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Sofya Sara Esther Tamarkin

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Born in the Soviet Union, Sofya Sara Esther lives in Philadelphia, runs an orthopedic company, and holds an MBA degree. She teaches Torah, travels the world, and is involved with RAJE (Russian American Jewish Experience) and other outreach organizations. Email Sofya for questions about self-growth and achieving life purpose.
Some real-life stories are even more beautiful than fairy tales because they hold a spark of intrinsic truth within them.
My childhood could not have been more different from that of Nissim Black.
Learning From a Grieving Mother
I meditate on the idea that my baby is in a loving, nurturing and beautiful place. I imagine that every soul before birth chooses an earthly mother as a vehicle to this world. I am honored to have been part of my son’s journey.
When I read about the passing of comedian Jackie Mason, I was transported back to our first apartment in Philadelphia, where my family, recent immigrants from the Soviet Union, gathered near the old-fashioned television set with a dictionary at hand in an...
My grandmother, Zelda, was born in 1924 in a city called Samara in the former Soviet Union. Her mother died in childbirth when Zelda was just 3 years old. My grandmother’s older sister, Rachel, was 5, and the baby, Olga, named after their mother, was just...
True friendships and authentic connections can be life changing. But these invaluable bonds were particularly scarce during my early years in the former Soviet Union. My family tried so hard to fit in, but anti-Semitism created roadblocks. Jewish people w...
How a Newborn Was Embraced by Unconditional Love
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” (Psalms 133) In my childhood, I struggled with a sense of belonging. Perhaps due to the open anti-Semitism that we experienced in the Soviet Union, I never felt that I belo...
In Marrakesh, Morocco, despite a language barrier, we shared the most delicious Shabbat meals at the home of the Chabad family, connecting through smiles and songs.
I began to snap photos of the people on the street, even though it was clear that they didn’t want their pictures taken.
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