Sunday, July 15, 2012

Old Friends Reunite in Chevron

I've heard it said that if you stand around Jerusalem's Midrachov (pedestrian mall) Rechov Ben Yehuda long enough, you are certain to see someone from out of your past.
Many years ago, my dearest mother ad 120 and I were eating lunch at Village Green restaurant when Mother found, seated at the very next table, her childhood friend from elementary school. That was an unforgettable reunion.
I experienced a similar reunion last week in Chevron.
I had gone to Chevron, along with hundreds of other people to participate in the Second Annual Conference on the Application of Israeli Sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. (More on that thought-provoking gathering in a future blog.)
On the other side of the room at the Machpelah Visitors' Center was a great-grandmotherly woman who sat quietly listening to the speeches. Her face was familiar to me in a distant sort of way, and the question of her identity bothered me throughout the conference.
Only a few minutes before the end of the program, the words "Script Supervisors" popped into my head, along with a name, "Olga". Still Olga didn't seem exactly right.  On my note pad, I wrote "Script Supervisors" and "Olga?"
Boing. I suddenly realized who this woman was. Thirty-odd years may have passed since we had first met, but I now knew that we had been good friends in New York City when we both worked in the entertainment industry.
At the time, I was a junior editor of an entertainment industry publication, and she was a powerhouse in the Screen Supervisors' Union (the folks responsible for the continuity of the movie script, in addition to many other tasks). We had become friends at first because we were both religious Jewesses – a rarity in the New York motion picture industry in the late 1970s and beyond.
I Know You
As soon as the conference was over, I popped out of my chair, ran across the stage and went right up to her. "I am Sharon Katz and I know you," I said. But she gave me a blank stare. Then I opened my note pad, and showed her the page on which I had written my guess at her identity. Her name wasn't Olga, but Olda. That's a name you can't forget.
She read the words slowly, "Script Supervisors." Her eyes opened wide, and then she looked up at me quizzically. I told her again who I was, and suddenly her eyes twinkled, and her smile shined with happiness.
"What are you doing here?" she asked. "I live in Efrat," I answered. She was so thrilled to hear that, she actually clapped. "I remember the day you told me you were going to move to Israel," Olda said. "And now you live in Efrat. I live part time in Jerusalem and part time in New York." That was exciting for me to hear as well.
Two gals from the New York movie biz, together in Chevron of all places – worrying, not about scripts or show business, but, about the future of the Jewish people in their land.
We hugged for a long time. She went back to Jerusalem, and I to Efrat. But we know that each of us has fulfilled her real dream of living in Eretz Yisrael and being part of the eternal screenplay of the Jewish people. B"H! Amazing!!

No comments:

Post a Comment