April 26, 2017
By Steven Cadranel & Alon Itach
Two and a half years ago, on a Federation community mission to Israel, my life took an amazing turn when my wife Janet and I were hosted for dinner in the Yokneam home of Alon and Inbal Itach. In the space of just two hours a meal blossomed into a family love affair. Call it luck, call it bashert, call it chemistry, but the Cadranels and Itachs clicked in a powerful way that transcended logic, borders and languages. Today our families are linked forever, and Federation was the catalyst.
It’s wonderful that our wives enjoy each other, but the connection Steven and I have is what Americans might call a “bromance.” As two Jewish men, husbands and fathers, our bond has grown deeper over the years. Steven is a super busy guy, but I can pick up the phone at any time and he will always find time for me. When the Cadranels spoke about the impact Camp Barney Medintz had on Steve’s life and on their daughter Lauren’s life, I became inspired. Together we hatched a plan for my daughter Shiraz to go to Barney, and the Cadranels made it happen. At age 16, Shiraz made her first trip to America, all by herself, and had the time of her life at camp. Her English and her self-confidence soared, and she returned the following summer as Staff in Training. Now she, Lauren and her Barney friends also enjoy lifelong connections, just like Steven and me. Now my son Ido wants to go to Barney!
Our story shouldn’t be unique and hopefully more families and children like ours will bond in knowing that we’re a connected people with a common destiny. The Cadranel and Itach families are part of a circle that can never be broken.