Tuesday, July 27, 2010
On Sunday my mother asked for some help with her message for the Na'amat year book. As president she needed to write words of greeting, some plans, and hopes for the up coming year. After discussing some of her ideas concerning Na'amat she mentioned that one big concern was the need for new, young members, who would take over the organization. She has been a member for more than 55 years. In her chapter are friends who have been there all those years. She also remembers those who have passed on. Two of her first cousins, who died before age 50, were members from the beginning. Many of the members have lost husbands.
I suggested that she try to make some connection between the local activities and what was done with the funds in Israel. She told me that she donated money for a scholarship fund in memory of my father and I suggested trying to find the beneficiary and tell her story. At first my mother did not know the name. On Monday she found out the name and the fact she went to Beit Berl College and lived in Petah Tikvah. I offered to help find her. I went to the online Israeli phone book to check the number. The person did not have a common last name, but there was no listing.
I called my aunt who lives in Jerusalem for advice. She offered to call because she knew someone in Petach Tikvah. I said that I would just call the person in the phone book. I called and speaking in Hebrew told the person who answered that I was calling from Chicago in the United States and I was looking for Rachel. The person who answered was her father. He gave me the daughter's phone number and I called her. The reason that I couldn't find her in the phone directory was that she had a different last name than the name my mother was given.
When I reached her and identified myself I realized that she was the correct person. I was sort of a loss for words. I wanted to ask all about her life, but felt that was too invasive. She told me how grateful she was for the Na'amat scholarship and that she is now a kindergarten teacher. She also had two aunts who are teachers in Na'amat schools. The little push of the scholarship allowed her to get the education to be a teacher. She told me her Facebook name and I befriended her. I sent her and e-mail asking her to tell me more and she answered.
We found the person who was helped and now she is able to help 4-5 year-old children. I hope that the story puts a human face to my mother's new year message and she finds the new members that her group needs.