September 6th, 2021 at age 84 – Grigoriy “Grisha” Novozhenets was born on January 7th, 1937 in Slaviansk, Ukraine. Like most kids of that era, he was evacuated with his mom and brother to escape the horrors of World War II. Upon their return from evacuation, fate brought them to Borisov, Belarus in 1945, where he befriended the children of the Gurevich family, and one of them – Brokha or “Broshka” as he lovingly called her all his life, became Grisha’s forever special someone. They married on February 13th, 1960.
An avid woodworker, Grigoriy started his career as a carpenter and enjoyed working with his hands throughout life. He worked his way up to become the head of the procurement department at a piano manufacturing factory in Borisov, which was not an easy feat for a Jew during the Soviet period. A man of high morals, his beliefs did not allow him to publicly denounce his brother for leaving the Soviet Union in 1980, at the price of losing his job and retaliation from the government. Grigoriy continued to work hard after immigrating to the United States in January of 1992.
Family always came first for Grigoriy. He was a doting father to his two sons and later in life an adoring grandfather to his grandchildren. A quiet man, but his rock-solid presence has been a foundation for many of their successes. Grigoriy was energetic and fit and passed his love for an active lifestyle to his sons and grandchildren.
He was a loving and loved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, and father-in-law. Grigoriy’s love and devotion to his wife of 61 years were what love stories are made of and he carried it until his last breath.
Grigoriy leaves behind his loving wife Brokha, two sons – Yefim (Olga) and Yuri (Marina), grandchildren – Polina (Ryan), Jacob and Ben and great-grandchildren Leo and Sadie, brother Isaac (Nina), sisters-in-law Zina, Fruma and Masha, and many nieces and nephews. Grigoriy was predeceased by his parents Sima and Eina, and brother Alexander.
Graveside services will be held on Friday, Sept 10th at Mount Hope cemetery at 12 pm. Donations may be made to the Jewish Home of Rochester Donate Online in Grigoriy’s memory.