Thursday, June 30, 2005

Family meetings

Like many Jewish families, we are scattered across the globe. My mother's parents escaped Nazi Germany in August 1939; her father made it to England with his brother; two other siblings escaped earlier to New Zealand; two more were murdered at Auschwitz. On my father's side I'm 3rd or 4th generation English - most of the family is in the North of the country and we had little contact with them growing up.

Living in a generation where the world is getting smaller, we get used to families living on opposite sides of the earth, where before calling each child a parent will need to figure what time it is in New York, Sydney or London. Although that trend is definitely at work in my family, there is also an opposite effect going on.

Last night we went for dinner with a cousin (on his parents' credit card - big thanks guys!!); he is just visiting but his sister lives in Tel Aviv. They, together with my cousins in Netanya represent Dad's side of the family here. On Mum's side, there is a cousin from New Zealand, a cousin from the West Coast of the States and a cousin from North West London. There is a further cousin who is probably on the way and after 9 years of our living in different countries, my brother is planning to come at the end of the year. Mum is a work in progress...

We live in a time of "kibbutz galuyot" - ingathering of the exiles. Jews all over the world have a focal point, whether for holidays or as a place to live. Family who I would otherwise have nothing to do with find their way to Jerusalem - and I get to see and spend time and get to know....


1 comment:

Michael Lawrence said...

Who are your Kiwi relatives? (No mention of the rugby from the weekend please - I'm avoiding the score so I can see the replay).