In the eighties and early nineties, there was a mass exodus of Jews from the USSR.
Yep, I know that.
American Jewish groups considered the USSR’s atheism a kind of cultural genocide against the Jews
Interesting. I didn't know that.
The sentence also ends with a rising pitch, which, I guess, means either that the cultural genocide is being put in air quotes, or that the whole statement is meant to be prefixed with some sort of an "allegedly" qualifier.
So they lobbied for refugee slots for families like mine.
The first time I heard the word refugee applied to Soviet Jewish immigrants was when Sergey Brin used it to refer to his family. I remember my surprise — I never thought Soviet Jews were given refugee status.
When we were resettled here, they tried to put us near other Jews, because they thought it would make us feel more comfortable to be around other people like us; so we initially settled in Los Angeles, which definitely had a lot of Jewish people. But, it turns out, my parents, having trouble making this work financially, it was just way too expensive to live there; so when I was four, my dad moved my family to Midland, Texas, which is, perhaps unsurprisingly, much cheaper than Los Angeles.