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Recollections of Jerusalem

By Anya Berezina Derrick

Recollections of Jerusalem
Paperback, 232 pages
Published: 1st July 2014
ISBN: 9780884653592
Status: Available
Format: 9in x 6in

Electronic book text (EPUB), 232 pages
Published: 1st July 2014
ISBN: 9780884652748
Status: Available

Electronic book text (MobiPocket), 232 pages
Published: 1st July 2014
ISBN: 9780884653806

Category: History

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten.  Psalm 136:5

Recollections of Jerusalem vividly opens up to us a world very different from our own. It affords the rare opportunity to see major world events through the eyes of one shaped by them, but unable to influence them.

At the outset of World War II, the author, still a young child, travelled to Jerusalem with her mother on pilgrimage. Prevented by the conflict from returning to their home in Yugoslavia, they began a new life, intimately entwined with the city of Jerusalem.

In Jerusalem Anya was raised in the spirit of Holy Russia, manifested in the life of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, the Mount of Olives convent, the Gethsemane convent, and the Bethany School. Her spiritual life was nurtured by St John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco, Archbishop Antony (Sinkevich) of Los Angeles, Archpriest George Grabbe, Mother Mary (Robinson), and in particular the English priest-monk Lazarus (Moore). Through Anya’s eyes, we gain new perspectives on their lives and ministries.

Her experiences in Jerusalem would sustain her faith during later years, following her marriage in America, when the Church was geographically distant from Anya and her burgeoning family. Ultimately they would lead her back to the Holy Land with her husband and children.

From a historical perspective, these recollections offer a window into the struggles and aspirations of the Russian diaspora after the Communist takeover of their ancestral homeland. It shows how events such as the Bolshevik revolution, the Russian civil war, and the Arab–Israeli conflict have shaped present realities.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Beginnings


Memories of War and Peace

Chapter 2 A Time of Innocence

The Holy Land and the Russian Mission

Bethany Boarding School

Father Lazarus Moore: Spiritual Father and Friend

Holy Week and Pascha

Favorite Teachers

At the Sea of Galilee

Gethsemane  Convent and Royal Patrons

Chapter 3   Coming of Age

Russian Jerusalem

The Arab-Israeli Conflict

Nursing in Bethany

Into the Trans-Jordanian Desert

Our Russian Choir Goes to Amman

Notre Dame de Sion School


Parting from Mother

Chapter 4  Settling in America

Journey to America

St Benedict’s College

An Unexpected  Christmas Card

The Mount of Olives Convent

New York Bound

The Tolstoy Foundation

A Deepening Frienship

Pilgrimage to Jordanville

Engagement and Graduation

Marriage in Manhattan

Beginning a Family

Baptism and Struggles

A Growing Family

A Death in the Holy Land

Visiting the Holy Land

From Jerusalem to Denmark

The Writings of Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Chapter 5  Work on the West Bank

Returning to Palestine

Arriving at Birzeit University

Observations on Local Life

Chapter 6 Russian Encounters

Returning to America

Russian Relatives

West from Russia

Bereavement and New Life

On the Volga to Valaam

A New Friend

The Solovetsky Islands

In the Footsteps of the Imperial Family

Chapter 7  Reflections and Return to the City of Peace

            Anya Berezina Derrick’s book “Recollections of Jerusalem” is an insightful look at a part of the Russian diaspora that is nearly forgotten.  Many of us know of the large Russian colonies in Europe, the USA, Australia and China, but only a handful are aware of the Russian diaspora in Palestine before the fall of the Soviet Union.  Reading Mrs. Berezina Derrick’s book gives insight into the lives of not only the White Russian émigrés living in a foreign land but, also shows the unique relationship between the Russians and their Arab neighbours.  Also, the narration gives a sense of the pious life led by the Orthodox monastics, and how they interacted with the Arab and Russian communities in the tumultuous times following the Russian revolution.

          Personally, Mrs. Berezina Derrick’s volume took me back to the Jerusalem that I remembered when I was a young monastic.  Her recollections brought back many fond memories of a simpler time, and of people (monastic and laity) whose acquaintance enriched not only my life, but also all those who came into contact with them.  Mrs. Berezina Derrick’s words were like a snapshot of an unrepeatable time long gone of a pious collective of monastics and laity; set in unique circumstances and in a land permeated with sanctity.  


Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America

Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

Anya Berezina Derrick was born in Belgrade, of Russian parents. She worked as a volunteer nurse in Jerusalem and as a librarian at a West Bank University. She holds M.A.’s in both Russian Language and Literature and Library Sciences. Now enjoying an active retirement, she lives in Everett, Washington.

Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 232 pages
ISBN: 9780884653592
Format: 9in x 6in

Binding: Electronic book text, 232 pages
ISBN: 9780884652748

Binding: Electronic book text, 232 pages
ISBN: 9780884653806

BISAC Code:  BIO026000, HIS019000, REL049000
Imprint: Printshop of St Job of Pochaev

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