“It all started with a cup of water,” recalled Hongji Yang. “I was walking together with three friends through oil-seed flowered fields one evening … upon approaching Beth Shalom, I knocked at the door asking for a cup of water. With a smile, out came Marina Smith. My friends and I had recently arrived from China and were not used to the hospitality we were about to receive. We were welcomed in, and that day turned out to be an education and friendship of many years …”

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