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July 05, 1985 - Image 72

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-07-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

72 Friday, July 5, 1985

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

AVING
THE FLAG

An immigrant from
Russia looks
ahead to citizenship in
his adopted homeland.

O

BY ANNE Y. MEYERS

Spicial to The Jewish News

Ed Raykhinshteyn is flanked by his parents, Berta and Isaac.

W

hat is the Fourth .of
July? For some it
means barbeques,
picnics, a day at the
beach or a long
weekend. To others it may mean
fireworks, parades, or family reu-
nions.
But to a select group, this Inde-
pendence Day meant being sworn in
as citizens of the United States of
America. And for the Raykhinshteyn
family of Farmington Hills, the day
after the Fourth marks the sixth
anniversary of their arrival in the
United States.
Ed Raykhinshteyn was among
those hoping to be naturalized yes-
terday, but he is still awaiting his
final papers from the government.
Although he feels much like a citi-
zen, there are certain things about
citizenship that he looks forward to.
"I want to be able to vote,"
Raykhinshteyn said. "I look forward
to having that choice." But his
status of resident alien provides him
with many liberties. "I don't feel
un-American. I don't think just be-
cause I'm called a citizen I'll feel
different."
Rayklinshteyn, 18, is glad to be
here. Ed, his parents Isaac and Be-
rta, and his brothers Gary, 24, and
Mike, 25, came to this country from
Russia in 1979. Because of his age,
Ed is the only member of the family

i• I

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who has not ,become a naturalized
citizen. The minimum age is 18.
As is often the case with Rus-
sian Jewish immigrants, the
Raykhinshteyns first went to Au-
stria, then Italy, then flew to Detroit
(via 'New York) where the Jewish
Community Center had offered to ,
sponsor them.
Now, six years later, Ed
Raykhinshteyn is a student at Oak-
land University and a cashier at a
local grocery store. His brothers
work at a tool and die shop. Gary
Raykhinshteyn hopes to have his
own business one day and their par-
ents work in office maintenance in
Farmington Hills.
According to Raykhinshteyn, his
parents came to this country for a
better life for themselves and their
boys. "My parents came here mostly
for us," he said. "My father was a
salesman there, My mother was an
elementary school teacher. But they
enjoy working together now."
"We're very happy here," Berta
Raykhinshteyn told The 'Jewish
News. "I know I can't find the same
job here as in Russia. I'm happy to
do any job here. We work hard and
we like it."
Isaac Raykhinshteyn always
gives the same answer when people
ask why he came to the United
States: "In Russia," he said, "anti-
Semitism grows so much. You can't
stay there.
"Not just my family has defected
from Russia. Thousands of people de-
fected for the same reason. In trains,
buses, in schools you just can't lis-
ten. Parents teach their children.
They don't even understand, they
Pit learn it (anti-Semitism). This

pushed me to think about my kids. If
you are anything, you have to think

like they think or you go to prison.
"Anti-Semitism is born not to-
day; not tomorrow, not yesterday.
Anti-Semitism stays inside • the
people." •
Ed Rayklinshteyn attended
eighth and ninth grade in Oak Park,
10th, 11th and half of 12th in South-
field, and then the final portion of
his senior year in Farmington
schools. He learned to speak English
in the public schools. -
He has already chosen his
career path. He is a politiCal science
student at Oakland University and
plans to transfer to the University of
Michigan and hopefully get a law
degree.
According to Raykhinshteyn, it's
hard for a Jew to get a better job or
to attend a higher educational in-
stitution in Russia, especially, with
a "Jewish-sounding" name. . "You
may pass the test with an 'A', but
they may say, 'Oh, you failed the
test.'
"Here, I can do what I want to
do. I can be what I want to be. I
know it sounds corn 3', but I can be
what I want to be."
Raykhinshteyn has high profes-
sional aspirations. "I can't (by law)
be a U.S. Vice-President or
President," he said. "I'd like to be
Secretary of Defense or a President-
ial adviser."
He says that he wants to do the
things he enjoys doing for the rest of
his life. Politics are his main inter-
est and his Russian language and
cultural background should help him
both in his political studies and pro-
fessional life.
"I think this is the best place to
live in the world," he said. "You do

have the opportunity At you try bmil

enough." 0

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