Bar mitzva for an international trio [p. 4]

Three old friends from three different continents celebrated their sons' bar mitzvas together at the Western Wall on Thursday. Simon Kaye, who lives in Shimsheet, northern Israel, Darren Lee, from New Rochelle, New York, and Harold Novick, who lives in Taiwan, have known each other for years. Their sons, Tuval Kaye, Max Lee and Martin Novick, have known one other for a while and now they are connected forever. Simon Kaye, an attorney, organized the joint ceremony to reunite with old friends. Simon and Darren Lee became friends when they were member of the youth movement Hanoar Hatzioni in England. They went their separate ways but kept in touch. After college, Darren met his future wife, an American, while he was spending a year in Israel. They subsequently moved to the United States. Simon fell in love with Israel and made aliya. In 1998, Simon met Harold Novick, an American lawyer based in Taiwan who does business in Israel. They became friends and later had business dealings. The friends stayed in touch through their children, who were all about the same age. Simon decided to stage a reunion by having their sons bar mitzvas together. This is Max and Martin's first time in Israel. Max was so excited that he exclaimed, "I want to make aliya. I just love this religious feeling." At first Martin from Taiwan was "nervous" about being in Israel but he is now happy to be living through such a "lifetime experience." "Between e-mail, telephone and Skype, we can easily stay in touch," said Simon at the post-bar mitzva lunch. They finished off the day by touring the Western Wall Tunnel. At the end of the busy day, Martin said, "I have to be back at school on Monday in Taiwan." "Yeah, I've got class in New York," said Max.