To all the ships at sea,
It seems like when the world gets together between December 24th and January 2nd, friends and family come together on many different levels. It’s a time for remembrance and love; it’s a time to celebrate, a time to party and a time to forget differences; it’s a time to be warm and fuzzy. Then again, some people are warm and fuzzy 365 days a year- you know who you are! Anybody who’s read any of my blogs or tweets knows that I’m the luckiest guy in the world. Approximately three decades ago, my brother Amir Orly from Israel introduced me to a young man by the name of Simon Jacob. Simon Jacob basically adopted me as a part of his family. Simon has one of the most magnificent families I have ever seen: great mother and father, great brothers, great cousins, and great children, of which there are many. One day, Simon and I were out photographing aircraft along with his very young son Shimshon; Simon asked if we could stop for 15 minutes to pray with his son. Of course, the answer was yes. That’s how long I’ve known him, I watched him grow up.
About 7 months ago, I visited Simon. Shimshon is now a full grown man and a rabbi who lives in Israel. He showed me the outline he had for his institute for very special kids who would come from all over the world to study with him, and I was so taken with it that I volunteered to teach for two weeks at the institute as soon as it was up and running. I would love to have the ability to write a substantial check but giving my time is a better fit for me at this time (although I have made a financial contribution to the institute). A few weeks ago, he sent me a letter addressed to “Uncle” Joe. I was so flattered that he called me “Uncle” Joe, and I am an uncle to him. It put such a smile on my face that he made my pre-holiday season.
In all the years that I have been on this planet, I have never asked anybody to do something like this. This is a personal email to everybody, it’s not just a form letter. I’d like everybody to take a look at the institute, watch the short GoFundMe video below, and please make a donation if you are comfortable doing so. Any amount is fine. To tell you the truth, I think it will make you feel really good at a time of year when we want to feel really good about everything.
This is Joe DiMaggio wishing you a healthy, happy, warm holiday season. Remember to live, love, laugh, be happy and smile. Life is good, life is great.