Ella Perlman and her family

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This photo of our family was taken shortly after I returned from Israel in 1996. This was my first trip to Israel. I went there for my brother’s wife's 60th birthday. I returned home before my 70th birthday. My dear ones came to greet me. First from  the right is my husband Iosif Perlman, and I'm on his left. Sitting from left to right: my older daughter Bertha Tzelmale, her husband Andris Tzelmale, my younger daughter Yevgenia Perlman and Vera, my school friend's niece. Standing: my younger grandson Bertha's son Robert and granddaughter Anna, Yevgenia's daughter. This photo was  taken in our apartment in Riga in 1996.

My husband and I did our best to raise our daughters to know they were Jewish. They knew Yiddish, Jewish traditions and religion. My older daughter married Andris Tselmale, a Latvian man. My husband was very upset about Bertha's marriage. Of course, we wanted her to have a Jewish husband, but this was not the main thing about the marriage. There are good and bad people, and it's also true about Jewish people. What mattered about my daughter's choice was that she was happy. I'm happy that my daughter made the right choice. My son-in-law has made a good husband and a caring father, and also, he's treated my husband and me well. He is always willing to help and support me. I love him dearly.

Bertha and Andris have three sons. The oldest Arvid was born in 1972, the second Philip was born in 1977, and Robert was born in 1985. Our older grandchildren have finished their studies and work. The younger one is finishing the gymnasium this year and will decide what he wants to do. Young people now have great opportunities. I've helped my daughter to raise her children. This is a hard job. I love my grandchildren, and they love me.

Our younger daughter Yevgenia worked as a senior shop assistant and liked her job. She married a Jewish man. She kept her maiden name of Perlman after getting married. In 1988 her daughter was born. She gave her the name of Hana after my mother. My granddaughter's Russian name is Anna. They lived with us. We spoke Russian with our granddaughter, but when we wanted to talk in confidence, we switched to Yiddish. So it happened that our granddaughter could understand and even speak Yiddish before going to school. We sent her to a Latvian school. My daughter thought that if the girl was going to live in Latvia, she had to know the language and history of the country. When my daughter decided to move to Israel, Anna went to the 4th grade of a Jewish school. Before moving to Israel she had a good command of Hebrew. It was a good start. Now Anna can speak fluent Hebrew.
 

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Interviewee

Ella Perlman