When he traveled to Soviet Union in 1990 the last thing my father expected to see was a statue of his great-grandmother's first cousin, Sholom Aleichem. He was traveling with a group of college students, and they stopped in the Jewish autonomous region Birobidzhan. They were greeted by a community who revered Russian writers and artists. They couldn't believe my father when he told them about his relation to Sholom Aleichem. "In America, nobody cares that your ancestor wrote stories about a man named Tevye, but these guys couldn't believe it," my father told me. "They told me they had heard that a relative of Sholom Aleichem was in town and were surprised and excited when I told them it was me." They were so excited about meeting him, in fact, that one of the men gifted him this mask. I have seen this mask sitting on my family's books shelf for my entire life but I never knew it was inspired by the face of Sholom Aleichem, my great-great-grandmother's cousin.
– Kate Sherwin