Photos by Shabi Kedem
How did you meet?
We met through the JSwipe dating app.
Do you have any interesting stories to share about getting to know one another?
I (Chaya) was a few minutes late for our first date and Noah was already sitting inside. When I arrived the hostess asked “Are you here to meet your husband?”
After our third date, Noah moved to Cleveland and I stayed in New York. We dated long distance for a year and a half, it included a lot of time at Hopkins, LaGuardia and on Zoom.
How long did you know each other before you got married?
We dated for a year and half before getting married.
When did you know you wanted to marry your partner?
Chaya: I knew after I came to see Noah one weekend, he had the flu so we couldn’t do anything, but I was still happy to just spend time with him.
Noah: My first year in Cleveland my family came for Passover, it was very stressful, but Chaya kept me calm and helped me make Passover for my entire family.
What was the best part of wedding planning?
Chaya: Picking out my dress.
Noah: Living in Cleveland, while Chaya and our mothers were in New York.
Was there any spot-on advice you received prior to the big day, either in terms of the wedding or lasting relationship?
Wedding planning is stressful, but just keep putting one foot in front of the other. When you get under the chuppah, it’s just the two of you.
Were there any conflicts between the two of you or your families in the planning process? Did either of you have to make any sacrifices?
My (Chaya’s) family is Orthodox and Noah’s family isn’t, so they had different ideas about what a wedding should look like. Everyone had to compromise a little bit, and in the end, everyone loved the way it turned out.
Having the wedding in Israel was incredible, but it meant many of our friends and family couldn’t attend.
What was the most fun or interesting Jewish aspect of your wedding/partnership?
We got married overlooking the Old City in Jerusalem.
“Just before we broke the glass under the chuppah, Rabbi Segal reminded us that 2,500 years ago the prophet Jeremiah looked out on the ruins of the First Temple and declared his faith that the sounds of weddings would once again be heard in Jerusalem. People must have thought he was crazy, Rabbi Segal said, but our wedding overlooking the walls of Jerusalem was a testament to his faith and hope in the future. At that moment, we felt a deep sense of connection with the history of Jerusalem and to the continuity of the Jewish people. Given how much the world changed just a few months later, we feel incredibly blessed to have celebrated our wedding in Jerusalem surrounded by so many family and friends.”Chaya
Chaya Abelow & Rabbi Noah Leavitt
Jan. 5, 2020
David Citadel Hotel | Jerusalem
Ages: 36 and 34
Synagogue: Oheb Zedek Cedar Sinai Synagogue (Noah is senior rabbi there)
Officiant: Rabbi Dani Segal
Wedding Colors: Champagne and Pink
Hair and Makeup: Avital & Avital
Photographer and Videographer: Shabi Kedem
Planner/Consultant: Eve Kaminitz
Reception and Catering: David Citadel Hotel
Invitations/Stationery: Rise Kaufmann
Music/Entertainment: Netanel Kuperman
Honeymoon: “We were supposed to go to Australia on March 11. We were flying through LAX and on our flight to LA, (President Donald) Trump announced the travel ban with Europe. We decided to stay in LA for a few days, and then return to Cleveland.”