My name is Jerry Krivitzky.

My name is Jerry Krivitzky. I am 55 years old. I live in New Jersey in America. 
I have two fathers. One I hardly knew and the other I know very little about. I think it is possible my Krivitzky father's family is from the Ukraine, but I am not sure. It is also possible they are from Minsk in Belarus or Bialystock in Poland. 
I just don't know and there is no one for me to ask.  

My mother's family is from Hungary. She has told me a few things about them, but doesn't really talk about any of her relatives. she never has.  Growing up, extended family was not a big or important part of my life. Now, as a parent of two children, I see that this is really unfortunate. While I do feel a connection to my past, it is not specific to indiviuals. It is a connection to a collective past of Eastern European Jews who struggled, prospered, and struggled again before fleeing to America. 

I sometimes imagine a great grandfather or grandmother on a ship arrivinig at Ellis Island in New York. I imagine their early life in a new and strange place. Their difficulty and challeneges as well as their hopes and dreams. i imagine them thinking forward, thinking about me and my sisters - and my children too. They made the sacrficies they did knowing they would never benefit from them, but their children and their children and their children would. 
It reminds of the story in the Talmud about Yoni, who plants a carob tree knowing that it takes 75 years for the fruit to be edible. Because they did all this for me, i wish i knew their story. So I now do my best to make sure my children know my story and I hope they will tell it to their children and so on. Every family tree must start somewhere. New trees start from a leaf or a branch that falls to the ground and its sprouts take root in the ground. Like Yoni, I will never know if my tree will bear good fruit, but that won't stop me from planting and nurturing.