By Dr. Lawrence A. Coben
[Backad advert replica, Coben, Anna’s Shtetl] “Using 1000's of interviews, Coben has created a desirable account of Anna’s youth within the shtetl in Korsun, Ukraine, telling the tale from her start in 1905 via her immigration to the USA in 1919. This biography is principally infrequent simply because there are only a few firsthand descriptions from this time and position written from a feminine standpoint. With notable readability and aspect, Anna describes the connection among Korsun’s Jews and Christians, either in solid instances and later, as she and her relations develop into sufferers in numerous terrifying pogroms. the tale of the lengthy trip that at last takes them to the USA is a page-turner that retains the reader’s consciousness to the very finish. hugely recommended.” – organization of Jewish Libraries Newsletter “The publication relates the wealthy element of daily shtetl lifestyles and describes not just the atrocities suffered but additionally the kindness and friendship of many non-Jewish neighbors.” – Mass-Pocha “A photograph of existence within the Russian shtetl painted with a really gifted brush.” – St. Louis Jewish publication pageant overview “Wondrous… what makes Anna’s tale really notable is her uncanny reminiscence and her skill to keep in mind minute information about events.” – West finish notice
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Extra resources for Anna's Shtetl (Judaic Studies Series)
Avrum had a workbench with his stone-carving tools at his end of the attic. Several suitcases and trunks of different sizes were stored nearby, oldstyle trunks made of woven branches. Almost all the townspeople packed this kind of trunk when they traveled, for modern trunks were not used in Korsun yet. Some of the woven trunks came with leather belts ¤tted with keyed locks, but Beyla’s trunks, in which she kept feather-stuffed mattresses and blankets, had no locks. Avrum never sat and talked with the women in the house, keeping busy instead with reading and writing, or with his good deeds and hobbies, meanwhile smoking his pipe.
Sarah’s house was not in the northeast quarter near Beyla’s duplex, but in the northwest quarter, in the other predominantly Jewish neighborhood. Caring for one baby and expecting another, Sarah was managing by adding the rent money to the little she earned by sewing for peasants. Anna helped her by turning the wooden wheel that powered the sewing machine, stopping whenever Sarah reached over to touch her arm. While she turned the wheel, Anna tried to learn how to sew by paying attention to what Sarah did.
Having taught herself to read both Hebrew and Yiddish, Beyla was the only one able to read the prayer book and the Bible. She was the “sayer,” the zogerin, for the thirty or forty women in the congregation. They sat on their chairs, listening as she read aloud to them in Yiddish from the Sedra, in a women’s Torah volume. In spite of Beyla’s high position among the women in shul, she was also a close friend to several of them. One of these was Oodl Slivnik, the mother Grandmother Beyla / 17 of the wealthiest Jewish man in town.