Report By Gabriella Keren

[Comments are welcome at our Dialogue Corner]

Vive la différence!!

After many sleepless nights in anticipation of the great event, HopeWays first anniversary celebration finally took place as planned on September 8, 2004.

Social columns usually exhibit photographs of ageing and overweight women. Social chronicle reporters (looking like poor cousins of rich families) describe every wedding as the "culmination of a fairy tale", every bride as a "virginal princess with almond eyes", all grooms "handsome" all fathers "distinguished", all families "illustrious" and all parties "magnificent and unforgettable". So we are not going to put our surfers to sleep with that kind of jargon.

However, when you walk into a party with more than eighty people of all ages and nationalities, all walks of life, all religious creeds and all wearing a smile on their faces, you wonder what the common denominator is?

Wine? Undoubtedly, the elixir of life helped to put a little bit of spice and spirit into the HopeWays party. We are not going to tell you who was tipsy and who was not.

Some sexagenarians and up to eighty year olds enthusiastically joined their younger counterparts to the music of the Rumba and the musicians jammed in joyful and varied interpretations of music of all periods and cultural traditions.

Our solution to this riddle is that perhaps the common denominator is creativity, that other invisible element that swims under the seas of the unconscious. When given a chance to express themselves, people find that it is easy to break barriers, that barriers become invisible for there is room for everyone's voice on this planet.

On the eve of the Jewish New Year, when the Creator of Creators is re-counting His stock, we offer this celebration to Him and His joyous angels above.

Our most sincere thanks to Ehud Tokatly for having created this forum, to Hedva and Dudu Halevy for offering their home, to Yair, Yehuda and Moshe of Carmei Ha'ir for the delicious food, to Menahem and Yoram and all the musicians who made this party unforgettable, to all HopeWays contributors and to myself, Gabriella, for trying to put everyone at ease.

On second thought, perhaps a social chronicle should be considered serious journalism. When in future times, some academic with thick spectacles and soporific prose recounts our present era, he will undoubtedly have to visit the HopeWays web site, where he will find a chronicle of an era that some will call fabulous and others will describe as "chaotic".

Many, many happy returns to HopeWays and its contributors!

Shana Tova!

Gabriella Keren, 15/September/2004

Photographs by Yigal Mor
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