|This was a month of correspondence
– inviting our guests, reading their
e-mailed responses and going back and forth on the menus and on the
coordination for the mitzvah event.
boxes of invitations that came with imprintable cards with a punched
hole for a satin ribbon tie and a sheath to slide the card into. By
using one side of the card for a formal invitation and the other for the
itinerary, we were able to design an elegant and interesting
invitation. We asked for responses by e-mail since that would be the
quickest. The warmth and excitement generated by the invitation is
really touching. Here is what one Rabbi wrote:
Dear D. and D.,
We were touched and delighted to be invited to share the Simcha of L.’s Bat
Mitzvah celebration with you. Unfortunately, Rabbis work on the Jewish
holidays. It sounds like it will be a remarkable Simcha.
As you rejoice in both the Torah and the beauty of Eretz Yisrael, may L.’s
heart be attached always to the Word, the Land and the People — and may
she bring delight to you and to the entire wonderful family.
Mazal tov! Mazal tov!
J. and T. R.
P.S. Nifty invitation!
I also wrote to the coordinator of Friends
of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) asking if our group of about 15 people
ranging from grandparents to young children could work on a project cleaning
up the waters of the Red Sea. I received a quick and warm response
from Dori Meshi. Here it is:
Dear Mrs. R.,
I was very happy to receive your letter and would like very much to organize
a clean up for your family.
There are some logistical problems, because April 11 falls during the week
of Passover (as I’m sure you’re aware) which is not a time we ordinarily
do cleanups here. Lots of big pre-Pesach cleanups in the spirit of
the holiday, and lots of cleaning up after all the
visitors leave Eilat, but Israel semi-shuts down for the week of Passover.
However, I’m sure I can arrange something. There are some details I need
from you. In order to participate in an underwater cleanup, people
must be certified scuba divers. Are any of your group certified divers?
Also, the weather in April can be quite warm in Eilat. How long do
you think I should
plan your clean up for? Would a morning (8:30 to 12:30) be appropriate?
My daughter is celebrating her Bat Mitzvah on April 26, so it seems we have
something in common. Perhaps our daughters can meet during your visit.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Dori Aloni Meshi
FoEME EIlat Project Manager
I wrote back that we have one or two scuba divers but most of us are happier
just snorkeling around under water and I asked if we could be helpful in
that capacity. Ms. Meshi must be a woman with infinite
patience – she wrote back:
Dear Mrs. R.,
Snorkel clean ups can be problematic, but I’ll see what I can do. I
think we should set the exact hours for your clean up closer to the actual
date when we have an idea about the weather. Israel will already be
Savings Time and some years April is very hot. Two hours in Eilat’s
mid-day sun might be uncomfortable for some of your group, in which case
we might opt for 3:00 in the afternoon to begin. But if it’s a cool
April, the hours you suggested could be fine. Where in the States are you
Looking forward to hearing from you and meeting you.
Dori, FoEME, Eilat
(Please, call me Dori.)
And so we agreed that we’d figure out the exact nature and time of the project
closer to the date of the event. We are all so delighted that we’ll
be able to participate, and whether it’s underwater or on the beach, I know
it will be a well-organized and productive use of our
time. And what could be nicer for a Bat Mitzvah girl and her family
than to celebrate this milestone by caring for the precious land of Israel
Text by Deborah Rosenbloom