file-page21 - Copy.jpg

Liliya Kogan


North York

Tell us a little about your career.

I received my education in Tashkent, where I graduated from the University’s Department of Biology, and later taught biology. In Israel, where I emigrated with my family in 1990, I was fortunate to continue working with children. After eight years of living in Israel, we came to Canada, where I was again able to work in the education system. At first, as is customary in Canada, I worked as a volunteer, and a year later I joined the staff. While continuing to work, I took additional courses to deepen my knowledge. Since then I have been working for sixteen years as a specialist for children with hearing and speech impairments. I love what I do and am proud of the impact my work has on my students.

Where is your family from?

My father is a native of Dnepropetrovsk, and my mother is from the Moldovan village of Rashkov. My mother’s father was killed when he was 27 years old, and my grandmother Riva raised their children herself. Our family always maintained their traditional Jewish names, which was not so common in the FSU. My mother's name was Esther Sheyndl, in honor of her grandmother, and almost all of my mother's cousins, too. It so happened that during the war, during the evacuation of the family, my parents were in Uzbekistan, where they remained. It was there that my parents met, and I was born in the city of Tashkent.

How long have you lived in Ontario, and why did you choose North York?

We have been living in the area for seventeen years. We chose this area because it is home to a lot of people who speak Russian and Hebrew, which made it easier for us to adapt to life in a new country.

What do you do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?

I love playing the piano, singing, reading. I also love to play sports - I play badminton and tennis. And I enjoy spending time with friends.

If you were given the opportunity to meet anyone, alive or dead, who would you choose, and why?

I would love to reunite with my departed family members: My dear mother, Esther Sheyndl, and my father, Garik, my grandfather, Kiva, and my grandmothers, Riva and Eugenia. There are also many close relatives and friends, which, unfortunately, are no longer with us. I am very grateful to them for what they have been in my life, and I will try to be worthy of their memory.

How involved are you in JRCC programs?

Since the early days of our lives in Toronto, we have taken part in the holiday programs and other events held by JRCC. I believe that these programs are very important for the community of Russian Jews, and every person who participates can find a lot of new, interesting and useful experiences.

What are your future plans?

I want to enjoy life and make people happy. Continue to help my students and enjoy their success, and participate in the establishment and transfer of knowledge and experience to a new generation. And, ultimately, to bring more happiness into the world through teaching and learning. My plans for the future? Just to live! To live in accordance with my values and ideals.