Asya Barshteyn 's father was a purveyor and her mother was a homemaker. She attended a Yiddish school for six years, until her schooling was interrupted by the war. She survived the war in the Sharhorod ghetto. After the war, she completed her schooling by correspondence. She worked as a telegraph dispatcher and a switchboard operator at the post office, and later as a cashier at a barber shop. In 1983 she moved to Vinnytsya,where she is one of the leaders of the Vinnytsya Jewish Women’s Choir.

Other Interviews:

Home: One Small Room
Rebbe, Reb Shneyer
The Great Synagogue
"as though God had baked it"

Cantor Gaz

Vinnytsya, Ukraine

Asya Barshteyn remembers the synagogue as the center of Jewish communal and cultural life in the shtetl. She recalls the excitement of hearing visiting cantors who would occasionally tour and perform there. For Barshteyn, with a continued love of music and song, the cantor was the highpoint of religious life. The synagogue building, however, represents much more than a religious identity, and serves as the focal point of the community.

Source: Jeffrey Veidlinger, In the Shadow of the Shtetl: Small-Town Jewish Life in Soviet Ukraine (Indiana University Press, 2013)