Finding one’s spouse can be a daunting process, but for the Riesels it was nothing short of miraculous. They had G-d guiding them with NCSY unwittingly acting as their matchmaker. Because Heshy Riesel grew in up in a Hasidic household and Rochelle Cohen grew up in a non-observant home, there weren’t many chances for them to meet. If anything, they were worlds apart. However, Heshy had a drive to share his Jewish spirit with others, so he became involved in NCSY, quickly working his way up to become a leader. Rochelle became interested in learning more about Judaism as a teenager and grew steadily in her yiddishkeit through her college years. They needed a big force to bring them together and that force was NCSY.
One week, Rochelle heard that there was a senior NCSY Shabbaton. Thinking this meant a college senior Shabbaton, she decided she wanted to go. She packed up her bags and hurried out Friday afternoon to get there prior to Shabbat. She arrived with time to spare at the shul, but, to her disappointment, the shul was locked. Frantically, she hurried to the home of the Shabbaton coordinator.
As Shabbat was now fast approaching she knocked heavily on the door. Once… Twice… No answer. She decided to knock once more and finally someone ran to the door. It was Heshy who answered. Though he was confused as to why this young lady was knocking at his door, he kindly asked what Rochelle was doing there. She replied that she was a college senior that had come for the Shabbaton. Bewildered, Heshy thought for a second and then realized what happened.
“Oh no,” Heshy said. “This is a senior Shabbaton for kids in high school, not college.”
Seeing her downfallen face he quickly added, “But don’t worry! We have tons of room in our house. Please join us for the Shabbaton.”
And the rest is some happy history…
The story of how each couple meets is always special. Finding G-d’s hand in it is often so clear. In the Riesels’ case, G-d’s hand used NCSY to bring together two people, from different backgrounds, different regions and different families to build a Jewish home together.
Did you meet through NCSY? We want to hear from you! Email a large wedding photo to firstname.lastname@example.org and also include your: Full and Maiden Names, NCSY Region(s), anniversary date and any stories about how you met or memories from the wedding.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.