How have you adjusted to your life here? What does it mean to live in a new place?

Visitor Voices

  1. When I first moved to New York and started a new school, I was afarid that I would not be able to adapt to the new environment. I had to make new friends, and learn new curriculum. I came from Iraq, but thankfully, I already spoke English.


  2. When I first came to New York, I wanted to adapt very quickly. I signed up to learn English right away. It took a long time, but I didn’t care – it was worth it. There is such a huge difference between the US, especially NY, and your home. You have more choices and the quality of everything is better here. The possibilities are endless. When I go visit family, I always ask myself “How did I live here?”


  3. Leslie Fried, formerly Moonitz, born in Israel 1950, arrived in Queens, NY from London, 1956

    One of my earliest memories was getting my mouth washed out with soap after repeating a word I saw written on a wall in Bayside, Queens. In England I had attended a very proper boarding school. I also went to movies for the forst time and began to have nightmares about creatures from outer space. I was confused in school by Roman numerals which looked like some secret coded gobbledy-gook. I was also pint-sized and shy compared to moreoutgoing large American children. I also wasn’t accustomed to being called a”dirty Jew.”

    Leslie Moonitz Fried

  4. To make money my uncles gambled. They couldn’t repay the money owed. This was an era of gamblers who became afiliated with a politictal party. The politicians bought their votes by giving the people $2 called walk around money. There was no beauty, no trees, no parks for recreation. Kids played in the athetic parks of the streets filled with pushcarts.

    bonnie cytron

  5. I adapted quickly due to me mastering the English language. Everyone understands me and my brother, though they don’t always understand my mother with her German accent.


  6. It took some time for the adaption process to occur! It seems to be okay after all this time! Lots of good luck to the others who try to adapt and adjust and get used to new places and people and other environments!

    Alex Tsukernik

  7. When i first arrived in America, my mother, who had been living here for a long time – maybe 10 years, told me about 2 Brothers Pizza… Who could of thought you could get 2 slices of pizza AND a can of soda for ONLY $2.75?????

    Julian Michaels

  8. Immigrants are brave souls, they leave behind all that they know: parents, sisters, brothers, other relatives and friends, language and culture; they leave behind their country. It is very daunting endeavor when you think of it. Would I, would you have the courage to leave everything we know for an uncertain future in some other county? To a large extent, immigrants see the promise fulfilled through their children. They face the same obstacles and suffer through the same hardships all immigrants experience: discrimination, intolerance, distrust, suspicion, lack of understanding, lack of compassion; it’s a fearsome rite of passage, a necessary dues – paying gauntlet all immigrants seem to accept with impassive equanimity. To their credit, immigrants stoically endure, for their children; like Moses, they glimpse the Promised Land but do not really enter into it; in many ways, it was always too late for them. It is, rather, for their children and their children’s children to reap the full rewards of the promise.

    I pay tribute and will forever be thankful to my parents and the countless number of immigrant parents who “gave the last full measure of devotion,” to their children, who dared to dream, who had the foresight and courage to wrest a better chance at life from poverty and despair.


    Jose G. Correa, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1952

  9. I have changed my lifestyle over time. Now I have taken life more seriously than I used to and I am trying my best to be the best I can, to accommodate the opportunities this country has in store for me. Living in a new environment means a lot to me. I have to adopt the way people dress, they way they speak and other ways of communicating. I used to speak English but with a different accent. Sometimes I have repeat myself more than thrice before people understand me.

    I have taken US as my home. I have met new friends who are more caring and understanding. I have changed into a new personality which my old friends will have a hard time trying to figure it out. This feeling began at school and upgraded when I started working with the Museum of Jewish Heritage.


    David Amankwah, Accra, Ghana, Arrived US 2006

  10. Today I am privileged to enjoy dual citizenship, cook traditional Yemenite food, speak Hebrew to my children, read Hebrew newspapers, and practice the Jewish faith. America in contrast to other countries, for the most part, feels stronger though its absorption of varied immigrants.

    Dganit Katz-Yefet, Rehovot, Israel, Arrived US 1985

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