"Jerome Robbins was asked by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation to go to Israel to see what dance company might be able to come to America and represent dance in Israel. He saw Inbal and became very excited about them but felt that they needed professional training but would not lose their basic quality. So he asked me to come with him and I said OK, and I went, and that was it.
"The first year I went was in '53. I had no conception of Jewish life in Oriental countries, and to see how they used the Jewish themes in a Yemenite way, an Oriental way, was a completely new experience for me.
"I never lost my connection with Israel. I didn't expect that I would be tremendously moved, that the minute the plane went down and touched the ground in Israel, I was overwhelmed with an indescribable feeling about being there, and that extraordinary feeling never left me."