How hard was it to obtain a green card?
We actually got lucky by winning a Green Card lottery on our first try.
How did your dad Manage to keep his spirits up?
Our dad tried to stay positive and look towards a brighter future. I'm sure he had plenty of moments, but he never showed it to us and we never saw him being deeply depressed.
In fact there was a very dark time when his mother (our grandma) came to visit us for a month. It happened just a few months after we immigrated to the states and on her 3rd week with us she had a stroke while cooking dinner for us.
The next few days from emergency room to the hospital bed and the decisions he personally had to make were unbelievably difficult. At one point doctors weren't sure if she would make it and even if she did, she wouldn't be able to move, speak or understand much of anything. The stroke damaged her brain significantly. Despite that my dad never lost hope and our grandma slowly started to recover on her own to the amazement of the doctors. After 4 weeks in the hospital a nurse from Israel flew in to help bring her back. She ended up mostly recovering and visited us again a year later all by herself and lived on for another 10+ years.
As tragic as this event was for us and especially my dad, it brought him hope to never give up and fight to the last moment. He still tears up when he tells this story to us even though we were there with him as it happened.
Was he eventually able to use his education towards a career in the US?
His education didn't translate to a career in US since he was already 50 and his knowledge was highly specialized. However, his education taught him how to learn better and faster, persevere and never give up throughout his life. In that sense it was priceless.