How Lloyd metShira…


What one sees on the surface is not necessarily what’s out there. “That’s for sure, ” says Shira Lissek, 32.

She was getting ready to serve as a cantor for the high holidays when she met the man who would propose to her. “He first approached me when he saw me studying music on the treadmill, and we started to discuss my singing, from cantorial liturgy to off-Broadway shows. “


“Shira, ” also the Hebrew word for song, is a graduate from the Manhattan School of music in voice. As a versatile soprano, she is equally at home on the operatic, musical theater and concert stages and has been passionate about singing all her life. (

It was a good friend and fellow singer who first advised Shira to join her local gym. Although it was the first time Shira had been a member of a gym, she worked out every morning religiously. It was at this gym where she first met Lloyd Nerenberg.

Lloyd, 30, says he was intrigued by Shira’s layers — “this combination of brains, beauty, and talent captivated me. So I began to engage her in conversation in a desperate attempt to get her to go out with me. “

Recalling her early encounters with Lloyd, Shira admits, “He was a personal trainer, and, at first, I couldn’t see beyond the brawn. I decided to discuss the situation with my roommate. “

“A friend’s approval or lack thereof can sometimes make or break a relationship early on, ” notes Dr. Helen Friedman, a clinical psychologist in private practice in St. Louis.

In this case, Shira’s roommate propelled her forward. “I will always be grateful to my roommate Jess, who encouraged me to go out and meet Lloyd for coffee. She said “maybe he has cute friends, you never know. “

Shira recollects: “Beginning on our first date, I started to recognize the different layers of Lloyd. To quote my friend, Amy Abrams – getting to know someone is like peeling the layers of an onion. And so it was with Lloyd. I began to see his brainy side. “

Lloyd has a background in stage composition and an M.F.A. in dramaturgy (the academic side of drama). When the couple met, he was about to join the New York Teaching Fellows Program. He’s been a personal trainer who is professionally a math teacher and a serious fan of theater.

Though they met in Manhattan, they shared a Midwestern background. Shira grew up in Missouri, the daughter of Judge Michal Lissek, and Chazzan Leon Lissek, long-time beloved cantor at Congregation B’nai Amoona in St. Louis.

Lloyd says: “Being from Milwaukee myself, I appreciated a girl from the Midwest. In fact, we both went to camps in Eagle River, Wisconsin. I went to Interlocken, and Shira went to Camp Ramah, and we both have maintained our camp friends.

‘Loyalty’ is another trait that we share, ” Shira chimes in. “We think alike on most issues, and we want the same things. At last, I found a guy who could understand my work and who appreciated my work. He is totally supportive. It helps that he is so perceptive when it comes to theater and music. “

“I love hearing her practice, ” says Lloyd. “I love watching her sing. I love going to all of her performances. “

What is Shira like when she comes down from the stage? “Shira is the same person on and off. She is totally unpretentious, ” says Lloyd.

Of her fianc é, Shira says: He is just like me. I had been with “opposites ” before and it didn’t work

Shira recalls how naturally Lloyd became a part of her life: “I wasn’t thinking about introducing Lloyd to my parents. But early on in our relationship they met. It couldn’t be helped. My parents always attended my performances, and now they were joined by Lloyd. “It was fine by me, ” says Lloyd. I love the Lissek clan – they are a warm and wonderful family.

Before Lloyd proposed to Shira, he asked permission from her dad. What was the response from his father-in-law- to- be? A giant bear hug.

On a still June night next to Riverside Park in Manhattan, Lloyd chose these words as he proposed to the woman he loved: “Then let us be each other’s truth, let us affirm the other’s self and be the other’s audience, the other’s state, each to the other his sonorous fame. “

Shira and Lloyd are to be married in August, 2008. Mazal tov!

-written by Leah Hakimian August 28, 2007

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