Quick Click … From the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History



Mirla Adlerstein-1953-10-23-1-012For more than 130 years, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) has worked around the world to “protect refugees who had to flee their homeland because of who they are …”

Founded in 1881 to assist Jewish people who needed to leave Russia and Eastern Europe, HIAS has continued to grow as Jewish people faced riots and displacement internationally.

One of the many people HIAS has helped over the years is Polish-immigrant Mirla Adlerstein. In 1953, Adlerstein sent her children to the United States to grant them a better life and ensure that she could keep her family together. Because her children were Belgium-born, they were categorized under the Belgian quota, whereas she fell under the Polish quota.

Upon reuniting with her children after 18 months of separation, Adlerstein received quite the warm welcome as the JN noted in its Oct. 23, 1953, issue.

It is hard to imagine living away from one’s young children for so many months, but thanks to HIAS, the result was a most joyous and happy ending. Mrs. Adlerstein was finally able to keep her family together in Detroit!

By Meghan McGowan | Techner Family Fellow

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.


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