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November 29, 2002 - Image 47

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-11-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


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Mazel Toy!

Tel Aviv Love Story

Josh Levine and Shayna Loss looked for an Israel experience and found each other.

Jewish Renaissance Media


eeking a typical Israeli cul-
tural experience, college
students Josh Levine and
Shayna Loss each decided
to attend Tel Aviv University for a
"In Jerusalem, you meet mostly
Americans," said Shayna, adding
that more Israeli students live in the
dorms on the Tel Aviv campus.
Though Josh and Shayna attended
classes with people from all over the
world, the two Americans struck up
a friendship the first day they met
almost four years ago. They're get-
ting married next July.
Jewish life and Israel have always
been integral parts of Josh's and
Shayna's lives.
Josh is the son of Noah Levine,
associate director of the Jewish
Federation of Greater Atlanta. He
attended the Epstein School and
belonged to United Synagogue
Youth and the B'nai B'rith Youth
Organization. He also visited Israel
with his family during his bar mitz-
vah year and knew he wanted to
return one day.
He attended Tel Aviv University
during his junior year as a psycholo-
gy major at the University of Texas
at Austin.
For her part, Shayna has made
annual trips to Israel almost all her
"Dad's been leading trips to Israel
since I was a baby," said Shayna,
who attended Hillel Day School of
Metropolitan Detroit and was presi-
dent of the Youth Federation of
Temple Israel. Dad is Harold Loss, a
rabbi at Temple Israel in West
Bloomfield. Mom is Susan Loss.
Shayna went to Israel during her
fourth year as a computer engineer-
ing major at the University of
Michigan, because she "wanted to
experience -life in Israel immersed in

Fran Memberg is community editor of
the Atlanta Jewish Times, sister paper of
the Jewish News and an affiliate of
Jewish Renaissance Media.

the culture, not just seeing the sights
with my parents."
Josh met Shayna the day he
arrived in Tel Aviv, about a month
after her own arrival. A former high
school wrestler who still works out,
Josh noticed that Shayna was wear-
ing workout clothes. She offered to
take him to the shuk (market) to buy
supplies, and they got around to
talking about their similar back-
"I called home and told
everyone I had met my best
friend," said Shayna.
When she and Josh returned
to the U.S., they knew they
would stay in touch, but rec-
ognized the challenges of a
long-distance courtship. "We
didn't plan a full-out relation-
ship, but we didn't want to
stop [seeing each other]," said
He graduated from college in
May 2000 and returned to
Atlanta to begin a career.
Shayna's major required a fifth
year of study, and as she
neared her May 2001 gradua-
tion, she looked for jobs in
In.addition to wanting to
break out of the Midwest, "the
most important thing was to
live in the same city [as Josh],"
Shayna said. She moved to
Atlanta in July 2001.

next 18 months. When someone
cancelled a July 2003 wedding, the
couple had their date.
On Aug. 1, Josh took Shayna to
Piedmont Park in Atlanta on the
pretext of going on a picnic. "When
he reached into the cooler for the
ring, I thought he was getting a
turkey sandwich," Shayna said. "For
the first time in my life, I was

"Shayna is a planner, so it was a
big deal to be able to pull off the
surprise," said Josh.
He compounded her shock by
walking her to a nearby restaurant
where both sets of parents were
waiting. "Josh knows how impor-
tant my family is to me," said
Shayna. "I was thrilled. I wanted to
get married. Nothing could've been
better." ❑

Home, Engaged

Josh's mindset about engage-
ment changed by mid-July,
when Shayna's parents visited
Josh asked his future father-
in-law for his blessing, and as
soon as Shayna's mother heard
the news, Josh and the Losses
began planning a wedding —
even before Josh proposed.
It wasn't that they wanted to
keep Shayna in the dark. They
wanted to figure out when the
wedding could take place,
because Rabbi Loss's simcha
calendar was booked for the



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