wanted a frum bochur who looked like Rabbi Jacobson. After the war Rabbi Jacobson introduced my bubby to my zaidy, and on Lag Ba'Omer they got engaged. Four months later they were married on the 18th of Elul 1946. My bubby and zaidy had eight children k"h. Since my bubby lived during the Great Depression, she didn't know what she would be able to give to her children.The only thing she hoped to give her children was each other. My bubby always told her children that there was no trick in being friends with the popular kid in the class but the trick is to be friends with the unpopular girl in the class. My bubby would call their mothers and invite their children over to play with her children. My bubby also loved giving tzedakah. Her house was always filled with guests. She kept a diary from 1946 when she got married of every cent she spent and immediately when the money came in she gave 10% to tzedakah. My bubby was one of the first women to put on a sheitel which was almost unheard of then. Once a prominent rebbetzin came over to her and pulled her shaitel to make sure it wasn't her hair. Since the rebbetzin wasn't wearing a shaitel she couldn't believe someone else was. My bubby had many beautiful middos which I can emulate. | Bubby Goldie
27: My bubby Goldie would daven with great kavanah. Every morning she would take her phone off the hook until she finished davening. She had great emunah in Hashem. Even though she grew up in a time when it wasn't fashionable to keep Shabbos and kashrus she kept it meticulously. My bubby loved Eretz Yisroel and always dreamed of going there. In 1985 she had an opportunity to visit Israel but unfortunately she caught a virus in her eyes. She had to be rushed back to the United States for medical treatment. In November 1989 she was hospitalized in Brookdale Hospital, and she passed away on Friday the 19th of Cheshvan. The last words she wrote down were to bench licht. She was buried at licht tzindin time in the Lubavitch section of Old Montefere Cemetery in Queens. She was laid to rest right opposite her oldest son Yakov Dovid who passed away at the young age of 19 in Montreal Yeshiva.
28: My Great grandfather Shlomo Shneur Zalman was born the third of Cheshvan 1920 in Russia to Michoel and Sara Katzenellenbogen. He was the second of five children. My Zaidy grew up in a strong Lubavitch family to parents who were very instrumental in helping the Rostov bochurim who went to the yeshiva in Lubavitch and close to Rebetzin Shterna Sara. When my zaidy was a bochur he had to learn underground. Once, when he was learning with five bochurim in an attic of a shul, they heard banging on the door as the Russian authorities were trying to find their hiding place. Unfortunately, one of the boys was in a deep sleep and when he heard the banging he screamed. The boys realized they were found so they jumped out of a back window to escape. When my zaidy jumped out of the window he hurt his foot and he never was able to have it heal properly. Until today he has problems with that foot but he never complains. He always smiles and uses everything to serve Hashem. After my Zaidy met my Bubby they continued to live in Russia until after the war. Then with false papers they left Russia to France. In France the Friediker Rebbe sent a message to my zaidy that he wanted him to get involved in starting a Beth Rivkah School for girls. At that time my zaidy had four daughters. For the next few years he fund-raised for the school. Baruch Hashem his daughters had a Chassidishe education. One of the families that lived in France with my great grandparents told my family the following story. For Succos everyone shared a sukah, and the minhag of Chabad is to have a lot of sechach on the roof of the sukah. So every family would put sechach on the part of the sukah where they were assigned to sit in the sukah. My Zaidy did the same. When it was time to make kiddush another man came to my zaidy and said it was his place. My zaidy said it's better not to make a machlokes than to have hiddur mitzvah and promptly changed places with this person. | Zaidy Zalman
29: In 1952, after the birth of his sixth daughter, he was informed that he had a visa to move to the United States of America. At first the family came to New York. There, my zaidy took his children to see a farbrengen and have a yechidus with the Rebbe. The Rebbe told them to move to Cleveland. The Joint Jewish organization that helped refugees agreed to support them if they went. In Cleveland my zaidy learned to be a shochet because he needed to make a parnasa to support his growing family. One day a Jew met my great grandfather (who had a kapata and beard) and said "take off your beard"! Of course my great grandfather didn't get scared but my grandparents realized how much pride in Judaisim was still needed and how much work there was to do. My Zaidy continued to be a shochet but he was offered a job to daven for the Yomim Noraim in the Bukai Shul. Even though it was a hour walk from their home he took the job because he needed a parnasa. In 1960 their family moved to the new section of Cleveland because the old one didn't have any Jews left and my Zaidy was offered to be Rav in a small shul named the Tzemach Tzedek Nusach Ari shul. He was very happy to be Rav there because they davened the same nusach as him. When he came in the first Shabbos he saw that there was no mechitza in the shul. When my zaidy asked what happened the president answered that they no longer want a mechitza because this is America. My zaidy walked out of the shul and said he couldn't be Rav in such a shul. When my great grandparents came to New York to have a yechidus with the Rebbe they told the Rebbe what happened. The Rebbe became very serious and said if they won't fix the mechitza then their grandparents will come and force them to put back the mechitza. Right before Rosh Hashana the president of the shul called my zaidy and told him that the board voted for the mechitza. Until 2010, my great grandparents ran all their activities from that shul. They ran a free food bank, a Russian library, and many other activities. In fact, my great grandparents purchased the two store fronts attached to the shul and enlarged it to make a kitchen and a kiddush hall. Now my great grandparents moved to New York I am so lucky that they live close to me so that I can visit them often.
