Tilda Galpert with her husband Ernest Galpert

This is a picture of my husband Ari Galpert and me during our trip to Israel. The photo was taken in Haifa in 2000. When Jews began to move to Israel in the 1980s we didn't quite want to move there. We weren't young any longer and we didn't know the language. It's hard to start a new life or make new friends at this age. We didn't condemn those that decided otherwise - it's their life. If our sons decided to go there we would have followed them, but they weren't enthusiastic about this idea. So we stayed here. We were enthusiastic about perestroika and it couldn't have been otherwise. My husband's two sisters and our friends lived in Israel, but we didn't dare to correspond with them. My husband and I held official positions and were party members and we might have been punished for corresponding with citizens of capitalist countries. We both left the Party in 1991. At best we would have been expelled from the Party and fired from work. We could only meet our relatives in Hungary since Soviet citizens were allowed to visit Hungary without much bureaucracy. When we met my husband's sisters in Budapest in 1987 we told them that if things kept moving in this direction we would be able to visit them in Israel the following year. They burst into laughter and said it couldn't be true. A year later we visited Israel for the first time. The whole family got together and we said our first toast to Gorbachev for getting this opportunity. It was incredible. It was a miracle that we could travel to Israel from the Soviet Union. We've been in Israel four times. It's a wonderful country. Its residents made this country and are proud of their home country: both younger and older people. Young Jews there are patriots. They are proud to fulfill their military duty rather than trying to avoid it like here. Ancient and modern history is harmonically entwined in Israel. People cherish their history. It's a pity there's no peace on this beautiful land. God tests Jews sending trying circumstances of life like He did during World War II. I wish the people of Israel peace and prosperity. We've never left this area, but we've kind of lived in a few countries. Now we live in independent Ukraine. May there be peace in Ukraine and may there be peace in Israel. I hope so that nobody on earth has to live through the horrors of war again.