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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.
It was surreal walking into my Aunt Vera’s apartment after her death.
When I feel empty in my pain, not capable of uttering a word despite my sincere desire to pray, I think of my beloved Aunt Vera.
Some non-Jewish neighbors called us ‘dirty Jews,’ and I felt that we were different.
I stood in awe of the people who knew exactly what was happening. Everyone seemed at ease, familiar with each step of the ceremony.
A few years ago, my husband and I attended a winter festival in Quebec City and stayed in the famous Ice Hotel, “Hotel de Glace.” When we read about this unusual lodging in French Canada, I was mesmerized by the idea of a structure, including all the furn...
When Marina was pregnant, the KGB agents made us aware that if we did not give up our fight, neither Marina nor our future child would survive the labor.
Julia’s diagnosis didn’t discourage her from studying Torah, as well as learning and observing Jewish customs. She believed that each day offers an opportunity to get closer to G‑d, family and friends.
Can you imagine what it was like to meet my savior all those decades later?
As we approach the end of the calendar year, I am often asked, “Why do Soviet Jews buy evergreen trees for New Year’s?”
It’s not often that we learn of the complexity of someone’s circumstances or what role we play in seemingly random occurrences.
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