Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nancy Fordonski - May 29, 1982


Beis yakov?

Yeah, beis yakov. It's like, here it's a yeshiva, and in the yeshiva there are girls and boys. In a young age the girls are here together with the boys. And later, I don't know now, when my kids were young I think they were 'til the third or fourth grade together and la...then later on you know, they were separated. So the beis yakov is really like here a yeshiva or Akiva school. But uh, we had a school just for girls and that uh, there were not too many in the city, so my father--should rest in peace, had uh, given a special room, special classroom in the apartment house for that purpose, to have a school for you know, a class for girls. And he was even one--I shouldn't say he, my father. I loved him probably too much just to say he. So he was in charge of, of it in the community and he brought uh, brought down from Krakow a special teacher. And she was that time she was the first teacher in Poland, from this yakov, from the yeshiva girls. Her name was Sora Schinera and she was the one that uh, she came and she stayed in our house. And later on I was told that I even slept with her. Because you know, here in the States there is most of the place every child has, a bed for themself. And, and our house there were four younger girls so we had a--like a children room with two large beds and there were two girls sleeping in a bed. So when that teacher, this Sora Schinera, when she was called into the city, stay for a few days you know, to organize to see how we can you know, see to somebody, to have somebody to teach the children. So one of uh, my sisters slept in the meantime on the couch, and I had the pleasure to sleep with her. That what I was told later from my mother. And often you know, when I think about it, I think you know, that it was for me a at first like an honor. And uh, later on we got already a special teacher sent in, and for many years that school girl, it was, that uh, class, was in our apartment building and I'm sure that my parents didn't charge anything for it. Because we were well enough off that we could afford this. And besides this, to my parents it was a big uh, I won't say deed, but a big honor that it started out you know, in our building. And we had a few daughters of our own, my parents had a few daughters of our own, that needed that education too. So it was like uh, helping out the community. And by the same token we were taught how to daven, that means how to read Hebrew and how to write. And many things what was very important to us. And uh, that's uh, how I learned and my other sisters learned the you know, Hebrew and learned how to daven and how to observe Judaism. And we were trying to be good Jews because everyday we were coming home from a class, from learning, we came--we were running home you know, in the house proud to say oh, we don't have, you know uh, my daddy or my mommy, you don't have to tell me, you know uh, you know what to do and or to bentsh or wash our hands before a meal or wash the hands in the morning when you get up or this or that, because we learned everything. So we were very proud of it and, and my parents were very proud of us that uh, we cared for it much.

How many synagogues were in your town?

Synagogues, there was really one large one. But we had quite a few smaller congregations. We used to call it shtiebl. This was, like there were Gerer Hasidim, like my father, he was a Gerer Hasid This is, like here you will say, I don't know, the Lubavitcher, or this or that.


Hasidim. But there were different names for them.

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