One week prior to end of the old Jewish year, just before the beginning of
Rosh Hashana - (the New Jewish one) our oldest daughter - Keren and her husband Elie celebrated a third wedding. The joyous Reception, within our US-based family and friends, took place on Sept 17th/2022,( long over-due) at our home in California.
The second traditional religious celebration took place about 2 weeks earlier, under the Chuppa, on Aug 28/2022 within Elie's larger family circle, at Adat Shalom (Reconstruction Synagogue) in Bethesda, Maryland
While the first wedding vows took place on Zoom, on Nov 20/2020, during the peak of the Corona pandemic, and within our small family circle, at the apartment of Keren's grandma- my beloved Mom, in Haifa Israel
The impressions of the 3 celebrations (from the Third to First) and how the couple met and got engaged, are noted below.
#3 -California Reception
Fall - Sept 17/2022
Only 2 weeks, from the time we returned from Washington Dc. where wedding celebration # 2 took place, granted to pull off a major reception production
at our home. .
Keren's arrival in Ca a week earlier, and Inbal's unexpected return back to the US, within 2 weeks period, as not to miss the reception, saved the day,
The girls invaluable contribution aid to the production of this major event, with food preparation, tables' setting, flower arrangement and free consulting... was enormous help.
David is testing rental chairs for the party
So was, without saying, David's aid.
He took charge of getting the premises in a proper shape, selected the wines, and prepared the fish.
And of course, all respect is also due to Elie- Keren's husband, who assumed the role of David' assistant, with utmost grace and dedication.
Friday family dinner at Lake Chalet by the lake Merritt, before the party, with the cousins from out of town
And Indeed , this most joyous event, at the end of the summer, to which only a small circle of family and friends, whom have known our Keren, from different stages in her life were invited, turned into a smashing success, by the account of the many responses sent later (below)
Among the around 50 invitees, dear cousins Sabrina, Andrew and cousin Karen, represented the out of town - East Coast family branches, while the rest of the guests were very dear old friends, of Keren's - Sabina and Craig from South Ca, Brooke from Marin, and ours, as close as family, from all around the Bay area.
With the Bride's Friends
With Family Friends
Luckily, the fickle weather, which turned–over, that same Saturday, by ending the dry sunny heated summer, with cooler showers of rain fall, held politely its pour, that night, for much later, after the end of that party .
The dessert spread, which was devoured instantly, along with the consumption of the lively music preformed by a local band, seemed to be the greatest infusions to the evening, together with the heart felt greetings and speeches .
Musicians: Michael Gill 415 6567559
Thanks again, to all the attending guests . Thank you ever so much for your generous gifts, for all your kind wishes and for your responses:
היה כייף לראות את כולכם ולהכיר את Elie!
כל הכבוד על האירוע שהרמת בעצמך!!
Thank you for inviting us to the lovely party you had yesterday for Keren and Elie. They make a great couple!
Thank you for including us. It was wonderful!
You made an outstanding wedding party for Keren & Eli. We had a great time. Food was delicious. So nice to celebrate and see your family and friends again. Music was very nice
האירוע בביתך לזוג הצעיר והמדהים היה משהו מהסרטים כל הכבוד לך היה נעים וחביב.
עריכת השולחן הייתה מקצועית והאוכל גירה את הפלט.
תודה על הערב הנעים.
From Astrid and Peter
We both enjoyed last night. As always, very interesting guests at your house.
What a lovely reception you had for Karen and Elie. You went all out with the food, music.
Thanks to you and David for a beautiful evening!!
Lili, you absolutely outdid yourself with the food - everything was absolutely delicious and you pulled it off with grace. Please tell David the salmon was wonderful too.
Your girls are so warm and friendly. It was a pleasure to chat with them. I did not talk much with Elie, but he seems to be a real mensch and it was sweet to witness the bond between him and Keren.
Wishing you continuing naches from your family
After the Wedding touring
And some Ice- Hockey Relaxation at the Berkeley Ice-Ring to relieve the Stress...
#2 - Maryland Wedding
Summer- Aug 28/2022
It took 10 years for me to return to Washington DC. Last I visited in the Capital was related to my work for Israel Democracy Institute (IDI)
This time much more festive reason brought our family back,
The Nov. 2020 zoom's important life event was "koshered" at a Synagogue, with a Jewish celebration, in the presence of a much larger community.
The second portion of the ceremony - Nisuin under the Chuppah with a ketubah and Sheva Berachot in the presence of the Groom's East Coast larger family and friends gathering, took finally place during the August's summer heat
On the way to the Synagogue
Saturday morning Synagogue's service, at the Reconstructionist Adat Shalom Synagogue, Bethesda, MD, was followed by a lavish brunch at Elie’s parents home, with the closest family circle.
