Márcia Halfim (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil):
By 2016, my father, Marcos Halfim, and I, traveled to Tel Aviv, in Israel, to meet my sister, Mirela Halfim Semeles, who lives there, and fly together to Kishinev, Moldavia. The idea was to reach Ataki, or Otic Molev, as my father remembered the name of the Shteitl where his parents and family came from. For we didn’t speak the language, and we had very little time to spend in Moldavia, Mirela found Irina Shikhova looking in the internet for Bessarabian researchers.
As we arrived in Kishinev, Irina had all set for us. Logistics as a good car and driver, hotel reservations, schedules, but, most of all, she had looked for the Halfins’ clues around Moldavia, more specifically in Ataki.
Ataki is a super small village, and, lucky for us, the jewish cemetery in Ataki has been well cared for 3 generations in a same family. That made it possible to Irina to locate Mordechai Halfin, my father’s grandfather, buried in there.
That was a very touching moment, that connected us to our ancestors. On Mordechai Halfin’s grave, there was written his father’s name. Avraam Halfin was Mordechai Halfin’s father. This way, we had found one more generation in our family tree we didn’t know yet.
The Halfins left Bessarabia in the 1920s. Few of them went to the United States. Majority went to Lima, Peru. And us, we settled in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. We had contact with the people in Peru. But, searching with Irina, finding more data on our Halfin family and getting actual images of Ataki made us reconnect and reunite to our relatives around the world. “New old” pictures had come up! Videos! New family members in California and Argentina. Very interesting and rewarding to our hearts!!!
We are very thankful for Irina, not only for the professional services she had provided to our Halfin family history research, but for the lovely person she is, and for the fact that she had become a sweet friend for all of us.
Looking forward to go back and go deeply on our search.