A Stone from the Past

This geological artifact was handed down to me from my great uncle, Efim Rubinstein, who was a hidden figure in Russia’s race to space. He was an army pilot and a mathematics prodigy who helped orchestrate Yuri Gagarin’s— Russia’s first man in space— mission in 1961. Due to his Jewish ethnicity, his accomplishments were not openly recognized by the Soviet government. Despite being equally, if not overly qualified, he was not permitted to rise in ranks unlike his non-Jewish comrades. An army pilot as well, my great uncle often collected artifacts he found during his assignments. He found this geological rock sample, which he later carved and polished, during one of his flight missions to Mount Ararat in Igdir, Turkey. Notably, Mount Ararat was the site where explorers claimed to have found Noah’s Ark in 2010. This rock symbolizes his innovative, curious, and pioneering spirit in the face of adversity. 

Year: 1994

– Daniella Lorman

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more