Start of a New Life

Brooklyn, New York

In 1947, Ben embarked on a two week journey upon the SS Ernie Pyle to America (Lesser, 147). The steam ship dropped him off at the New York Harbor. After arriving, Ben moved into an apartment in Brooklyn with Lola and Mechel (Lesser, 183).

During his short time in Brooklyn, Ben started his journey toward the American Dream. He worked as a shipping clerk during the day and went to school to learn English at night (Lesser, 185). On top of this, he found extra work peddling hosiery in order to make more money. His work days were sometimes 13-15 hours, six days a week (Lesser, 186).

After about six months, Ben moved out of Lola and Mechel’s apartment and had moved into an apartment with an old friend, Martin, and his cousin, Jack (Lesser, 187). They attempted to open their own businesses but were unsuccessful. In the belief that it would change their luck, Ben decided they needed to move to California.