From San Francisco and Kiryat Gat to Jerusalem
  Jun 30, 2011
A very emotional meeting took place in Jerusalem last week, when two pen pals, each from different continents, met at Meir Panim's Jerusalem restaurant.
Thanks to the Jewish Federations of North America and Meir Panim, Scarlett of San Francisco and Yamit of Kiryat Gat got to meet face-to-face.

The girls have been corresponding for a while now, exchanging letters and forging a very special long-distance relationship.

And now, finally, the two 11-year olds met to volunteer together at Meir Panim’s Jerusalem Free Restaurant.

Yamit, who attends Meir Panim's Kiryat Gat after-school youth club, arrived in Jerusalem accompanied by “Savta” Esther, the club's devoted director. Before the visit, Savta Esther took Yamit on a shopping spree, making sure Yamit looked and felt her best when meeting her new American friend.

Yamit and Scarlett rolled up their sleeves and worked together at the Jerusalem restaurant, serving diners and helping out in the kitchen.

When work was over, everyone went upstairs for a celebration. The tables were set with fruits and cakes, and there was much singing and dancing. The girls exchanged gifts: Yamit received a complete set of art supplies, and Scarlett received a wonderful collection of pictures from the youth club members. In addition, Savta Esther surprised the girls with beautiful matching necklaces.

The girls were so delighted to finally meet each other. Despite their vast differences, they discovered they had much in common, such as a love of drawing. Both are art lovers; Yamit will teach Scarlett the Japanese art of Origami.

The girls are looking for ways to celebrate their Bat Mitzvahs together, and look forward to nurturing this special relationship for many years to come.

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American Friends of Meir Panim is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, registered under EIN # 20-1582478.
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