Before the wedding ceremony started, the designated witnesses signed the very long Megillah of most thoughtful Marital Conditions, which Keren and Elie labored over, for many long months, and made sure to insert into the Ketuba commitment document and which were read out loud, in front of all the invited guests.
The event was a free flowing ordeal, very lovingly coordinated and organized by the
by the Mechutanim - In-Laws, who took full charge in it entire preparation, and absolutely outdid themselves.
The Jewish religious wedding ceremony, on Sunday afternoon, was masterfully conducted by Rabbi Rachel. Inbal and her husband Amit held one of the Chupah's pole, while the other three were held by the Groom's family and friends
The wedding rings were, proudly transported by our grandson - Leo and the Groom's nephew- Milo, who both walked down the aisle, just after Elie with his parents did, and then Keren , David and I, all exhilarated. followed.
Enormous lunch spread, endearing greetings and speeches by family and friends and meeting Elie's large family members, had kept the Simcha going on, until late afternoon.
A special telegram Greetings arrived from the couple's beloved Dog Ruggi
who was left in Israel... so sad...
(Crafted brilliantly by Elie's father-Kevin)
While the adults carried on with speeches and blessings, all afternoon, in between the food consumption, the smaller creatures, including our grandchildren, found a rescue under the clothed tables, where they hid, play, and only, periodically crawled out, when the craving for food supply, needed to be replenished.
Elie's side of the family consists of a huge tribe, of third degree adult cousins, who have grown and seemed to live in short proximity of each other, and who have kept close touch. This tradition has also continued, with the the smaller children of the next generation..
Considering the small size of our side of the family, partly induced by the Holocaust tragedy, and partly due to other less prosaic reasons, the large most friendly and lovely gang, acquired through this new marital union, has been a big gain, though also a bit overwhelming.
Encountering so many new faces, in a condensed time, though was most enjoyable,
was also a challenging task...
Special thanks to Marsha and Kevin - Elie's parents whose initiative, sole organization coordination, and hospitality, yielded an amazing production of the entire weekend's events, for the very many relatives and family members on the groom's side.
While in Washington
Our stay in down town and close to the white house was great
Willard Intercontinental Hotel - Pennsylvania Ave /14th St (1 855 629 1401 2923)
Light at Night At the Beauty Salon Weekend's Street Dancing
#1 - Wedding Ceremony on Zoom Haifa, Israel
Fall -Nov 20/2020
Keren and Eli got married on Zoom, during the peak of the corona pandemic.
The screened event consisted of Erusin and Tnaim,- that legally codified the marriage (both Halakhicly and legally in the U.S.) thanks to Maricopa County!.
Getting Ready to the zoom event...
This first joyous wedding event took place on Nov 20/20220 in Haifa Israel, at the home of my 99 years old Mom, whom one year and three months later, passed away, relieved, that her last worry and mission in her life, which was to marry off her oldest grand-daughter, with whom she had a very special bond, was finally attained.
It was important for Keren to have this special celebration in the presence of her beloved Grandmother- Ruth. (read more about Ruth here and here )
Only my Mom (with her caretaker), Keren's sister - Inbal, & husband - Amit and the
grand children - Leo and Alex - along with David & I, were physically present, with
the happy couple, under the same roof, during the commencement of the marital vows.
The groom's family, who unfortunately couldn't physically be present, due to the raging pandemic's flight restrictions, also witnessed this public exchange of nuptial commitments, off a huge monitor screen, joining on a zoom call, from the US.
The inspiring intimate ceremony was facilitated, long distance on zoom, by the distinguished Rabbi Fred from "Adat Shalom " Reonstructionist Congregation, Bethesda MD, to which Elie's parents - Marsha and Kevin - belong.
Though small, and limited in participants, it was the most touching, elated happiest celebration, in the bosom of the very close and far, loving families.
The bride was/is absolutely stunning, the groom was/is most distinguished, and combined the pair is made up of a phenomenal pool of genes, characters, talents and achievements.
They both definitely took up their time, but miraculously, they had met, and really seen each other. It was a serendipitous initiated encounter between two mature, galvanized, determined young adults.
The decision, to now publicly consolidate their union, had made, not only each other happy, but also made all the members of our combined families, utterly thrilled.
The groom's parents, who so far, sadly we only met on zoom, also gave their speeches, and sang some of the ceremonial blessings from afar.
The almost 5 years old Leo handed the rings to the revered couple, enthusiastically assisted us by showering the married couple with the paper confetti, as well as helped devouring the fantastic , but rich in calories chocolate wedding cake.
