He’s a Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, but still takes orders from his mother. “Mark,” she said, “You must ask out Becky – she’s Jewish and cute; she’s a physical therapist; and she has dimples.” How did his mom know about Becky Rosenberg? “She noticed her on my Facebook page,” replied Mark.
In truth, Mark Schwartz, an attorney and prosecutor, did not need the nudging of his mother. From the time in May 2009, when he saw Becky at a Happy Hour sponsored by the St. Louis Jewish Federation’s Young Professional Department (YPD), he was interested. “I tried chatting her up,” says Mark, “but it didn’t go anywhere.”
Months later, their paths crossed again at a charity event. He finally got her to engage in some conversation and managed to turn her off. “So, you do have a personality,” he said.
Becky was not amused. “He struck me as some smart aleck – not somebody JDate would have matched me with.”
However, they had mutual friends, and found themselves together at the same New Years Eve party. “Once again I thought his behavior was obnoxious,” says Becky. “Much of the time he was simply playing games on his cell phone.”
They agreed on one topic: the limited opportunities for Jewish singles in St. Louis. They kept talking and she learned that he liked karaoke.
At the next YPD Happy Hour, they sat next to each other for the karaoke session. They were moving closer. After a dinner with two mutual friends, Mark and Becky became Facebook friends.
Nearly a year after she first caught his eye, Mark got her phone number at a YPD kickoff event in February 2010. He recalls: “She looked absolutely stunning in a red dress and a hairdo that I still remember.”
The next day, Becky texted him. She had come to appreciate his quick wit and his Type-A personality. She liked the fact that he was a marathoner. And it was not a turnoff for her that Mark, at the age of 33, talks to his mom every other morning. Becky herself, at 30, was living around the corner from her parents. They both love family.
“I was always attracted to her look,” says Mark. “I think she’s so beautiful. She’s also smart, with a doctorate in physiotherapy. And with her pensive personality, she helps me feel a sense of peace.”
“We’ve been inseparable since the day I texted him,” says Becky. Soon, Mark moved into her townhouse. “We’re good for each other,” says Mark. “We get each other to try and do things we didn’t think we could do.” He even trained Becky’s dog.
That August, Mark made Becky a Chinese dinner. He’s a foodie and quite a cook but on this occasion, he did something super special. Inside one of the fortune cookies was his proposal of marriage.
Believers will say this was a match made in heaven. Everyone will agree that this was a match made at the Jewish Federation of St. Louis – an appropriate reward to Becky’s dad who worked tirelessly for the organization as CEO.
When asked about “Federation marriages,” Dr. Stephen Cohen, the organization’s veep, estimates that there have been, at least, 12 to 15 couples in recent years. YPD events are for post-college Jewish men and women in their 20s and 30s.
Mark and Becky chose a wedding venue in Healdsburg, Calif. They wanted a beautiful place where neither had ever been.
What lesson does Becky have for her single friends? “Sometimes it’s a good idea to give someone a second chance to make a first impression.”
Becky and Mark were married on November 5, 2011. Mazal tov!