First and foremost, I spoke to Joyce, yesterday (Sunday). Upon our return, her sister-in-law Gwen Willis, whisked her off to Urgent Care where she underwent some of the same tests she had received while at the hospital in Tel Aviv. She received an additional antibiotic to compliment the one that she had received previously as well as some very much needed cough medicine to help with the cough that had become exacerbated with the long plane ride home and then upon arrival in the US. She commented that she was feeling better and more rested having slept in her own bed – with Gwen there to monitor and support. Once again, as we have done at least 100 times since Tuesday night, expressed our appreciation for the beyond expectations support – from the beginning to the end
In naming names I know that I will forget someone so please forgive my human fallibility. Yet, I would like to personally acknowledge Susan and Marilyn for their make it happen/can do performances done with love and gentleness anchored in firm determination to see that both real and anticipated needs (and comforts) were addressed. Arlene, Virginia, and Marilyn (in New York) worked miracles! I have no idea of how they were able to make travel and hotel arrangements work. (Chances are that if I did find out all that was done behind the scenes I would need to be sworn to secrecy.) Howie and Nancy, Tara, Cathy, and Pat, along with everyone else who touched us with your words, offers of support, e-mails, phone calls, texts, but most importantly – your prayers – thank you!
At the end of Palm Sunday mass, experienced this time like no other because of the Mission trip, my pastor asked that I come up and say a few words (impromptu) to the parishioners of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church about my experience. In my brief comments, I remarked about the deepened appreciation for the words of the Gospel because of the places visited, the sites seen, and the information learned. I told them of being asked by our pastor, Fr. John Allen, to take his prayers for our church community and physically place his hand-written request in the Wall. Yet, the most important thing that I said to them and would like to reiterate to you is about the power of prayer. We often ask for and/or offer prayers. We may be specific in our requests or we may just ask God to watch over us in general. Yet, you never know how powerful your words of prayer can be. Our loving God takes our simple words of want, need, thanksgiving, forgiveness, and/or praise and transforms them into actions that are far beyond cognition or even imagination. Thank you for your prayers for Joyce’s return to health and for our safe return home. It could not have been “scripted” any better.
During those extra days in Israel, I was just the agent – representing all of you. I was honored to do so.
Take care, my friends!
As far as the planning of our trip, it was impeccable. You orchestrated perfectly, and together with Nomi’s innate sense of timing and ability to read our minds, there was not one misstep. We especially enjoyed our helicopter ride, touring Safad, our desert adventure with Dani (the desert James Bond!), the bullet factory, the 4 Flavor Felafel stand, and our wonderful lunch at Gilly’s in Tel Aviv. Nomi even took the time to bring our 5-year-old to a kiddie gym called Diada after lunch just to make him feel special, which he loved!
Suffice it to say that it is unimously our favorite family vacation to date. We are so grateful to you and Nomi for our transformative Israeli experience which we will remember always!
Best wishes for a wonderful holiday. And please remember that if you ever come to Los Angeles, we would be thrilled to host you at our hotels in Santa Monica.
Shalom & Best Regards,
Needless to say we are a tired group but we have just completed The trip of a lifetime. Thank you again Virginia.
It is such a pleasure to work with you – your constant attention to detail, attentiveness and calm demeanor make everything so easy!
The whole Kenes team was outstanding and often went above and beyond anyone’s expectations. Please send my best to everyone.
I had never been to the Hula Valley. The bike ride/golf cart around the lake was really fun and fascinating. Everyone loved it. The visit to the chocolate factory was also a great success, something most people never do. The short hike at Ein Gedi was also a crowd pleaser. The Rabin Center is so interesting. We could have easily spent three hours there.
I look forward to hearing from you and working with you again.
The mission was wonderful and all the logistics went so smoothly. I definitely do not take this for granted and do appreciate how much work (and frustration ) is involved.
“Kol Hakavod (Job well done!)” I look forward to working together again in the not too distant future.
I work for the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego and recently returned from my first trip to Israel. The trip lasted nearly three weeks and began with the Jewish Federation of North America’s Women’s Mission, followed by time on my own to conduct Foundation business in Jerusalem. Orit was extremely helpful in arranging my trip details, which included personal tours and hotel stays. She patiently answered all of my questions and consistently responded in a timely manner. I truly appreciated her attention and have shared this with our local Jewish Federation staff as well as family members who travel to Israel several times a year.
I hope to work with Orit on future trips.