Star of David Necklace

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

This Star of David was given to me on my Bat Mitzvah by by grandfather. Having immigrated from Iraq, Azerbejan, Palestine and then to Queens in the 1950s with my family, it had been a long journey for him to finally see his only granddaughter on such an important day. As a jeweler, these small necklaces had always been given as gifts on particularly special occasions. Usually, the items were small, silver or gold - nowhere near the diamonds I had received in this necklace. Having immigrated with very little, my father always emphasized the importance of holding on to these small valuable keep-sakes, and noted their ability to be easily concealed. He always reminded me often of how frequently his parents had to move, both legally and illegally, due to their identities. These items were not only important as tokens of our identity, but also as a way to ensure some financial security in the lives of an group of people that have otherwise not been afforded the security of tolerance. I understood the stereotypes that this survival tactic had culminated to in our contemporary world - we have all faced it and struggled with acceptance at some point in all our lives. This necklace however, reminded me of our resilience; just like it's diamonds, we too succeeded under tremendous pressure. This small symbol of our growth not only reminds me of our progress as a family, but the progress we as Jewish people have made in not only surviving, but succeeding. 

Year: 1956

– Esther Levy

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant