A Background Very briefly describe yourself

Topics: Family, Israel, Jews Pages: 6 (1715 words) Published: November 25, 2014
A. Background
 Very briefly describe yourself (age, birthplace, social class and status when you were growing up, current cultural orientation, etc.). I was born in San Francisco in 1985 to two young Israeli immigrants. I am the oldest of three and the only daughter. My family was Jewish but very secular, and our stance on religion and politics was liberal. I grew up in a middle to upper middle class suburb in the Bay Area where most of my friends were Catholic or Protestant. My current ideals have not strayed very much from my liberal upbringing, and I think that I lived somewhat of a sheltered, privileged life. However, the only thing that I may have lacked was growing up with an extended family nearby. B. Background of Parents/Grandparents/Great Grandparents

 Describe what you know about your mother, father, maternal and paternal grandparents and great grandparents and so on.  How did your ancestors enter the United States (e.g., were they voluntary immigrants, involuntary through conquest, time of entry, etc.)? My mother grew up in a middle class neighborhood in Jerusalem, and my father was from a poorer family in the suburb of Haifa. They met during my mother’s army service, and, after she was released, they traveled around Europe for a few years. They began to feel cramped by Israel’s small borders and grew weary of the constant conflict that seemed to dominate its society. My mother inherited her US citizenship from my grandparents and had some family that still lived in California, so my mother and father immigrated to San Francisco in the late 70’s. My mother attended a master’s program at SF State, and my father worked as a maintenance engineer in one of the high-rises in the city. When my mother graduated from her program, they moved from a poor, predominantly black, neighborhood in the city to Walnut Creek to raise my brothers and me. My mother’s father was originally from Germany and escaped persecution during WWII by coming to the states with his family. In Germany, his household employed servants that took care of all the domestic work so that his mother never had to work. Her life consisted of having coffee with her friends in the morning and entertaining rich friends and businessmen at dinner parties. When Hitler came to power in Germany, they lost all their assets and immigrated penniless to the US. They settled in Chicago where they had relatives, and for the first time in her life, his mother had to work. She had no formal education or professional skills but was happy to get a job in the garment industry as a seamstress. His dad got a job as a door-to-door salesman, and my grandfather, who was a teenager at the time, had to work in odd jobs to help the family. My aunt Ruth was too young to work at the time, so she went to the middle school in the area. My grandmother, the younger of the two sisters, lived in a very poor neighborhood in the Bronx during the depression. Her father worked as a garbage collector for the city, and her mother was a housewife. From what I recall, my grandmother’s parents moved to the states as immigrants from Poland and Russia during the pogroms after WWI. My grandparents were a part of a Zionist youth movement and met in Israel on a Kibbutz that they helped build. They were one of the first generations to move to Israel in 1948. They briefly raised their children under the socialist Ideals of Kibbutz Sasa before moving to Jerusalem, and my grandfather became the regional manager of a very successful jewelry company. I know far less history in regard to my father’s side of the family. From the information made available to me, his parents were Romanian and immigrated to Israel with very little family. They settled in Haifa where my grandfather worked in construction. My father suffered a large amount of physical abuse at the hands of my grandfather and ran away from home when he was 14. He stayed with his mother’s sister on a kibbutz in the north. When my...
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