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Meet Author Lev Golikin at Spertus Institute
Meet Author Lev Golikin at Spertus InstituteSunday, December 6, 2015 - 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
In conjunction with this year’s One Book | One Community selection — A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka — Spertus Institute presented a series of programs about Jewish life in the former Soviet Union, capped by two opportunities to meet the selected book's author.
This was the second of two special appearances by author Lev Golinkin.
Lev Golinkin was born in Kharkov, Ukraine in 1980, during the twilight of the Soviet Union, a time of virulent antisemitism. When immigration was made briefly possible due to international pressure, his family risked everything to make a new life for Lev and his sister. Years later, Lev, after graduating from Boston College, retraced his family's long trek. To offer his thanks, he located the strangers who helped his family and fought for their freedom. A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka is his story — and theirs.
"A perceptive, unflinching, and unexpectedly funny look at a life sculpted by history."
—Amazon Best Book of the Month
"An awesome intercontinental whirlwind, funny and smart."
—Gary Shteyngart, bestselling author of Little Failure
Today Lev Golinkin lives in New Jersey. His essays and opinion pieces have appeared in publications including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe.
To kick-off this event, Lev Golinkin was introduced by Julie Smolyansky, who like the author, came to the US from Ukraine as a refugee.
Julie Smolyansky immigrated to the US with her parents as an infant. Her father introduced the Russian staple kefir to America under the brand name Lifeway and became the first Soviet immigrant to take a company public in the US. In 2002, Julie became the youngest female CEO of a publicly held firm when she took over at age 27. Since then, she has grown revenues to $130 million annually. She was named one of the Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company and among the most influencial women on Twitter by Fortune. (See @JulieSmolyansky.) She serves on the United Nations Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council.
Hanukkah candle-lighting and a reception followed the program.
Author photo by Diana P. Lang.