“My name is Yuri Zuzin,” he began, “but you can just call me George.”
“Did you always know that you were Jewish?” I asked.
“When I was 14 years old, some of my friends called me a jid (kike). I never heard the word before, and didn’t know why they were calling me that. So I asked my mother. She told me that we were Jews and that we should not feel bad about it. On the contrary, it is something special.
“That was about the extent of my involvement in Judaism during communism. It wasn’t until after the fall of the Iron Curtain that I started coming to the synagogue.”
“Is there a message you’d like to give the youth in the community?” I asked.
“Don’t forget who you are and never be ashamed of it. We don’t live in the Soviet times anymore.”