from left to right, my Mom Audrey, Al, Elaine, Sara Ring, Great grandparents Peter and Rachel Piltch
My great grandmother Rachel came to this country with my grandmother Sara, who was her only child in the early 1920's to escape the pogroms in Kiev. Sara was born in 1912. Rachel's husband, Peter Piltch came several years ahead to set up life in the states and be able to sponsor them. Legend has it that my grandmother and great-grandmother had to hide in the forest with aid of a non-Jewish family until they could escape to the U.S. once they received money to travel. They both entered the country through Ellis Island and to commemorate this we have a plaque dedicated to Rachel. Rachel lived to be over 100 years old and received a letter from President Gerald Ford when she reached this milestone.
As a child I was extremely close with my Grandmother and Great-grandmother. I would spend weekends at their house in Cambridge where Rachel lived with Al and Sarah until she was close to her late 90s and then had to move to the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Roslindale. Rachel was very sharp and warned me about boys before I left for college. She told me to watch out for the ones who said they wanted to come back to my room to study. She said they may really want to do more than study. She was in her 90s at the time of this advise but knew what was going on.
My grandmother Sara was very involved in B'nai B'rith and other civic organizations. I always remember seeing T'zdakah boxes around her house to raise money for charity. In fact I have kept and still use one of her boxes today to donate. Both she and Rachel were very progressive for their ages and adapted well to American life.
Sara was a great cook and baker. Although she brought many recipes from her homeland she mastered the all American dessert and made the BEST apple pie I ever tasted. To this day I am in search of one that is comparable but so far have not had much luck. (I have even tried to recreate it using her rolling pin and recipe).
My Aunt had four boys and my Mom, a girl (me) and a son. Since my Aunt never had a girl, she treated me as her surrogate daughter whenever she came to visit our family from Philadelphia. She taught me many of the finer things in life including a love of reading, cooking, travel, jewelry, bargain hunting for designer clothing, and enjoying casino visits. She was also very involved in local civic organizations and had a voice to be listened too. In many ways she was a large role model and influence on many of the things I enjoy today.
Wendy is a realtor with Coldwell Banker Needham. She loves to read, blog, walk her dog Delilah, cook and travel. She looks forward to spending vacation time with her family, who are all dispersed from her nest as the summer approaches and will share some special photos on Instagram.