This slideshow requires Flash 8 or later



The Second Volume of "Individual Lives, Common Story" is published by the BGI Fellows

Individual Lives, Common Story, Volume 2, is a compilation of gripping memoirs from a select group of Russian Jews and their journeys from the Soviet Union to America. The stories in this book articulate the personal experiences of an oppressed group of people; the experiences that no history textbook can adequately depict. History books can list statistics of the casualty count in the battles of World War II and Stalin’s ruling period, but the true perspective of the Russian Jewry cannot be captured from numbers.

Stories of the immigration process and the counts of how many people immigrated to America do not strike the heart in the same way as the actual stories in this book. This book represents the eyes that watched the Soviet Union unfold, the eyes that witnessed World War II and the subsequent burst of anti-Semitism, the eyes in the west that refused to turn away from freeing Russian Jewry, and the eyes that cried when they were refused permission to leave the Soviet Union.

These are personal accounts from the Russian-Jewish people whose stories bring life to their experiences and to the Let My People Go movement: these are our people.


This scrapbook is a product of creativity and dedication of BGI Fellows who interviewed the residents of the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center.  Liz Zharovsky '15 and Julia Zaltsman '15 interviewed Alla and Savely Gurshman;  Allan Volf '15 interviewed Vladimir Bychkov, Daniel Koch '13 interviewed Clara Mints and Lisa Mankita Fay about her parents. Rachmil and Bella Mankita,  and Meir Alelov '15 who wrote the epilog.

Scrap book