Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nancy Fordonski - May 29, 1982

Education (Continued)

So every one had another place. They had a few large rooms or one large room where they gathered together in the morning for the morning services. And then, and you know, late in the afternoon for mincha and for marev, they gathered together. And then for the Sabbath prayers. So we had quite a few of them. And besides this, the younger men, they had a place of their own too that uh, they had a place to worship. So uh. And then us girls, we used to gather in the yeshiva in that beis yakov every Shabbos where we davened in the morning. And then we went home you know, for greeting, running. We knew that our parents are coming home from the synagogue, we were running you know, to greet them. Then we went home for our Shabbos meal. And later in the afternoon, we used to go back to that beis yakov and we had special classes, like B'nos classes. The teacher came and it wasn't a class like on every weekday, it was just that we got together, everybody nicely dressed up and we were talking about the Shabbos you know, every Shabbos is another sedra that's another uh, another things to talk about. So this way, we had more knowledge in our, about different things. Because there were things that you didn't talk about it in the weekday, because in the weekday when you came you already read it. You had to learn you know, to read, to write and to translate from Hebrew to, to Yiddish or something, to Polish if they were kids that they didn't really understand some words. But on Shabbos it was different. We got together mostly you know, to be together and to talk over, to have a B'nos class and then we had s...the--some refreshments. We were dancing and being happy. Then we're waiting, and when it got dark, we went home because uh, father Ulav Ha'shalom was coming home from uh, the shul and the synagogue and he had to make Havdalah, this is a special prayer you make when you, when the Shabbos, the Sabbath ends and the week starts. So it was for us you know, a must to be home at that time and to listen to it. Now when my father was performing it.

Do you know how many public schools there were?

There was one public school. Jewish kids with Gentile kids, we were together. And boys with girls were together. We were all in one--but--I just thought of it--once a week we had--we were excused for an hour in the class and we had uh, a cla...an hour of religion. So a special rabbi was coming, a special teacher that he was teaching us customs and everything about Judaism. Because not everybod...not all the Jewish girls or the Jewish boys were learning in you know, in special places. Like, my family, we were Orthodox, so my brothers, they were going to a special yeshiva. It's a special or this was a special place that they gathered, all the religious boys and they were learning, all day they were learning there. They were even excused from, from public school because they could have special courses in uh, private. But there're other kids what uh, didn't go to the yeshiva. So we had a special c...hour every week that the teacher came, a Jewish teacher. He taught us--he told us you know, it was everything was in Yiddish because--Jewish--because most of the kids didn't understand Hebrew. And if not, he was translating to us. He was teaching u...he was telling us, let's say a story or reading something in Hebrew and then he was translating for us in Yiddish.

What did the other students do at that time?

The other students, the Gentile kids had the same time a priest was coming. A priest came in into a special classroom and they had their, for, for Christianů

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