Tag Archives: Russia

From the Soviet Union to Palo Alto

It is 1975, and Russia was known as the Soviet Union, a strong, communist country that strictly limited Russians’ rights. Vlad was born in 1971 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, which was part of the USSR. Vlad (name changed by request) experienced significant hearing loss at the age of 9 months due to a high fever and his parents immediately decided that listening and ... Read More »

Lazar and Dena Kasofsky Leave Russia

Larry Klein’s grandfather Lazar Kasofsky, born in 1884  in the rural town of Slonim, Russia, was the eldest of seven children in a Jewish family. Late 19th Century  Russia was a dangerous place for Jews. In addition, the Russian army conscripted boys at age sixteen, many never to be seen by their families again. With these facts in mind Lazar’s parents, Jacob and Ester Hanna, decided ... Read More »

Ivan (John) and Sarahfina’s 10 year odyssey

My Grandma and Grandpa decided to leave Simbirsk, Russia and begin a new life in the United States. They started their emigration from Simbursk in Oct. 1900 traveling through Siberia to China. Eventually they left Harbin Manchuria China, with John (Ivan), their only surviving child, and made their way to Kobe, Japan. In March of 1910 – 10 years since ... Read More »

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 »

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 »

“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 »

Ida Goldstein

This is a story about my Grandma Ida. Here is what I know: She came to the United States from Russia around 1910, when she was fourteen years old. Before she left, it was a dangerous time to be a Jew in her village; there were a lot of pogroms, and even though she was just a young girl, she ... Read More »

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