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October 27, 1989 - Image 101

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-10-27

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

I NOTEBOOK

I

Introducing A Truly Unique
Diamond Necklace That's Very Becoming.

It Becomes This...

It Becomes This...

It Becomes This...

A Soviet Immigrant
Writes To a Friend

Editor's note: The follow-
ing is the second in a series
of letters written by Helen
Elterman, a 15-year-old re-
cent immigrant, to a friend
in the Soviet Union. Cipora
Cohen of the Jewish
Welfare Federation provid-
ed the report.
Dear Natalie,
I was so excited to receive
your letter and hear how well
you did on your eighth grade
exams. We both know how
critical those tests are for
your future.
It seems as though not
much has changed there. You
still had to spend two weeks
Helen Elterman
of your summer vacation
working at school. In
rived, we had to live with my
America, you also find
aunt and uncle. So when
teenagers working during the
friends
of my parents came
summer, but they get paid. It
and were without a place to
is hard for the people here to
live, my parents invited them
understand that the Soviet
and their daughter to stay
government requires all high
with
us in our two-bedroom
school students to clean and
apartment. I don't have to tell
repair the school during the
you it was a crowded and hec-
summer.
tic month, but we were hap-
You asked me about my
py to help them.
school and my friends here. To
It also helped us. With
tell you the truth, on my first
newcomers
around, we were
day I felt like a first grader
forced to change our roles and
again — frightened and
teach them. I took their
confused.
daughter, one year younger
School is so different here.
than
me, to school, introduc-
I had a choice of the courses
ed her to my friends and
I wanted to take, and I have
showed her around the
different teachers and
neighborhood. It made me
classmates in each class.
more aware of my own ac-
Three of the 15 Soviet
complishments here.
students in my school are in
I think I am beginning to
the 10th grade with me. All
understand what being a Jew
the foreign students take
really means. My family and
English-as-a-second-language
I just observed our first Rosh
class together.
Hashanah
at temple. I'm not
I find the mixture of na-
sure how to describe the feel-
tionalities in my school
ing I had inside. It was a com-
(Berkley High) very in-
bination of pride — to see so
teresting. Imagine sitting in
many Jews together in one
a classroom filled with
place, and it was a feeling of
Soviets, Koreans, Israelis and
inspiration — to belong to
Arabs. It is truly an education
those people.
in itself.
We were staying with my
Watching each other go
cousins so we attended ser-
through the acculturation
vices with them at Temple
process is helpful. With the
Israel, which gives a free one-
others, I find myself becoming
year membershp to Soviet im-
more comfortable with
migrants. Since I am 15, I
Americans and their society.
went
to the adult services. It
Although because of the
was an amazing experience. I
language I lean more toward
was given my own prayer
my Soviet friends, I have
book to read while the cantor,
made some American friends
his voice so powerful, yet so
as well. We study and do
sweet, said each word.
homework together and play
In Russia, we fought for the
baseball and go to the movies
freedom to pray. Now, I know
for fun.
how important that freedom
I want to get a part-time job
is. Some day, I hope you will
to help my parents financial-
also know what religion real-
ly. Here, there are a lot of op-
ly means.
portunities for teenagers to
I wish you and your family
find work with decent pay.
a very happy and healthy new
With the increasing
year.
number of immigrants, there
is a long waiting list for
Sincerely,
apartments. When we first ar-
Helen

-

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You should avoid foods high in
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For more information about a
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contact your American Heart
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plan a diet good for life.

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