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My Story

Alex Fridman's story posted on September 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm. Alex emigrated from undefined, undefined to undefined, undefined in 1990

I have emigrated out of Leningrad, Russia in September of 1990 at the age of 12 together with my mom. My emigration was planned to happen through seeking political asylum once I arrive as a visitor to the United States.

We came to our relatives in Los Angeles, CA and lived with them for half a year, until my step-father arrived. I went to a public junior high, and have not had much of exposure to the Jewish community outside of rare invitations to High holidays by my relatives' Jewish community sponsors.

I got acquainted with Russian Chabbad synagogue in West Hollywood, which did not have any spiritual or social appeal as the Chabbadnik's were very different from me. Thus I did not get involved with the Jewish community until I was in the last year of college, when I made a 3 week long trip to Israel which was a mixture of Birthright-style travel and yeshiva lectures. The latter were very interesting and so were the people I have met on the trip and in Israel.

After the trip, I started attending Shabbath's in Los Angeles with non-Russian families and continued to do so while attending medical school in New York. In residency, I have connected with Chabbad at Arizona State University, and local synagogue and continue to slowly learn Jewish history and Judaism.

 I am morphing into the non-orthodox American Jewish culture very slowly, as neither do I have knowledge base, nor support of my friends or relatives.


Alex is the participant of the Russian Jewish Community Leadership Porgram (RJCLP).  A joint program of the Jewish Agency for Israel, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, and the Genesis Philanthropy Group