Efim Rubin was born in 1922 in Buki. He is Matvei’s cousin. Efim attended a Yiddish school for four years, before finishing his education at a Ukrainian school. His father was a barber. He was drafted in 1940 and trained as an officer in Odessa. During the war, he fought at the Moscow, Leningrad, Smolensk and Kalinin fronts. After the war, he worked as a dental technician in Uman. He was interviewed together with his cousin, Matvei Vladimirovich (Motl ben Velvl) Rubin, who was born in 1928 in Buki.
Other Interviews:Writing in Soviet Yiddish
Making Matzo Dough with a Roller
In Soviet times, while public displays of Jewish observance were heavily discouraged by state authorities, many Jews held on to the traditions of Passover, such as clandestinely baking and eating matzo. More than most other Jewish practices, Passover customs persisted among Soviet Jews, in part because of the symbolic content of the holiday's message of national liberation, and because of the memory of participation in the Passover Seder as children. Memoirs from the period and reports from foreign visitors often noted the importance Soviet Jews ascribed to obtaining matzo for the holiday. Rabbis in the Soviet Union made numerous appeals to Jews abroad in the 1920s requesting that they send matzo to the USSR, and in 1929 the government responded to popular pressure by briefly permitting its importation. In times and places when imported matzo was unavailable, though, locals made the matzo themselves. In this clip, Chaim Rubin recalls how he and his family would make the matzah in preparation for the Passover holiday.