Meeting Cute

Read Jewish Chicago "meet cute" stories to inspire you before Valentine's Day!

howardsharigreen image
Howard and Shari Green, who met in Chicago.

Members of the Chicago Jewish community told us their "meet cute" stories--sweet stories of how they met their spouses and significant others. Read on to find out what launched the relationship for each of these couples! Enjoy!


My husband Jon and I met at Rabbi Asher Lopatin's Shabbos table in Lakeview!

Andrea Lesch Weiss, Skokie


Howard and I had both been widowed; his wife, a year earlier, my husband, about a year and a half. World-famous shadchan Tova Weinberg, one of the founders of "Saw You at Sinai," came to Chicago from Pittsburgh for a family wedding and happened to spend Shabbat with a good friend of mine, who insisted I walk over to meet her. After five minutes, Tova said to me, "I have someone to introduce you to. I don't know him so well, but he's the most important Jew in North America." "What's this guy's name," I asked skeptically. Turns out, he was the most important Jew I had never heard of. He had been the president/CEO of the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh, then the president/CEO of Jewish Federations of North America. A few months later I married him.

Beverly Siegel, West Rogers Park


We dated briefly in junior high and reconnected via Facebook in early 2010. After few months of dating, I moved in with him and [my now-stepson] Anthony. Right before Thanksgiving 2012, he proposed; we were married a year later! And then a year and a half later, our daughter was born.

Diana Van Dusen, Skokie


Our parents--shamefully, our parents--met years after we had left home, so we didn't grow up knowing each other. Kind of Bridget Jones-like in that I had NO interest when we first ZERO, ZILCH, NONE! We've been married for 28 years.

Lauren Bondy, Northbrook


Andy and I met at Weber Grill Restaurant. I was working as a host and he was a manager in training. We had a special of black-eyed peas with chicken at the time. Chicken is great, but all I wanted was a bowl of black-eyed peas with cornbread. If you're from the South, then you understand. I ordered the peas on my lunch break and waited and waited but they never came. The kitchen thought my order was a mistake; apparently northern folks don't eat bowls of black-eyed peas. I had to take matters into my own hands! I walked over to the kitchen line and asked a new and friendly face to please give me the bowl of black-eyed peas I had ordered. When he did? It was electric. It sounds silly, but when he handed me my peas, it changed my life. I knew instantly we'd spend our lives together. The rest, as they say, is history.

Jeremy Owens, Chicago


Ultimate 'Jewish' story: We met as Neilah ended at our childhood synagogue Yom Kippur services, walking out next to our families. But there is a long backstory: Our parents have known each other for years and my mom was my now-wife's fourth grade teacher. So many connections, but we had only met many years later. I understand that is traditionally when young couples used to meet--during Yom Kippur dances, right?

Kenny Stolman, Deerfield


Henry's brother, who was a good friend of mine, kept urging him to come check out Mishkan and reboot his Jewish life. He finally showed up in August 2014, and we went on our first date in November. He spent the next year carving his place in my heart by carrying my guitar around and helping me schlep things from one place to the other--and we were engaged by August 2015. In the early days of Mishkan, when it was a lot of young singles, I told people that I don't date congregants--to keep things simple. So, I told Henry that he was not allowed to be officially a congregant 'til it was 'official.'

Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann, Chicago


I was at the Rogers Park JCC and ran into an old friend. He asked if I was busy that Friday night and I said 'no.' He said, 'see you then.' When I got home, I was tempted to call him and bow out, as he was not my type. However, when he picked me up on Friday night, there was his best friend, Jack Cantor, as my date. We fell head over heels for each other, were engaged six months later, and got married four months after that. We celebrated our 59th wedding anniversary last December, shortly before Jack's death. We were blessed with two daughters and three grandsons.

Audrey Cantor, Northbrook


I met my husband at a Makor dinner at the JCC on Melrose. The ironic part was I was not looking to meet or date anyone and he was there to help one of his friends find someone. I don't know how I got so lucky that I found him! Best gift I got from the Chicago Jewish community!

Allison Leviton, Chicago


Short version: I was fixed up with a date my first month at the University of Illinois. After dinner, he asked if I minded if we went to Timpone's, which then was a beer joint, to celebrate his pledge brother's 18th birthday. We went. I married the first guy, we were divorced after 25 years, met up with the second guy five years later, and then married him.

Sandee Holleb, Wheeling


Technically, we first met at a mutual camp (OSRUI) friend's party before Darin left for a year on a kibbutz in Israel. When he returned, he reached out to me; the first time we could find to get together was to meet up at the matzoh ball, the big Jewish singles party on Dec. 24. An interesting place to have a first date! That was 1999. We've spent almost every day together since.

Alexandra Argentar, Buffalo Grove


Reuben and I met when we were in high school in Eastern Pennsylvania Region USY. The region was really spread out and we were in different chapters so we didn't see each other often. In our graduation yearbooks for USY, we each wrote that we wish we had gotten to know each other better and that we hoped that one day we would meet again on the street. And that was the end of that since there was no Facebook then. Six years later, we had both graduated from college and were in grad school in Philadelphia and we bumped into each other on the street in West Philadelphia...and the rest is history. We will be married 36 years in August.

Tami Warshawsky, Deerfield


A JUF volunteer called to remind me about the phonothon I had signed up for. I thought he was very charming. I went to the phonothon and when it was over, I asked him for a ride home. I didn't like him at first because he drove like a maniac; I thought he was trying to show off. But he was persistent and kept asking me out. How many times can a person say no? We have been married 27 years.

Lila Weiland, Highland Park


At the beginning of my sophomore year at Brandeis, my roommate and I threw a party in our room and looked through the student handbook--a.k.a. the "meat" (meet) book--to find cute girls to invite. Laura was one of the naive freshmen who showed up. Soon, after Rosh Hashanah services, dinner, and a stroll around campus, we became a couple. Twenty-plus years, a dog, and two kids later, we have the "meat" book to thank.

Steve Wander, Northbrook


My wife, Shari, was sitting in the flute section of the now-gone North Side Symphony during a summer outdoor rehearsal. We were playing the Beethoven 3rd Symphony and the clarinets had a long rest, so I lit up my pipe--in those days, people did smoke outside; it was 1975. Shari is allergic to smoke so she turned around and said: "Would you put that smelly thing out?". Not only did I comply--and never smoked again, BTW--I asked her out to dinner for that weekend. She said yes, and the rest is history.... we got engaged in December and we married in May 1976.

Howard Green, Buffalo Grove


I met my husband at Lollapalooza at the dance tent. [It] was pretty fitting, given that my parents met at a discotheque. The apple did not fall far from the tree.

Lisette Zaid, Chicago  

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