"Story from a JUFJ Member": a Jewish Immigrant Story- JUFJ Labor Seder Haggadah 2012 p. 6
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Immigration was a difficult time in my family's history and there wasn't much room for pride. It feels vulnerable to write about the sacrifices one's family has made even during immigration. My grandmother, who was a well-regarded high school teacher in Belarus, found work sewing in a factory. My grandfather, a highly educated man and a mining engineer worked as (though it's tempting to say "became") a hotel janitor. My aunt, a highly trained music teacher, cleaned houses. My father, a computer programmer, worked at house construction sites briefly. At nine years old, my mom remembers me sticking up for her at a grocery store. Paying with food stamps and unsteady English made her a target for a mean-spirited cashier. Language, socio-economic, and cultural barriers play a role in keeping many new immigrants from mainstream society, but all it takes is one good job to dismantle many of those obstacles. To this day, when I see someone working in the service industry, I am reminded of my family's early struggles to pay bills. Everyone has their freedom story.
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Suggested Discussion Questions:

What did the storyteller take as the lesson of her family's immigration experiences?

Many American Jewish families have stories similar to this one in the last few generations. What does it mean to you to have immigration as a part of your heritage?

How should American Jews relate to today's immigrants?

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Time Period: Contemporary (The Yom Kippur War until the present-day)