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April 21, 1995 - Image 99

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-04-21

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

Starting
New Americans adapt Oil er
to a different lifestyle.

JENNIFER FINER STAFF WRITER

FIOTOS B Y GLENN TRIE

Before the Goldshteyn family
purchased a car, they did a lot of
walking along Greenfield.

At first, they couldn't un-
derstand why Elizabeth
O'Neill, a day care specialist
and close friend of their rela-
tive, was so eager to help
them.
Ms. O'Neill took them shop-
ping, sent a card on Valen-
tine's Day and bought various
items without taking money.
When immigrants come to
the United States, they need
an anchor (in most cases a rel-
ative already living here) to
contribute money for each new
arrival — $1,000 for those un-
der the age of 65 and $50 for
those 65 and older. The anchor
signs a contract with Reset-
tlement Service agreeing to
help the newcomers find a job,
locate an apartment and pur-
chase groceries and other
household items.
With the help of Resettle-
ment Service, the anchor finds
their relatives an apartment,
often in Northgate or Lincoln
Towers, and prepares for their
arrival.
The Goldshteyns live in
Northgate. Their two-bedroom
apartment contains mostly do-
nated furniture acquired
through Resettlement. Three
brown couches line the walls of
their main sitting room. A televi-
sion sits on a piece of furniture and
a bookshelf is pushed against the
same wall. One ofYelena's art pro-
jects decorates the room.
A caseworker from Resettlement
Service works closely with the fam-
ily and provides them with a four-
month budget. The Goldshteyns are
approaching the end of their four
months and if they do not find jobs,
they will have to apply for Aid to
Families with Dependant Children.
The 16-week budget comes from
the anchor's contribution and a
$300-per-person stipend from the
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan
Detroit.
Within the first few days of ar-
rival, any new American 16 or old-

hey watch the Discovery Channel, shteyn, meant earning $20 a experience a strong culture shock
because everything is so different,"
marvel at how friendly strangers month.
"The main reason we came here said Lenna Israetel, a Resettlement
can be and, for the first time, they
don't have to share a one bedroom was for our children," Ms. Frayman Service counselor. "For those who
apartment with five other family said. "It was hard to be Jewish and come over and do not speak Eng-
we didn't want our children to grow lish, it's an even greater shock. They
members.
don't know how to do simple things
In the former Soviet Union, this up under such poor conditions."
The family brought only a few like entering a store through the
family never experienced any of
these comforts. But now they live possessions. Holding on to some right door. It probably takes a few
in the United States, and things are clothing and several books, they weeks to several months to get sit-
sold most of what they owned to uated. Within the first year a fam-
different.
ily is acclimated and almost all
Until this year, the family, like help fund the move.
Besides, the more they kept, the employable new Americans are
so many other Russian Jews, wait-
ed for refugee status. In their case, more they would have to carry dur- working."
The Goldshteyns' transition was
it took five years for the paperwork ing their three-day journey to Oak
made easier because of the help of
Park.
to be completed.
Throughout most of the trip, Dr. family members and Resettlement
Three months ago, Aleksandr
Goldshteyn, his wife Irina Fray- Goldshteyn had to carry his ailing Service, who provide financial as-
man, their children and her par- father-in-law, Grigory Frayman. sistance and moral support to new
ents said goodbye to the former Access to a wheelchair was not a arrivals. The help and friendship
Soviet Union, a place where being possibility. The rest of the family of an American woman made a
world of difference for the Gold-
Jewish had to be kept a secret and carried the possessions.
STARTING OVER page 100
"When people come over, they shteyns.
being a neurologist, like Dr. Gold-

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