“I had to make sure that she was converting for herself, and not for me,” says John Newmark. Jen says: “I fell in love with both the man and his faith.”
John, a St. Louis grant writer by day, spends much of his free time on penning science fiction and poetry. He performs at poetry slams under the stage name Gavroche. For the constructive criticism and the friendship, he has belonged for more than a decade to WUTA (Writers Under the Arch).
Every time I come home from a business trip or vacation, there’s one bag that never gets unpacked: my emergency supply kit. Unlike my regular toiletry bag filled with daily essentials such as contact lens solution, my toothbrush, and Chapstick, this is my “worse-case scenario” gear – for when the you-know-what figuratively or literally threatens to hit the fan.
At the recent Special Person’s Day at my twins’ Solomon Schechter school, my mother-in-law and aunt sat down with the kids to work with them on the project of the morning: drafting the “10 Commandments” of our family. Based on their understanding that the 10 Commandments provided a rule book – a behavioral code of conduct – 11 year old Jacob and Sophie got to work:
“You know when you’re watching a horror film and the girl is about to head into the shed because she forgot her sweater? And you’re sitting there watching the whole thing and cringing, saying, ‘No, no, no!! Just don’t go into that shed! Just forget about your sweater!’”
“Well, that’s how I feel when I read your dating columns.”
This from a friend whom I saw at a party on the Upper West Side. Which is another way of saying, this is the first I had heard of the “Abby as singles’ horror columnist” before.
Thirty years after Jacob Chinitz, a Conservative rabbi, and his wife Ruth and two children moved to Israel, he took an interim post at a Montreal synagogue. A woman in his Bible class there would turn out to be his next wife. But not yet.
Jacob was widowed in 2005 after 50 years of marriage. He was back in Israel and still had the company there of two children and six grandchildren. But it's not the same as a partner. "Two years later, I was still lonely," says the rabbi.
When I met my husband Michael thirteen years ago, we knew within the first two weeks that this was it. (I like to tease him that he knew within the first two weeks, and that I’m still thinking about it, but we both know that’s a load of stuffed derma.) So it didn’t feel like we were rushing things when he asked me to meet his parents after one month of dating.