We have 350 Momentum mothers here from across the U.S., France, South Africa, and Israel, and I was scheduled to speak to them on their opening night this week in Tel Aviv. I traveled near Tel Aviv in the morning from Jerusalem for a fundraising meeting (2 hours in traffic!), followed by a lunch meeting, and then I took a taxi to Tel Aviv.
I had a couple of hours, so I wandered around the crafts market, took a phone meeting, and then realized it was time to head to the event center to meet the women.
My phone battery was running low as I quickly ordered a taxi through the Gett app (there is no Uber here). It took a long time to arrive; when it was close, he called me, but his English was just as poor as my Hebrew; he got frustrated, couldn’t find me, and never came.
Now time is running out, and my phone died. I had only 50 shekels in cash and hoped that would be enough. I flagged down a taxi and told him where I wanted to go, and he said something I didn’t understand and drove away.
Now I am really under the gun; I said a prayer and flagged down another. He pulls over, and there is a woman and a young boy in the back. I tell him where I want to go, and he waves me into the front seat. I told him I had 50 shekels. I turn to thank the woman in the back, and she says, “Lori? Momentum?”
It turns out she heard me speak in Manhattan at the home of one of our board members and recognized me. She told me she had just moved back to Israel with her family; this was her son, Leo, and they were on their way to the Maroon 5 concert.
The driver couldn’t follow our conversation but understood somehow we knew each other.
I gave her my card, and she said she would be in touch and happy to reconnect. They get out, and we continue.
I explained to the driver that this was “Hashgacha Pratit” and that I would get into one with someone who knew me of all the taxis in Tel Aviv. I told him that on Shabbat, we tell “H.P.” stories at our table, and this week he will be at mine.
He drops me off and says it will be 70 shekels. I search and find some coins, pay him, and make it just in time. The night rocked.
Later I tell our CEO, Ben, who is Israeli, the story. He laughed and said, “50 shekels for the ride, 70 shekels if there is H.P.”