Code White: Helping couples escape fire in south to get married
As long as rockets rain on south, no large public gatherings are allowed, and weddings are no exception, but a group of volunteers is working to fix that, help southern couples have their special night.
The rockets falling across Israel in the past days have caused disturbances and hindrance in all facets of life; camps were closed, events cancelled and the economy disrupted.
Ziv Rappaport, Tazpit News Agency
One of the restrictions imposed by the Home Front Command following the dangerous security situation is that large gatherings are prohibited in the south; for couples who are supposed to get married, this is a real blow.
A group of volunteers have identified this problem and have decided to provide a solution. Working through Facebook, 'White Color' (a play on the 'Red Color' code sounded when rockets fall) connects between couples who are forced to cancel their wedding and providers of wedding services who are willing to help the beleaguered residents of the south.
Bride hides for cover in Tel Aviv amid rocket fire (Photo: Avraham Rubenstien)
The initiators of this life-saving enterprise are two women, Tal Maor-Zingerman, a graphic artist, and Hadar Melamed-Richter, an architect. Seeing many couples in distress, they decided to act. They both have a blog on the wedding fashion scene; having vast connection in the wedding business, they decided to offer their services.
The group is well experienced, having operated during Operation 'Pillar of Defense' in 2012. Tal explained that the level of stress is currently higher than usual: "It’s the wedding season now, and almost all the halls are already booked."
The group connects the couples in distress with a full wedding package, including providers who are offering substantial discounts to couple fleeing the missiles in the south. Tal shares that people are even offering their own homes as bride salons. They are constantly receiving calls from tens of brides and providers who want to help.
In light of the recent attacks and heavy bombing on Southern Israel, the nonprofit "Chasdei Naomi", who are usually involved in assisting the less fortunate in society, announced they have opened their six wedding halls, "Armonot Chen", in Beni Brak and Jerusalem, free of charge to residents from the South whose weddings were postponed.
In addition to the halls, the organization has offered to assist in wedding planning at their Jerusalem location and offer logistic equipment and assistance in updating their guests on the event changes in all their locations.
The organization has previously opened their doors during Operation 'Pillar of Defense' and assisted three couples to get married then.
"My family is from Ashkelon, and so I have been living this situation for years. I know what people feel. We are sure to stand by whoever needs anything. During the last operation we've helped dozens of couples get married on time, despite the chaos around," says Tal.
"It is important for me to emphasize that all those who involved are volunteers, and I have no words to thank them for joined us. We invite any couple in distress to contact us," concludes Tal.