Matchmaker

An occasional feature from Leah Hakimian, a matchmaker and marriage expert, who finds the best "how we met" stories.

How Andy Met Jason

04/07/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist

They’re both Americans – he’s from Missouri and she’s from Florida – but they met in Ra’anana, Israel. In the spring of 2011, Andrea “Andy” Surasky, then 20, was living in Ra’anana with her family, who had come to live in Israel after Andy graduated high school. Jason Ast, then 23, was living in another Israeli town, but would come to Ra’anana to visit his friend, Simcha. 

Jason has gone into Andy’s family business. Barbara Ast

How Judy Met Trevor

03/04/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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“My late husband wished me to re-marry,” said Judy Brown, “but it took me sixteen years. At first, I couldn’t even think about a second marriage, and then when I was ready, there was no one waiting in line to meet me.”

Trevor Davis and Judy Brown married recently; both have been long widowed. Courtesy of Trevor Davis and Judy Brown

How Fran Met Gary

A busy New York State Assemblywoman finds time to do some matchmaking.

02/03/2014
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She was a New York State Assemblywoman on a personal, not a political, mission – to find the perfect guy for her best friend, Fran Reid.  She had someone in mind for Fran – Gary Bixhorn, Chief Operating Officer of Eastern Suffolk Board of Educational Service. But Gary, a recent widower, was still in mourning and wasn’t ready to hear any talk about dating. “Basically, I cut her off,” says Gary.

Fran and Gary saw the movie “Yogi Bear” on their first date. Kitty Dadi

How Yakira Met Michael

12/30/2013
Jewish Week Correspondent
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Yakira Wiesel was the only girl on the crowded rooftop of a rickety bus. She was in Nepal, on a nine-hour ride, heading toward the Frozen Lake Trek. She heard some of the guys speaking Hebrew, which was comforting for a 20- year-old Israeli girl. When the bus began to shake, she turned to one of them and asked: “Can I lean on you?” Michael Azulay, who was 23 at the time, was happy to oblige. He recalls: “I immediately felt an attraction.” 

Yakira and Michael Azulay: Their road to destiny went through Nepal.

How Maor Met Eliav

12/02/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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He followed her to Los Angeles. She followed him to Jerusalem.

Maor and Eliav’s wedding was Israeli, American, Jewish, outdoorsy and hip. Elliot Glassenberg

How Lauren Met Michel

11/04/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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They had been friends for about six years. Lauren Karmely thought she would marry someone like Michel – his name is pronounced the French way. Then she began thinking of marrying him.

Lauren had invited Michel to a Sukkot party, along with other guys, family and lots of girlfriends. They dropped off a friend and were left alone in the car. He suggested a cup of tea at Dunkin Donuts. “It wasn’t a date,” says Lauren. “It was just tea among friends.”

Lauren Karmely and Michel Nematnejad, to be married Nov. 14.

How Dan Met Katherine

Drawn together again by a brit, a kiss over chicken soup seals the deal.

10/07/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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They ate together and prayed together. The love came later.

Dan and Katherine dated briefly and broke up, then reunited years later. Photo courtesy Katherine Eckstein

How David Met Lisa

Neurotic Jews who share chemistry, a birthday and 'hair solidarity' connect despite starkly different careers.

09/09/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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“We’re both neurotic Jews with roots in the New York area,” says David Jacobsen. “We share the same birthday, adds Lisa Schwartz.  “And we have the same hair,” continues David.  “We have hair solidarity.”  According to the matching algorithm of an online dating service, David and Lisa were compatible.

Lisa Schwartz and David Jacobsen

How Michal Met Amir

08/05/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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In her classroom, Michal makes the rules and sets the example. But at a speed dating event, she evaded the guidelines and joined a workshop for younger women. The move changed her life.

At age 30, Michal Levi had already spent a decade on the dating circuit. She was on various mailing lists and received an email about speed dating – done differently. The program was called Hamifgashim (translation: meetings). “I wasn’t really interested,” recalls Michal. A married friend encouraged her to register.

Michal Levi and Joseph Maimon, married June 4, 2012.

How Yeshai Met Lital

07/01/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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 Lital Mosan happened to be in the right place to find her future husband. All she had to do was go  to work every day.

Lital was working in the mayor's office at the Jerusalem City Hall. For months, she would enter the pretty stone municipal complex and greet the security guards on duty. It was just “hello, hello” each time. Security guards – many of them young and unmarried – are omnipresent in Jerusalem.  They are generally seen but not often noticed.

Lital Mosan and Yeshai Gordon, married May 22nd, 2013.
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