When their youngest daughter, Shlomit, was about to have a baby around Passover 2020, the same time that corona began to crest, the Gertlers, Ellen and Richard, now of Israel, wanted to fly back to Teaneck to be with their daughter for her birth and help her afterwards.
“We had our ticket, and we still had our house here, and while the planes were still flying at the time, we didn’t know how we would get back to Israel,” said Ellen, whose husband is Dr. Richard Gertler, formerly of Teaneck Dentist.
But later in the year, they did come back for a visit in December, and just recently, the Gertlers, who retired and made aliyah in 2019, were in town to help celebrate the 1-year-birthday of their 15th grandchild, Benjamin Joshua (Benny) Sterman.
“It was wonderful to be here and spend time with our family and friends,” said Ellen. “When we come to Teaneck, it still is like home. We still have a lot of close friends here. We’ve started to build relationships in Israel, and our children in Israel (two daughters, two sons-in-law and 9 grandchildren) live nearby, but as soon as we started to get to know people, everything shut down.”
Meanwhile, the Gertlers managed to sell their Teaneck home – remotely – and Dr. Gertler, an avid biker is very much enjoying his retirement, Ellen said.
When everything resumes more normalcy, the couple is looking forward to being bi-continental grandparents to their brood.