Cutting hair was a popular Jewish profession in Uzbekistan when Daniel Fuzaylov grew up near Tashkent, capital of the then-Soviet republic, nearly three decades ago. His father, Rafael, was a barber. His grandfather, too.
So Fuzaylov, who came to the United States with his family in 1988, became a barber, learning from his father. They are among the latest émigré groups to pass a trade among themselves, like Korean groceries, Chinese dry cleaners and Greek diners.
In the old days of mah jongg — in the 1920s, when the game became a craze in the United States, not when it originated in China centuries ago — the pastime was often used as a fundraiser by Jewish women, who quickly embraced the game.
Rabbi Aaron Lichter never doubted what his life’s work would be.
“My father was a sofer,” a Torah scribe, he says. “My grandfather was a sofer.” And his great-grandfather. They all plied their trade in Tomaszew, Poland, a town in the west-central part of the country.
So Rabbi Lichter, who lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and works on the Lower East Side, became a Torah scribe three decades ago, after training with his father for three years.
Alex Rabinovich says there were about 50 gymnastics clubs in his native Kiev, 10 alone in his neighborhood, when his family left Ukraine for the United States two decades ago. His father’s club, Spartak, was one of Kiev’s top gymnastics training facilities, he says.
For 10 years, like a child of divorce whose parents share custody, Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan Head Steven Lorch, top right, was constantly shuttling back and forth from one home to another, crossing Central Park at least once, often twice, a day.
Now, with the Conservative day school’s nine grades finally united in one permanent space, on the sunny second floor of a brand-new building at Columbus Avenue and 100th Street, Lorch says he can “do the job I was hired to do: be a principal.”