Golda Meir is born in Kiev,Ukraine to Moshe and Bluma Mabovitch. When she is eight years old the family moves to Milwaukee Wisconsin, in an effort to escape pograms. Her father is a carpenter. Although she has several brothers and a sister who die in childhood, she has two surviving sisters she was very close to. She attends the Fourth Street Elementary School graduating as class valedictorian.
I identified most with my tenacious, intransigent relatives, especially my paternal grandfather, who was kidnapped at age thirteen into the Czar’s army but resisted conversion to Christianity and refused to eat traif (nonkosher food). Our family kept kosher, observed Jewish holidays, and shared traditional Sabbath meals with the extended family—all later lost in the Holocaust. I remember everyone sitting around the table singing Hebrew songs, yet I grew up in a not particularly religious household. I vividly recall my early childhood as a time of abject poverty and terrifying pogroms, and attribute my lifelong commitment to Jewish security to my memories of antisemitic violence and the experience of hiding from the Cossacks. I also remember my sister Sheyna, nine years my senior, risking her life to attend Labor Zionist meetings, and my sister Zipke, the baby, getting the lion’s share of our meager gruel. In 1903, my father left for America; three years later, he sent for us and settled us in a two-room flat in the poor Jewish section of Milwaukee. I was eight years old.