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Sara Gelfand Memoir
My Difficult Departure
The fields were sown with wheat and potatoes, the small farm gardens with cucumbers, peas and beans; there was no fallow land. It was difficult for us to leave this fruitful Russian land. Yet our mind was made up. One week before Pesach we went to Luban, to the home of our mother's brother. He had inherited the house from his parents and part of it belonged to our mother. We thought we would be able to live there in peace. They were not just a few dozen Jews in Luban, but three thousand. The Jewish schools were big, very different from the small Cheder we were used to.
It was very difficult for me to leave the Russian school, where I became a very good student. It was a very good primary school, which prepared its pupils for the Gymnasium, secondary schooling offering a path to academic careers. The students were mostly children from well-off families.Yet this was all not important to us, we had to try to save ourselves. We therefore left for Luban one week before the end of the school year, to the home of my mother's older brother Alter.