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Browse Items (17 total)

  • Collection: Ukrainian Oral History

About this Collection


Zenon Wasyliw is a professor of History at Ithaca College. He is a member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church here in Johnson City, New York. Both of his parents emigrated from Ukraine at the end of World War II after his father had been offered a position in the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Binghamton as a choir director. He and his wife live together in Ithaca, and make the hour long drive to Johnson City each week to attend mass, although his wife is not of Ukrainian descent. He has traveled to Ukraine and Russia multiple times to tour the hometowns of his parents and do dissertation work at Kiev University.


Svetlana Kolesnik is an immigrant from Berdichev, Ukraine. She dealt with persecution growing up due to her religion and felt the only way to feel free was to leave her home country. She immigrated to the United States in 1989 with her husband. She came to the United States in hope to provide her children a better life and a Jewish education. She now lives in New City, New York where where she is active in the Jewish community with her husband and three children.


Sol Braun is an immigrant who lived in Poland, Soviet Russia, and Germany during his childhood. He came to the United States shortly after the end of World War II. He worked as a shoemaker both overseas and in the United States. Sol is now retired and resides in Tappan, New York. He has four children.


Sergey Gendelman is a first generation immigrant in America. His roots are in Moscow, Russia. He received a degree in electronic engineering. He went on to further his education in the Soviet Union as a programmer. He immigrated to New York City in 1993 and he worked a few odd jobs until becoming a programmer once again. He continues to live in New York City area with his family.


Peter Solecky was born in 1946 in Munich, Germany. His mother, father, and two younger siblings came to America in 1951. They traveled through Ellis Island (their signatures are still there to this day) and eventually settled in Binghamton, New York. Solecky attended Rochester Institute of Technology and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering science in 1969. He later returned to school for his master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Vermont. He lives in Binghamton, NY with his wife and two children.


Dr. Peter Hatala was born in Johnson City, NY and he is a first-generation Ukrainian American. His father was an immigrant from Ulychne, Ukraine. Dr. Hatala is a retired orthodontist. He is married and resides in Vestal. He has six children and two grandchildren.


Michael Gulachok is a third generation Ukrainian American who has lived in the area for his entire life. Natalia, Michael’s wife, is a first-generation immigrant from Chernivtsi, Ukraine and has lived in the United States for two decades. Natalia lived in Brooklyn until marrying Michael and moving to the Southern Tier. Michaelis a retired insurance salesman and lives in the southern tier of New York with his wife.


Julia Kiosse was the daughter of a Russian native and a native Moldovan. She immigrated to the United States in 1998 with her daughter, but without her husband as he could not get the proper documents in time. She lived in a small apartment in Brooklyn for one year before she moved back to Moldova to be with her husband. She moved with her family to the United States in 2000 and settled in Brooklyn.


Father Ivan Synevsky was born in Western Ukraine region in 1982. He lived in the Ukraine until 2001, when he moved to Canada. He lived in Canada for six years, then got married in the United States, in 2007.He attended Holy Cross Greek Theological School in Boston from 2008 to 2010. Then was ordained in 2010 in Rhode Island. He had a parish in New Jersey for two years and in 2012, he was transferred to the local parish. He resides in Johnson City with his wife and three children.


Irina Kirichuk was born in Kurganinsk, Russia and moved to Ukraine when she was 3. She is of Russian, Ukrainian, and Armenian ancestry.  She is hearing impaired. She came to the United States in 1993, works as a hairstylist, and lives with her family in Binghamton.

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