From Plotzk to Boston: A Young Girl’s Journey from Russia to the Promised Land

From Plotzk to Boston was written while the memory of the journey was still fresh, when Mary Antin was just 13 years old. She describes her family’s frightening and exciting journey to America in the 1890s. Like thousands of other Russian-Jewish immigrants, she and her family had to secretly cross the Russian border and travel through Germany to the port of Hamburg before embarking for the New World. Written while the memory was still vivid in her mind, this straightforward and ingenuous narrative mirrors the experiences of many of our grandparents or great-grandparents.

In America, Mary Antin, author, went on to become a noted activist for Jewish and women’s rights and a personal friend of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Pamela S. Nadell, editor, of American University, is the author of Women Who Would Be Rabbis: A History of Women’s Ordinations, 1880–1985.