Debra Foreman Cohen of Bryn Mawr and Robert Cohen of Philadelphia announce the engagement of their son Jason Ross Cohen to Amy Fortuna Antar, daughter of Morris and Nancy Antar of Penn Valley.
Jason graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor’s degree in business and a minor in physics. He works at Vanguard in Malvern and is pursuing his MBA at Villanova University.
Amy graduated from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and a minor in communications sciences and disorders, and has a master’s degree from Boston University in speech language pathology. She works as a speech language pathologist for the Delaware County Intermediate Unit.
Sharing in the couple’s happiness are Amy’s sisters Sandy and Judy and brother Michael; their respective spouses Steve, Ben and Stephanie; Amy’s nieces Leah, Jordyn, Lucy and Maisy and nephew Tommy; Jason’s grandparents Roy and Irma Foreman; and sisters Alison, with fiance Justin, and Nicole.
While her mother and daughter shared stories in her well-lit kitchen, Lisa Berkowitz, 60, came to the kitchen table with two photo albums stacked on top of each other.
She rifled through the pages of the smaller album. There’s the photo of her family from just two years ago, with her daughter Emily Fridberg, 33, in a wedding dress. There’s the photo of Fridberg surrounded by her bridesmaids. Fridberg’s dress was “funky,” with a comfortable fit and a top with a snakeskin-like pattern, while her bridesmaids wore green dresses of different shades, lengths and styles.
That’s something all three women had in common. They didn’t make their bridesmaids wear identical gowns.
“We think a little bit out of the box,” said Berkowitz’s mother, Barbara Boroff, 83.
Boroff got married when she was 21 years old in 1955, the same year that Rosa Parks was arrested, Lady and the Tramp premiered and the first McDonald’s opened. Twenty-eight years later, her daughter Berkowitz got married at 25 years old in a large synagogue affair. Then, 33 years after that, her granddaughter Fridberg married at 31 years old at a Chester County venue.
Berkowitz opened the second album, the one from her own wedding 35 years ago. They did a photo shoot in her parents’ bedroom, with their green floral wallpaper behind them. She wore a white dress with a lace top and simple bottom.
When it comes to the dress Boroff wore at her wedding 63 years ago, it’s something she could see on a bride today: A lace dress with little sleeves.
“[My wedding] was much less sophisticated in the planning [than my daughter’s and granddaughter’s],” Boroff said. “Nobody even had planners.”
One difference between the weddings of different generations is the price tag. Putting a wedding together has become more expensive and, Boroff noted, more complicated. She doesn’t remember the cost of her own, but Berkowitz’s wedding cost about $35,000, or close to $90,000 in today’s dollars. Fridberg’s wedding, meanwhile, cost $100,000 and had about 100 fewer guests.
Boroff met her husband Alan, who died two years ago, when she was a senior in high school and he was a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania. She met him through one of his fraternity brothers, whom she also dated.
“In those days, high school girls … dated the college boys,” Berkowitz said, “or so she tells us.”
They dated for several years.
Then, at Alan Boroff’s graduation, his father handed him his draft letter.
At the time, the Korean War was coming to an end, so Alan Boroff spent the next two years away, first at various military bases, then in Japan. The two wrote each other every day. Boroff kept every letter, she said, and after he died two years ago, she read them all again.
“One of the special comments was, ‘I love you very much, but I’m leaving a page blank so I can just think about you,’” Boroff said.
When he returned, the two got married at Temple Sinai.
They moved to Cambridge, Mass., after getting married, so Alan Boroff could attend Harvard Law School. Then they moved back to the Philadelphia area, where they settled down and grew their family. They were married for more than 60 years.
“We really did a lot of growing up together,” Boroff said.
Years later, Boroff played matchmaker for her own daughter, Berkowitz. During Rosh Hashanah one year, