"I'm worried about an all-out war."

Tammy Regev

Location: Arena Beach, Herzliya Pituah

Residence: Yahud Monoson

Age: 71


The encounter: Tammy was the very first person I interviewed for this project. We had just arrived in Israel and were enjoying the beach after a busy day of errands. I was a bit shy approaching strangers and asking them about their lives. Tammy looked like the most approachable person on the beach.  She was sitting by herself while her husband went for a swim.

What are you doing here right now?
I want to catch a bit of Nirvana and watch the sunset.

What is your occupation?
I'm supposed to be retired. But since we own a business, I keep working. Beside that, I enjoy doing handicrafts: doll-making, bead-work.. all kinds of art. That's for my soul.

How do you describe your religious or national identity?
I'm very Jewish, but I'm not religious. I don't disrespect religion – not at all! – but I don’t practice it. I consider myself secular, or Reform Jewish.

Can you tell me a bit about your family?
My sweet husband is over there, swimming... We have three sons and nine grandchildren, two of whom are now in the army.

Where is your family from?
I'm first-generation Israeli. Although I look Moroccan, both my parents immigrated here from Poland. My mother came in 1933 and my father arrived a year later. I feel a very strong connection with this land; my roots are deep, deep in the ground here.

What are your hopes and expectations for the future of this land?
Unfortunately, I see things very darkly now. Not economically, but in terms of security. I am very worried. Look, we're a pearl in the Middle East and I’m afraid our neighbors will destroy us.  I'm worried about an all-out war. I don’t think it’ll turn out well. I’m afraid it’ll be the end. I'm worried about what's happening in Syria. It doesn't look good. It really doesn’t. But we keep hoping. The situation has always been bad, hasn’t it? And we survived...