[Book Review] Find Home: In the Footsteps of the Jewish Fusgyers by Jill Culiner

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By Jill Culiner

An 1866 change to the constitution of Romania eliminated the right to citizenship for all non-Christians, leaving Romanian Jews with limited rights. On-going anti-semitism across Europe eventually made it necessary for Jews to immigrate away from Europe. By the early 1900s, a group of Romanian Jews, known by the Yiddish name of Fusgeyers, which means “wayfairer” organized themselves into groups in order to immigrate first to western Europe and, eventually the United States and Canada. Fusgeyers were generally very poor but, by organizing, they were able to pool resources in order to afford immigrating.

Jill Culiner’s book retraces the Fusgeyers’ journey, exploring European culture, and the life lived by this lesser-known group of Jews.

Culiner’s work is intriguing as she explores the past and present of Jewish life in Europe. The author’s prose brings this story to life as she retraces the steps of a group of people who include her own ancestors. This is a group who were faced with incredible odds in seeking a more prosperous life in a more tolerant place. The writing is incredibly poignant and does the important work of shedding light on potentially forgotten history within the Jewish community of Eastern Europe.

This is a fascinating read for anyone interested in genealogy and history. I’d like to thank the author for the free copy of the book I received in exchange for my honest review.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

More About the Author

Born in New York, raised in Toronto, Jill Culiner set out to have a life of adventure and discovery, not one of security and comfort. She has since crossed much of Europe on foot, travelled, by bus, train, car or truck throughout North and Central America, Europe and the Sahara, has lived in a Hungarian mud house, a Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave dwelling, on a Dutch canal, a lonely, and a very haunted stone house on the English moors. Such a lifestyle has meant staying flexible and taking up any sort of work that presents itself: belly dancer, fortune teller, b-girl, translator, fashion model, story teller, radio broadcaster, actress, social critical artist, photographer and writer. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest and protects all creatures, especially spiders and snakes. She particularly loves incorporating into short stories, mysteries, narrative non-fiction, and romances, her experiences in out-of-the way communities with their strange characters, and very odd conversations.
Web sites: www.jill-culiner.com and www.j-arleneculiner.com
Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/j-arlene-culiner

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