A Baby Without A Country

"I think that I've always seen being here as a very lucky thing." 

Ivy A.

Jenny Yurshansky: Immigrated from Moldova, Soviet Union

December 16, 2019

When asking Ms. Yurshansky where she emigrated from, it’s more complicated than a simple city or town. For most people that immigrated, it is more complicated as well. Yurshansky’s family were originally refugees from Moldova, Soviet Union. Their first plan was to go to Israel, but Yurshansky’s parents decided at the last minute to go to the United States. Yurshansky was born in Rome, Italy, where her parents waited while they tried to get a visa for the United States of America. Technically Yurshansky was born stateless, meaning she didn’t have a citizen in any country. Once her parents became refugees, they gave up their citizenships and rights in the Soviet Union.

Her family felt the need to leave the Soviet Union because, as a Jew, her family’s rights were lesser than a typical citizen.  “My mom had really wanted to study medicine, she wanted to study to become a doctor, but because she was Jewish that means that not as many Jews would be accepted into University” Her family never had the same opportunities as Jews did in America, which is why her family decided to come to the U.S. 


When I asked her how this has affected her life, she discussed how much more appreciation she has for her opportunities than she thinks she would have if she had grown up without that story. “I think that I’ve always seen being here as a very lucky thing.” Yurshansky said, I think that kind of summed up her feelings on the matter. Yurshansky talks about how she thinks a lot about what it would have been like if she had not been able to come to the U.S. She also discusses how she is so grateful that she got the privileges here so she feels the need to defend other people’s rights so they can get privileges too.