Birds of a Feather


041814_beshertRebecca & Alexander Yaffe
First Date: July 11, 2012
Where: Birds of a Feather in Fells Point
Wedding Date: Dec. 1, 2013
Venue: Antrim 1844
Residence: Baldwin, Md.
Favorite Activity: Cooking dinner together

Neither Rebecca Rosenzweig nor Alexander Jaffe planned to marry.

“I thought I always would be a single, independent woman,” said Rebecca, 33, a personnel security specialist for the Department of Defense.

But when Rebecca met Alexander Yaffe in July 2012 through J-Date, the Jewish online dating service, all caution went with the wind.

They chatted electronically for a few days before Alexander had to prepare for a business trip. Rebecca cut to the chase, suggesting they meet for a drink before his departure. They talked for nearly four hours at Birds of a Feather in Fells Point, each barely finishing one drink.

“It was the best three-and-a-half- hour experience of my life,” said Rebecca.

They talked about their families, past relationships, religion, politics, music, movies and animals.

They were so enthralled with each other that they walked out without settling the check. After a hug goodnight, Alexander went back inside to pay.

They texted, but family commitments prevented their next date for about three weeks. Both were happy to get together again, meeting halfway from Rebecca’s Laurel condo and Alexander’s Upper Park Heights apartment at a gastropub in Columbia. Rebecca found a parking spot on the lot, but Alexander parked across the street. It was a ploy to get Rebecca alone at the end of the night so he could initiate their first kiss.

By late September, Rebecca knew he was the one she would marry.

“That’s when I told her I didn’t want to see other people,” said Alexander, president and CEO of Yaffe and Company, a nonprofit consulting firm. “That’s when she told me she wasn’t.”

A month later, they professed their love.

The true test for Alexander was taking Rebecca on a family trip to California to meet his brother and niece along with his parents, Dorothy and Rian Yaffe, and sister.

“I knew if the trip was good, it would give me the information that we had lasting staying power,” he said.

A few weeks later, he asked Shirley and Edwin Rosenzweig for Rebecca’s hand in marriage.

For New Year’s Eve, Alexander planned a romantic evening at a dog-friendly inn. After downing three glasses of wine in 25 minutes and lasting through an 11-course meal, he took Maggie, his Australian Shepherd Border Collie for a walk and a pep talk. He returned at 1 a.m. and sat Rebecca on the couch.

Rebecca heard little of his prepared speech, but she heard the most important part, “Will you marry me?”

They married on Dec. 1, 2013 at the Antrim 1844 with Rabbi Aryeh Goetz officiating. Nearly 150 guests witnessed the personal Orthodox ceremony.

“When I met Rebecca everything just clicked,” said Alexander. “We laughed together, had fun, and I wanted to be with her. It all just fit.”

Linda L. Esterson is an Owings Mills-based freelance writer. For “Beshert,” call 410-902-2305 or email

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