Israelis step up to let weddings go on

Two Israeli women who run a blog on wedding fashions — graphic artist Tal Maor-Zingerman and architect Hadar Melamed-Richter — believe love can conquer all. They formed a group called Tzeva Lavan L’Zugot HaDarom (Code White for Couples from the South) to salvage shattered wedding dreams of brides and grooms whose nuptials had to be canceled due to the barrage of missiles from Gaza.

The women launched a Facebook page where engaged couples from southern Israel can find wedding-service providers willing to offer substantial discounts in safer regions, according to a report by the Tazpit News Service. Citizens also volunteered their own homes and help.

Teh group reportedly is getting many requests from beleaguered couples because Israel’s Home Front Command has forbidden gatherings of more than 40 people in areas at high risk.

Help is also coming from Chasdei Naomi, a nonprofit that runs six wedding halls for impoverished couples in Bnei Brak and Jerusalem. The organization announced that it will make the halls available free of charge to residents from the South for daytime weddings. Volunteers are giving logistical assistance, such as calling guests to inform them of the change of venue.

In Jerusalem, City Councilman Hanan Rubin arranged for an at-cost wedding at a local hall for Kiryat Gat couple Oriel and Vered Cohen on July 10, after hearing of their distress in a media report about the canceled affair. “They said they had to find another place, so I called them, introduced myself and said I would do anything I can to help them as a Jerusalem councilman,” Rubin told the Jerusalem Post.

The owners of La Gondola wedding hall put together a wedding for the Cohens’ 350 guests, at no profit, within 48 hours. – israel21c