After cancer claimed his aunt’s life, David Stahl joined the planning committee for Towson University’s Relay for Life, the local version of the American Cancer Society’s fundraising event held in cities around the world.
In 2010, Jennifer Mitchell joined the committee. She too had lost an aunt to cancer many years ago, and her grandfather was a cancer survivor. A serious student and worker, she wanted to find a meaningful outlet to benefit from her volunteerism.
David had been on the committee for several years, and when Jennifer joined, she caught his eye. They learned both were enrolled in the business school at Towson. After running into each other on campus a few times, David asked her out to dinner.
After a nice meal in February 2010, neither wanted the night to end. They headed to a hookah lounge owned by David’s former Maccabi coach. The next night, they returned to the spot, this time with David introducing Jennifer as his girlfriend.
She was happy with the title and happy when David ventured out in a two-wheel-drive vehicle to get her in Perry Hall so they could enjoy that month’s “Snowmageddon” together. That apparently sealed their fate; both agree today that at such an early point, their relationship was serious.
Together, they enjoyed college life, as well as dining out and seeing movies. They also joined a billiards club and softball league and enrolled in the same summer course.
After talking marriage, David took Jennifer shopping for the “right” engagement ring in September 2012. When exchanging gifts that December, David proposed.
Jennifer gave him a board game, and he told her she needed more light to open her gift. They proceeded to the dining room, where she opened a box containing a pink bear from Build a Bear, which would become the newest in their collection of “children.”
“I wondered how I would get her to open the gift early,” said David, 25, an assistant manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. “I wanted her to open it before we were with our families.”
David had secretly named the bear “Proposal.” He asked Jennifer to press the bear’s hand, and David’s prerecorded voice told her he loved her and asked her to marry him. She turned to find David on one knee, ring in hand.
On Sept. 1 last year, Har Sinai Congregation’s Rabbi Benjamin Scharff officiated at a traditional ceremony that featured seven circles for the blessings, breaking of the glass and a <em<bedekken. Lawrence and Lynda Stahl and Glenn and Kimberly Mitchell stood under the chuppah with their children.
“It just happened at the right time,” said Jennifer, 26, a human resources assistant for Sims Recycling Solutions. “Everything just clicked together.”
The couple resides in Pikesville with their 1-month-old daughter, Amelia Reneé, named for Jennifer’s grandmother and David’s aunt. Jennifer, who was raised Catholic, has committed to raising a Jewish family and keeping a Jewish home.
Linda L. Esterson is an Owings Mills-based freelance writer. For “Beshert,” call 410-902-2305 or email [email protected].