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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian Siblings Meet After 80 Years




OTTAWA -- A Russian Jew who fled the Bolsheviks in 1919 broke into song when reunited Thursday with his sister for the first time 80 years.


Benjamin Feinstein, 101, and his sister, Sara Pyatigorsky, 87, hugged, kissed and wept in his small apartment. "God has been good to me," Feinstein said, his face wet with tears, before singing a Jewish folk song.


Feinstein left his family in Russia for Romania and then Canada, where he started a family that grew to a dozen grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Over the years, he sent clothes and money back to the Soviet Union and maintained ties with a brother, who visited him before dying several years ago. The family lost touch when Pyatigorsky moved as a refugee from Kiev to Cincinnati in 1994. Only when Feinstein said last week he wanted to see his sister, the last of his siblings still alive, was the reunion set up.


"All her life she dreamed to see her brother," said Pyatigorsky's daughter, Inna. "All she had was a small, small picture." Pyatigorsky, who speaks little English, was 7 years old the last time she saw Feinstein, but she headed right to him when she arrived at his apartment.