After being a refusenik for nine years in Russia, and finally being granted permission to leave, you and Papa left your family and all that was familiar to come to America for a better life. You re-trained professionally, overcame many obstacles, found community, and built a new life for us.
I am inspired by your ability to focus on the future despite the daily hardships and challenges and to adapt to new situations and embrace new opportunities at every turn.
You have taught me how important it is to surround yourself with supportive women and to bring people together whether to celebrate Chanuka, host a Shabbat meal or for a fun girls night out—and at the same time, extend an invitation to the newcomer.
Thank you for making the hardest decision of your life and for the countless sacrifices both big and small to allow us to have a life of freedom.
Looking forward to celebrating this anniversary and making a L’chaim together on Thanksgiving!
You can also honor someone important in your life by selecting a "We Celebrate Tribute" in the JWA store.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Elena Pittel." (Viewed on September 25, 2018) <https://jwa.org/wecelebrate/pittel-elena>.