Updated: Oct 14, 2021
The snow has piled up, the fireplace glows and we are back home in South Windsor, CT., reflecting on the experiences of this past month. It was a fast paced trip dotted with coincidences. How amazing that the date we planned to be in Buffalo was also the date that Sharon Greenfield would be tying the knot. And not once, but four times we visited people on their actual birthdays or anniversaries. And imagine, two couples we visited lived on the same street, a few buildings apart. And we even met up with two people each named Joel Davidson! When we set out we had a general idea of where we needed to be when, but mostly our itinerary was in pencil, often changing based on which Public Broadcasting Station, United Way, Synagogue or ACLU responded to our last minute outreach. We could not have done this trip without the help of our fabulous support team. Kate Mellitz, our virtual co-pilot, was with us from morning till night, making sure we had a place to sleep at night, doing reconnaissance to make sure that we were heading in the right direction all the while keeping the website and our social media up to date. Ben and Ricky were also behind the scenes helping to smooth the path. Rabbi Yonah Keyak, has been writing articles loosely based on some of Tour To The Wonderful themes. His first article was recently published in The Algemeiner. Each week we are excited to hear what Andrew Schwartz, our podcast producer puts together. This week episode 5 of Tour To The Wonderful Podcast (available wherever you get your podcasts) dropped. Entitled, Distant Relatives, the episode takes us to meet family we've never met before, and family we've not seen in a year. The episode follows Seymour the RV from Louisiana through Texas to Arizona. While in Lake Charles, Louisiana, we hear the synagogue president's southern drawl as he shares personal reflections about the all encompassing storm damage and the reconstruction. Near the Mexican border we meet representatives from many social service agencies who share an insiders view of the local population and asylum seekers. During that meeting we learned the area is considered a megalopolis, adjacent metropolitan areas, in this case both sides of the US/Mexico border seem to merge into a continuous urban region. Tune-in to hear about the Alamo and some fun surprises, too. The next few episodes follow us on the last legs of the journey. We'll connect with close family (you know who you are), take a meeting about water conservation education/peacemaking, and so much more. During one of the final stretches of the tour we visit the game company that published our game Woo!, and we were warmly welcomed on a Shabbat by a congregation in St. Joseph, Missouri where Rabbi Jeff had served previously. We are looking forward to episode 6 to hear if Jeff leading Shabbat services in the beautiful, but now empty sanctuary is included. And there's a good chance you'll learn a bit about the Pony Express, we did! The trip continues through Dayton, Ohio then to a resort near Buffalo, NY where we crash a honeymoon. But, alas, the story doesn't end there. We're excited to hear the final episode, when we meet separately with Rabbis Jonah Pesner of the RAC and Rick Jacobs of the URJ who answer the same questions we posed to all of the people we met along the route. We covered 12,000 miles in the month. On three occasions we drove over 1,000 miles in a day. Driving at night enabled us to meet with more people during the daylight hours. That said, we met with kind people who were willing to meet us in the wee hours of the night, outside in the freezing cold! And as we reminisce, we are also looking forward to staying connected, and growing together. Mindy will continue to Unlock The Treasure, teaching remote Hebrew classes. All Welcome. Register here. And the Glickmans are becoming members of every NPR station, joining remote congregations, and donating to every United Way and some ACLUs.
We encourage you to join this effort.