Linda Mashkabova – her story

Originally from Tashkent City in Uzbekistan, my story begins like most others in my community.
My family immigrated from the Soviet Union when I was only 7 years old. Having just started first grade
in a school in Russia, we had to leave everything behind in October 1989. Immigration was not easy as
we had to adjust to life in Austria and Italy for weeks and months at a time until we finally settled in
Queens, NY in January of 1990.

So here I am , a 7 year old in New York. My parents enrolled us in Yeshiva Institute, currently
known as Yeshiva Primary , where my 2 younger siblings and I quickly learned all about our Jewish
background. Slowly, we brought everything home and this is when our family became observant with
Shabbat and Kosher laws. I am very grateful that my parents exposed us to a Yeshiva environment from
day one and never opposed our Jewish education. Today, my husband and I continue to raise money
and to support Rabbi Deutscher, who inspired us with Judaism. While my parents were busy making
money, as most other immigrant parents, I had to step up and help with raising my younger siblings. I
have always had a thirst for knowledge and enjoyed immersing myself in my studies. When I was about
9 years old, I picked up an issue of the Russian magazine, Druzhba and starting teaching myself Russian.
Today I am able to read in Russian. Elementary school was where I made my lifelong friends and I value
these friendships until today, not to mention where I met my future hubby. High school was a different
experience for me as I went to Shevach, a primary Ashkenazi school. I was able to make friends but did
not always feel like I fit in. However, I focused on my studies, began college courses in 12 th grade and
completed 4 years of Spanish, which comes in very handy today. While I was in high school, my friends
turned to me for help with make-up and hair. I’ve always had a passion for the beauty industry as well as
the medical industry. I thought long and hard about what I want to do with my life careerwise. I
attended career fairs and shadowed doctors. I’ve worked in law firms as I was considering law for a
while. While in high school, I kept busy with tutoring others in my building after school as well as

After graduating high school, I attended Hunter College and started dating my husband, we
became reacquainted after high school. Dating long was not an option as our parents were very
traditional. Our wedding was in December 2002 and in November 2003 we had out first baby boy. We
were 21 years old with a baby. (Hubby and I are same age). Hubby was working on minimum wage
salary while I was completing my prerequisites for Nursing. It was a long and hard journey, with sweat
and tears and more babies in between. I graduated Hunter College in 2006 with a BA in Sociology. I
started Nursing school later that fall in 2006 in Adelphi University. With 2 kids under the age of 3, I
began the Nursing Program. With the help of parents, siblings, and of course my husband, I graduated in
2009 and started my first job as an RN in the homecare field.

Life was not easy being young, married, having little children and being financially not stable.
Without going into all the details, we went through a lot together. Without the proper guidance, our
community Rabbis, our parents, I’m not sure where we would be. I am eternally grateful that the
pressures of life did not tear us apart because I see that a lot today. Young couples unable to get
through certain hardships without proper guidance just breaks my heart. I often talk to girls and other
couples about my story (our story) because If I can help someone, why not? A positive attitude is what I
find continues to help me as well as Emunah(faith) in the one Above.