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.
– Lauren Block