Growing Up Jewish in New York
Dov Zakheim: Well I’m from Brooklyn, New York. And clearly I was shaped by the fact that I’m a first generation American. My parents were immigrants. My mom and her family . . . my mom came when she was very, very young in 1921, 1922 timeframe – something like that – from the Ukraine. There was a Russian Civil War, the communists against the whites. My parents’ family . . . my mom’s family was caught up in the middle of it. Some of them were killed by the whites. Some of them were killed by the communists and they escaped. My dad, his family, he came from Lithuania. He was a leader of the Jewish community there. He was actually legal counsel. And he was tipped off that when the Soviets moved in – this was before the Nazis attacked Russia in 1941 . . . this was 1940 – that he was on the KGB – or then it was called the NKVD – hit list because he was a leading anti-communist. So he escaped literally one step ahead of the NKVD across the Soviet Union, spent six years at a war in China, and then came in 1947. So . . . and he lost two sisters, and he lost his parents to the Nazis. And so I was fashioned by that . . . the fact that there was just so much blood that had been spilled in my immediate family that both of my parents were immigrants. They worshipped the United States. I was really brought up on God and country. I’m an orthodox Jew. I’m a sixteenth generation rabbi. My son is now the seventeenth generation, one of my sons. None of our family for the last umpty-ump hundred years has practiced as a rabbi. My father was a lawyer as I mention. But we believe in religious values. So on the one hand we have God, and on the other hand we have this wonderful country that had made a home for both of my parents who obviously would probably never have met if it hadn’t been for the United States. Because they met here, which probably meant I wouldn’t have been here.
Recorded on: 7/2/07
Zakheim talks about his parents' escape from the Ukraine and Lithuania.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.
- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.