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A Jewish Refugee in New York: Rivke Zilberg’s Journal
by Kadya Molodovsky
Translated by Anita Norich
Format: PaperbackRivke Zilberg, a 20-year-old Jewish woman, arrives in New York shortly after the Nazi invasion of Poland, her home country. Struggling to learn a new language and cope with a different way of life in the United States, Rivke finds herself keeping a journal about the challenges and opportunities of this new land. In her attempt to find a new life as a Jewish immigrant in the US, Rivke shares the stories of losing her mother to a bombing in Lublin, jilting a fiancé who has made his way to Palestine, and a flirtatious relationship with an American “allrightnik.” In this fictionalized journal originally published in Yiddish, author Kadya Molodovsy provides keen insight into the day-to-day activities of the large immigrant Jewish community of New York. By depicting one woman’s struggles as a Jewish refugee in the US during WWII, Molodovsky points readers to the social, political, and cultural tensions of that time and place.