The Story of Marion and Abraham Kelman

by Sarah Amtower

Many of the documents contained in the case files of the Boston Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) are petitions for loved ones to immigrate to the United States; petitions for children, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, siblings, and other family members. If the researcher is lucky, the file contains affidavits and personal letters on behalf of the prospective immigrant, thus further telling the person’s story and bringing the file to life.

Recently I found the document below, which I had not seen in any other immigration visa petition files: a transcript of an interview. On October 3, 1930, Marion Kirschbaum married Abraham Kelman, who was studying in the United States on a temporary stay visa. In January of 1931 Abraham returned to Cuba, where he had lived before entering the US. Shortly thereafter, Marion petitioned for his return. The transcript of the two interviews offers insight into an interesting story of immigration history.

(select image to view)


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