Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Esther Feldman Icikson - October 23 & 29, November 5 & 12, 2001

Detroit (continued)


And Livernois. By now I already have a boyfriend in America and he drives me to work the first day and I realized, oh my God, that's quite a stretch. But you can't help it, you have to go to work.


So I would get up real early and I'd walk to wor...to work. And they--I was taking care of old people, making their beds. And guess what, everybody was very impressed the way I made the bed. You see, I was a soldier. When you make a bed in the army, a penny jumps off of it. That's how smooth, straight it is. So I didn't have no problem making beds.

So who was the boyfriend?

Oh I met somebody who fixed me up with a young man. Uh, so I, I was pretty good at making beds and because it was very depressing I would sing to myself. And nurs...in the nursing home the people are old, some don't see, you know. And they really liked me because I entertained them by singing all kind of Russian song and Hebrew song--to myself, but they would listen, you know. And I developed some kind of a nice friendships with some people. Um, there was a blind man--he had beautiful pictures in his room from uh, Governor Williams?

Mm-hm, G. Mennen Williams?

Right. He was friends with him. And um, he was blind, so I would feed him. And while I would feed him I would sing to him. Well, I tell you, he liked me. He was just waiting for me to show up. And um, it was okay, I mean you know, I worked there a few weeks, they wanted me, to, to promote me, to make me a, a manager. But I knew it's not the kind of a work that I should stick around. So I went to the uh, vocational service.

Jewish vocational.

Jewish vocational service. And they found me a job in the United Jewish Schools.

United Hebrew School.

United Jewish Schools.

United Jewish Schools.

The Chaim Greenberg school it was called. Uh, it was from the Verband.

Verband, yeah.

It was on Schaffer and Seven Mile Road in the Labor Zionist building. It's a turquoise building on the corner there.

Workman's Circle too, I think.

Workman Circle. And I got a job as a assistant to the nursery school teacher. They paid me a dollar an hour. I worked twenty-five hours a week. I had Blue-Cross and I would--first I would go on the bus to pick up the children, so I would be the supervisor on the bus. And then I would be with the children in the classes. I would play with them, I would sing with them, I would teach 'em Hebrew songs. Uh, we would all kinds of projects for Chanukah. It was a nice job. Then [pause] the ma...the principal of school realized that uh, I'm not so bad, so he hired me to teach the Sunday School.

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