Category Archives: Russia/E. Europe

Ninel Breslau

As I walked into the Stevenson House, I noticed that everyone waiting to meet us was smiling. They seemed genuinely happy to see a big group of 63 girls walk into their midst. We were there to interview the residents of Stevenson House about their lives and learn a little more about their immigrant pasts. I sat down in front ... Read More »

Irina Osenina

Irina is a Russian immigrant who made the move from Moscow to Atlanta, Georgia to California starting in 2006. Irina had a good childhood. She was born in Moscow, Russia and was an only child. She had (and still has) a good relationship with her family. Irina went to a branch of schools called Pioneer Schools: which are similar to ... Read More »

Sophie and Eli Katz

The Austro-Hungarian Empire seems like a historic place in a very distant past, but for Irene Abrams, its presence is ingrained in her vivid memory of her beloved grandparents and their journey to America. “My grandfather was a rope maker. He was very tall and strong. My “Zaida” was six feet tall. My “Bubba” was tiny, she was five feet ... Read More »

Lidiya Nazarenko

Lidiya was born in the Ukraine in July 1929. When Lidiya was a young child, she moved to Kharkov, Russia. The government there was oppressive, and they killed Lidiya’s father when she was only five years old. When Lidiya was ten, World War Two started. The Nazi party occupied Kharkov, and there was always a lot of fighting nearby. Despite ... Read More »

Rivka Lifschitz – the odyssey

Bob Rosenzweig shared with me the story of his grandma’s harrowing journey from Bobroisk, Russia, to Osaka, Japan, to Seattle, WA, and finally to Detroit, MI. His grandma’s name was Rivka Lifschitz. Rivka was born around 1896 in Russia. Her husband, oldest daughter, and oldest son had gone first from Russia to Detroit, MI in 1911. It was around 1914 ... Read More »

Phillip & Bessie Espar

Bessie and Phillip Espar were born in a small Yiddish town of Olizarka, Russia. They married young and had three children; Meyer, Ruth, and Sadie (the interviewee). Meyer and Ruth were born in Russia and Sadie was born in the U.S. Phillip was known to be spoiled and high-spirited, and was always ready for a fistfight. He was apprenticed by ... Read More »

Carlo Baldassari

At fourteen, a  Renaissance man in the making embarked on a journey, which would mark the beginning of a new life. Carlo Baldassari was the eldest son in a family of seven children. He arrived upon the shores of Galveston and made his way to New York. In order to provide for himself, Baldassari sold brooms and possibly participated in ... Read More »

“From Russia With Love”

Dey Rose was one of 8 featured storytellers at the Media Center’s salon called “Foreign Correspondents: Immigrant Odysseys.” Her story, recorded in this 10 minute video, is about her grandmother.  She has also submitted this story in writing here.  Dey is an instructor in the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Read More »

History of the Fine, Dorosin & Kopelov Families

(Editor’s Note: This is a bit of a departure from the usual format. It is a fascinating research paper written by Maddie Bennet, for her 11th grade US History class at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto, CA.) I am a third generation American Jew, and, like many Jews, my roots go back to Eastern Europe.  My research focuses ... Read More »

The Time of His Life

My father was born, in 1895, in what is now Ukraine. When he was 13, in 1908, he was apprenticed as a tailor. In about 1914 he immigrated. He traveled by horse and carriage, other surface transportation, boat and train to Chicago. On the boat, for the first time in his life, he was without adult supervision. He had the ... Read More »

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