30: Bubby Shula Shifra was born August 1922, on Shabbos Parshas Nachamu, to Maryashe and Yitzchok Elchonon in Homel, Russia . Growing up in the former Soviet Union was not easy as the country was atheistic and my great grandmother wasn't able to go to school. However she was very close to her father who was a mohel and would take her with him very often and explain her details about Yiddishkeit. My Zaidy Yitzchok Elchonon always hoped to be granted permission to move to Israel and he taught his children Hebrew. Every time he saved up money and applied to go, the authorities took the money and found another excuse not to grant him permission to leave Russia. When my bubby was turning 12 years old she wanted a bas- mitzvah party just like all other girls. She remembered her "rich" cousins and the gifts they got at their bas-mitzahs. Her mother made her a party and invited her relatives. To her surprise, her cousins only gave her a hand me own dress as a present and said she should be happy that they even came to such a poor party. Many years later when this cousin came out of Russia and met my bubby and ka"h all of her children she began to cry. She said in Russia I used to laugh at you because your parents were so poor and wouldn't let you get an education, but look who is getting the last laugh. Today you have such a beautiful large family all over the world, and they all practice yiddishkeit, and I have three - two of them married non-Jews. How I wish we were more like your family. In 1937 the government took away my bubby's family's house. Just one year later my bubby's father was taken away by Russian authorities and was never heard from afterwards. When my great grandmother was 14 years old, her mother told her it was time for her to travel to the outskirts of Moscow. She went to Reb Ben | Bubby Shula | Kazen
31: Zion Shemtov who gave her work to do to earn a living. When my Bubby got older a shidduch was arranged for her to meet my zaidy. She borrowed a coat from a friend. When she went out she wore it and she got engaged. My zaidy sent a letter to the Friediker Rebbe to ask for a brocho for the shidduch but never saw the answer as the Friediker Rebbe was on a boat leaving Russia. His brother, who took the letter, was arrested on the way back so he didn't find out for a few years that the Rebbe had received the letter. Only years later did we see the answer of the Rebbe on the boat stationary for a brocho for the shidduch. In those days, after the Rebbe left Russia, Chassidim would ask the opinion of the elderly Chassidim and mashpiyim of what to do. So an elder Chassid came to visit my Bubby Shula and asked her if she knew how to kosher a chicken. When he saw she new how to he told my Zaidy Zalmen it was a good shidduch. My bubby and zaidy lived in Samarkand during the war together with many Chassidim. They had three daughters born in Russia and my Bubby describes the terrible conditions and lack of food during those trying times. Eventually my bubby realized that people were escaping secretly. Even though my zaidy was not interested in leaving, my bubby got the tickets and false passports to leave Russia. B.H. they left in time and arrived in France together with a large group of Chassidim. In France, the government gave the refugees a big building with forty rooms. Each family had one room and each floor shared a kitchen. My great grandparents lived that way | for six more years and had another three daughters. Many of the families that lived together tell us that my bubby was always a leader. She would clean the home, feed the children, and take them outside. My bubby only wanted to come to America. She remembered as a small child seeing a film about Charlie Chaplan. When she asked how there was so much food in the film the people told her there was so much bread in America that people threw it out. She then decided to take her family to America. My bubby and zaidy arrived in America in August 1952 and were then sent to Cleveland by the an organization that helped Jewish refugees. In Cleveland, my great grandmother began a Neshei Chabad and raised money for the vocational school in Kfar Chabad. When she had yechidus by the Rebbe she told him that there were people who said she was keeping the money. The Rebbe told her to continue her holy work he also called her the Queen of Cleveland. In Cleveland, my bubby and zaidy had their first and only son born to them. My bubby was very concerned for the chinuch of her children. She would take them twice a year to see the Rebbe. Sometimes my bubby would work washing people's homes in order to make enough money to take them to New York. She brought cholov yisroel milk to Cleveland and always continues to do great work. B.H. my bubby and zaidy have children in Brazil, South Africa, and in the U.S.A. They also have grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren who live all over the world.
