How Josh Met Lindy
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How Josh Met Lindy

High school sweethearts overcome different observance levels, geographic distances to find love.

Dr. Leah Hakimian is a Jewish Week online columnist. She 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.

Lindy and Josh met as teenager on USY trip. They married 11 years later on October 29, 2017 in Woodbury, New York. Courtesy of Salzman and Ashley
Lindy and Josh met as teenager on USY trip. They married 11 years later on October 29, 2017 in Woodbury, New York. Courtesy of Salzman and Ashley

Joshua (Josh) Dembowitz met Lindy Wisotsky in 2006 while traveling with USY on Wheels, a six and a half week cross-country bus trip for teens sponsored by United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Josh was then 15 and Lindy, 14. The high school sweethearts remember the spark – Josh was attracted to Lindy’s energy and Lindy was charmed by Josh’s friendliness. She adds: “I also thought he was one of the most knowledgeable people in our group.”

Josh grew up in a Conservadox (Conservative/Orthodox) home in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and went to the Akiba Day School. Lindy grew up in East Northport, New York and attended public school. She credits USY for her strong Jewish identity. Lindy is currently the Assistant Director for the William Petschek Contemporary Jewish Life Department at the American Jewish Committee in New York.

While in high school, geography was the main obstacle to their budding romance, and they broke up the summer after the Wheels program. “It felt like the end of the world,” Josh said. Still, they never went long without talking or seeing each other. Lindy notes: “We could stay in each other’s lives because of social media. Otherwise, we probably wouldn’t be together.”

During their college years, they were closer geographically.  Josh studied at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated summa cum laude.  Lindy graduated George Washington University in Washington DC. There was another issue that kept them apart – Josh was more religiously observant than Lindy, and they couldn’t seem to resolve this difference.

A year after college graduation, both Josh and Lindy were living in New York independently. Josh recalls: “We both had a lot of growing up to do.  Probably me more than Lindy. We started talking again and decided to give it another shot.” Lindy smiles:  “I think Josh missed my niece, Belle. He missed my family. He missed me. And I missed him.  We’ve been together ever since.”

The couple made some resolutions:  “We focus on the present. We don’t have to solve every issue now that may come up in the future. If it’s working now, we’ll come to some sort of agreement that will work for both of us.”

As they re-united as a couple in 2014, Lindy began a Shabbat-observant lifestyle.  Josh was then traveling four days a week and Lindy was enjoying the peacefulness of Shabbat. “Now, I love it,” she exclaims. Josh is currently the manager of sales strategy and planning for PepsiCo in White Plains.

Josh and Lindy are pizza aficionados. Their first date in 2006 was for pizza and a movie. Eight years later, they visited the 25 best pizza places in NYC.  In August 2016, Josh incorporated pizza into his wedding proposal on the roof of Lindy’s apartment building. He arranged 24 pizza boxes, each with a written memory. In the last box were the words:  “Will you marry me?”

Under their chuppa (wedding canopy), the couple was surrounded by past and present. There was a tallit that Josh’s Savta Marilyn had woven for his Bar Mitzvah; a tallit from his Saba Morris; and a tallit Lindy’s Grandma Dotty bought for her Bat Mitzva.  There were two co-officiants – Lindy’s childhood cantor, Cantor Ralph Nussbaum and Josh’s brother-in-law, Rabbi Jordan Soffer, who described Josh as the paradigm of commitment and Lindy as funny, intelligent and passionate.

Lindy had twelve bridesmaids – five sisters of the couple, one university friend and six girlfriends from USY.

Lindy and Josh were married on October 29, 2017 in Woodbury, New York.  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.

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