And The Answer Is
Leslie Zack and Mitch Katz will never question 'why this night was different from all others.'
SHELLI LIEBMAN DORFMAN
eslie Zack arrived at the first Passover seder
this year with her boyfriend, but she left with
Near the start of the evening, a discussion
ensued about who would ask the Four Questions. "I
suggested that we all ask them together, since everyone
at the table was pretty much an adult," said Mitchel
Katz, 24, of East Lansing.
But after the fourth question was asked, Mitch
looked over at Leslie, removed a ring box that he had
stuck under the table, and remembers saying, "I actual-
ly have a fifth question."
Leslie, 24, of West Bloomfield said she looked at him
in shock. "He's a joker, so he could have said any-
thing," she said.
But what he asked — in Hebrew — was: "Leslie will
you marry me?" With her Hillel Day School educa-
tion, Leslie understood the question well.
"She looked terrified," Mitch said. "Then I repeated
the question in English. I was really choked up, and I
looked around and everybody at the table was in tears."
Leslie remembered: "I was in total shock. What I'm
told I said was: 'I would like nothing more.' Then I
looked around and everyone was smiling and crying
Leslie was the only one in the room who didn't know
about the evening's plan said Mitch's aunt, Cheryl Weiss
of Farmington Hills, who attended the seder with her
twin daughters Jenny and Becca, 17. "Before we began,
we had been fighting over seats — everyone wanted to be
able to see Leslie." The seder was at the West Bloomfield
home of Mitch's parents, Karen and Larry Katz.
"I actually wondered about the seating arrange-
ments," Leslie recalled. "When I asked my mom
[Barbara Newman Zack of West Bloomfield] to sit next
to me, she said she'd rather sit on the other side of the
table. Now I know it's because she wanted a good view."
And the seat Leslie chose for herself was not the one
Mitch had hoped she would take. She ended up sitting
in front of the ring box he had hidden under the table.
"I was nervous anyway," Mitch said. "But when she sat
by the ring, I was worried she would put her hand
under the table and find it."
But in the end, every-
thing went smoothly.
"It was so perfect,
being a wit-
ness to her
had the ring
on her finger,
she ran to call
her father to tell
him the news. But
he already knew: Mitch
had gone to him the day
before to ask permission.
Leslie's dad and step-mother,
Robert and Lorraine Zack of West
Bloomfield, joined the group for dessert
after their own seder.
— "We wanted everyone around us," Mitch
said. "My parents have loved Leslie since the
day they met her. She's like a daughter to
them. Leslie and my mom are best friends. And
I'm very close with Leslie's mother. It just seemed
like the right thing, to do this with everyone
For college age through 30-something. Send information to
April 30 YAD Shabbat Dinner Exchange. Alaine Waldshan, (248) 203-1486 or
May 2 Sunday, 7 p.m. Hillel of Metro Detroit presents Daniel Pipes: "The
Palestinian-Israeli War: Where did it come from, how to end it?" at Shaarey
Zedek B'nai Israel Center, West Bloomfield. Co-Sponsored by ZOA, B'nai
Brith, ADL and AISH Detroit. No charge.
May 5 Wednesday. Hillel of Metro Detroit Graduates and Professionals 21+,
5:30 p.m. dinner, 6:15 p.m. bus tour of old Jewish Detroit. Co-sponsor: Jewish
Historical Society of Michigan. Free. RSVP to Karen Urman by Monday, May
3: (313) 577-3459 or email@example.com
Leslie, a social worker for the Veterans Affairs
Medical Center in Ann Arbor, and Mitch, a student at
Michigan State University-Detroit College of Law in
East Lansing, had been dating for nearly three years.
But they actually knew each other for 10 years before
becoming engaged. They met through their B'nai
B'rith Youth Organization
chapters when they
were 14, and later
in the Jewish
schools — she at
and he at Andover
in Bloomfield Hills.
The two have already
begun planning their June
26, 2005, wedding at Adat
Karen Katz was delighted with
her son's seder proposal. "I'm really
glad Mitch abandoned one of the ideas
he was kicking around — proposing in a
hot air balloon. The rest of us never would
have fit in the basket." ❑
May 7 Friday, 6:15 p.m. Impact Michigan (formerly B'nai B'rith Leadership
Network) Shabbat dinner and service at Temple Chaye Olam (15 Mile and
Inkster). Kosher BBQ, followed by 7:30 p.m. service. Cost: $5 members, $7
non-members. No need to RSVP. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
May 13 Thursday, 7:30-10:30 p.m. YAD Israeli mission reunion party and bar
night at Royal Oak Lanes, 1017 S. Washington. $10 includes Israeli food and
bowling. RSVP Jonathan. Goldstein, (248) 203-1471 or
May 19 Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. Hillel of Metro Detroit Capture the Flag. Beech
Woods Recreation Center, 22200 Beech Road, Southfield. Free. RSVP: Karen
Urman, (313) 577-3459 or