Erela Rafaeli Tal – Jerusalem Israel – Customer feedback about Jewish Genealogical Research services –

I was born in Paris, France, just before the Holocaust, and I was six year old when my parents died in Auschwitz. I only knew my mother was from Poland and my father from Russia. Over the years I managed to pull some information that my mother was born in Brody, Galicia and father – in Feodosiya, Crimea. Today both are part of Ukraine.

For several years I cherished the idea to see where my roots, but it was not easy. This year I decided that it is impossible now to postpone this trip because of my age and my physical condition. Tourism companies do not reach the standard in these areas, especially as they are very far apart, so I decided to buy myself a private tour derived by measurements – i.e., escort all the way, considering the limitations. One travel agency referred me to Mrs. Nadia Lipes – the guide who lives in Kiev. We started building the program, including costs and possibilities of travel. Nadia created a very professional program and I understood that I could trust her fully. We were in contact via SKYPE from that time every day.
 I came to Kiev one day before the Rosh-a-Shana and the next evening I was expecting a gala dinner at a local synagogue. We rented apartments equipped with all required, and low cost hotels, mostly in city centers. I got all the places I wanted and other interesting places agreed beforehand. On sites that contain lots of steps I had to give up willingly because of difficulties in walking. The program was usually not too busy and I had a lot of time to rest. In the evenings you could do short trips, dinners in unique restaurants (half the price than in Israel), and I also saw a ballet at the Opera on my earlier request.
 Trips were made by train overnight (12 hours each) from Kiev to Lvov, from Lvov to Odessa and from Odessa to the center of Crimea. Other trips were in a rented car with driver and local guide. I had never dragged my suitcase. Nadia accompanied me till boarding to plane, she was courteous, and creative. I was delighted to have her accomplished the task. You can never find 100% service, but all-in-all it was fine!