Finding one’s spouse can be a daunting process for most, but for the Riesels it was
nothing short of miraculous. They had G-d guiding them and NCSY unwittingly acting as
their matchmaker. Because Heshy Riesel grew in up in a Hasidic household and
Rochelle Cohen grew up in a non-observant household, there weren’t many chances
for them to meet. If anything, they were worlds apart. However, Heshy had a drive
to share his Jewish spirit with others, so he became involved in NCSY, quickly
working his way up to become a leader. Rochelle became interested in learning more
about Judaism as a teenager and was growing steadily in her yiddishkeit through her
college years. But throughout this time, even though they lived in two distant locales,
they stayed with different friends and social circles. They needed a bigger force to bring
them together, and that force was NCSY.
One week, Rochelle had heard that there was a senior NCSY shabbaton. Thinking
this meant a college senior shabbaton, she decided she wanted to go. She
packed up her bags and hurried out Friday afternoon to get there prior to Shabbat.
She arrived with time to spare at the shul, but, to her disappointment, the shul
was locked. Frantically, she hurried to the home of the shabbaton coordinator.
As Shabbat was now fast approaching she knocked heavily on the door. Once…
Twice…no answer. She decided to knock once more and finally someone ran to
the door. It was Heshy who answered. Though he was confused as to why
this young lady was knocking at his door, he kindly asked what Rochelle was
doing there. She replied that she was a college senior that had come for the
shabbaton. Heshy thought for second, looking somewhat bewildered,
and then realized what happened.
“Oh no,” Heshy said. “This is a senior shabbaton for kids in high school, not
Seeing her downfallen face he quickly added, “But don’t worry! We have tons of
room in our house. Please join us for the shabbaton.”
And the rest is some happy history…
The story of how each couple meets is always special.
Finding G-d’s hand in it is often so clear. In the Riesel’s case,
G-d’s hand used NCSY to bring together two people, from different backgrounds,
different regions, and different families to build a Jewish home together.
Share your simcha! Email a large wedding photo to email@example.com
and also include your: Full and Maiden Names, NCSY Region(s), anniversary date and
any stories about how you met or memories from the wedding.