3 months

Diary of a Bat Mitzvah
Planning Parent

3 Months to the Big Day

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.

We bought

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
on Daylight

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

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