Ellis Island & Menorah

My great grandmother's name at Ellis Is.
My great grandmother's name at Ellis Is.

 My great grandmother, Bubby Libby, immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900 from Belarus where she was escaping persecution towards Jews. When she arrived, she passed through Ellis Island where her name, Elizabeth Biermann, is memorialized on the American Immigrant Wall of Honor. In the first photo, my children are pointing to their great-great-grandmother's name. When I look at this picture, I consider the sacrifices their relatives made in coming to a new country and the pride they would feel if they knew that their descendents honored them in this way. My children are also the children of an immigrant. Their father's immigration story from the Dominican Republic is very different and in this way they represent so many waves of immigration into the United States. 
Although I do not practice Judaism, it is an important part of my heritage. This year I celebrated Hanukkah with my children and taught them the traditional prayers.  Although Judaism does not really represent my religious upbringing, I am very proud to be able to share this tradition that was important enough to bring my family across the ocean in search of freedom and safety. In this picture are artifacts of my very diverse cultural backgrounds: the menorah, the Christmas tree, latkes and eggnog.  This picture represents not just my diverse and unique upbringing, but also that of many others in the United States who bring and hold on to so many beautiful customs and traditions from all over the world. 

Place(s): New York, Belarus, Annapolis
Year: 1905

– Tema E.

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