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¿…a ver, y tú, de donde eres?

Michael Zeitlin emigrated from Moscow, USSR to Washington D.C. United States in 1975
“Now, I lie. I lie, all the time. I do so inevitably and invariably, as in, it cannot be helped. Whenever asked, where I am from, I take a short, deep breath and proceed to lie. It used to be different. I used to answer truthfully… if reluctantly. Reluctantly, because the...”


Emilya Naymark emigrated from Moscow, USSR to New York United States in 1977
“"Translate", my father said, poking me with a large, stubby finger. He said this in Russian ("perevodi"), his own attempts at getting directions having been met with bewilderment. We were parked at a gas station in rural Maine and we were terribly, helplessly, lost. A...”

Brighton Beach Letters

Alexander Genis emigrated from Riga, USSR to New York United States in 1977
“When I first came to America, Brighton Beach was still timid. The first Russian store was more like a country shop. It sold dry fish, caviar and matryoshka dolls all at once. The first Russian restaurant was bleak like the cafeteria of a railroad station. It featured day-...”

Roman Holiday

Boris Fishman emigrated from Minsk, USSR to New York United States in 1988
“In the 1970s and ‘80s, hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jews managed to leave the USSR, mainly for Israel and the United States. Soviet authorities couldn’t allow the U. S. government and Jewish refugee agencies to process these emigrants on its own soil, so my family, like...”


Grigory Serebryansky emigrated from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine to Unknown United States in 1996
“Это верно, что события, связанные с великим переселением евреев из бывшей “империи зла” в свободную Америку, должны занять своё достойное место в истории Нового и Старого Света. Именно одновременный “прыжок через океан” многих сотен тысяч людей в эмиграцию с насиженных и...”

Alexander Arkadyevich Genis 1927-2006

Alexander Arkadyevich (A.A.) Genis emigrated from Riga, USSR to New York United States in 1977
“Alexander Genis FATHER He outlived Soviet system by five years. "A five-year plan," he would have said, because even in America he remained imbued with his native concepts. For him, his native meant the USSR. Living in this country, he pretended it didn’t exist. Now, when...”


Yuri Fedorov emigrated from Moscow, USSR to New York United States in 1987
“BIO Prominent Soviet dissident and human rights activist Yuri Fedorov immigrated to the United States in 1987. Arrested as a student in 1962, he was sentenced to 5 years at a labor camp for participation in one of the first young people’s human rights organization "Freedom...”

My Mother's Hand

emigrated from Leningrad/St. Petersburg, USSR to Unknown United States in 1979
“I first remember my mother's hand holding mine. Her hand was soft, silky and warm and also felt safe, like home. I then remember my mother's hand Once again, holding mine, Teaching penmanship. Now her hand, while silky and warm, Was suddenly firm, gliding over the paper,...”

First Person

Rita Sostrin emigrated from Kuibyshev, USSR to Minneapolis United States in 1988
“My personal connection to HIAS began many years ago in the 1970s when I was a little girl living in Russia. My parents, like many other Soviet Jews, applied to the Soviet government for exit visas to allow them to leave the Soviet Union. While Russian Jews were immigrating...”

A Romance with Yiddish: From Birobidzhan to New York

Nikolai Borodulin emigrated from Birobidzhan, RUSSIA to New York United States in 1992
“Nikolai Borodulin Nikolai Borodulin is Assistant Director of the Center for Cultural Jewish Life at The Workmen’s Circle and distinguished master Yiddish teacher. He was born and raised in Birobidzhan and came to the U.S. in 1992. He worked for eight years as a librarian...”