April 20, 2012
This is the moving story of a number of individuals who made the difficult and sometimes hazardous decision to leave their home, family, and friends and start new lives in Israel and the United States. Edith Rogovin Frankel interviewed them twice: shortly after they left the Soviet Union in the late 1970s and again, twenty-five years later, when they had long been settled in their new lives. Their experiences — from their formative years in the Soviet Union, to their decision to leave, to their struggle to receive permission to emigrate — illustrate the complex history of Soviet Jews. Here, embodied in these individuals’ lives, is a vivid picture of the effect of official Soviet policy on the cultural, religious and personal lives of Jews and how they managed to cope and retain their Jewish identity. The story of their emigration represents the universal tale of anyone who has ever migrated, hoping to find a new and better life elsewhere. Above all, this is the personal story of these men and women, of the desires that inspired them and of the dogged faith that kept them going.