That particular Friday's day and night, the heaven manufactured a natural, unusual in magnitude.. festive display, of "audio visual firecrackers"
Roaring thunder and radiant lightning, which were heard and seen, dazzled Israel's northern coastal towns, accompanied by blessed sheet loads of rain downpour
(Gishmai Bracha). A special blessed gift to a special couple.
In some places the first flurries of winter's rainy weather also caused flooding
along the Mediterranean coast. The amount of rainfall over the weekend in some parts of the country exceeded the average for the entire month of November
Yet, inside the safety cozy home of my Mom, the only wetness felt, during the festive wedding celebration, was that of the tears of happiness, which its drizzle moisturized the eyes of us all, who witnessed this moving elated occasion.
The signing of the Marriage Certificate, which was furnished long distance, and sent from Arizona state, was done the following day, by 2 ordained witnesses, from Elie's building. Once the original signed certificate was mailed back to the US and properly stamped, the married couple was legally registered in Arizona state.
Celebratory extended wedding parties, in Israel, Maryland and California were planed to take place, at some unknown time, and once the Corona wouldn't be a health hazard any longer.
Love blossom in the Days of the Corona - Keren Meets Elie
Summer Engagement - July 17/2020 Israel
Keren met Elie in Israel about 6 months after he was stationed at the US Embassy in Jerusalem, and only a few weeks prior to when the wrath of the Corona pandemic
had enforced a "lock-down" edict, in Israel.
Their first date took place on a hot, sweaty summer night in Israel. Elie was coming from Jerusalem to meet Keren in Tel Aviv, and in order to stay neat, he carried his date-shirt on a hanger, and when he got to the booked restaurant, he went into the bathroom, cleaned up, and changed into his nice fresh shirt. He then proceeded to wait for Keren for 2 hours - because he got there 2 hours early to get the the best table...
Thus, despite of the geographical dating distance between TLV - where Keren resided, while Elie was based in Jerusalem, and despite the pandemic's stifling enclosure's and hardships, invoked also by the erratic limiting regulations imposed on the country's citizens, by the clueless Israeli Gov in response to the pandemic's second spike, the couple's budding friendship, only deepen caring for each other, and their mature adult love, had miraculously blossomed, steadily grown, and amazingly solidified.
On the weekend the fortuitous couple got engaged, Elie had asked Keren's hand in marriage, during a strenuous nature hike, along the enchanting Nahal (stream) AMUD - an attractive known wadi-creek in the upper Galilee.
Right before Elie had gifted Keren with a beautiful ring by the soothing trees' shade
and soft flowing water, he first presented her with a creative self formulated crossword puzzle template. It consisted of words needing answers to questions he especially compiled and crafted, from the shared events and experiences, related to their interaction with each other, and with their families, during the course of almost one year into their dating.
Keren passed this fun memory challenge, with flying colors, responding correctly to all the humorous questions, thus diligently earning also the bonus final pop-up question : "will you marry me" ?
3 weeks prior to this weekend's jubilant moment, we got one day a surprise phone call from Elie summoning both David and I on the phone call.
He specially called to get our consent and blessing, in asking our daughter's hand in marriage, to which we unanimously consented, being most thrilled, yet less excited about having to keep this wonderful news in "secret for a few weeks" until the right moment to ask Keren" happens.
At the time, and exactly on the original getaway weekend the couple planned and during which Elie secretly prepared to surprise Keren and ask her hand in marriage, none of us could have foreseen that Keren unexpectedly was obliged to be quarantined (after a co-worker was contaminated).
Thus, unfortunately the plans had to be postponed, and we including our younger daughter Inbal, with whom Elie consulted about the engagement ring, all had to painfully "marinate" with the apprehension and the need to keep the secret from Keren, for much longer than we humans, could have endured
So when the excited phone call finally arrived, right after Keren gave her consent to Elie, we thrillingly joined in the joyous moment, being also happily relieved off keeping
"the secret" we all were waiting to get the day-light.
Keren and Elie definitely took their time to live, experience and mature prior to encountering each other, in this lucky and right soul-mate match.
We loved Elie from the get-go, when Keren decided he was worthy to be introduced to us. This handsome tall, very intelligent, best educated and most kind impressive gentleman, is a wonderful partner to our Keren who also bears the same wonderful superlatives.
Apparently, Eli's parents were also delighted to meet our Keren, when he decided, only a few weeks into their dating, to fly her to the US to meet his parents.
Elie was raised in Washington DC area where his environmentalist father and Jewish educator - mother still reside.
They should be getting many of the credits for raising such a fantastic loving, caring and conscientious fellow.