Ilana and Aaron met for the first time during the summer of 2005. Ilana was a marketing intern for SYAS and staffing their first Shabbos Nachamu weekend, and Aaron was a participant. The two hit it off quickly, and even though Ilana was leaving soon to spend her (college) senior year studying in Israel, Aaron asked her out on a date. They decided to go out just one time, not expecting much and leaving things open-ended for the future. They had great date. It lasted 5 hours and included a trip on the Circle-line, a stop at Ben & Jerry’s, and a long discussion on a random park bench. Ilana left for Israel two weeks later. She and Aaron kept in touch via email for a few weeks and by Succos time had lost touch.
Jewish Dating Simchas through Jewish Dating and Jewish Matchmaking #363 Fast forward three years now to 2008. Ilana and Aaron were each in the Shidduch process and despite running into one another at Central Park the summer of ’07, never thought to try dating again. Mostly because of their 9 year age gap which was discovered after agreeing to their initial date.
This time around Ilana signed up for the same Shabbos Nachamu weekend as a participant. Aaron had just stopped seeing someone else and had no interest in attending. However, when Marc Goldman asked him last minute to accompany his friend Lavi Greenspan on the Shabbaton, Aaron agreed. Lavi has lost his eyesight several years earlier and would be participating and speaking about his inspirational personal story during the weekend. Aaron planned on helping Lavi but did not plan to meet anyone.
That weekend Ilana though she spotted Aaron Friday night, but the two first ran into each other Shabbos afternoon. Ilana’s opening line …. “Are you crashing?” She had checked the participant list on Friday, scanned the names for guys she had dated, and did not recall seeing Aaron’s name which alphabetically would have been one of the first. Aaron explained that he was on the Shabbaton just to assist Lavi and was not officially participating. Soon after Aaron thought of a friend to set-up with Ilana and thought they should catch-up to determine if the suggestion was still appropriate. As the two had an extensive conversation about the last three years since seeing one another Aaron realized that he was interested in dating Ilana himself. The two had each grown spiritually and now had even more in common. Lavi, knowing that Aaron had been talking to Ilana for several hours in the afternoon, intuitively decided to take matters into his own hands at Seuda Shlishit. When Aaron stepped away from the table, Lavi asked Ilana if she would consider dating Aaron again. She said she wasn’t sure and gave no definitive answer. When Aaron returned to the table Lavi brought up the subject and put the two on the spot to schedule a date. Partially out of interest, and partially out of respect for Lavi, Ilana and Aaron scheduled a second first date.
Their relationship progressed quickly. Ilana and Aaron dated continuously and spoke on the phone every night, even when Aaron went on vacation to Israel. Both had a “good feeling” early on but waited three ½ months to get engaged.
They have now been married for a year, are living in Queens, and are grateful to Lavi and SawYouatSinai for bringing them together, twice :)
Ilana – 25 from Plainview
Aaron – 34 from Baltimore/NYC
Met August 2005 & 2008
Ilana introduced her friend Emily to her husband. Emily and Ilana became friends because they interned together at SYAS that summer :)