My extended maternal family served as inspiration for the characters in LETTERS FROM RIFKA.

Rifka is modeled after my great aunt Lucy (I have no photos of her).

Isaac was modeled after my grandfather.

The boy (far right) in the image below is my Uncle Henry at about age 14. 

He was just an infant when my great aunt Lucy arrived at Ellis Island. In LETTERS FROM RIFKA he is the model for Isaac’s baby, Aaron.

All of Rifka‘s brothers were my great uncles.

Some of my family, like Rifka‘s cousin, Tovah, remained behind in Russia.