Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Malka Sternberg - January 31, 2008

Religious Life in England

In what ways did she change you life?

First of all, she was the first person who took meaning to my life. When we grew up with all this fe...festivals were had, I had no Jewish education. None whatever. I didn't know Shema Yisrael till I was thirteen. And she made--she got a teacher--a rabbi--reform rabbi but he was a rabbi and living in Oxford. He was a very, very nice man and he taught us--he taught me. I was the older--I was still younger and he taught me. I knew what Jewish was, I knew what the Tenach was, I knew the Torah, I knew the stories. A whole new word was open for me. For instance, Hanukkah we had when she was there so, Hanukkah was we lit candles and we all sang and since my family can't sing and he wasn't married yet to the family so we--it sounded like kiddish on Friday night with the Hanukkah lights and it sounded all the same and she first, of course, told us the story of Hanukkah and what it meant. So, the first night we all got a little tiny present, just a little thing. The second night the present grew a little bit and so onto the eighth night we got big presents. I got a set of hair brushes and combs and things like that--big things and how the, the, the miracle grew. That was her uh, way of, of, of uh, teaching us. And she was altogether she was fun to be with. She had ideas--nonstop ideas how to, how to educate us, how to give us things in life. When she took me out of church school into a good private school it was a great achievement. And I got pocket money. When she heard I didn't have pocket money she phoned my aunt--the rich aunt and I got pocket money, six pence a week.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn