The moment Nancy Gooze met her husband Danny across a crowded room at a JUF Young Leadership Division (YLD) event, she knew he was the one.
"I've always felt, from the minute that I met my husband that this was meant to be," Gooze, now a JUF Women's Board member, said. "It felt to me, like God's hand was in this…that this was truly meant to be."
After her first marriage ended, Gooze returned from college and moved back home to Chicago looking to meet someone.
"I came home and a lot of my friends were not in town and there were only a couple people I knew," she said. "My cousin said that JUF had these events where you can meet young men. So I started going with her to [YLD] events."
About six months later, one Sunday afternoon Gooze went to one such YLD events by herself at a Chicago bar called Smokey Joe's. She spotted her future husband right away, but he was dancing with another girl. After walking around hoping he would notice her, she eventually decided to leave and on her way out, there he was. They soon went on their first date and were engaged just six weeks later.
Today, Nancy and Danny Gooze have been happily married for 42 years. They have three children and nine grandchildren. They are both retired and split their time between Chicago and Florida.
Gooze encourages young Jews looking for love to keep at it and keep trying and to always go to the events.
"We never ever would have come into contact with each other if it hadn't been for YLD," she said.
Her secrets to a long, healthy marriage? "Fight a lot and then make up. Don't hold back because you never work out anything if you don't say how you feel about things. You have to speak your mind and you have to stand up for yourself and at the same time you have to be loving and kind and things will work out…I think the best thing in a marriage is humor. I think if you can laugh at yourself and laugh at your husband and laugh at each other's quirks and not take them so seriously, that's the best thing for a marriage."
To learn more about YLD events, visit YLDChicago.org.