Yesterday I had one of those unplanned and unique experiences. I was on Skype talking to a friend in Israel. During the call I got tracked down by an old friend who I have been out of touch with for at least a decade. We linked that friend into our call. One of their friends, also a former acquaintance joined the call. We then tracked down another blast from the past. Before we knew it, we had an online reunion of people in Israel, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and South Africa. Some obligatory reminiscing about the past then led to conversations about people who knew our neighbors, children who were staying with other friends on gap year programs, and other freakish coincidences. It served to prove that the world is a very small place, and that modern Jewish communities really can be likened to that of a global village, or indeed the Jewish world can be described as one big global shtetl.
The Perth Jewish community is a very transient community, with many emigrants. Over recent years there have been a number of Perth connected Jewish weddings in Israel (may there be many more), and it only takes a quick glance at the photos to see that there are literally dozens of visitors and ex-patriot residents sharing the celebration. Enough perhaps to justify a garin or Perth inspired community within Israel.
There are indeed regular gatherings and reunions of Perth Jews in Israel. The Torah MiTzion network of former shlichim is now a club that boasts a large number of members, and is wonderful to know that these connections are still maintained.
For genealogy buffs there are also opportunities to research and connect families. Also resulting from my experience yesterday I discovered new connections to family trees, and learned of marriages that brought families together in ways that could not have been imagined by the previous generation. This includes unions that reconnected families that had traveled together from one end of the world to the other, and that contained elements of destiny that defy the definition of coincidence.
So much for six degrees of separation. The Jewish world is well connected, and more accessible than ever before. Those Jewish people fortunate enough to have a connection with the Jewish community of Perth can hold that connection where ever they are, and stay connected to their friends and family. It is wonderful to be able to have the technology to achieve this sitting at our fingertips.