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Please tell us a little about your career.

I am a doctor. I graduated from Smolensk Medical Institute. I ended up in the city of Starodub in the Bryansk region, where I worked for four years. Then I moved to the suburbs headed the department of the Ramenskoye Central City Hospital for 44 years, while teaching at the medical school. I gave all my strength to help sick people, ease their suffering, save them from the terrible diseases of our time – cancer and heart disease. I paid special attention to war veterans. I was awarded the title of "Excellence in Health Care of the USSR,” a medal for selfless work.

Where does your family come from?

My family is from the famous Jewish town of Khislavich, which is near the Lubavitch. There is even a famous Chassidic painting “From Lubavitch to Khislavich.” A print of this painting hangs in many places, including in the office at 770 Chabad Gate. According to the stories of my mother and aunt, Jewish life was in full swing in Khislavich. The children studied in cheders. Everyone spoke only Yiddish. All this was before the war. When the war started, in the village no one wanted to believe that the Germans would kill Jews, and people did not want to leave. My wise grandmother urged everyone to leave Khislavich, but in vain. On the eve of the approaching winter, she and her daughters, including myself, a one-year-old, in her arms, on carts, travelled across Russia for a long-distance evacuation. We hardly reached relatives in the Tambov region. The winter of 1942 was very harsh. My heroic grandmother, returning with products from the market, froze in a snowdrift.

When the Germans reached Khislavich, they drove all the inhabitants of the village to the outskirts and forced them to dig a huge pit. They shot them, defenseless, and buried them there. Their homes were looted and burned. Jewish life was destroyed forever, there was not even a "Yiddish-speaking parrot.” After the war, the Jewishness of the town dropped, as there were almost no Jews left. Now a huge memorial sits in this place.

Having returned to Khislavich, we began to rebuild and settle in again. One of our neighbors was a Jew, Abraham Leites. He knew Yiddish well and corresponded with Sholem Aleichem. He told me a lot about Jewish traditions. And my German teacher, Sarah Evseevna Mushina, graduated from a Jewish school before the war. She also told me a lot about Jewry and tried to teach me Yiddish. Unfortunately, things did not go well. The evacuation and hard physical work undermined the health of my mother and aunt. I wanted to help them, to cure them. So I decided on the profession of a doctor.

And what fate did you find yourself in the suburbs?

At the invitation of my mother's cousin, I arrived in Tomilino to visit for Rosh Hashana. Her former student came to congratulate her aunt on a holiday. We started talking, as we were almost the same age, and we never parted. We had a lot in common: he also survived the hardships of evacuation with his mother, and in the very first months of the war he lost his father. His great-grandfather was a rabbi in nearby Malakhovka, and traditionally kashrut was and Jewish holidays were observed.

When we got married (the wedding was in the Tomilinsk synagogue), my husband went to the Malakhovka market every early Sunday morning for kosher meat and dairy products. In the Malakhovka synagogue, we always pre-ordered matzah for Passover, since Jews from all over Moscow and the Moscow Region gathered there before the holiday. And so far I consider this matzah to be the best!

On Rosh Hashanah and Passover we always had a lot of guests. My aunt cooked delicious food. In the spring, a fisherman brought a pike, and my aunt made her legendary gefilte fish out of it, along with other traditional Jewish foods.

Once, distant relatives came to visit us. Their 3-year-old baby asked: “You say Jews, Jews. Who are the Jews? ” My daughter joked: “Let's go to the mirror, see better!” Now he is a successful young man who has chosen the path of Jewishness, despite the many other options he could have gone in.

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

I enjoy attending various lectures, concerts, and cultural evenings. It really inspires me. In Toronto, I made sincere friends with whom I have a wonderful time. I devote my free time to the education of my beloved granddaughters, their education and leisure.

What are your plans for the future?

At my age, it is important to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. I want to continue meeting with friends and help raise my granddaughters.

In the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic, can you advise our readers as a doctor?

Yes, of course: drink more hot tea and water. At temperatures above 40 degrees, virus cells die. You also need to eat chopped garlic in the morning on an empty stomach, washed down with water.