“I thought I heard a helicopter approaching,” she began, “but helicopters weren’t common in Lugansk. The sound kept getting louder and louder, as the chopper hovered over my building.”
June 2, 2014
“I woke in a panic. ‘Thank God,’ I thought. ‘It was just a dream.’ But it wasn’t. Military aircraft began flying over our home. I could feel the walls shaking.
“When the fighter jets stopped flying overhead, we were able to hear the firefighting in different neighborhoods around us. Our quiet city had become a war zone, with the constant sounds of bombings and sirens. I was afraid. I thought about God. For the first time, I realized that I really believed in Him.
“When the tanks came and parked in the soccer field across the street from us, we knew it was time to leave. It’s good we did because all the buildings that surrounded our home were bombed. So when our grandfather found a job opportunity in Rostov, we all packed our bags and crossed the border, leaving the country we once called home behind.
“Can we talk about something else?” Miriam asked.
“Sure,” I said. “Can you share any happy memories from your childhood?”
Miriam thought for a moment.
“When I was in the first grade, my teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. ‘I want to be a boss,’ I said. But my teacher told me that a boss was not a profession. Later, I was visiting our synagogue, and there was a woman there who organized all the holiday events. ‘That’s it,’ I thought to myself. ‘That’s my dream. That’s what I want to be.”
“It took a war and a difficult move, but today my dream has come true. I’m so happy that I was able to join the Jewish community here, and I’m excited to be working with our youth club, RoshTov. I found my place. I’m a very proud Jewish girl and every time we organize an event or celebrate a holiday, I get to share that with my community. What could be better?”