ORIEL AND VERED Cohen stand under their wedding canopy at Jerusalem’s La Gondola hall last Thursday, after their ceremony in Kiryat Gat was canceled due to rocket fire from Gaza..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Upon hearing a radio interview with a young couple from southern Israel who tearfully related that their wedding ceremony had to be canceled last week due to heavy rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, a Jerusalem councilman decided to host the affair in the capital.
“On Tuesday I heard the broadcast and the couple was crying because they could no longer have their wedding in Kiryat Gat, near Beersheba, on Thursday, because the military ordered that no gatherings of over 40 people could take place in the area,” said Hanan Rubbin (Jerusalem Awakening), who holds the capital’s Young Adult Families and Students portfolio.
“They said they had to find another place, so I called them, introduced myself and said I would do anything I can to help them as a Jerusalem councilman.”
According to Rubin, the couple, Oriel and Vered Cohen, both students in their 20s, were shocked by his offer.
“They were actually very surprised, because Jerusalem is an expensive place to get married and they said they never imagined being able to afford a wedding here,” he said. “So I called all my friends and the owners of city wedding venues who could sponsor it.”
In short order, Rubin said Liad Ruach and Avi Duamis, owners of a Talpiot wedding hall called La Gondola, offered to host the function on Thursday night for a fraction of their normal cost.
“They said they would do whatever they can within 48 hours to produce the best wedding possible for this couple,” he said.
Indeed, with little time, Ruach and Duamis arranged tables and food for the couple’s 365 guests.
“They did an amazing job, with beautiful coloring for table settings and great food,” said Rubin, who attended the affair as a “guest of honor.” “They only charged them for the bare costs of getting everything together, but refused to take a profit.”
The couple said they were overwhelmed by the selfless act of kindness.
“We never imagined we could get married in Jerusalem,” Vered said in a follow-up radio interview after the wedding. “We understood that in difficult times the people of Jerusalem can be relied upon, and we are very lucky to be part of the Jewish people who take care of each other all the time.”
Noting the number of guests, Rubin said the good deed was also symbolic.
“I told them that it’s a very spiritual thing to have 365 guests, because it represents the hope that we will take care of each other not only in times of crisis, but every day of the year,” he said.