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November 17, 1989 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-11-17

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Continued from Page 5

They sent food parcels and
letters describing life in
America back to Poltava.
"We told them what it was
like to be a Jew in America,"
Glazer said. "To be a Jew in
Russia is a crime."
Even after the couple mov-
ed to Detroit in 1985 to be
with her husband's aunt,
they continued their efforts
to help their family. But get-
ting them out of Russia was
A few years ago the bar-
riers loosened. In 1988,
Yanina went back to Poltava
to see her family and friends
for the first time in nine
years. Many asked if she
would help them leave the
When she returned to
Detroit, Yanina spoke to
workers at Jewish Family
Service and Resettlement
Service, told them about her
friends and asked for help.
She learned how to fill out
the necessary immigration
Last April, she returned to
Poltava to see her family
and friends and made sure
those who had applied for
emigration 10 years earlier
had the forms correctly
signed. Today, Vladimir and
Anna Goldshteyn, Arkadiy
and Nina Chernyaysky,
Vladimir and Faina Karpin-
sky, Yury and Svetlana
Edlin, and Leonid and Elana
Starolinsky are all in
In August she made an-
other trip, this time to a
Soviet refugee camp in Italy.
"A lot of people asked me
to help them," Yanina said.
"Most of them were from
Poltava, but some I had
never met before."
But whether she knew
them or not, she could not
refuse their pleas.
And when the doors began
opening for her friends, the
Glazers beagn arranging
apartments and furniture
for the refugees.
Sometimes the newcomers
arrived in Detroit before the
apartments were ready. At
one point Yanina had 22
people living in her small
Southfield home for a few
Finding them a place to
live is only the beginning.
The Glazers take their
Soviet friends to the
hospital, translate their
needs to doctors, and help
them get their drivers'
licenses and learn English so
they can find work.
Most of the refugees come
with little money and must
survive on donations and
loans until they get jobs, she
said. "They need the work
now. They don't want to live

on donations." While many
of the refugees she helped
bring to Detroit are settled
enough to help the latest
newcomers, the Glazers and
their two daughters, now 17
and 19, still do their share.
"It takes a lot of work and
time," said Yanina, who
spends her days as a
salesperson at New York
Carpet World, but has been
in area emergency rooms as
late as 3 a.m. to help Soviet
"No one could do it all by
themselves. It's hard for
only one or two people to
do," she said.
Four couples — Marvin
and Alice Berlin, Irving and
Ruth Kahn, Emery and
Diana Klein and Irving and
Barbara Nusbaum — are
always there whenever the
immigrants need someone to
help move furniture, take
care of a sick child, or give
someone a ride, Glazer said.
Local businesges and friends
also help. "I don't even know
how to thank them."
She will need their help
soon as 16 more Soviet
Jewish acquaintances are
coming to Detroit.
But the Glazers are stret-
ched to their limit. After
these 16 refugees enter the
country, the couple will
reduce their resettlement
"I can't do it right now,"
she said. "I know a lot of
people trying to get out. But
it's not that hard any
longer." She is optimistic
the Soviet open door policy
will continue, "although you
never know with the Rus-
But don't expect the
Glazers, who still have fami-
ly in Russia, to turn Soviet
Jews away. "When they ask
for your help, how can you
say no?" Yanina said. ❑

JCC Facility's
Opening Uncertain


he opening of the new
Rosenberg Recrea-
tional Complex was
still uncertain as of late this
Mort Plotnick, Center ex-
ecutive director, said he did
not know when the
multipurpose facility at the
Maple-Drake Building will
open. He said he was to meet
this week with construction
officials about the flooring
problem, which has delayed
the opening since
Plotnick said the facility
could open as soon as the
floor is rolled and finished.
He targeted it for "no later
than the first of December,
and probably earlier."

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