Interview Took Place With Abigail Mckenney Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1513 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

¶ … interview took place with Abigail McKenney who was born in Israel and then migrated to the United States when she was fifteen years old. Abigail lived in Herzliya Pituach. Herzliya Pituach is considered an upper middle class community. The town has approximately 84,000 persons (The best places 2010). Unlike some of the other areas of Israel many of the homes in the area worth millions of dollars, this community is considered as one of the best places in Israel to live. Another interesting aspect of the city is that there are excellent restaurants providing exquisite local and international cuisine.

Abigail immigrated to the United States with her mother and younger brother. The move to the United States became necessary as she was accepted into New York University to study computational biology. Computational biology integrates mathematics and biological systems (Computational biology 2011). This course requires that students utilize complex mathematical models to explain biological phenomena. This particular discipline was of interest to her because it is a unique fusion of two elements that she loves. Her initial thoughts were to do something in physics but when she saw the offerings at NYU, this course of study jumped out at her.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Term Paper on Interview Took Place With Abigail Mckenney Who Assignment

Interviewing Abigail was an exciting experience since she was young and provided a wealth of useful information. She remembers a lot about the "old country" and seems nostalgic about her return to Israel someday soon. It is interesting to me the type of attachment that individuals have for their home country while living in another locality. I believe that even though she is attempting to be an American in practice and norms she is still very Jewish. One of the key elements of her Jewishness is the reverence she has for the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a special day for Jewish people and they rest from all material labor (Diamant & Cooper 34). Abigail mentioned that throughout her life she has had a great reverence for that day. While there were occasions when studying she did not observe all the requirements as she should have she never lost the reverence.

The interview

Q. What language did you speak at home and at school?

A. This is a funny question because at my home we spoke both Hebrew and English. We spoke English because my father was determined that we should learn the language as it would give us an international scope. So that very often we would rent English DVD's and watch them without any subtitles. This was his way of trying to teach English. He was a really good man. I think that it was always his intention to move to the United States permanently. He always said that there was something about New York that he just loved. Papa was that kind of man. At school we spoke only Hebrew but there was a class in English since we were being prepared for the world. I find that English is a difficult language and some of the structures are hard to understand. Particularly where there are words with similar sounds but they have different meanings. (she laughs)

Q. What language did your friends speak and what language do you speak now in the U.S.

A. Back home most of my friends spoke mainly Hebrew with a little English. We tried to use a little English where we could. But I learnt most of my English in the U.S. My present group of friends only speak English. I tried to get them to learn a little Hebrew but they could not see the value of it. When I go to the synagogue or to family get together for Sabbath we speak a lot more Hebrew. It kind of keeps us together.

Q. Who were your friends were they mostly Jewish?

A. It is interesting that you would ask that because while I had a lot of Jewish friends, I also spoke to a lot of people who were American and European. We also had one boy in my class from Palestine. He was ok I guess but there was little interaction with him. I am not sure why his parents would send him to our school. I think his parents were wealthy Palestinian business persons. My European friends were from Istanbul and some other place I forget now. But they spoke Hebrew well. I think that they were really Jewish but just living in another country.

Q. What type of clothing did you wear back home?

A. I love to dress and I bought the latest styles. There was a lovely boutique in my home town and they carried a lot of European and American fashions. I did not wear a lot local designers because I think I was really foreign in my tastes. I also loved shoes. I don't think it is possible to have enough shoes (laughs). I like heels the most they make you look elegant. Most of my clothes are kind of ah conservative. I have never liked to have my body outside and exposed. While going to school in the U.S. I really wore t-shirts and jeans, even then though I wore a lot of designer t-shirts.

Q. What type of music did you listen to?

A. I listen to a lot of western music. I particularly like Landon Pigg. Sometimes I listen to some Jewish folk music. Occasionally I would listen to Yehoshua Rochman. His violin music is really soothing and mellow. When I feel a need to relax I put his music on and that seems to make problems disappear.

Q. To what extent do you feel totally Jewish

A. I always see myself as Jewish, because the Jewish ways are still in me. By that I mean I don't eat pork but I do eat non-kosher foods. I think being a Jew is much more than just being in the country it is who you are and even when you are in a different place you are still who you are. America has changed some things about me but not enough to make me not a Jew. Baskin & Seeskin (2010) note that while historical and geographical changes have occurred to the Jewish people they are often able to preserve their identity and customs amidst these challenges.

Q. What do you miss most about your home country?

A. The thing I miss most is walking through Jerusalem. It is a beautiful city; there is no other place on the earth like it (Herzig 1997). The sounds and the smells are simply unique. Even now I could imagine going through the German section of the city and having a nice coffee with some knish. (Knishes are a kind of dumpling stuffed with meats, they are supposed to be really delicious (Jewish cooking 2011). It is really the little things that you miss the things that you cannot get in this country. While you have some of the foods here they do not taste the same way. Not sure why but they don't.

Q. What was your biggest challenge as a new immigrant and how did you deal with it?

A. My biggest challenge was dealing with the language issues. My English was very weak and so communicating was a very difficult prospect. This created all types of different problems, simply ordering food was an issue. I also did not clearly understand some things that Americans did and the styles of dress. I loved Times Square, one night we went out a mid-night it was really lovely. To overcome my English barrier I took night classes and remedial classes at NYU.

Q. This may sound funny but in what language do you think?

A. Well I never really thought of that but I guess I think in Hebrew and kind of translate… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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