Jewish high school students who are busy with the college decision process, may want to consider Duke University if finding a spouse is high on their checklist. Jewish Life at Duke professionals report many Jewish matches have been made through Rubenstein-Silvers Hillel events at the Freeman Center for Jewish Life in recent years. Two couples, all recent graduates, will be married next month while four other alumni couples will wed in 2009.
“It is wonderful to see that the Jewish experiences students had during college lead to life-long relationships after they have left campus.” says Rebecca Levenson Simons, director for Jewish life at
Duke. "We wish all of our Rubenstein-Silvers Hillel alums a hearty mazel tov on their upcoming nuptials."
Barry Lichman and Rachael Solomon.
Rachael Solomon '05 and Barry Lichman '06 currently live in New York City. They both served as student presidents of Hillel while on campus. The couple's wedding is set for September 9, 2008 in Houston, Texas. Ashley Sherwin '05 and Jake Flomenberg '05 were introduced on campus through Jake's AEPi fraternity brothers. After meeting, both were involved with Jewish Life at Duke. Ashley and Jake will also be married in September.
Sean Biederman '05 and Livia Fine '04 met through Hillel as Jewish First Year Advisory Mentors. Livia was the president of Duke's Hillel.
"The weekly shabbat services at Hillel provided the perfect setting as were were just starting to date," explains Sean. "We would each arrive separately with our friends, but everyone would mingle afterwards. One Friday night, Livia and I were both attending the traditional service but were on opposite sides of the Mechitzah. I remember peeking across the mechitzah [barrier separating men and women during traditional Jewish services] just to see her."
Livia Fine and Sean Biederman at a friend's wedding.
Sean also remembers "Another time, I impressed Livia's friends when I brought all of the best chocolates from my table to her table in the Sukkah. Theseand other Hillel events helped us get to know each other and realize that our personalities worked together and that we shared many of the same values."
Sean and Livia plan to wed in California in June 2009 and although they may spend the first year of marriage in different cities, they hope to move to New York City together by 2010.
Julie Cohen and Jared Strumwasser in Israel.
On July 5, 2009, Jeff Leibach '06 and Amy Rosenthal '06 will sign their ketubah in Chicago. A month later on August 1, 2009, Becca Glassner '06 and Josh Dubnow '06, who currently live in Chicago, will exchange vows in New Jersey. The following Sunday, August 8, 2009, Julie Cohen '05 and Jared Strumwasser '05 will stand beneath a chuppah (canopy used in traditional Jewish weddings) in Northern California.
"We are in San Francisco this week, busy planning the wedding," says Julie. "We're so excited! It's hard to believe that our relationship really took off when we traveled to Israel after graduation."
Julie and Jared, who currently live in Boston, started dating on a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip.