father arrived in the early 1950s as a refugee from Eastern Europe, one of only two members of his family to escape the turmoil there. His possessions were contained in a shoebox. All ties to his past were completely severed, and he never saw his homeland again.
Like other children of immigrants, I was left to navigate my way through American schools with little guidance from my parents, who had spent their youth in war-torn Europe. My brother and I, raised bilingual, grew up with our feet planted in two cultures, not knowing where we belonged. Not until age 12 did I decide that I was an American.