Lev Shlyakhter: Jewish community of Grodno
Categories: Study and work, Lev Shlyakhter
When you came to Grodno how did get into the Jewish community? Did anybody tell you about it?
Into the community?
Well, when did you began to go to the khesed?
To the khesed?
I will tell you when I began to go to the khesed. So when I was 70, it was in 1995, well, they came to me and said that they heard on TV, «There appeared Lukashenko’s decree saying that all the retired above 65 should be fired». He said that there was enough labor force, there were lots of unemployed. And they said me «Thank you!». That was the first time when I was said «Thank you!», they needed me all the time, and then they said «Thank you!» for my work. So in 1995 I learned that there was khesed here.
How come you learned about it?
I don’t know, from somebody. When talking to somebody. My surname is Shlyakhter, I hope you understand. When I met somebody I said, «I am Shlyakhter». «Oh! What is your surname?». And here lived a man, Boyarsky, do have you heard about him?
No, I haven’t.
That was him who regained the synagogue, so they gave it back; they took it away from… It belonged to the artists. They made monuments from the marble that was there. Thay wanted to reconstruct it. But they didn’t manage. So they are still reconstructing it. Well, they needed a watch. So I thought why not to work there. Well, I and my wife didn’t have a lot of friends, just few; her relatives had died there, so I didn’t have anybody. So I had been worked so I was well-connected. I have become an insider here – I know a lot. And I had been working for 10 year there, and in 2005 I told them, «Thank you, guys, I am already 80 years old, and it’s enough for me». So, it has been already 8 year since I finished work.
Researcher: Natalja Ivashchanka, Sviatlana Silava, Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno