(WGHP) — Betsy Gamburg, recently retired from Jewish Family Services in Greensboro, and her daughter Talia were together when the rockets were shot into Tel Aviv.
Betsy is back in the United States now in California as her husband serves a year as a rabbi in Riverside.
Talia is thinking about leaving Israel for a while.
Betsy says her daughter is very nervous. Even though the missile defense system dubbed the “Iron Dome” is meant to shield from rockets, it isn’t perfect, and they had to take cover together just days ago.
“On Saturday … I was still with her,” Betsy said. She had gone to see her daughter for ten days.
The bombing started on the last day of her trip.
The pair enjoyed visiting the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center in the days prior, shopping and dining at some of their favorite places. On Saturday, everything changed.
“She woke me up that morning about 6:30 or 7 and said, ‘Did you hear those thuds?'” Betsy said.
That’s when the barrage of rocket fire from Hamas began.
“That’s the Iron Dome intercepting rocket fire,” Betsy recalled her daughter explaining.
They heard several rockets that weren’t intercepted.
“There are sirens that go off. They are blood-curdling,” she said.
The pair took shelter several times and later saw a building in Tel Aviv was hit by a rocket.
“Suddenly, you’re with a whole group of people in the hallway or in the bomb shelter with their dogs, and you’re just sitting there waiting for the next bomb to come, and you realize that … these people don’t want you to be alive,” she said.
While Betsy was able to fly home on her pre-scheduled flight, getting to the airport was harrowing.
“Almost as soon as I got into the taxi, and there were cars as the missiles were coming in, we pulled off the side of the road, and my taxi got off the highway and sheltered under a bridge,” Betsy said.
Talia made Aliyah four years ago, a Hebrew word meaning to “go up,” and became an Israeli citizen. She stayed in Tel Aviv.
“We are just on edge as I think everyone is … who has family there and everybody who cares about the country,” she said.
The pair speak multiple times a day, and Talia is considering coming back to the United States as tension continues to flare in the Middle East.