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April 09, 1993 - Image 85

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-04-09

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

ternatives

Culture

Increasing numbers
of Russians and Israelis
share religious freedom,
economic opportunity
and romance with
Americans.

LESLEY PEARL

STAFF WRITER

ichael Ray-
khinshteyn
is living the
American
dream.
The 33-
year-old
Russian im-
migrant
owns his
own busi-
ness, lives
in West Bloomfield,
attends Congregation
Shaarey Zedek and is mar-
ried — to a native
Detroiter.
With the opening up of
the former Soviet Union,
thousands of Russians
make new lives in the
United States each year.
Some choose to live a life

7.-

I

Allison and Michael
Raykhenstein have
mostly American
friends.

industrial bent.
He had no fam-
ily in the United
States.
Judaism was a
nationality, not a
religion, for Mr.
Raykhinshteyn in
his former home.
His grandmother
grew up in a reli-
gious home, and
in his youth
Michael secretly
celebrated Chan-
ukah and SiM-
chat Torah.
Upon arrival in
Detroit, Mr. Ray-
khinshteyn was
eager to plunge
into his new
American life and
tried many
things, from ser-
vices at a Luba-
vitch synagogue
to Kraft cheese
slices. He wasn't
happy with
Photo by Glenn Triest
either.
Two more syn-
agogues, a Con-
similar to that in their for-
servative and a Reform,
mer homeland while oth-
were in the future before
ers become "typical"
Mr. Raykhinshteyn settled
Americans, right down to
on Shaarey Zedek — the
their Levis.
synagogue his future wife
Similarly, many Israelis
also attended.
move to the United States
"I think I was different
for economic reasons.
than most immigrants,"
Persons from different cul-
Mr. Raykhinshteyn said.
tures meet, mix, clash and
"I didn't associate with
sometimes fall in love.
many Russians and still
Such was the case for Mr.
don't. So many immigrants
Raykhinshteyn and
still live in Russia mental-
Allison Rott.
ly. I don't deny my past,
Mr. Raykhinshteyn
but I'm an American.
0,
moved to Michigan from
"Most of my Russian
St. Petersburg, then
friends married other
known as Leningrad, in
Russians. I went out with -1
1979. Fresh out of high
one or two Russian girls, CC
-school, with, little knowl-
but for some reason I
edge of English, Mr.
didn't feel comfortable
Raykhinshteyn chose
with them. I didn't want to
Detroit because of its
CULTURE SHOCK page 86

85

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