Estranged in a Familiar Land
A recent school assembly with Judy Meisel struck upon many of the feelings that my great grandmother and then young grandmother experienced. They were estranged by anti-Semitism in Russia, and country where they had lived in for the entirety of their lives. Even following World War II, anti-Semitic sentiments were high. Along with poor conditions, discrimination was a deciding factor for my parents and grandparents to leave Russia for America.
However, the parallels between Judy Meisel’s life and my family’s experiences were not the most memorable parts of her story. After arriving in America, Ms. Meisel played an important role in the civil rights movement. Her sympathy for African Americans most likely draws from her understanding of the terrors of discrimination. It is logical, to me, that her impetus to help arose from her empathy.
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