‘Rachel’ books bring family’s Jewish past out of hiding
The year is 1903, and young Rachel is leaving Russia with what remains of her family, escaping the violent pogroms that took her father’s life. After a cross-country train ride to Shanghai — one of the closest safe havens for Jews at the time — the teen tries to adjust to life in China, finding a job at a Jewish newspaper to help support her mother and siblings while she dreams of moving to America.
It reads like historical fiction, but much of “Rachel’s Promise,” the second book in Shelly Sanders’ “The Rachel Trilogy,” is based on fact. Sanders’ grandmother Rachel eventually left Shanghai for San Francisco, enrolled at U.C. Berkeley and became the first Jewish woman to be accepted into the university’s science program, graduating in 1930.
(via JWeekly.com )