On a mission created self-consciously and unapologetically for women, participants reacted as, well, women. Intra- and inter-community friendships were created, tears were shed, jokes and hand cream were shared, and support was offered at difficult times. Our guide, Francis Oppenheimer, provided insightful commentary along the way, liberally sprinkled with political gossip, and poked gentle fun at Hyman, the only male in the group.
When it appeared that our tree planting opportunity would not materialize, quiet lobbying behind the scenes ensured that it would be reinstated. I had mentioned to several participants that I was looking forward to planting a tree in memory of my husband. Almost without a word, I was ushered by several pairs of hand to the front of the line and offered the opportunity to plant the first tree in front of the Sandy Koufax sports field at the Beit Shemesh Residential Center, a beneficiary of the Jaffa Institute. I will be forever grateful.