Immigration Papers

Joe Itkowitz Ellis Island papers.
Joe Itkowitz Ellis Island papers.

On May 28th, 1904, my four-year-old great-grandmother Ethel, born Raine Sass, immigrated to America from Lithuania. Ethel and her family immigrated to America because they were poor in Lithuania and wanted a better life. On June 12th, 1906, at the age of seven my great grandfather Joe, born Itzig Itzkowitz, immigrated to America from Poland. Joe and his family immigrated to America because the Jews were being forced to fight for the Russian Army and were being killed. Joe’s father left the army and brought his family to America to be safe. Both of my Great Grandparents’ fathers immigrated to America first to establish residency and then sent for their wives and children. My Great-Grandfather Joe, who I am named for, applied for citizenship 33 years after he immigrated here. My Great-Grandmother Ethel applied for citizenship 37 years after immigrating to America. My Great-grandparent's met when she came into his clothing store. My Great Grandparents lived in the Bronx where they raised my Grandpa Sy and my Great Aunt Mildred. My Great-Grandfather Joe owned a clothing store until the Great depression. He lost his store and became a dress cutter. My Great-Grandmother Ethel was a bookkeeper and took care of her children. Without my Great Grandparents coming to America I would not exist. My great-grandfather’s family who stayed in Poland were all killed in the holocaust. Their struggles as Jewish immigrants enabled me to have a stable life as a Jewish person.

Place(s): Poland, Lithuania, New York

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