(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
• THERE IS no age limit for romance, and there are no rules to determine whether or not there is a cut-off age for all the symptoms of being in love. Certainly widow and widower Pessy Krausz and Mel David, whose wedding is scheduled for Valentine’s Day, absolutely radiate in each other’s company.
Now in their late 70s, they knew each other vaguely by moving now and again in the same social circles and attending the same synagogue – Hanassi in Rehavia. One day a few months back, they bumped into each other on the corner of Ussishkin and Keren Kayemet streets. They exchanged pleasantries, continued talking for a little while, and in the course of conversation David asked Krausz if she would have dinner with him some time. She replied in the affirmative in an off-hand manner, not believing that he would pursue the subject. He wasn’t sure if she really would agree to go out with him and, not wanting to be rebuffed, called a mutual friend to check out the lay of the land.
Krausz saw no reason not to go out for dinner with him but had no expectations. She thought that it would just be a pleasant evening, and that would be the end of it. As it happened, there was so much chemistry between them that they talked and talked and talked – so much so that the young waitress who had served them approached and told them that so much positive energy was emanating from them that it was contagious. Cupid was an invisible third party at the table and shot his arrows unerringly. The upshot was a decision to get married.
The engagement was celebrated last Saturday with a sumptuous kiddush at Hanassi following the stirring Shabbat service at which, in addition to reciting prayers for the sick, for the IDF and for the State of Israel, congregants also said prayers for the residents of Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights.
Some indication of the esteem in which the engaged couple is held could be seen in the large number of people who came to the service plus those who came afterwards from other congregations to join in the celebration and to convey their good wishes.
One man, a kohen, told Krausz that he would not recite the regular priestly blessing (which had already been recited twice during the service) but would bless her and David to enjoy as much happiness as experienced by him and his wife, for whom theirs was also a second marriage for both.
• IT’S NOT unusual at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center to come across a group of adults conversing in Polish. Many Polish Holocaust survivor events, as well as events held in conjunction with the Polish Embassy and/or the Polish Institute, are held at there. But last week, the Polish speakers included a group of teenagers.
They were visitors from the Jacek Malczewskie High School of Fine Arts in Czestochowa. Their week-long visit was part of a student exchange project in cooperation with the Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts in Givatayim.
Due to the nature of the two schools, Israeli and Polish students not only take part in reciprocal visits but also engage in joint workshops in which they learn and create together. A delegation of students from Thelma Yellin visited Czestochowa in September 2016.
In Israel, the students from Czestochowa not only got a chance to see a lot of this country, learn about the various cultures and traditions and hear the views of people of different ages and backgrounds, but they also got to hear their country’s president Andrzej Duda speak at the opening of the exhibition “Jews in the Polish Army” at the Begin Heritage Center.
There were nine Polish students in the group accompanied by three teachers, headed by Anna Wylezalek. While in Jerusalem, they were given a guided tour by Reut High School graduate Iftach Eitan, who is a member of Gidonim, the Jerusalem student group that annually sends students to Poland to meet with their peers and to help in cleaning and restoring the Jewish cemetery in Czestochowa.
While they were in Israel, the Polish students and their teachers were hosted by the Israel Association of Czestochowa Jews and their Descendants, headed by Alon Goldman.