Thursday, January 16, 2014

Former Soviet Refugee Gives Back

This man and his property management company are helping refugees the same way he and his family were helped 23 years ago as refugees, themselves.    - - Donna Poisl

Posted by HIAS – NY

Twenty-three years on, Roman C., 30, a former Jewish refugee from Moldova, still remembers his first time at an arcade in the U.S., staring longingly at the “insert a coin” slot on a video game message and knowing he couldn’t possibly afford to play. A woman came over and handed him a quarter. “I was completely baffled by the act of kindness,” he says. The memory has always stayed with him.

When Roman was only seven years old, he and his family fled religious persecution in the former Soviet Union to begin a new life in the U.S. With only $600 and two pieces of luggage per person, the family of four traveled from Kishinev, Moldova to Buffalo, New York.

From day one, Roman found many things strange. “Not having to ask for official permission for every little thing; having colored pencils at school; teachers not being allowed to hit you; having to change clothes every day; and, of course, the enormous supermarkets full of so many different kinds of food …” were all amazing to him.
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