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What Russian Jewrys Friends Are Doing

By Dr. Harold Nirenberg

What I recently experienced will be difficult to ever forget. The hall, on that Sunday afternoon, was filled with newly arrived Jewish families from Soviet Russia and her satellites. Fathers and sons were seated the men’s section, mothers and daughters in the other. The entire atmosphere was friendly and ”heimish”. No! This was no ordinary dinner or official banquet with empty ceremonies and put-on speeches of greeting. This was a great and warm gathering arranged for recent arrivals from the Soviet lands by the ” Friends of the Refugees of Eastern Europe”.

This was the third such gettogether arranged by the “friends”, with the specific purpose of instilling in these new arrivals a feeling for the warmth of Judaism; its fraternal closeness; a feeling that could easily be swept away in the swift and wild under­current of American life. In the confused cultural climate of present day America, it is easy to understand how recent refugees from Russian servtude, even those who struggled successfully to maintain their spark of Jewishness under the most terrifying conditions, are nevertheless completely unprepared for the frightening temptations and harsh realities of our “good and free” America.

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