I have loved writing this memoir of my parents. While not a comprehensive Seidman family history, it is a reconstruction of my understanding of parts of my parents’ background in Ukraine, their coming to this country, and the life they made here, all told from my point of view as the youngest of four siblings. Because I waited so long to research and write it, there are times in my parents’ lives for which little hard information survives. In some parts of the memoir, in the honored tradition of the midrash, I have fleshed out what facts I had in a way that I think is true to those facts and to how I understand my parents’ characters. I have made it clear in the text when I have done so.
I used to ask my father what life was like for him in Russia. He would reply, “We were poor. We had nothing. America is the best country. What do you want to know for?” This book is my attempt to answer that question for myself and to tell the stories that lay behind his laconic answer.
Irv seidman, youngest child of Phillip and Fanny Seidman, is Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts Amherst. He lives with his wife, Linda, in Shutesbury, Massachusetts. They are the parents of Rachel F. and Ethan L. Seidman.