Shayna Driscoll needed help assembling her new IKEA furniture. She also wanted some getting-to-know-you time with David Muller. Shayna took the initiative and they made a deal. He would build her nightstand and she would cook him dinner. It worked so well that he came twice more to build two other pieces of furniture. Finally, David said: “As much as I like being your handyman, I also want to ask you out on a date.” In February 2017, Shayna and David went out for beer and pizza. That night, Shayna texted her friend: “This is the guy I’m going to marry.” Shayna and David were both 26 years old and living in Jerusalem.
David Muller, a Cleveland native, graduated from Yeshiva University. Then he moved to Israel and received an MA in Organizational Behavior and Development from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC) in 2016. He is currently a digital marketing associate for Kahena Digital Marketing.
Shayna Driscoll, a Brooklyn native, received her BA in Political Science and Government from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton. She started college as a secular Jew with no Israel ties. When she graduated, she was Torah observant and determined to make aliya. Shayna credits Chabad and Birthright for this transformation. She made aliya in July 2016 and is currently the Director of Resource Development and Communication for New Spirit Jerusalem.
Shayna met David about a month after making aliya. Her roommate, Yael, invited her to join some friends at a Latino Festival. “When I saw David, I thought he was really cute,” reflects Shayna. But Yael told her that he was unavailable.
Shayna lived outside the Jerusalem neighborhood called “the swamp,” known for its high concentration of Orthodox singles. But she would come there for Shabbat meals even though it was about an hour’s walk. Her mom used to say: “If you’re not in it, you’re not going to win it.”
In December, David and Shayna re-met at a Shabbat meal hosted by a visitor from Cleveland. This time David was available.
David and Shayna come from different backgrounds. He is FFB (frum from birth) and she is a BT (baalat teshuva). In other words, David was born and raised an Orthodox Jew; Shayna became Orthodox on her own. For David, this was a non-issue. He explains: “I like the fact that Shayna is passionate about her Judaism. That’s what’s most important.”
Height too was a non-issue for David, who is 6’4”. He notes: “Frequently people would tell me that I have an obligation to marry a tall woman. I never really cared. Shayna is 5’2”. So what? I have enough height for both of us.”
In February 2018 David and Shayna went to Mitzpe Ramon in Southern Israel to celebrate the anniversary of their first date. While sitting under the stars in the middle of the desert, David proposed. Shayna smiles. “I was so excited when he got down on one knee, I asked him to do it a second time.”
Two days later the couple attended services at the Chabad synagogue in Mitzpe Ramon. To their surprise, the Chabad rebbitzen there was the sister-in-law of the Chabad rebbitzen in Binghamton New York where Shayna first started her religious journey.
Shayna and David are planning to wed on August 26, 2018 in Rishon Lezion, Israel. Mazal tov.
Dr. Leah Hakimian currently researches the question: How Jewish couples meet and marry. In the 90’s she founded two nonprofit Jewish matchmaking programs, and continues to champion the role of community in helping singles meet. She resides in Jerusalem and Great Neck, New York.