“For me, the secret to living a good life is taking life as it is and running with it.”

Born in 1930, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Galina, along with her family, were scattered across the Former Soviet Union because of the war. When her parents were young, they were sent to Karkalinsk because they were Zionist. There, they got married and after that they moved to Almaty where Galina and her brother were born. Galina’s father was sent to a concentration camp in Siberia in 1937. Her mother didn’t work, so without their father they had no money and lived on the street. Eventually, her uncle came to get them and brought the children to live with him in Belarus while her mother searched for her father. Galina’s family was reunited in Belarus in 1939, moments before World War II broke out. They escaped the Nazis by foot, running through Russia before arriving in Uzbekistan. Galina’s father was released from the Russian army after an injury and went in search of his family. The family was eventually reunited in Uzbekistan. After the war, Galina finished school and moved to Kamensk-Uralsky, a bigger city, to attend university where she studied French. After University she was sent, as was the law, to “serve her country” for three years in Labinsk. There, she met her husband who worked in a nearby city as an engineer. Galina and her husband made Aliyah in the early 1990’s and she recalls the Gulf War breaking out the exact day they arrived in Israel. For nearly 25 years, until she turned 80, she worked as a caregiver for one family, learning only basic Hebrew because needing to work outweighed attending Ulpan. Her husband passed away two months before their 60th anniversary.

When asked what the secret of life is, Galina says, 

“Take life as it is – don’t be in the sky – run with what you are given. I don’t know where it comes from, maybe G-d or who knows, but it isn’t important what you have. Don’t want for millions; be okay with 100 shekel if that is what you have.” Galina also recommends that you “always have a strong back and don’t sit around and cry, think about what you can do to make your life better.”

In her free time, Galina enjoys knitting, spending time with friends, and does not like to watch TV. She believes that passions and friendships are much more important than money. 

“I can’t complain, I lived a life of luck. We aren’t sorry we ended up here. Israel is good for me.”