Family Story

The Epstein Family Story

Learn about the Epstein family, Jewish refugees who lived in 103 Orchard Street in the 1950s.


This article shares the story of Bella Epstein, the daughter of Holocaust survivors and refugees, and her family’s life in New York in the 1950s. Students learn about Bella’s parents arriving as refugees, how they made a new life for themselves in the Lower East Side, and explore how Bella understood her identity as a young girl struggling to find her place in American society. Primary sources include a video interview and oral history with Bella Epstein. The article also includes student-facing questions and writing activities.

Time Period


Related Topics

  • Holocaust Education
  • Refugee Policy
  • Identity
  • Pop Culture

Primary Sources

  • Video: Bella Returning to 103 Orchard Street – A child of refugees, Bella Epstein, discusses returning to her childhood home after many years and finding an important symbol of protection. (See below)
  • Oral History: Bella Discusses Paul Anka – Listen to Bella Epstein, a child of refugees, discuss the music heard in her 1950’s childhood home. (See below)


Associated Lessons

Questions on lessons and activities?

The materials on this page can enrich a visit to the Museum or help you teach about immigration. If you have questions or comments, please e-mail us.

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