Eli is Appa‘s closest American friend, as well as a dear friend to me. He also happens to have a multicultural background of his own. His parents were Jews born in the Russian empire at the beginning of the 20th century. They both emigrated to America in the aftermath of the October Revolution.
What defines Eli in my eyes is his alertness, his insatiable curiosity for people, facts, and ideas, and his exceptional vitality. He is one of the most stimulating persons I have ever been around, so I am really glad you can get a glimpse of him through this interview.
Here he talks about his remarkable but less than nurturing mother who, as a young girl in the early 1920s, came all the way from Civil War-torn Ukraine to Chicago.
Eli on His Mother, the Ice Queen from Ukraine