How was this seder different from all other seders? At this seder, Michael Biblowit met Julie Cannold.
The hosts were the Snyders, the in-laws of Michael’s sister and best friends with Julie’s parents in Rye, New York. “I spent many holidays in the Snyder home,” says Julie. Michael too had been a frequent guest. Still, Michael, 30, and Julie, 28, met for the first time on that Passover in 2010.
“We were never told that a set-up was pre-meditated,” smiles Julie. “But I definitely think our parents were trying to set us up,” grins Michael. “The hostess helped make it happen when she sat us next to each other.” At the end of the evening, they exchanged phone numbers.
Neither of them made the first move for two months. Julie recalls: “I probably got tired of waiting, so I finally sent him a text.” Michael responded that he was leaving for a family vacation and that he’d like to hang out when he returned. While away, he asked his sister how she knew that her husband was THE ONE. “I knew early on,” she replied.
On their first meet-up after the seder, Michael came to a Happy Hour hosted by Julie. Later that evening, Julie joined Michael and his friends on a Booze Cruise, even though she had to wake up at 7 AM the next morning to get to her desk at CNN on time.
Michael got a push from his friend, Evan, who urged him: “She’s cute and she likes you. Go for it!” Six years later, Evan was Michael’s best man.
“All summer, my mom would tell me that I should call that nice Julie Cannold,” says Michael. “When my parents had tickets for “Shakespeare in the Park,” they insisted that I invite Julie. They didn’t know that we were already dating. We didn’t want our families to know because there would be a lot of pressure.”
By the end of the summer, when the couple realized that their relationship was “going somewhere,” they separately invited both sets of parents for dinner. Julie describes: “Our families were ecstatic. We are the two luckiest people on the planet. We are both close to our families and both families really like each other.”
Over Labor Day weekend, a friend asked Michael if he thought he was going to marry Julie. His response: “Probably.” Like his sister, he knew early on.
Michael, who received a BA in Economics from Williams College in 2008, has worked for JPMorgan since graduation. Today he’s an associate in their mergers and acquisitions group. Beginning in April 2014, Michael spent a spent a year in the company’s London office.
Julie quit her job with CNN and joined Michael in London. She had graduated magna cum laude from Ohio University with a degree in journalism, and today works in Manhattan as a freelance writer and marketer for health and wellness companies.
For her 27th birthday, Julie got two wonderful surprises. Michael’s gift was a photo album, and a ring was in one of the picture slots
Julie knew that Michael’s family was joining them that day for lunch. She didn’t know that her parents and brother would also be flying to London for the occasion. They came together to celebrate the official engagement of their children.
Rabbi Angela W. Buchdahl, who officiated at their wedding, remarked about their shared values of family, education, friends, honesty and loyalty. She added: “In the words of the Seder – Dayeinu. It would have been enough.”
On April 2, 2016, Julie and Michael were married in Manhattan. 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.