Mazal Asael visiting her family in Israel

This is a photo from one of my visits to Israel. It was taken on the day when I was travelling back to Sofia. It was taken in the 1960s in Jaffa in front of the house of my parents. From right to left are my brother Beniamin and my father Menahem, my sister-in-law Sara and my brother Eliezer are crouching next to them. My mother Delicia, I, my mother's sister Mazal and Beniamin's wife Sheli are behind them. My second visit to Israel was in 1962. The first one was in 1957. After 1952 it was difficult for Bulgarian Jews to visit their relatives who had left for Israel. I managed to go to Israel with great efforts in 1957. I went with the special permission of one of the undersecretaries of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Only a few Jews went on working as operative officers in the hierarchy of the MFA after 1952, and they used to teach law and criminology. I kept in touch with my parents regularly at that time. The Ministry told me that I couldn't do that anymore if I worked there. I chose to keep in touch with my parents and that is why I was dismissed with the explanation that I had an 'unsuitable environment' for a ministry officer. That 'unsuitable environment' was in fact my connection with Israel.

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Mazal Asael

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