A grand Now !Voted
person now. If I don't understand something, I don't
think badly about myself. I accept it and don't worry
Before, she used to enjoy reading romance or adven-
ture novels. Now, academic books are more likely to
be on her shelf. She's even thinking about devoting part
of her summer to learning a new language, perhaps
Spanish or Hebrew.
Picking up Russian books is definitely a high priori-
ty when it comes to summer plans.
"I'm beginning to forget some Russian," she said. "I
don't want to lose it."
"I'll never be clearly American," she said. "My soul
and my heart are Russian. I can't forget my native coun-
While the Sirotas are happy in the United States, the
w move presented several obvious changes in lifestyle for
Mr. and Mrs. Sirota. Perhaps the most notable of these
is a lack of time for relaxation.
Svetlana's mother works at an art supply store in
LU Novi, and her father is an electronics assembler at a fac-
tory in Troy.
"It's hard," Svetlana said. `They are more intelligent
Er than the people in their jobs."
The couple shares a car, requiring that they leave for
c) work often before there is even the slightest hint of a
Lu sunrise. They return by dinner. Many evenings are re-
I-- served for English courses or preparing for class.
There are few, if any, other Russian families living
in Franklin Park Towers, leaving limited social outlets
in their apartment complex.
Hanging out with friends is a high priority in Svetlana's life. Most of
her friends are also from the former Soviet Union.
One of the places Svetlana frequents with her friends is the Ram's
Like most parents, the Sirotas want the best for their
youngest daughter (their older daughter lives in Israel).
They always dreamed of being able to give her a good
"She is a good daughter," Mrs. Sirota said. "She trans-
laths for us at the doctor's office, bank and grocery store."
The move to the United States has allowed the Siro-
tas to learn more about their religion. They said they
learned a lot about Jewish history and religion through
a Russian-American matching program to assist with
the acculturation process, previously offered through
Resettlement Service at Jewish Family Service.
Although they do not fully understand the meaning
behind many Jewish customs, they are learning along
the way. On Friday nights, Mr. Sirota lights Shabbat
candles. He began the practice a few months ago.
"Everyone is home on Friday night. We are all to-
gether and we are done with work for the week," he said.
Since coming to America, Mr. Sirota continuously
thanks God for helping him and his family. ❑