20 September 2007

Israel: Planting the Family Tree

A few months ago, I received an email from Dr. Adam Smith in New York. He had been a fan of my former Jerusalem Post column ("It's All Relative," 1999-2005) and wanted to know if I was interested in a family reunion he was planning.

That initial email started a flurry of communications and brought out a very interesting series of "six degrees of separation" coincidences involving Dardashti cousins.

Four days after he took his medical boards in New York, Adam arrived in Israel for the Oberlander family reunion, which I was also privileged to attend. In a short time, some very gracious cousins told me I was an honorary Oberlander. It was a delightful afternoon and evening at Neot Kedumim, a combination nature reserve and botanical garden between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Thank you, Adam, for allowing me the honor of participating and writing about this project.

More than 100 cousins from several countries and Israel descended on the park for a tree planting and dinner. Some readers may remember Adam who also attended the 2006 IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in New York.

My Jerusalem Post story of Adam's detailed research over more than seven years tracing 2,300 descendants of a single Hungarian ancestor is here.

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