The first Jewish barber-surgeon in Ostrovtse that I remember, was Alter Beynerman. I do not know why, but in town we used to call him, “Alter Buliok”.
A robust, broad-shouldered Jew, fleshy and with a fine trimmed beard, and always with a fat cigar in his mouth. And he spoke with a thick bass voice. That’s how he remains in my memory. The Jews in Ostrovtse trusted him greatly and he was no less popular with the Christian population.
As Alter said, so people did and nothing other. Even when a Jew in town was so sick that he had to go Doctor Malinger, people still first asked the advice of Alter as to whether they should take the medicine that Dr. Malinger had prescribed. And there were cases in which Alter advised, “I say you do not take this medicine. I will prescribe something else.” And people did put aside the medicine that the doctor had prescribed and took the one that Alter Beynerman had prescribed. That is how great the trust was in him among the Jewish masses in Ostrovtse and especially among the Jewish women.