32: Goldie- Hi Bubby what is your full name? Bubby Shula- Shula Shifra Kazen G- Who were you named after? BS- I was named after my mother's grandmother. G- Is there anything special about your name? BS- The person I am named after had nevuah. Many people came to ask her for advice and brachos. Shula comes from Shiloh where the mishkan was and Shifra was Moshe's mother. G- Do you know the meaning of your last name? BS- Shagalov origanally was Segel because my father was a Levi but in Russia it was changed to Shagalov. G- Where were you born? BS-In a hospital somewhere in Russia. G- How many children are in your family? BS-I am the oldest of six children K"ah G- Where did you live as a child? BS- In Gomel, a big city with mostly homes where people lived and two stores. The stores sold bread and meat. They closed when I got older and I had to go to the market an hour away. G-Wow! I take it for granted to have a big nice supermarket down the block. What was your house like? BS- It was a brick house with many rooms but we only had one of them. The rest belonged to the landlord. Our room was on the side. We had one bed and the kids slept on the floor. There were two holes outside for a toilet in a small hut. There were no tissues. In the summer we used leaves and in the winter we used newspaper, and no soap to wash. | I wasn't afraid because my father taught me not to be afraid of anything other than Hashem. G- Did you know your grandparents? BS- Yes, we were very close to my father's parents. They lived a half hour away from us. We would go to them on Shabbos to visit them. My father would have an account at a store with seltzer and we would go to get seltzer on a very hot Shabbos and he would pay them after Shabbos. The people would let us cut the line at the store. G- Do you know anything farther back than your grandparents? BS- Unfortunately not. G- What is the earliest memory you have of your childhood? How old were you? BS- I was four years old. We had nothing to eat or wear. We were very poor because my father was religious. We lived in a one room apartment and there was a lot of lice. G- What was your favorite food as a child? BS- We were happy if we had bread. G- What games did you play? BS- We played hopscotch, tag, and made dolls. G- What were you like as a child? BS- I liked everything and anything and was always happy. I always believed in Hashem. G- What do you remember about the time before you went to school. BS- I never went to school, my father always taught us. G- What are some memories of your elementary school years? BS- We always had problems. We had to chop wood, we were scared of the police, and we always had work as children to do.
33: G- Did most of your family live in the same community? BS- We all lived in the same city but in different areas. G-What big world event do you remember from when you were in 8th grade? BS- My father was taken into jail and I was thrown out of my house and I lived in the top of a shul. G- What inventions do you remember? BS- Nothing new, the invention was taking people to jail. G- Describe something that had an affect on you until today? BS- Nothing affected me. I always sang songs and believed Hashem would help. G- How did you spend your summer? BS- We would go outside barefoot and play hopscotch with no friends just with siblings. G- How did you spend your holidays? BS- I would go to my grandmother with my father and go to shul. I had no friends. G- Did any of your relatives come to your grandparents with you? BS- My cousins lived with my bubby and zaidy. G- Who did you look up to? BS- The only person who was my hero was my father. G- What is different about growing up today and when you were growing up? | BS- You can't even compare everything was different like people to the extent that even the farmers had nothing. G- What was your first job? BS- I decided to crochet and I sold my stuff for a couple of dollars. I loved doing this. G- What job did you do most of your life? BS- My job was to always help. G- Where, when, and how did you meet zaidy? BS- I used to go to zaidy's brother's house and they liked me so they set me up. G- Where did you get married? BS- In a forest outside with ten people and I didn't even have a fancy dress. This was the first chuppah I ever saw. G- How many children do you have? BS- I have seven children. G- What was the experience like for you when you had your first child? BS-I was sick for a week in the hospital. No body looked at me. I had nothing to eat. G- What are some special memories of you raising your children? BS- I always taught them to be nice, help people, be nice to everybody, and of course, to never fight. I always taught them to read and be educated. G- What is something funny that one of your children said at a young age that you will never forget? BS- Nothing was funny. Everything was serious.
34: G- How did you feel about raising your children? Was it hard? BS- Very thankful to Hashem for giving me children but it was very hard. G- How are my mother and father like me? BS- You should learn from my mother and you are already like her because you are fast and always working. G- What do you remember about me when I was born? BS- I didn't live in NY but you always were a good child and excited to see me. G- Do you enjoy traveling and where have you traveled? BS- I like traveling when I can. I have traveled to London, Manchester, Belfast, France, Brazil, South Africa, and many more places G- How much did a stamp cost when you were younger? BS- A stamp cost a penny. G- How much did a shoe cost? BS- Shoes used to cost one dollar. G- Wow! Now shoes are way more expensive. G- What do you want to tell your future generations? BS- They have to respect people. They cannot say no to their mother and father because they are older. G- What about raising children? BS- Always make time for your children, love them and help them. Teach them good manners, and from the age of two they should help. | G- Is there anything else you would like to add or to say? BS- I think I said mostly everything but everyone should always do kindness and learn. People used to call me green horn so I said green is good and yellow is not. Thank you so much bubby for giving me your precious time and letting me interview you. Now here is what I think and will take from doing this interview. I am very inspired because you grew up without a father and raised your siblings with your mother. Baruch Hashem you raised a beautiful family and I wish to raise a family like yours.
35: Bubby Maryasha | Bubby Maryasha my great great grandmother was a very special woman. She lived until she was about 106 years old. I was so lucky to have met her. My bubby used to hold the Rebbe's lulav and esrog for all the women to bentch on Hoshana Rabba. This was a very big zechus. She raised her children all by herself since her husband, Zaidy Yitzchak Elchonon was murdered by the KGB. I am always reminded of my bubbie's strength through the following story. She was living in a run down attic of a shul with her six young children. She told them to sing and dance because the Russians can take away all material pleasures, they can even take away their father but they can not take away their spirit! When she passed away she had over 700 descendants!
36: K O T L A R S K Y | F A M I L Y
37: Wolowik Family