Raisa Goikhberg was born in February 1924 in Odessa. In the 1930s, her family moved to Khabarovsk (in the Russian Far East), where Raisa graduated from a medical college. In June 1941, after having received a diploma as a feldsher (a paramedic with more training than a nurse, or orderly), Raisa went to Leningrad (where she had relatives) to rest after her examinations. On June 22, the Soviet-German war began and, on the same day, the young feldsher Goikhberg volunteered for military service. She was appointed the commander of a medical platoon of a torpedo boat brigade of the Red Baltic Fleet. This type of service required her to stay close to the front rather than remain in the rear to treat patients in a hospital there.
Until February 1943, Raisa Goikhberg served with the Baltic Fleet. In March 1943 she was transferred to the Northern Caucasus. From July to September she served as a feldsher on the “The Small Land,” (a bridgehead on the eastern shore of the Black Sea), which the Soviet forces held from March 1943, before the capture of the port city of Novorossiisk by the Red Army. After the "Small Land” episode, she was transferred to a naval hospital in the rear, but then she volunteered for the frontline service. She sailed with the Soviet Danube Fleet and fought in Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Austria. Despite the fact that she was a paramedic, Raisa Goikhberg more than once fulfilled purely military tasks. On one occasion, while she was on the "Small Land,” she captured an armed German officer.
Raisa Goikhberg was wounded many times during the war. She first sufferred contusions in July 1941, during the battle near the Krasnaia Gorka Fort, in the vicinity of Leningrad. There she became deaf in one ear. In September 1941, she was seriously wounded – nineteen shell fragments were removed from her head. It was recommended that Raisa was take a three-month leave from the front after she was released from the military hospital, but she refused and returned to the Baltic Fleet. In December 1941 she again suffered contusions, this time near the Seraia Loshad Fort. In 1942, she was wounded in the leg, but refused to go to a hospital. In February 1943, when Raisa was taking wounded seamen from a sinking Soviet boat in the Baltic Sea, an enemy shell sank her lifeboat with its crew and the wounded seamen. Raisa remained alone on the open sea. She was found by another Soviet boat, which was just a short time later struck by an enemy shell. Raisa was wounded, with five of her bones broken. After three hours, she was found on the sea shore. After this injury, Goikhberg's left hand no longer functioned and she limped, but after a stay in the hospital and a brief period of working at a naval hospital near the Black Sea, she was assigned to a frontline medical platoon. During a battle in the Kuban region (Northern Caucasus) she was seriously wounded in her leg. Surgeons were unable to remove the bullets from the leg. However, limping and able to use only one hand, she continued to serve in the Red Navy.
Only in the final stage of the war was Raisa Goikhberg awarded the Order of the Red Banner, to go along with the numerous medals she had already received.
After the war, Raisa Goikhberg returned to Khabarovsk. An invalid with hardly any bone unbroken, she nevertheless married and had a son.
Two articles on Goikhberg were prepared for publication in the Soviet Yiddish newspaper Eynikayt – one during the war and the second in 1946.