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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Faye’s Last Day in Israel...Jerusalem

We had one day after the Lion’s Conference with Faye before she left Israel – possibly for the last time. She wanted to go to the Wall in Jerusalem, so we hired a car and took her there for one last adventure before she left.

We got to the Wall and Jan Greenfield (our Israeli staff person) and she covered the heads in scarves and to me they suddenly looked related. Faye talked about being here 15 years ago with her husband, before he died, and how much going to Israel, especially Jerusalem, meant to her.

Throughout the entire day trip she marveled how Israel has changed with so many more buildings and people. As we walked the streets I heard a couple people stop and point to Faye saying, “That’s the Jewish partisan photographer.” She had become famous.

On the way back to Tel Aviv and the airport, we stopped her at the Jewish partisan memorial. The Israeli soldiers there were honored to meet Faye and wanted to pose with her in a picture.

Her trip here was amazing on so many levels. She touched over a thousand people at the Lion’s conference and made many friends for JPEF. I am humbled how this woman, turning 90 later this week, did this to help us tell her story, and the story of all Jewish partisans.

She taught me a lesson about how independent she is—shattering any myths I might have had on the so-called “elderly”. When I asked her if we could arrange a ride home for her when she arrived in Toronto after a 12 hour flight, carrying luggage, and passing through quite a few time zones, she told me she did not want to bother anyone, and besides, “Once I get to Toronto I can get home myself. I’ll just take a taxi.”

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