A Serendipitous Email

OSAKA, Japan — Serendipity by definition is the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. It is an ingredient that flavors travel, often making all the difference between a good trip and a telling experience. Such an indelible taste for the moment or experience lasts long beyond one’s return home. Sometimes, serendipity accosts you even before one packs their gear and heads out on the road.

Take, for example, a Youtube email notification I received recently about a new comment regarding my Jewish Lithuania video:

“I am South African. This is where my father was born. It is wonderful to see. Yayyy for heritage. Thank you for making this video.I am sure I have relatives who own those gravestones.”

Did they say South African? My curiosity was piqued. I immediately posted a reply that I was soon to be there, and asked the person to email me. They did, and not more than an hour later, I had a new contact, a new information scout, and an enthusiastic one at that.

“Hello Jono. I am the South African,” Beverly Price wrote. “Will you be speaking here at all? What contacts do you need in SA? I live in Johannesburg. My dad came here in 1934 from Raguva, Lithuania. Have you been there?”

I instantly replied in kind, informed Beverly of my travel itinerary, and welcomed her offer to assist. But even before I was able to do that much, she had the enterprise to send my bio and project information to Chai FM radio, a local Jewish station in Johannesburg.

It had never occurred to me that there might be a Jewish radio station in South Africa. I knew about the Cape Jewish Chronicle newspaper (they featured my Jewish Africa photo project in the paper a few months ago), but a dedicated Jewish radio station surprised me. I found their website, sent the station manager an email, and…boom…within minutes I was booked in for an interview about my Jewish Africa photo project, scheduled for their Breakfast Show on Friday, August 3rd, 7:50 a.m. (that’s 2:50 p.m. Japan; 1:50 a.m. EST USA).

Serendipity is a wonderful thing.

FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT ME and MY JEWISH PHOTO WORK (see the following links): my website, HaChayim HaYehudim Jewish Photo Library / ABOUT / MISSION / BIO / PUBLICATIONS, EXHIBITIONS, EVENTS / PRESS / STORE / VIDEOS MY JEWISH GEOGRAPHY APP QUIZ GAME iTUNES STORE / JEWISH GEOGRAPHY APP WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / SUPPORT / CONTACT

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