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J-Talks presents…Gitel’s Story: The Inarticulate Speaks

Tuesday, June 4 @ 1:00 pm 2:00 pm

Featuring Howard Bass, interviewed by author and contributing editor to The Atlantic, Burt Solomon

“Gitel’s Story” is a memoir of a Jewish woman’s journey from the Russian Empire to America, written by her daughter and transcribed and edited by her great nephew. It is a first-hand account which channels the voice of Gitel Goldstein Sbarow. The story begins in the town of Savran, Ukraine, where Gitel was born in 1869, and ends in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1941. Gitel endured the 1905 Odessa pogrom, the death of her 2-year-old daughter en route to America in 1906, and the premature death of her beloved husband, Reuben, three years later. In Indianapolis, IN, she raised five children while operating a grocery store and later a boardinghouse before moving to Cleveland in 1915 to be closer to her descendants.

While this story is far from unique—many early 20th century immigrants’ lives followed a similar pattern—Clara Wollin’s documentation of her family’s experiences is a rare first-person account of the immigrant experience. Shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Howard Bass brought the languishing memoir to life, enhancing it with family photos, documents, family trees, and additional relevant images from the Russian Empire and the New World. A book sale and signing will take place post-presentation and Q&A.

This is a story that will resonate with many – those whose roots come from the Pale of Settlement and those who are following the devastating war in Ukraine.

Ages 18+

$10 includes light refreshments
Questions? Contact:

Adult Enrichment

Shari Berman



Pozez Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia

8900 Little River Turnpike
Fairfax, VA 22031
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