Yeva Novik

A 90-year-old Coney Island resident recounts her journey from Moscow to Southern Brooklyn

This interview was conducted and recorded in Russian. Read Julia Kanin's transcript and translation below. Интервью проведено и записано на русском языке. Вы можете ознакомиться с траснскриптом и переводом Юлии Ханиной ниже.

Yeva Novik, 90, an immigrant from Moscow living in Coney Island, tells the story of how she came to have two first names. She had to prove that Yeva and Iokha were the same person by getting a ruling from a judicial panel of the Supreme Court of the Soviet Union to obtain a passport. She recalls the nightmare of life during World War II, when she was an adolescent, and the beginning of anti-Semitism. After a period when all emigration was halted for ten years, Yeva and her family, including her daughter Natasha Lvovich, managed to get permission to leave.

After traveling through Vienna and Italy, Yeva and her family settled in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, where their closest friends had moved years before. Yeva graduated from Touro College, where she also worked in the registar's office before retiring to care for her ailing husband. "One day I canceled Russian television, I don’t have it anymore, I have only American television. Only. For a very, very long time, many, many years," says Yeva. "I started to learn the language on my own. I can't say that I've made great progress, but I read absolutely freely, absolutely. As a general rule, I can translate what I read as well."