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May 05, 1989 - Image 110

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-05-05

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

LIFESTYLES

/HE BRUCE WEISX

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th-really-show-your-
mom-how-much-you-
appreciate-all-her-
love-and-all-her-
caring-and-all-her
hot-chicken-soup-

PROFILE

Mikhail Kogan: New Neighbor

CARLA JEAN SCHWARTZ

Local Columnist

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110 FRIDAY, MAY 5, 1989

NAME: Mikhail Kogan
AGE: 45
OCCUPATION: Engineer
RESIDENCE: Oak Park
FAMILY: He is married to Lidyi Kogan.
His son, David, attends Berkely High
School. His mother, Sara Kogan, resides
in Los Angeles. Two brothers: Ilyi lives
in Los Angeles; Vladimir resides in
Leningrad.
EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in
civil/structural engineering from the
Institute of Engineering, Leningrad
USSR
SYNAGOGUE: Attends services at
Congregation Beth Shalom and Young
Israel of Oak-Woods
FAVORITE BOOK: "There are too many
books which I like Some favorite
authors are Steinbeck, London, Pushkin
and Dreiser.
HOBBIES: Reading, spending time with
my family and making things by hand.
LATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: "I'm happy
that we left Russia and came to the
United States. We waited about nine
years to come."
PHILOSOPHY: "To have many good
friends. To speak the truth."
BACKGROUND: Mikhail Kogan was born
in Vladivostok, a coastal city on the Sea
of Japan. His father was a Russian
naval officer in World War II and helped
protect American ships resupplying the
Soviet Army.

After the war, his family moved to
Kaliningrad and then Leningrad. Kogan
grew up in Leningrad and has fond
memories of his grandfather teaching
him about Judaism. As a child, he
remembers the day Stalin died and how
Russia mourned him.
During his teenage years, he was
constantly reminded of anti-Semitism.
"It was dangerous to go to synagogue
Kogan recalls that the police would
cause trouble when too many people
congregated.
Kogan was graduated with a
Bachelor of Science degree from the
Institute of Engineering in Leningrad.
His first job was in ship building. With
a specialty in steel construction, he
then began designing buildings.
He has been married for 20 years. In
1974, his son was born. When it was
time for his son to begin formal
education, Kogan had difficulty
enrolling him in a good school. "We
couldn't get in because we were Jewish.
I understood then my son would have
the same trouble that I had. And it was
then that I decided to leave Russia."
After the family decided to leave
Russia, Kogan lost his job. When he did
get other jobs, it was only for a short
period of time. "I wasn't able to work
for more than two months." Every
month, policemen would come to his
home around 5 a.m. and wake him up
and interrogate him.
For nine years, Kogan and his.
family were denied permission to
emigrate. Finally last year, he was able
to leave. He has been in the United
States for one year and chose Detroit to
live because he has friends here.
After a long ordeal in trying to
leave his homeland, he now struggles
with trying to find his first job. He
speaks English well, and hopes to find
work in his specialty of steel
construction design. When Kogan goes
on job interviews, his work experience is
only in Russia. He sadly admits: "To
some people that sounds like another
planet."

TIDBITS

WINE-TASTING

More than 350 guests enjoyed the many
wines produced in Sonoma County, Calif.,
recently as the Sonoma County Wineries
conducted a wine-tasting to benefit the
Center for Creative Studies' Institute
for Music and Dance and Oakland
University. Tasting the fruits of the vine
were Nathaniel and Pat Gurin,
Seymour Levine, CCS Corporate Office
President Kathleen Straus and
Jo Kessler.

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