Mother and New American Friends

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12/20/1890
Today we heard the news that we will reach Ellis Island any day now. It amazes how fluent I have become in Yiddish. I still remember at the beginning of the voyage how my father and mother had to translate everything I said. However, now I regret learning Yiddish because now I understand why many of the fellow passengers were always crying. It wasn’t because of missing the old country which I earlier believed, but of the loss of their close family members and friends. I remember back in Russia I had heard the term Pogrom but I had no idea what it meant. I wonder now, if the main reason we left Russia really was because of the job offer dad received from an old friend of his. 12/21/1890

I woke up to the loud sounds of hundreds of passengers cheering and clapping. I rushed myself to the front and then I at last saw it. In the horizon just like it was described to me stood the Statue of Liberty. From that time until we arrived passengers we laughing, singing, and crying. When we arrived and got off the boat everyone walked into the biggest building I have ever seen in my life. Here the doctors examined us I had no idea what they were saying or checking but after a couple of hours they let us pass. However, before I left I did see some passengers from our ship desperately yelling. I guess I’ll never know what happened with them. As we left the huge building we when through a magnificent gate which Dad said was called the Golden Door. From there we took a ride in a wagon in which I fell asleep. Late at night we arrived at our destination. When we walked into our room I noticed how tiny it was compared to our house back in Russia. But I didn’t mind I was still used to the tiny space I had on the boat in which we were packed with many other families in one room. 12/22/1890

Mom woke me up in the morning and told me it was time to go to an American School. At first I was worried that it would be a problem that I don’t know English but after a while I...
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