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My Amazing Reunion With Dan (Danut) Bumbar, Galati, Romania
August 2010

By Julian Tzvi Rubin

I was born in Galati, Romania in 1954 as Iulian Rubin. In January 1962, at age 8, my family immigrated to Israel. I left behind two childhood friends: Dan Bumbar (then Bumbaru) and Rodica Theodoru. When we left to Israel Dan was around 10 years old and Rodica and I were 8.

We all lived on Braila Street in Galati - Dan and me on No. 18 and Rodica vis-a-vis on the other side of the street at No. 15. But our ways parted practically sooner, since we moved to other neighborhoods in Galati two years earlier because our respective buildings were demolished and new ones were erected instead.

Our parents: Dan's (Floaria) Florica and (Niculai) Nicu Bumbaru; Rodica's: Georgeta and Sterica Theodoru; mine Erna (Ella) and Israel Rubin; were engaged in a very good relationship and our religious different affiliations (I am Jewish whereas my friends were Orthodox Christians) hadn't any meaning in this respect.

I called Dan Danut and he called me Iulic

1960

1960: At the left: Florica Bumbaru (Dan's mother); center: my mother Erna (Ella) Rubin; right: Clara, my godmother. At the left: Dan (Danut) Bumbaru; right: me, Iulian Rubin. This picture was gifted to me by Dan in 2010.
1960: Rodica Theodoru and me at age 5-6 at the kindergarten; clad in Romanian national costumes.

In 1979 I married Ester (Eti) Gedasy and we had our honeymoon in Romania. Naturally, we went to Galati and met my childhood mates and their spouses, children and parents (regretfully, Rodica's father had died a year before).

Our ways parted again since we all were fresh married with children and life burden took its toll.

1979

1979: at the left: Florica Bumbaru (Dan's mother); center: Dan's wife and daughter Stela; at the right: Dan (Danut) Bumbaru, at their home in Galati, Romania.
1979: Me, Iulian Rubin (now Rubin Tzvi) at the right with Rodica Theodoru and husband at their home in Galati, Romania. Regretfully, Rodica's husband died a few years later without having children.

In 2010, 31 years later, we (my sons Udi 28, Ron 23 and me) made the trip to Galati, Romania and Chernivtsi, Ukraine in order to visit my grandmother and grandfather buried there respectively (for more about this click here).

So naturally we visited again Dan Bumbar and his wife in Galati. We were not able to meet his children since they were not at home.

Regretfully, I was not able to meet Rodica Theodoru since after her husband died she changed her address in Galati but Dan promised to locate her in order to organize a reunion for the three of us in the future.

Dan showed me my primary school (we didn't learn in the same school) and "the ravine" (so we referred to it as children; in Romanian rapa) - large and very rich with trees and vegetation. We used to play here, as children, and especially collected snails and brought them home in boxes. My father (Rubin Israel, died in 1994, Dimona, Israel) worked in a factory, a halva and biscuit manufacturer, located there.

"The ravine", in Romanian rapa

But what was amazing about my reunion with Dan was the fact that nevertheless we practically parted when I was around 6 years old and Dan around 8, we remembered some amazing childhood experiences that were not mentioned even in 1979 since our meeting then had a different nature.

For example, I remembered that when Dan was less than 6, his father pointed towards the full moon and asked him "what is this?" Dan's answer "a round metal sheet" was not welcomed by his father of course.

I also remembered clearly that Dan's father asked both of us what we would like to be when we grow up: I answered "an engineer" and Dan "a firefighter" which Dan's father didn't like again. But guess what?" Who become a successful engineer? Dan of course, and I the author of this page.

On the other hand, Dan remembered that my mother sat both of us around the table and served us some food. I as a restless child (and adult) jumped all around and my mother reprimanded me "why, the hell, couldn't you sit calmly like Danut?"

Here comes the question: if Dan was 6 years old, I probably was less than 5, so how could I remember clearly such details after so many years?

Rarely children remember such details from a such early age after a long departure. I can attribute this only to the fact that we had a very intense (but short) and happy mutual childhood accompanied by good relations between our parents all which left their positive mark on our memories and souls forever.

I'm sure that this time we are not going to part again for the next 30 years.

1979 vs. 2010

Then, 1979: Dan (Danut) at the left and me at the right.
Now, 2010: Dan (Danut) at the left and me at the right.

As mentioned at the top of this page I was born in Galati, Romania as Iulian Rubin. My Jewish names were Joseph (after my father's father) and Tzvi (after my mother's grandmother Tzipora).

In Israel my first Romanian name Iulian was changed to Tzvi in the 4th grade.

When I authored my first (for now, regretfully, also the last) novel in English I looked for a first pen name suitable for the English market, and of course Tzvi was not.

After many deliberations, suddenly crossed my mind the idea that I didn't need to search for a suitable name far away since I already had had one of my own: my Romanian name Iulian that its English counterpart is Julain (both after Julius Caesar / Iulius Cezar in English and Romanian respectively. The name literally means, in Latin, "belonging to Julius", hence its use for the Julian calendar introduced by Julius Caesar.). So Iulian became Julain, and many know me by my English name. A few, elementary school mates, in Israel still call me even Iulian.

My novel is called The Orchid Grower, which is basically a Juvenile Science Adventure Novel.


*Julian Tzvi Rubin is the Son of Erna Rubin

More about Erna Rubin


Ella Rubin Art Gallery - The Holocaust Mood

More about Ella Rubin and Her Art (Art-3000)
Erna Rubin's story from The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM)
Uncovering My Jewish Family History and Genealogy
The Ella Rubin Odyssey (Flickr)
Eulogy for Ella Rubin in Hebrew

For more about my family history and genealogy details click here

Editor and translator from Romanian: Tzvi Rubin
Comments and inquiries could be addressed to:
Rubin.Tzvi@Gmail.com