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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives

INTERVIEWEE:                  IRINA NIKISHIN

INTERVIEWER:                 SANDY BERMAN

LOCATION:                        ATLANTA, GEORGIA

DATE:                                 UNKOWN

Transcript (PDF)

Biography

Irina Nikishin was born in Moscow, Russia in 1953. She was the youngest of two children in the family. Her father was an engineer and her mother was an aesthetician. The mother had originally wanted to become a doctor; however, the start of World War II had prevented her from completing her medical school studies. Irina has an older brother named Mark who also became an engineer.

Scope of Interview

Irina describes her childhood as a relatively typical Russian working-class upbringing, however when she started attending school there were certain incidents of anti-Semitism especially from the other students. After graduating from high school Irina studied at the Foreign Linguistics Institute in Moscow where she studied to become a schoolteacher of English as a foreign language. When she was nineteen years old, she met and married her husband Vladimir Nikishin who was also an engineer. Her daughter Olga was born shortly after that. In 1978 she and her husband had made the decision to emigrate to the United States. After a long process she and the family were finally allowed to leave Russia and enter the U. S. Her parents, brother Mark and Mark’s wife emigrated the next year. Currently Irina works as the Immigrant Resettlement Director at the Jewish Family and Career Services (the same organization that had helped resettle her and her family). She and her husband Vladimir (now known as Val) live in Atlanta While her daughter Olga lives in New York City.

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