How Jay met Jamie


“I broke the rules, but won the prize, ” says Jamie Levinson. She is referring to Rule #5 in Ellen Fein’s “Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right ” — Don’t call him.

For about five years, Jamie Levinson and Jay Finkelstein were in the same place, almost the same circle, young professionals living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The same age, they both enjoyed riding bikes and hiking; attending synagogue; and taking care of pets. And they both went to single events, but it wasn’t until a Friday night at the end of 1999 that they met each other.


That night, they both attended services at B’nai Jeshurun (BJ) and then went to Makor (community center) for an Oneg Shabbat (get-together). Jay had come with a guy friend, and Jamie was with a girlfriend, Carol.

“Carol knew us both, and she was the one who introduced us. We will always be grateful to Carol, ” says Jay. “At the end of the evening, I walked Jamie home, and we exchanged phone numbers. There was a connection from the first night. “

But Jay didn’t take the lead. Jamie did. On the one hand, Jamie was a woman of considerable independence in her position as a corporate trainer. On the other hand, as a divorced 43-year-old, she was also aware of The Rules. That meant leaving the initiative to the guy.

Kathy Gantz, a successful Manhattan psychotherapist and dating coach, warns: “The male species are hunters, and if they want you, they will do anything to get you. They don’t care if you have a boyfriend or are married. They will pursue. If you go on a date and a man doesn’t call in a ‘timely fashion,’ let it go. There will always be someone else who will. “

But Jamie followed her own rule: “Always to be myself. ” She waited for a month, and then one Thursday afternoon, Jamie called Jay, and left a message on his Voice Mail. She definitely broke The Rules. She invited him to go to a movie over the weekend. “That was the first time I had ever received a Voice Mail message asking me out. I was so impressed, ” recalls Jay. “And we started to date. “

“We realized how much we had in common, ” says Jamie. “We both had signed up for a Singles Ski Trip, but not yet as a couple. When I got injured and Jay took care of me, a light lit up -caring was a must-have on my list of traits for a life partner. “

Jay continues: “In the spring of 2000, our relationship became exclusive when Jamie accepted my invitation to join me at my ski house in Vermont. We were moving along. “

But very cautiously. Jay is a patient person, which serves him well as a college history instructor and novelist. “It took me seven years to jumpstart a career as a novelist. ” recalls Jay. But he finally succeeded with the publication of two novels.

When Jay and Jamie decided to move in together, Jay rented out his apartment. “Always good to proceed cautiously, ” says Jay.

After seven years as a couple, Jay and Jamie started talking about getting married.

“It was a first for me, ” says Jay. “And once we started talking about marriage, we just went out and did it. The deciding was hard; the doing was easy. We eloped. We went to New York City Hall. But we are both close to our families; and love each other’s families, so we wanted them to share our joy as well. “

So they had a second, Jewish ceremony, in the hometown of Jay’s mother and sister. There, Rabbi Arthur Ruberg, the officiating rabbi, addressed the couple:

“In this week’s Torah portion, Moses gives last-minute instructions to the Jewish people after their 40 years of wandering. I’m not Moses. And Beth El in Norfolk, Virginia isn’t exactly the Promised Land. But the two of you probably feel that you’ve done your share of wandering. You’ve lived in different places over the years, as far away as Israel. You’ve had your share of personal wanderings, too. This is why your decision to marry was a particularly well-thought out and special decision. Marrying under the chuppah today is a way of saying “now we are where we want to be in life. “

The date was September 2, 2007. Mazal tov!

Read past installments of Leah Hakimian’s column, ‘Godsend’

How Larry met Shelley

How David met Luba

How Aaron met Cynthia

How Zali met Michal

How Hadi met Rosa

How Richard met Talia

How Yuvi met Rachel

How Shai met Liora

How Dov met Miriam

How Aaron met Jennifer

How Simon met Rhea

How Dan met Simone

How Phil met Julie

How Michael met Amy

How Zvi met Daphna

How George met Leora

How Marty met Ila

How Gary met Lindsey

How Uri met Michal

How Etan met Marcel

How Lloyd met Shira

How Ronen met Amy

How Eliezer met Sararose