Old Lives and New: Sovi­et Immi­grants in Israel and America

  • From the Publisher
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. 

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