Stories from the Community

If you or your family have stories about the Soviet Jewish experience that you're interested in sharing, please contact us at info@wsjhs.org.


Bobbie Stern


Dina Tanners

"I have cousins [Zoya Gisburg Garburg and her family] in Israel, now in Kiryat Biyalik for for many years in Kiryat Shmona, who came to Israel in 1991. My father's first cousin - Zoya's father - and his wife visited Seattle in 1989, but my extended family could not get them visas to come to the US, so they went to Israel. They have been hard-working and raised two daughters and now have 5 grandchildren and another on the way.

I found out on a recent trip that they credit coming to Israel with Zoya and her daughter being alive. They were close to Chernobyl and have serious thyroid problems which were only treated seriously after their arrival in Israel...

I visited refuseniks in May of 1989, with Judy Balint giving us names of people to visit. It was a few months after Julie Morris of Spokane had gone. She was visibly followed to shake her up, though I was not."

Zoya and her older daughter Gala Garburg received special medical treatment in Israel because of what they had suffered by being close to Chernobyl. Gala is a nurse working on her Ph D, married with three children. The younger daughter, Ola, is married with two sons and a daughter on the way. Both daughters live in Harish. Zoya and Boris moved to Kiryat Bialik several years ago from Kiryat Shmona, where Boris worked for Teva Pharmaceuticals and Zoya at Hamashbir. 

Yosef was my father's [Sid Nelson] first cousin, and also first cousin to his sisters Sara Efron and Gussie Stusser, both very active in the Seattle Jewish community. 


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