My kid brother Harry recently unearthed an old photograph showing me as a baby, held proudly by my great-grandfather, Samuel Idstein. He was close to 90 at the time, having left Germany with his family just before World War II. Neither he nor his six children ever attended college but all of his grandchildren did, becoming educators, research scientists, doctors and rabbis.
America made the difference, and this story is typical, not exceptional. Countless immigrant families have built lives their ancestors could have scarcely imagined.
Here, a great-great granddaughter of a slave can win a Nobel Prize, or the grandson of an illiterate railroad worker can become a CEO.
Rather than despairing over recent history, we should review family history that reminds us we live in a land of miracles that deserves our protection through exercising our precious right to vote.