The journey of the Jewish diaspora has had an immense impact on the development of modern world politics, economics and culture. Many modern Jews can trace their roots back to distant lands far from their current home. These journeys permeate generations, passed down through treasured stories, objects and photographs. Where did your family's journey begin? What is your diaspora story? Share your journey below and include a family photograph, home video or image of a special heirloom that represents your own Story of the Jews.

Ellen Lerner

Rochester, NY, United States

I wish I had more of a story. Neither of my parents spoke much about their parents or their own childhoods. My grandparents on both sides came from Russia before 1900 to escape the Csar. I met my maternal grandfather maybe once when I was about 4 shortly before he died. I did know my paternal grandfather (and wife from a 2nd marriage) when we lived in the same city for a short time when I was a baby and child.. Never met my birth grandmothers. My parents were from good size families. My mother said her parents ran from the Csar and hid their first child in a barrel to escape, They had 7 more children in the states. My father was one of four. A cousin of my father’s still living in the Adorondacks and she is over 100. Her part of the family settled in that area. My mother’s immediate family went to New England. All my aunts and uncles and my parents are now gone. I have tried to search my ancestry but have hardly made a dent. I have very few pictures of my grandparents. The one here if it posts is of my maternal grandparents. I have a lot of 1st cousins from ages 50 to 80 or there-abouts. I have connected with some of the on FB. We live in different parts of the country and I for one am not much of a traveler so I don’t see them. My husband has done a little research on his grandparents who also came from Russia and Ukraine. He found some information but hasn’t gotten to far with it. I was an only child and we have 5 adult children, unmarried and no grandchildren as of yet and I have no expectations at this point. My view of Judaism is growth and expansion and I’m not sure that message was transmitted to my children at least some of them. It is a whole different world today.

My Journey
Russia & Latvia Rochester, NY, United States