My name is Miriam
Taylor, generally called Mimi and my maiden name
is Reifer. I was born in Czernowitz in June 1937. My parents were
Salomon Reifer and Rachel (Ruta) Steinmetz. Three of my grandparents
in the vicinity of Czernowitz and the fourth one, my maternal
Saul Leib Steinmetz came to Czernowitz from the district of
(Marmoros) as an infant, in 1880 or 1881. This grandfather eventually
known in Czernowitz as one of the founders of "Poalei Zion", publisher
editor of the "Yiddishe Arbeiter Zeitung", city council member and the
owner of "Steinmetz Selchwaren".
My family and I were lucky in that we were not deported to Siberia by
the communists, despite being "burjui", not deported to Transnistria,
despite being Jews. I spent 9 weeks in the Czernowitz Ghetto, had to
numerous times, wore a yellow star from the age of 4 till the age of 7
not allowed to go to school, but I did not suffer hunger or disease.
During the school year 1944-45 I attended the Yiddish school on the
Siebenburger Strasse (Strada Stefan cel Mare).
In the summer of 1945 I left Czernowitz, lived briefly in Radauti, then
moved to Oradea Mare, where I attended the Jewish school on Str. Fuchs.
From the autumn of 1947 till the early spring of 1949, I lived in
Holland, where I was one of 500 Jewish Romanian children whom the
had managed to get out of Romania. In Feb. 1949, I arrived in Israel
and was reunited with my parents. I lived first in Kiryat Hayim, then
in Kiryat Bialik and eventually on kibutz Amiad. There I met and later
married my husband, Milton Taylor. In the fall of 1958 we left Israel
for the US. With the exception of Sabatical years; one year in Israel,
one year in England and one year in Italy, we have lived in the US ever
I initially studied biochemistry at Cornell University, but switched
fields and finished my studies at Indiana University where I obtained a
B.A. In Mathematics with an emphasis on computer programming. My work
experience, includes working in an analytical lab for the Israeli
Defense, the analytical lab of Revlon Industries, Physical Chemistry
Cornell University and Biology lab. at Stanford University.
For the last 20 years I have been weaving highly textured, or 3D cloth,
which I make into garments.
My husband is a professor of Virology at Indiana University and
involved in medical research. I have two sons; Yuval and Jonathan.
Yuval is an
editor and author. Jonathan (Jon) is a professor of Geography and a
composer of "techno" music.
I also have three most wonderful grandchildren, Thalia, Jacob and Rina.
My interest in Czernowitz is both intellectual and emotional. I am
interested to find out more about Czernowitz, as it was during the
years 1860 to 1945 and about the factors which contributed to it's
character, atmosphere and the lasting influence it has had on many of
those who were born in it.
Emotionally, I have strong ties, to the landscape, the city, the
customs, the atmosphere, the language and the food of the region and
the city, I
once called home.
The Cz. - List has been sort of a home, away from home for me. I am
indebted to my cousin Jane Reifer and my very close childhood
friend Yossi Eshet (Jerry Wolf) for introducing me to the list, to
Reisch, for setting up and maintaining the list.
It is through the list, that I have reestablished contact with old
friends like Abraham Kogan and Irene Fishler and made many many new
friends, too numerous to mention here.