~ In loving memory of my father David Spunberg ~ b. 31 October 1901 - d. 20 June 1982
Berdychiv, at the 2nd half of the XIXth century and the first decades of the XXth century represented one of the most important Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. Nowadays in Ukraine, with the effort of the Chabad is recuperating the historical roots.
Finally, after several claims, I decided to include my biography in the site you are visiting, pages which I am constantly improving since 1997, when I began to build the site.
My name is Jorge Spunberg, I was born on September 22nd, 1942 in Buenos Aires (Argentine). I have European roots, my father David Spunberg (1901-1982) was born in Berdichev, at those times in the Russian Empire, nowadays in Ukraine; my mother Malka Biderman (1910-2001), was born in Kielce (Poland).
Jorge (one year old)
Fortunately, they emigrated to Argentine many years before WWII, my father arrived at Buenos Aires in 1923, where some relatives lived since the end of the XIXth century, one year later arrived my grandparents with my uncle. My father began to study the Spanish language and with huge dedication in 1925 inscribed at the University (faculty of Medicine), concluding his studies and obtaining his degree as a physician in 1931. My mother arrived at Buenos Aires in 1911, being still a small baby, with her parents and some brothers; she completed the school and the gymnasium, but as was usual at those times, although she wanted to continue her studies at the University, her widowed mother preferred for her a “good husband” than a “diploma”.
The arranged “good husband” delayed to appear. Finally he came up, and at the end of 1938, after ten months of relationship the wedding was formalized. I have an older sister, Lidia Spunberg born in 1939, dentist, married to Julio Bastanski, they have an only daughter called Alicia, all of them living in Argentine.
But still, I slightly spoke about me. Therefore, according to my family I appeared in the world red and hairless, with 4,1 Kg after an exhaustive fight through a normal parturition.
My parents with my sister and me
Jorge (12 years old)
Jorge (18 (years old)
We lived in a Jewish district in Buenos Aires, called “Eleven” (Once) , in a big apartment of an old building, where my father had his cabinet, and my paternal grandparents had their own rooms.
My childhood passed quietly, my father was quite severe and exigent, my mother, instead, was kind and affectionate. I began to study when I was 6 years old in an official school called “Domingo F. Sarmiento”, afterwards I was moved to another school called “Juan M. de Pueyrredon”, where I concluded my primary studies. The secondary studies I completed in another school called “Bartolome Mitre”. I have been a good student during the entire career, including the superior studies. In 1960 I began my studies at the University (Faculty of Engineering), choosing the Electromechanical field. I obtained my degree in 1967, in the middle of the career I lost one year serving the army.
When I was eigh years old, my father began to teach me the Russian language. Along a large period, up to I was sixteen, we used to read together the classical Russian literature including: Pushkin, Tolstoy, Turguenyev, Tchekhov, Krylov, Lermontov, Gorki, etc., etc. I am very grateful now for this knowledge, which proved to be extremely useful to me along my life, helping me to have the opportunity of researching my roots and discovering unknown relatives around the world. When I was nine years old I began to study the English language, at the beginning with a professor at home, an Irish patient of my father; afterwards, in an English Institute. At school I also learnt Latin and French, but as I didn’t practice these languages I forgot almost everything.
My social life was quite limited, restricted to familiar events and few friends. My father tried to avoid risks for his family, overprotecting us and controling rigorously all our activities. Fortunately, when I was 16 years old, I became member of a Jewish club, this step helped me to open my mind and some years after, became the leader of my group, initially as an amateur, afterwards, engaged as a remunerated professional, coordinating the Youth Department. This one was my first official job, although, since I was sixteen years I had some pupils at home, teaching mathematics, physics and chemistry. These earnings helped me along my youth, to reinforce the slender help I received from my father.
I loved reading books and magazines, used going to the movies and was fond of sports, specially soccer (the favorite game in Argentine and Brazil) and swimming.
Once I obtained my diploma, I got a job in my professional area in the Argentine Railways, coordinating the Department of Tariffs. One year afterwards (1969), I moved to the Philips Group in Buenos Aires, where I worked along two years, up to my transference in February/1973 to Philips of Brazil. As the proverb says: “nobody is a prophet in his own territory”. After my change of residence to Brazil, I worked in the Philips organization along two years and since 1975, I began to work independently for myself.
From 1975 up to 1992 I had an industry which manufactured all the line of machines to produce and split polyurethane foams. As this market saturated, in 1992, I began to manufacture semi-industrial machines which produce disposable diapers and feminine towels. In 2006, I opened a complementary new “front”, and began to import from China, Japan, and South Korea computerized embroidery machines and laser machines, as well as, spare parts and accessories for these equipments.
My daughter Mariana
My daughter Carolina
My son Igor
In 1968, still in Buenos Aires, I married (for the first time) a Jewish Argentine lady called Silvia Kleiman, nine months later, in Setember/1969, my first daughter Mariana (nowadays settled in Toronto/Canada) was born. We had a second daughter Carolina ten years later, born in September/1979 (nowadays settled in Haifa/Israel). In 1984 I divorced and went to live alone. I have also a son named Igor, born in July/1985, living in Sao Paulo/Brazil.
Diana and me
Finally, I found “my second dear half”, On April/1992, returning from Buenos Aires, I met in the airport Diana Sztraicher, and since that time we are together. Diana, created the name of this site, “The Berdichev Revival”, and permanently stimulated me to keep on developing this endless work.
