The credit for the match goes to Rabbi Matthew Reimer. He was the organizer of his temple’s Friday night service where Isaac Hattem, 29, met Allyson Stone, 28.
The service was made-to-order for non-affiliated young Manhattanites – about an hour of prayer, followed by live music and free wine and sushi. It was convenient. Though sponsored by Temple Bnai Jeshurun of Short Hills, New Jersey, it took place at The Community Church in New York City. “For us,” says Allyson, “the big draw was Rabbi Reimer,” who was then the temple’s assistant rabbi.
Isaac and his buddies had been regulars at the services for a full season. As one of his friends admitted: “I’d like to meet a wife.” In October 2012, among the 50 or so attendees, Isaac noticed Allyson, who was standing with her brother. Isaac recalls their conversation: “I’m going to ask out your sister. I hope that’s OK with you.”
On Saturday, Allyson confided in her mom, who lives in Boca Raton: “I met a charming guy last night and he said that he’d be in touch.” She believed him.
On Sunday, Isaac called. He explains: “I’m kind of old-school. For a first date, I preferred phoning to texting.”
Their first date was on Thursday at a dessert bar. Four days earlier, Isaac had seriously injured his shoulder while playing in a championship softball game. “But I wasn’t going to reschedule that date for anything.”
Allyson recalls their second date: “Afterwards, I let Isaac walk me to the lobby of my East Village walkup. But I didn’t let him upstairs. It kept things interesting.”
Then Hurricane Sandy hit the city and the couple was out of touch. When power was restored, Isaac came to Allyson’s apartment to celebrate and brought her a large bouquet of flowers. Allyson’s green thumb and zest for life reminded Isaac of his grandmother, who was a Holocaust survivor. From that evening on, Isaac knew that Allyson was “a keeper.”
“During the courtship, Isaac swept me off my feet,” smiles Allyson. On Chanukah, she met his parents, who then lived in Westchester.
“We have good role models,” says Isaac speaking of their parents. “And Allyson has everything I ever wanted in a partner. She is the sweetest girl I have ever met.” Allyson returns the compliment in kind. “Isaac is the best.”
What does the couple enjoy doing together? They nod in unison: “Everything and nothing.” Professionally, they are both business-oriented. Allyson is the field marketing manager at Popchips. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in organizational communication. Isaac has an MBA from Ithaca College and is currently a business development manager at Integral Ad Science, an advertising technology firm in New York.
On July 31, 2015, the night before the couple was leaving for a vacation in Paris and Provence, they were lying in bed when Isaac asked Allyson: “Will you snuggle me forever?” He then got down on one knee, and proposed. “Of course,” said Allyson. “I was so happy that the proposal was in private,” she added.
Both sets of parents, in Florida and in Manhattan, were in the loop and were delighted to hear that the engagement of their children was official.
Rabbi Matthew Reimer officiated at their marriage. Allyson wore the same ring her mother wore at her wedding 40 years earlier. Allyson and Isaac were married in New York on November 14, 2015. 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