Berlin, Germany

Story posted on March 13, 2009 at 4:00 AM

My name is Sonia Pressman Fuentes. I arrived in the US at the age of five from Berlin, Germany, where I was born, after some months in Antwerp, Belgium, on May 1, 1934, with my parents and brother, Hermann. My parents were born in a 'shtetl' called Piltz, an hour's ride from Cracow, Poland, but had lived for over 20 years in Germany.

In this country, I became a lawyer, writer, public speaker, and one of the founders of the second wave of the women's movement. I have a long relationship with HIAS. HIAS helped my family get settled in the US when we arrived here. My story of how we came to America was included in '120 HIAS Stories'; an article I wrote about my Vietnamese manicurist in Rockville, MD, who was an immigrant, appeared in 'Passages,' and 'Passages' published an article written by a HIAS staff member, at my suggestion, on three feminist women whose families had a connection with HIAS, and I was one of the three.

I live in Sarasota, FL, where I am a member of the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism (CHJ). Earlier this year, I arranged for one of HIAS' vice presidents to come to Sarasota and speak to CHJ about the work of HIAS. I am the author of a memoir called 'Eat First--You Don't Know What They'll Give You, The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and Their Feminist Daughter.' Additional information about me is available on my website at

I will be featured in an upcoming documentary about the second wave of the women's movement called 'Wavelength.' Anyone interested in contacting me can write me at