Saturday, May 27, 2006

Crazy "Coincidence"- Now with Update

A couple of days ago, I happened to be thinking about an old friend of mine from my NCSY days, Jennifer Paul. Jenn lived several towns away and went to a different school, but I met and/or hung out with her at pretty much every NCSY Shabbaton (weekend retreat) through most of my high school years, and I liked her a lot. One time when we were about 16 or 17, she came to my house to visit, and I had the pleasure of having her play my family's piano and sing for us -- including a beautiful song she herself had composed. Her voice was incredible, and she could play piano by ear. She had recently recorded a demo song in a studio, and gave me a copy. I haven't seen or spoken with Jenn since I graduated from high school, but I still have that tape.

Anyway, every so often I think of her, and wonder what ever had become of her. This time, I put her name into Google, and lo and behold, I found her website. As you can see, she has been working as a singer/entertainer. No surprise there. She's very talented. Wanting to know more, I sent her an email through her site, asking if she remembers me, and how is she doing?

About an hour later she wrote back, saying "Sarah! Of course I remember you! And, you'll never believe this, I happen to be in Israel right now, and I'm getting married next week! Do you want to come to the wedding?"

So, this week I'm going to Haifa to see Jenn for the first time in over 15 years and watch her get married. Since she's understandably a little too busy these days to send me detailed emails, I still don't know much more about her life these past 15 years . . . I don't even know who she's marrying, or why they chose to get married in Israel, where they plan to live afterward (though I gather they are going back to the US after the wedding) . . . but I suppose this means she's happy!

What a crazy thing, that I happened to go to the trouble of Googling her just a few days before her wedding in Israel. I feel like this is min hashamayim (destiny), and that for some reason I'm meant to be there.

One small glitch is the fact that public transportation from Haifa to Jerusalem stops at 8 pm, and there is no way the wedding will be close to over at that point. So I'm looking for lodging in Haifa, and would rather not spend the $150-plus prices at the hotels that come up in my Google searches. Anyone know of a good Bed and Breakfast in Haifa? I tried Googling that also, but came up with only two options: One is an establishment just for "Jews and Gentiles who believe in Jesus" (uh, thanks but no thanks), and the other looks very nice but is all the way in Binyamina -- doable, but a bit inconvenient. Any tips for where to stay at an affordable price would be great.

This whole thing is quite surreal.

This blog totally came through for me. Susan read my post, contacted friends of hers in Haifa, and now I've got home hospitality with people who sound really nice. Thanks, Susan!

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