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Matilda Abulash

Fathers name: Yitzhak Levy

Mothers name: Miriam Solomon Confino

Country of Birth:


Year of birth: 1918

Places of Residence:

Bulgaria, Israel

Brothers/sisters: Visa, Solomon, Clara, Vitally

Childhood & teenage:

I was born in 1918 in a small town named Provadia, about 40 min ride from Sofia. I had a happy childhood- I had good friends, good neighbors. All was well.
We were 5 brothers and sisters: Visa, who died from a lung disease at the age of 19, Salomon, Clara, Vitally, and me- little Matty.
End chapter 1

Love & Marriage

Mony Abulash. Sofia, Bulgaria.
I met my husband Mony when WW2 was over, and the Russians entered Bulgaria. He worked us a traveling agent. I knew his family from childhood. He was 11 years older than me. We met at a Wizo event (Women's International Zionist Organization). He invited me to dance, and that was that.
We met every day and went to the cinema, to restaurants. After 15 days we decided to get engaged. Mony put an ad in the newspaper in Sofia about our engagement. That was the custom back then. My brother Vitally, who still resided in our village read it and got very angry. He immediately showed up in Sofia to see us. As he came to meet us at the train station, right there at the platform, he yelled me: "Well, I have only 2 words to say to you: Am I your brother or am I a donkey?! Didn't I tell you need my permission to go out with men?"
We got registered in the town hall - it was the time of the communism- no religious ceremonies. We sent a telegram to my village announcing my marriage. I did not listen to anybody. I was a non-conformist. My village was small and the people were gossiping all the time. I wanted to get away to the big city. I was 27 at the time of the marriage.

We were married happily for 45 years, until Mony died in 1993 from cancer.
End chapter 2


Matty, Mony, Lenny. 1948.
At the age of 32 we immigrated to Israel: Me, my husband Mony and my daughter Lenny, 3 years old at the time. All my family immigrated to Israel so I said to Mony I have to go too. He did not want to go. We were at the sea for 5 days. Crammed up in a ship like cows. Everybody slept together with one blanket for cover.
We arrived to Haifa. What a beautiful city. My sister and my brother Vitally came to meet us. I wanted to stay in Haifa but the authorities didn't let us. They put us in tents in a Maabara, that's a sort of a refugee camp. When the rain stopped pouring on the tent, it continued inside it. It was crowded. There was no place to sleep, they moved us to a storage place in the Orchard. Small tap with a few drops coming of it to accommodate everyone. Shower was a bowl of cold water. In the mornings we stood in line for food. What we got: a piece of margarine, 2 olives, 1 piece of bread, and a spoon of white cheese. To go pee in the middle of the night one needed to jump over people's beds, go in the dark to look for the stinky toilet hole. It was very hard for me. What a difference from the life in Sofia. We used to have an elevator, gramophone, intercom, heating...
We did not have any money. My father helped us out. After a month my father said it cannot continue; he is not a welfare agency -he cannot support 3 families. We moved to Lod, where my brother lived. While taking a walk I found an empty house that belonged to Arabs before the war. There were walls missing, no flooring, and no windows. We decided to fix it. We collected blocks, pieces of wood and metal from neighboring ruins and fixed our house. We found tiles in another empty house. With time I made curtains and grew a vegetable garden.
We even had a bathtub. It worked on oil. We were fetching the water from a well 1.5 mile away. We used to take baths every Friday. The neighbors were asking us to use it. They were envious of my house- "look, she's got curtains, tiles, bathtub".
We did not have electricity for the 5 first years. 3 days before 49, before the birth of my 2nd daughter we got electricity.
Times were still difficult. When Mony found work, he was making 2 liras a day as a construction worker. My mother was sick, my sister was sick.
When I used to get a little piece of chicken, all black, I would make a soup from it for all the family. There wasn't much to eat. Only fish. Very smelly. With those big flies on top.

The first time we went to see Tel Aviv, the big city, and do some window-shopping, I wore my fancy green costume from Bulgaria and my hat. I met my neighbor on the street and she laughed at me. She said:" We don't dress like that in Tel Aviv. We wear khaki."
With my next pay I got Khaki clothes.
11 years later, my mother and my sister died already, I told Mony I want to move to Jaffa. There was no way we could afford it though. I heard from people it's possible to get compensation from the Germans. I told Mony I heard about it. "Nonsense!"' He said' "You believe it? What nonsense".
But after a few days he said he heard about an office in Jaffa a where you register to get the compensation. I went to register, and after 2 months I got a letter- I opened it "“ and found 1300 lira!
That was a Lot of money, I was mad! I was running from the door to the gate and back and all over again. When I saw Mony I started yelling. He got scared "“ he thought that something happened to the kids.
He runs into the house frightened: "Is something wrong?
"No! Money!" I yell, "Money from Germany! "
We waited for Mony's money as well (got a 1000 Lira) then started looking for an apartment in Jaffa. After checking many places, we bought this apartment, in which I still live in 50 years later.
End chapter 3

Being a parent

Matty and Mony and their two daughters: Lenny and Mira. 1956, Israel.
I have two daughters: Lenny and Mira. Lenny is the eldest. Raising her in poverty in Lod was hard. She came home crying one day after daycare and said everybody have a brother or a sister and she wants one too.
"No!" Said Mony my husband, "It's a crime to think about it. We don't even have enough food for the 3 of us"
I said "Where there is food for 3 people, one can add a bit of water, and share and there will be enough food for 4".
Mira childhood was easier. She lives in Bat Yam, married to a musician and has 2 daughters: Maya and Bar. From Maya I have two grand-grand children: Guy and Ron. Lenny has 3 sons: Gal, Teddy and Adly. From Teddy I have one grand-grandchild:Sean.
End chapter 4


In 1978 Mony and I took our big trip to Europe. We were in Paris, London, Venetia, Brussels and many more. It was very exciting and I won't forget all the marvelous places we visited.
End chapter 5

Grandmother's birthday

A few weeks ago was my grandmother's birthday. I run out of grandmother gift ideas, but then I found this website. Hearing Grandmother's life story was an experience by itself. As a result I wrote this story: Just a few chapters in her life. Grandma Maty loved it. She said it's the best birthday gift she ever got.
End chapter 6