From The Peopling of New York City

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Who I Am

I was born and live in New York. I went to a religious school in my neighborhood from preschool through high school, where we learned religious studies in the morning and general studies in the afternoon. After high school I went to a full time religious school in Israel for two years. I continue to involve myself in religious studies when I can, although my curriculum in computer engineering now takes up most of my time. I'm interested in computers and technology in general, and I enjoy working with computers, including programming and Photoshop. My past hobbies include card tricks, origami, juggling, and chess. I am a member of the Jewish immigrant group of CHC seminar 2, where I found the textbook readings from All the Nations Under Heaven surprisingly interesting, although somewhat repetitive.

Where I'm From

My ancestors on both my parents’ sides came from Eastern Europe. At the turn of the twentieth century my father’s great-grandparents left their home in Odessa, fleeing from religious and ethnic persecution. They came to the U. S. through Galveston, TX, and spread across the Midwest to Colorado, Kansas and Missouri. My father came to New York for college, attracted by the large Jewish population, and ended up staying. My mother’s father was born in 1921 in Baranovitch, Poland. When my grandfather was about eight years old, his father couldn’t make a living, so the whole family moved to South Africa. He later moved to Israel, and then to New York. My maternal grandmother was born in Harlem, a Jewish neighborhood at the time. She went to Israel as a young woman, where she married my grandfather, and returned to New York with him in 1959.

New York and I

Having always lived in New York, it feels like home to me because I've never lived anywhere else. Although I do like the city, it's mainly because of the convenience and accessiblility of everything I need, from supermarkets to doctors to recreation. Although the city can be an exciting place, it does not have much value to me aside from the aforementioned practical benefits. I would like to continue living in the greater New York area, mainly because of the large Jewish population (the largest in the world outside Israel), but not necesssarily in the city, as the suburbs have advantages to offer as well. In short, I take most things for granted because I've always been here, and consequently do not see New York with the same wonder that many other people do. (I do admit, however, that the Manhattan skyline is a sight to see from the George Washington Bridge.)