More Roller-Coasters… …can I get off?

It’s only 10:32 am in Los Angeles and the day has already been a big roller-coaster of developments and emotions (can I turn the latter off?).

We started at 5:30am because our wonderful Adee Telem (who heads West Coast Outreach for OneVoice) decided we needed to be on an 8am flight from San Fran to LA.  People who know me know how much I love waking up early.

[Last night we came back from a great dinner with Sissy and Ted Geballe - the most lovely down-to-earth couple - they have been married for 65 years - and the type of friends that are there for you no matter what; I logged in my computer to catch up with email; I was trying mightily to answer all emails but had to sign off at 1am; I don't hold it against Adee that she made me sleep so little b/c she was still at it when I went to sleep: I was getting cc'd on a stream of emails from her to follow up with all those we met that day, from Yahoo to Google, TPG, The East Bay Jewish Federation and other donors/supporters].

As if little sleep was not enough to make you grumpy, I learned from Gil that one of the top Israeli singers that had committed to join us on Oct 18 had backed out, apparently because of financial demands we could not meet (all international performers who are helping us are doing so on a pro-bono basis, though we do have modest budgets to cover transportation and expenses and a small allowance for local talent).  This was a serious blow.

Then I got frantic upset calls from OneVoice Israel and OneVoice Palestine needing funds to pay deposits for some of the preparations of Oct 18 – they are right, I had to approve and send these a week ago and had not gotten to it.  Fortunately Shelley Shick is back from vacation to manage the financial flows of what is becoming a complex task (we started the movement with $100 donations from a handful of people and an all-volunteer cadre; now with 5 offices across three continents and 60 staff and consultants helping us gear for October 18 and to reach out to our new goal of one million signatories, Shelley now focuses strictly on managing all budgets, audits, inflows and outflows).  The financial stress is not insignificant.

But then the roller coaster started climbing up (or should it be rolling down, which is the fun part?).  Adee and I were walking in the LA Airport and saw Ted Danson.  I think Adee was a bit embarassed, but I introduced myself and explained what OneVoice was doing with One Million Voices To End the Conflict, and mentioned Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito are on the Board, along with Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman… and the Chief Palestinian Islamic Justice…  He recalled having heard about OneVoice, was very positive (and amused at learning I am a confused Mexican Jew in the middle of all this), and agreed to get involved.

Then David Levin called.  A major former head of State [edited out till public disclosure] has agreed to meet with our Israeli and Palestinian Youth Leaders in Jerusalem mid-October, a few days before our October 18th event.  This is a huge opportunity to highlight the human infrastructure of young moderates determined to seize back their lives.  So while it comes only days before the big event, we will make it work.

Fortunately David’s call came last.  Now I am energized again.  Would I have been able to feel this way if Gil’s news had come last? I don’t know.  All I know is that the last few months I feel like I am having far bigger emotional reactions to all developments, perhaps because so much is riding on it.  Do hormones act up at these times? Am I experiencing PMMMS – Pre-Massive-Mobilization-of-Moderates-Syndrome?  There is a new "definition" I am sure Darya will love.

Adee is driving while I wrote this blog post – we are on our way to meet Guy Oseary, an exceptionally successful young music and film production manager (to Madonna, Lenny Kravitz, etc) who is interested in exploring a way to popularize joint economic ventures to promote peace through business (akin to what I have been doing with PeaceWorks since 93).  Natalie Portman introduced us earlier in the summer in relation to the OneVoice Summit,  but Guy seems more interested in the economic development side.  Let’s hope he can also help us for next month!

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