Letters From Rifka Book Report

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Letters From Rifka by Karen Hesse is about a Jewish girl named Rifka, who knows nothing about America when she flees from Russia in 1919. In her own imagination, she will be at last safe from the Russian soldiers and their harsh treatment of the Jews in the new country. However, Rifka caught ring worm when their family were transferring from Poland to America. Therefore, she was told to stay in Europe until she was totally cured. After dealing the disease, Rifka was finally allowed to continue her journey. “Why is it, that in Russia, no matter what the trouble, the blame always falls upon the Jews?” Rifka wrote in her diary. As the novel progresses, Rifka learns that when there is a will, there’s a way. At the beginning of the novel, Rifka’s parents decide to move their family from Russia because they were being persecuted along with all Jewish citizens. At that time it was difficult to get papers permitting Jewish people to leave the country. Rifka writes, “I’ve never been to another country before, not even in another village.” Rifka knows nothing about the world outside her village. Unfortunately, a complicating factor was that Rifka’s brother was being hunted by soldiers because he escaped from the army. As a result, in order for Rifka and her family to depart…show more content…
Rifka is given the choice of sleeping in a baby crib or in a bed with someone she does not know. The immigration officials are afraid that they may have infectious diseases. Rifka had experienced ring worm in Europe. Despite it being cured, the doctors decides to hold her. When it is Rifka’s turn to be inspected, she pulls away. She challenges the doctor by asking what good hair was when it is more important that she is clever enough to have learned to speak English in three weeks time. The doctor is impressed. She also convinces him that she is a good worker. She is finally approved to stay in

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