Unlike many of my peers, there's no heroic family Holocaust saga. My grandparents made it to America before World War One in steerage like so many similar dreamers, real dreamers. They played by the rules, paid the fees, passed the medical tests of the time, eventually learning enough English, American History and Law to pass the citizenship tests etc. They suffered discrimination, antisemitism and poverty. My paternal grandfather, like most of his relatives, began a successful business in America; they had businesses in Nasielsk, Poland, too. And everyone of them, some more some less, reduced their Jewish observance to what they considered most important, ranging from speaking Yiddish at home to not working on Shabbat even when their wasn't money for food.
A century later, here I am in Shiloh living a full Jewish Life, observing the Mitzvot my grandparents had set aside. And even more unexpected, I left America!
Do I have a story?
There's no real drama to my story. It feels so boring and trite to me.
Part of the senior citizen program I take part in includes telling our individual or family story to a couple of high school students who will write it up for the oral history project of the Diaspora Museum, Museum of the Jewish People - Beit Hatfutsot.
I don't see anything very dramatic or unique about my life. My teenage years was during the 1960's when many of us searched for a "truth." I found it in the religion I was born in, Judaism. The NCSY activities and YU-Seminars I participated in facilitated and encouraged my return to the Judaism my grandparents had abandoned. And I abandoned their refuge; I moved to Israel and live in the Biblical city of Shiloh. To me I was part of a "wave." My decisions came easily. My story is so boring.
|This was taken a few years ago. I am holding my GNN67 graduation picture.|