Former Minnesotans describe life in Israel amidst war, daily rocket attacks
When Hamas militants conducted their surprise attack on Israeli civilians back on Oct. 7, sparking the conflict in the region, the Berman family was half-a-world apart.
At the time, Judith Berman was in Tel Aviv, Israel, and her husband, Michael, was at a friend’s wedding in Massachusetts.
“It wasn’t easy but you don’t have a choice, you just get tough,” Judith said, awaiting Michael’s return.
Days later, Michael was able to fly from Boston back to Israel to reunite with his wife.
“The world changed in a space of minutes, hours . . . it took people a while to adjust to this new reality of it really being a war,” Michael said.
The Bermans called Minnesota home for several years while they raised a family before moving to Israel.
The couple has been living, like many, in Israel with daily rocket attacks.
Palestinian militants fired rockets into Israel on Thursday from Gaza and Lebanon, and tensions flared in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, according to the Associated Press.
“Because we’re in Tel Aviv, we have 90 seconds from the sound of the siren, to close the door to the saferoom,” Judith said.
In recent days, a rocket struck near their apartment.
“I heard a large boom and knew it was close,” Judith said.
It wasn’t until later that the couple learned it was their friend’s building that was hit by the rocket.
“Fortunately, they were not hurt,” Judith added. Earlier this week, President Joe Biden traveled to Israel to meet with government leaders.
The Bermans said the president’s visit was watched closely by Israelis.
“Everyone I’ve talked to has been extraordinarily moved and appreciative,” Michael said.
The support from the U.S. government, the family felt, was needed for the community, and the other support they’ve received from friends in Minnesota has also brought comfort amidst the uncertainty of what’s ahead.
“The basic answer is we’re safe, and adjusting is the most positive spin that I could put on it,” Michael said.