Eyal Nayowitz was a member of the Torah Academy of Bergen County basketball team seven years ago, but he wasn’t playing that October afternoon at Westchester Hebrew High School when he was introduced to Cheryl Bausk, a student at the Mamaroneck school. He was recovering from minor hand surgery; he showed up at the game as a spectator; his friend Elon Soniker thought Eyal and Cheryl might like each other.
Soniker’s judgment was good.
Eyal and Cheryl started dating a month after they met. And last week Eyal proposed to Cheryl, on bended knee, in the same spot where they had met: near the pay telephone at the front entrance of the Westchester school. The scene, reenacted above, was set with candles, seven bouquets of long-stemmed roses, one for each year of their courtship, and a pair of sunflowers. They’re Cheryl’s favorites.
Cheryl, of course, said yes.
"It just came to me," Eyal says. "I should do it where we met. That would be more romantic."
"The timing was a surprise," Cheryl says. She and her fiance, both 21, had already discussed marriage.
They were to pick up her brother Phillip at the school last week, Cheryl thought. Phillip was in on the proposal plan. So was her sister Lena. So was the Westchester Hebrew High School administration. So were Eyal’s brothers, Gilad, Edan and Seth.
"My friends knew. My whole family knew," Cheryl says. They had a l’chaim party ready at home for the newly engaged couple.
Eyal, a senior at Yeshiva University, and Cheryl, a NYU junior, will get married next spring.
After the proposal, Cheryl says, they called their friends and family with the news. From their cellular phones. "We didn’t call from the phone" where they had met, she says.