"I'm a photographer and I'm a Jew. So I have always been greatly interested in my people and their story. This book contains photographs of immeasurable importance to me - photographs that tell about lives of Jews still living in the 'shtetls' of the Ukraine today." These are the words of Rita Ostrovskaya, who was born in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev in 1953. She studied cinematography and journalism in Leningrad (St. Petersburg). Since the late eighties she has repeatedly traveled from Kiev to the Jewish shtetls of the Ukraine: "The series entitled 'Jews in the Ukraine' began with Shargorod, a city I knew about, having heard many stories from my friends. Like so many people in this country - I could not imagine that so-called 'shtetls' still existed in the Ukraine, the things I saw moved me deeply. I talked with people and took a great many pictures. I felt as if I had known them for a long time, we got along so well. Over a period of four years I returned to Shargorod again and again and saw the houses of emigrant Jews slowly emptying." In the texts that accompany these vivid, moving photographs Rita Ostrovskaya writes about the tragic lives of her ancestors, telling of Jewish customs and cultural rituals still practiced in some places today and describing her encounters with people still living in the Jewish shtetls of the Ukraine or on the verge of leaving the country in search of new homes. (English edition available ISBN 3- 89322-852-7) The photographer: Rita Ostrovskaya, born 1953 in Kiev. Studied at the polytechnical college for cinematic engineering and journalism in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) and Kiev. Since the eighties, she has been photographing her relatives and documenting the photos in an album. The collection is the core of her "Jewish album," which was later expanded with photos of Jewish life in Shargorod and other cities of the Ukraine. The artist has continued the series of photographs of her relatives in photos of Jewish emigrants in America, Germany and Israel. Rita Ostrovskaya received the Albert Renger-Patzsch Award of the Dietrich Oppenberg Foundation in 1995.