Life Is Good, Life Is Great- For God’s Sake, Smile and Enjoy It!

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Simon Jacob © Joe DiMaggio

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.

https://www.gofundme.com/kemach-institute-scholarships?ssid=853400738&pos=1

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.

Joe D.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

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© Joe DiMaggio

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© JoAnne Kalish

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© Joe DiMaggio

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© Joe DiMaggio

Hannah Or-ly

 

 

© DiMaggio/Kalish

© DiMaggio/Kalish

To All The Ships At Sea

Yes it’s been a long time since I’ve done a blog. I’ve been on location, shooting, editing and working on a new documentary.

The most important thing in my life these days is time.  I’d like to take a little bit of time out and tell a story about two beautiful people.  My brother Amir and his beautiful wife Hannah.  They live in a beautiful home on the West Bank in Israel and have an amazing family. It’s a home filled with love, understanding, compassion and true caring.  This is a family that doesn’t see hate or prejudice. They’re always looking at the beautiful Sun in the desert they call Israel.  It’s a special time as Passover is right around the corner.  In a world that is moving at light speed (yes I used it again,) we all need to take a breath and really enjoy the sunrises, sunsets, smell the flowers.  A hug, a kiss are both wonderful things that are free. So Hannah I wish you a great journey.  I’ve included a few photos from our Book A Land of Milk & Honey.

Sunset West Bank © DiMaggio

Sunset West Bank © DiMaggio

JoAnne Kalish with Hannah Or-ly Dead Sea 2009 © Joe DiMaggio

JoAnne Kalish with Hannah Or-ly Dead Sea 2009 © Joe DiMaggio

© DiMaggio/Kalish

© DiMaggio/Kalish

 

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

Fabulous Fabio

On a recent trip to Israel I had an opportunity to meet Bellina from Kata Bags. Bellina is Director of Production at Kata. She was kind enough to give my partner JoAnne Kalish, myself and friend Simon Jacob, a tour of her facility. While we were there Bellina asked if both JoAnne and I would like to be judges in their Dream Bag Contest which we were very happy to do. 

At the time, I mentioned to Bellina that I had an idea for a utilitarian photo vest. She was gracious enough to pass my ideas along to Fabio Prada. Fabio is based in the Northern part of Italy near Milan. Fabio is the Chief Design Engineer of the new line of Manfrotto photographic apparel. Fabio and I have spoke several times over the last few months. He agreed to entertain some of my ideas for the vest.  Fabio invited me to meet him at the Manfrotto Photographic conference when he was in town. He graciously told me how much he liked my original Photo Kilt which was sold in Europe 15 years ago. Just for the record, I did not come up with the name Photo Kilt (someone else’s idea)  but did design the product. Fabio pulled out all the stops with the new Manfrotto, photo Jacket/Vest (see below.) Actually it’s a complete photo system in one, including rain gear, poncho, shell and two proprietary back packs which are out-of-this-world.  For that matter the complete new line is awesome. The new Manfrotto apparel line will be available by March 1, 2011. You can rest assured, I will be treating myself to a new jacket.