Photo of Great-Grandfather

Relationship: unknown

My family object is a picture of my great grandfather standing in front of a Hospital. It is a staple in my family and represents the enormous achievements he accomplished despite the large struggles. He was an immigrant from Russia, who came to the United States when he was very young during the late 1800s to early 1900s. His family and him left Russia because it was a very bad time for Jewish people. In Russia they were forced to live in extremely bad conditions, and were faced with violence. The job market was also not friendly to Jewish people. He settled in Brooklyn with his family. His name was originally Lazar Reff, and later changed it once he came to America to Louis Raff. He thought by changing his name he would sound more American and therefore have a higher chance of landing a job. His dream was to become a doctor, but found no one would higher him because of his immigrant background and because he was Jewish. He never gave up on his American dream, and because he couldn’t find a job, he decided to open up his own hospital located in Flushing Queens known as Parsons Hospital. He was able to live comfortably in America because his father owned a candy store but in the back of the store he operated a loan shark business. He would loan money to those who could not get loans from the bank. As immigrants, they found unique ways to make money due to their limited opportunities.

Year: 1920

– Lauren Block

Relationship:  unknown unknown