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My Family Story

Isaac K.'s family's story posted by HIAS on April 27, 2013 at 10:42 am. Isaac emigrated from Moscow, Soviet Union (USSR) to Boston, United States in 1977

My dad emigrated here from Moscow, getting his American visa in Italy on August third of 1977. My mom came from Kiev, Ukraine on September 22 of 1995. The reason my dad moved to America was because there was a very oppressive society in Soviet Russia and it was full of anti- Semitism. My mom moved because when Soviet Russia fell apart, it became very hard to live in Ukraine.

My dad's life was full of anti-Semitism music and literature. In Russia, he was not let into the university (probably because of being Jewish).As for my mom, she lived in Ukraine back when there was very little money, and a lot more “food stamp” type of deals. People in her time dropped out of high school to go work in the open air market. My mom and dad only met each other here in the states, and now they have a family, both have supporting jobs, a roof and a car and all here in the Promised Land.

For my dad, during the time that he left Russia, many people frowned upon him and his family, for it was not pleasing to see people leave the country. As Russia was not happy with people going to America, my dad, my grandma and my uncle were forced to go to Italy and live there for some time before being able to finally go to the Americas. [My dad] remembers how he had to go to high school again, since none of his Russian teachers would give the university any good feedback about him. He and my other relatives wanted to go to the states, among other reasons, to get my Dad and his brother better educations. “A girl walked up to me, and asked what I was reading about. I then replied “physics” and the girl questioningly looked at me and asked “what's physics?” My dad told me this story one day while we were talking about his past educations and life in Russia. Considering how my uncle graduated as a doctor, and my dad now has his own programming company (along with a degree in programing), I would consider my older families thriving for a better education a success.

Ukraine was a hard place to live after it broke away from the Soviet Union.(Note: My mom and dad immigrated in very different time periods) It was decided as a family that it would be best for my Mother to move here and try her luck in this new and exciting world. My mother came alone, her parents (my grandparents) stayed in Ukraine with my younger aunt who was still in collage, even though the conditions were hard. When she arrived in America, she knew absolutely no English at all, but still got a job as an assistant fashion designer for her skill in sewing. She would hate holidays and weekdays, since she would have no one to celebrate them with.

Finally in 1998, my parents met and moved together to an apartment building in Cambridge. I was born there in 2000 and my sister was born in 2008 in a new house in Brookline.  Although it was tough, my parents both made it to America, made it through Anti-Semitism and the Soviet Union. For better or worse, through every hardship they left Russia, and came to America.  My dad, leaving from Russia, living then in Italy and risking becoming a traitor and getting looked down upon by all his friends, just to get to the new land. My mother, leaving behind her entire family and coming with no knowledge of the language. After all the hard work, on both my mom's and dad's side, they finally reached the new land, America.