Matchmaker

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

How Eli Met Tova

03/02/2015
Jewish Week Online Columnist

For eleven years, Dr. Tova Goldfine was an agunah, the victim of a recalcitrant husband who refused to give her a gett (a Jewish divorce), after abandoning her and their 2-year-old daughter. “Never in a million years did I think I could trust another man,” says Tova.

Tova and Eli. Courtesy of Tova and Eli Vermouth

A Girl From Rio Meets A Guy From Brooklyn

Two people who refused to settle reap the rewards of their patience: a wedding, and a baby on the way.

02/12/2015
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Can you really find your soul mate?

Guests hoist the happy couple aloft. Leticia Schwartz/JW

How Matti Met Abby

01/07/2015
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Abigail (Abby) Duman Baer nods in agreement with the pronouncement at the Chabad website:  “In certain circumstances, it is permissible or even commendable to lie.” She then smiles and adds: “Still, I only told a white lie.” Matti Baer interjects: “Anyway, she didn’t fool me. I understood what Abby was trying to tell me, and I liked what I heard.”

Matti and Abby

How Jesse Met Becca

11/04/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Rebecca Stern and Jesse Wenger met in first grade. She was his first love and he was her first love. They were separated a year later when Jesse transferred to a public school in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and Becca remained at the Solomon Schechter in Elkins Park. Becca, 25, sometimes wonders what would have happened if they had remained in the same class through high school. Would they have ended up as a couple? “Probably not,” she concludes.

Jesse and Becca. Jessie Sandler

How Michal Met Joey

A woman in her late thirties and a man at the mid-century mark refused to give up.

10/07/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist

“It was just me and my cat,” says Michal Cohen Eckstein, when she was a 38-year-old religious single living in Jerusalem in 2012. But she didn’t give up hope and continued repeating her mantra: I will get married. She also decided to heed the Talmudic notion that if you change your place, you will change your luck. 

It all checked out. Courtesy of Joey and Michal Eckstein

How Daniella Met Tani

09/02/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist

"We were in the same crowds, but I didn’t see her,” says Tani Guterman. “It’s like Daniella was under the radar screen.”  In the spring of 2012, Daniella Stein was a senior at Yeshiva University (YU) Stern College for Women, and Tani was a YU alum. They both came from Young Israel backgrounds – she, from Lawrence, New York, and he from Staten Island; and they both worked with children with special needs.

Courtesy of Daneilla and Tani Guterman

How David Met Ronit

'Meet your spouse at Hillel House,' even if you're in your late thirties.

08/04/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist

“Meet your spouse at Hillel House” – was the chant of student leaders at the St. Louis Hillel, according to the late Rabbi James Diamond, the respected executive director of Hillel at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) from 1972 until 1995.  Rabbi Diamond wrote:  “I always regarded matchmaking among the items on Hillel’s hidden agenda. What better way to promote the Jewish future? Marriages are made in heaven, but Hillel helps.”

David and Ronit. Kevin Dern

How Brett Met Laurie

A matchmaking friend and a professional matchmaker bring two visitors to Israel together.

07/07/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Chicago-born Brett Baron hadn’t come to the Elevation Seminar to meet girls. He came because of a poster advertising the seminar that he’d seen at his Jerusalem yeshiva, which promised a spiritual experience. But his friend Josh pointed someone out.

Brett and Laurie. Slav Zinger Photography

How Ellie Met Yonatan

06/03/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Ellie Schneiderman remembers how her boss, Stuart Levy, told her about the trip. He said: “I have some news for you. A part of it you’ll love – we want you to lead a Birthright trip; and a part, you’ll hate – your co-leader will be Yonatan Hochman.” Stuart knew how Ellie felt about Yonatan.

Yonatan got a second chance with Ellie. Courtesy of Yonatan and Ellie Hochman

How Judy Met Trevor

03/04/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist

“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
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