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The Scolniks of Kurenets  
Fanny Scolnick and her mother. Probably taken on the Lower East Side of New York around the nineteen-teens
Fanny's mother and one of her sisters.
Fanny, Jack, William,and their mother Dora/Dvosseh Scolnik came to NY on this ship in Nov 1909, tourist class, not through Ellis Island.
Fanny and Ruth
Fanny's grandchildren: Miner kids c1952
Fanny Scolnik Stein husband Sam c. 1956
1980 Fanny Scolnik Stein and grand-daughter Laura Miner.

A hundred years ago a woman was considered beautiful if she was "big, like a ship" (vie a shiff, in Yiddish) but I hope I don't wind up looking like my maternal great grandmother.

My grandmother, Fanny Scolnik Stein. Born in Zavyetoya (spelling?) in 1893 on the day the composer Tchaikovsky died.Her father was Moishe Scolnik from Kurenets.Her mother's father rented a flour mill in Pralna, near Radoshkovich (spelling?)  and Grandma and her parents lived there until they inherited a house in Kurenets c. 1902 when Moishe Scolnik's father died (the father was in the oil business).

In Russian my grandmother's name was Fanya Mysayevna Scolnik (pronounced Shkol'nik) I have to dig for her mother's first name, but her mother's sisters' married names were Rasha Monin and Ida Gordon. The indoor photograph is my grandmother's mother with one of her sisters (I don't know which sister, when or where the photo was taken--If in Russia it's before 1909).

Grandma's mother's father (Fyve Segalowitz or Segalovits) was 'Misnagid'. Had a picture of the Vilna Goan, and other rabbis in the house. Grandma's mother, though,  was a battle ax. A zaftig woman (big like a ship, as they said in those days in Yiddish when it was a compliment).Tough and a severe critic --not diplomatic. Grandma felt her mother was always on her case, berating her and unfairly comparing her to the wonderful older sister she never knew, who died as a toddler before Grandma was born.

Dare I say she was mean?

If she passed a nun on the street she would spit. I'd like to think it was that superstitious spit to the side that people from her area did as way to keep the evil eye away. Rather the opposite of what I associate with the Scolniks!

My grandmother's mother had an unusual way of saying the Shema prayer. Grandma said she would put extra emphasis on Echad, like this: e CHAA AAD. I am positive you can trace what tradition that comes from. I think that side of the family were Mitnagdim, at least my grandmother's grandfather was. He was teaching Grandma prayers. He asked Grandma why she said "e CHAA AAD" and Grandma, then about 5 years old, said, "Because that's how my mother says to do it".....meaning Mother is right and the Grandfather is wrong, and he smiled.  He seemed to like that obedience to the mother, and it amused him. Later in life Grandma didn't say e CHAA AAD any more. She said a morning prayer ever since childhood about releasing "the bands of sleep around my eyes"

Grandma said her mother was very very religious. She covered the holy books with a towel when she combed her hair, so they shouldn't see her hair. She wore a shaytl (wig). She scrubbed and scrubbed (as did her mother) and family joke was that they only had one wine bottle so to make it kosher for Passover the grandmother would scrub it for half an hour in the river.  When they came on the boat (tourist class) to America her mother was so kosher she wouldn't eat the food. I know she brought crackers with her and could it have been canned fish she also brought along for the trip? That's what I remember the story being.

Grandma's mother was a "negel wasser" --first thing in the morning she would run water over her finger nails to rinse off any "devils" that might have clung to them during the night. Devils meant something different than in the American tradition. Mischief makers rather than the incarnation of evil. Grandma used to joke that the devil hides in the clothes closet and steals buttons--that's why when you go to get dressed you find a button inexplicably missing.

Here is a bonus item about my grandmother's mother.

Her recipe for a Passover treat: prunes stuffed with filbert nuts, stewed with sugar

Laura Miner" < finemine2000@hotmail.com>