Mezuzah Necklace

A necklace my father gave me years ago holds great meaning to me. The necklace, a gold chain with a mezuzah pendant, was very special to my father. Growing up as a Jewish man in the Soviet Union, my father Igor was never able to practice his faith or express his spirituality. He had this gold necklace given to him by his own father as a teenager, but was never able to wear it. His mother made sure he never wore it, leaving it at home in a safe place instead. Immigrating to America was my father’s biggest success and proudest moment. One thing he always points out to me when talking about immigrating to the country with barely any possessions was this new opportunity to wear a necklace he had always wanted to wear. He felt proud to be a Jewish immigrant from Ukraine. In America, he wore the necklace for years, never taking it off, as it became a symbol of luck and success for him. He opened up his own photo-shop business in Manhattan while my mother took medical board exams as they started to create a life for themselves in America. Years later, my father took off his necklace for the first time, giving it to me on the morning of my SATs. Now this necklace symbolizes luck and hope for me too. My father not only passed down the chain to me, but it’s meaning as well.

Year: 1979

– Francesca

Relationship:  unknown unknown