In the Media

This Year in America - Russian Jews Are Joyous
Daily News

By Joan Shepard
Monday, December 12, 1977

Hundreds of eyes, glistened with tears when the huge silver Chanukah candelabra was lit at the Brooklyn Jewish Center, 667 Eastern Parkway.

For most of them, refugees from Russia, it was the first time in their lives they have been able to witness the lighting of the sacred Menorah. In Russia, religious rites are banned.

"Many of them," said Rabbi Shmuel Butman, "have only had Chanukah and the Menorah in their hearts."

As soon as the Eli Lipsker Orchestra started a rousing Russian folk son-, dozens of people got up, clapped their hands and danced. One did not have to speak Russian to know how they felt.

The party, 'which brought together Russian-Jewish emigres from all five boroughs, was sponsored by Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe (FREE). The organization at 1383 President St. his been helping Russian Jews settle in the United States for nine-and-a-half years.

On hand at the party was Rabbi Jscob Goldstein, a special liaison officer to the Jewish community from the mayor's office. "There are about 4,000 Russian Jews in Crown Heights," explained Goldstein, "and of course many more in Coney Island."

The mayor's office helps the Russian refugees work their way through the city bureaucracy. Language, of course, is a problem. Very few of the Russian emigres at the party spoke any English at all.

One obviously happy woman was Nina Motba with her 3-year-old son, Igor. They had been in the United States for just five weeks and were throughly enjoying themselves.

The Motba family which came from Bobroysk, Russia, told through an interpreter of their happiness in being in Brooklyn and at the Chanukah party.

A bearded man with small penetrating eyes, Velvl Nissnesitch from Moscow, an artist, said through an interpreter that the "joy of life is to be free."

According to Goldstein, jobs, are the first major problem. "But Many find work," said Goldstein. "They don't want public assistance, they are very proud."

As the afternoon faded into darkness, the party got livelier. And although much of the music was Russian, it was obvious they were not homesick for their homeland.

Back to Top

In the Media
 The First Night
 The First Night
 Lighting A Fire In The Snow
The Jewish Press
 A Bar Mitzvah in Brooklyn
 The Auspicious Reunion
The Jewish Press
 Russian Jews and The Matzah Factor
Lubavitch News Service
 Rambam Writings In Russian
The Jewish Press
 Congregants Welcome Torah Home
Bay Ridge Courier
 Festival of Lights Shines Over Borough
Courier Life Publications
 Congregants Rejoice In New Scrolls
Courier Life Publications
 Brooklyn Is Showered With Hanukkah Gelt
Courier Life Publications
 Russian F.R.E.E. Choir
Jewish Family Services
Encyclopedia of Chicago
 Jan Peerce at Carnegi
New York Times
 Melting pot of Jewish film
Australian Jewish News
 Renewing ties with their religion
Jewish Independent
 Abiding act of faith
The Washington Times
 The Heroic Struggle
The Jewish Press
 The Kindest Cut of All
Urban Gazette
 A Welcome for Refugees
Daily News
 Hanukkah Festivities
The New York Times
 Freedom For the Free
Algemeiner Journal
 9 Russian Jews Baptized
The Jewish Press
 A Nine Year Old Hero
Algemeiner Journal
 Rite for Jewish Males
New York Times
 FREE Services Russians
The Jewish Press
 A Rally of Their Own
The Jewish Week
 Sept. 11: One year later
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
 Russian Jews find home at center
The Cincinnati Post
 Interfaith and FREE celebrate 10,000 bris mila
New Directions (Interfaith Medical Center)
 Helping Hands
New York Newsday
 The Cutting Edge
Baltimore Jewish Times
 Benefit Concert For F.R.E.E.
The Jewish Press
 Rite of Passage
Waverley Council Mayor's Column
 The 10,000th Circumcision
The Flatbush Life
 And it was in the days of Achashveyrosh - Hebrew
Kfar Chabad Magazine
 The FREE organization - Hebrew
 FREE Publishing House - Hebrew
Kfar Chabad
 From Russia to Brooklyn... - Hebrew
 Celebration 85 - Yiddish
Algemeiner Journal
 FREE opens New Synagogue in Brighton Beach - Yiddish
Algemeiner Journal
 3000 Russian Immigrats at Purim Celebration - Yiddish
Algemeiner Journal
 Dinner of Friends of Refugees - Yiddish
Algemeiner Journal
 FREE - Friends of Russian Jewry - Yiddish
Kol Boro Park
 Report on The Dinner of The Friends of Refugees - Yiddish
Algemeiner Journal
 Reb Nocum Preger is Honored at FREE’s Dinner - Yiddish
Algemeiner Journal
 Much dancing at a joyfulness celebration - Yiddish
Algemeiner Journal
 Gold Chanuka - Russian
 Holiday for Torah in Crown Heights - Russian
Vecherniy New York
 Immigrants' Celebration - Russian
Novoye Russoe Slovo
 Yud Shvat - Russian
Novoye Russoe Slovo

About Us
F.R.E.E. Newsletter
Stay informed by subscribing to F.R.E.E.'s e-mail updates.
Site Tools
© 2003-2017 Cong. Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe. All rights reserved.