With 66 years on my back, I am very grateful to my destiny. Of course, frustrations and disappointments are mixed with moments of joy and happiness, but this is the rule of life. Along these two last decades, a deep revolution forced most of us to change old habits. The fantastical technological advances in all the areas, run faster than the ability to adapt ourselves to the modern times. This impressive “avalanche”, sometimes arise nostalgic feelings of old times, anyway, our conscience or our grandsons quickly bring us back to the real world.
I couldn’t finish this resume, without remarking and reverencing my young beloved teacher, Monica Gomes, who step by step, patiently oriented my efforts in the development of each page of the site, improving and suggesting new ideas and correcting my mistakes.
Time flies with incredible velocity, now I am 71 years old, still in full activity, with constant challenges and permanent disposition to overcome the daily difficulties. Meanwhile, my physician discovered through the exams that I am suffering diabetes (type 1), consequently, pills, insulin and trecking were incorporated in my routine.
The good news are my grandchildren, in São Paulo, Rafael (7 years) and Sofia (5 years) from Shirly (a “lending without return” of Diana’s daughter); and far, unfortunately far away, Anis (4 years) and Mila (1 year) from my daughter Carolina living in Yokneam (Israel).
Rafael and Sofía
Anis and Mila
Grandchildren, undoubtedly, enlighten and rejoice our lives, arousing an atmosphere of well being and happiness.
LEVUSH ATERET ZAHAV ON YOREH DEAH by Mordecai Yoffe from the edition published in Berditchev, 1818. This is the first of three files (containing simanim 1-122); subdivision of the volume is because of the huge size of the original PDF file.
Jewish Poland (Click in the sequence of numbers on your left side to observe the images, or click the bottom indicating the slide show to see a full screen, once the first image appears, click on it again to observe the following slide, and in the same way onwards)
This is the Trailer of the upcoming documentary & exhibition created by the Berlin artist Thomas Wernicke in co- operation with the German composer/musician Michael "Roosty" Schmerschneider & the Ukraine interpreter Elisaveta Belayevskaya. The film & exhibition shows the crime of the german death squads in the ukraine by the example of the city Berditschew. All Protagonist are directly survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust. The un- commercial Film & exhibition starting the worldwide tour in the second half of 2008
Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, speaks about the importance of commemorating the Jews who perished during the Holocaust. Rav Lau, himself a child survivor of Buchenwald, powerfully calls upon Jews across the world, to join efforts to recover the names of each individual Shoah victim by filling out Pages of Testimony in their memory and submitting them to Yad Vashem. Search for information or submit names of people you know of who perished during the Shoah on Yad Vashem's Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names. http://bit.ly/Zpo3I
Otto Simmonds, a German-born Jewish physician who lived with his family in France, dashed off this desperate note to his wife and daughter from inside a railcar bound for Auschwitz in August 1942. “Fifty of us in one car!!” he wrote, his last words to his family. “Be brave and courageous. I’ll be the same.” A railway worker discovered the letter in a tattered envelope on a train track and, intent that it reach the Simmonds family, added his own heartfelt message, placed it in a new envelope, and mailed it to Otto’s wife.
My dears, On the way to Poland!!! Nothing helped. Tried everything. Allegedly it’s going to Metz. Fifty of us in one car!! Be brave and courageous. I’ll be the same. Stripped of everything in Drancy. Kisses, Otto
Dear Madam, Having found this letter on the rails after one of the Jews who passed through and seeing that the envelope was in a sad state, I allowed myself to make a new one and hope that this letter will reach you. With my apologies, Madam, I hope that you will be pleased and happy nonetheless. A Railway Worker
The Trotskys, the Bronsteins and the Kievskys:
A Search for Identity in Russian-Jewish History
Speaker: Boris Kievsky
Growing up being called a Jew by Russians, a Russian by Americans and not quite fitting in with any of them, Ukrainian-born actor/filmmaker, Boris Kievsky, grew up with a confused sense of identity. Five years ago, in a desire to better understand who he was, Boris began to ask questions about his family history. What he discovered led him on a journey that took him back to the former Soviet Union and to the history of the Jewish participation in creating the Soviet Union, in which his grandfather played a role. Starting with the old saying “it’s the Trotskys who make the revolutions, and the Bronsteins who pay the price,” and knowing that his own family did both, through interviews, research and first-hand observations, investigates why there were so many Jewish revolutionaries (“Trotskys”), what price all of the Russian-Empire Jews (“Bronsteins”) paid, and where that leaves us as a people today.
Boris Kievsky was born in Cherkassy, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and came to the United States at the age of six. An award-winning writer and director, he earned BFA and Post-Graduate degrees in theatre before moving to New York, where he performed in, as well as produced and directed several theatrical productions. Upon moving to Los Angeles, Boris made the switch to film and television. As an actor, Boris has appeared on numerous TV shows and all levels of film from shorts to studio releases, often playing some variation of a Russian mobster, much to his Jewish mother’s dismay.
This film spoken in Russian covers a topic that previously suppressed, in the film tells of a Jewish partisan movement in Europe, how it originated and how you live, and how the Jews dealt with not only the Nazis, but also local residents.
On this page you can see all the following episodes