Phil Cantor

My grandmother was brought to this country as a baby from eastern Europe in 1901.

Her mother had to use someone else’s papers to get into the country with her. She grew up on the South Side of Chicago on Maxwell Street which was teaming with other Jewish immigrants.

She went to the Chicago Public Schools until the age of about 16 and ended up starting a small business with her husband who was also an immigrant. The small commercial auction house employed several other immigrants from Poland and Mexico.

Some of the employees worked there for several decades. Income from the business allowed my grandparents to live a middle-class life in Chicago and help send their three grandchildren to college. I am now a high school teacher with a masters in education policy pursuing a PhD in science education. My sister has a masters in social work and manages social work care in a geriatric care community. My brother has a PhD in economics and leads the department of health economics at Rutgers University. Immigrants – they get the job done!

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