Family Ties

(Photo Teri Pozniak/TPoz Photography)

First Date: July 2007, to the movies
Second Date: April 2011, to dinner
Wedding: Nov. 30, 2013
Venue: Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel
Residence: Bethesda
Favorite Activity: Outdoor walks

There were just too many family ties to keep Alyssa Bloom and Jonathan Polovoy apart.

They met through Jonathan’s sister, Lauren, who was Alyssa’s roommate at the University of Maryland, College Park. It was in spring 2007 at a party during Alyssa’s sophomore year; Jonathan was a senior.

“I definitely thought he was my type – tall, dark and handsome,” said Alyssa, now 26. The Owings Mills native found Jonathan funny and nice, and she had a feeling that a relationship could go somewhere. He had “the one” potential.

Jonathan, too, found Alyssa attractive and knew they had “clicked personality-wise.” They shared the same sense of humor, and he even told his roommates he would marry her someday.

Six months later, when both were unattached, they went to a movie. Although it was enjoyable, they weren’t on the same page. Alyssa just wanted fun, but Jonathan wanted more.

They dated other people and connected periodically. Their meetings grew more pleasant. In April 2011, when Jonathan and Lauren’s grandfather passed away, Alyssa visited the shiva house. They found each other single and realized the spark remained. After Passover, they went to dinner.

“We knew we were both in a more settled place,” said Jonathan, 28, a health-care consultant. “In the back of our minds this was the last shot we were going to get [to be together].”

In late May, Alyssa, a conference center manager for the FDA in Silver Spring, joined Jonathan, Lauren and friends for a weekend at a family beach house in Dewey Beach, Del., making their relationship “official.” They professed their love a few months later.

Fast forward to December 2012. Sharon and Bob Bloom and daughter Valerie joined Alyssa and Jonathan at Carol and Jerry Polovoy’s Olney home for Chanukah dinner. It was a reunion of sorts, as Sharon and Jerry reminisced about their time at Pikesville High School. And they laughed, as they recalled when Al Polovoy, Jonathan’s grandfather, pulled out his high school yearbook to show Alyssa a photo of his classmate, Bernie Heneson, her grandfather.

Alyssa’s parents handed the couple a large wrapped box. Inside were lots of tissue paper sheets and a small black box. Alyssa watched in shock as Jonathan dropped to his knee, presented her with a ring and asked her to marry him.

They were married by B’Nai Shalom of Olney’s Rabbi Ari Sunshine and Cantor Sara Geller at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel on Nov. 30, 2013. About 250 friends and family members witnessed the ceremony, which featured their personal love notes read aloud to each other.

They laughed during the joyful speeches from Bob and Valerie Bloom and have filled their Bethesda home with laughter each day since.

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

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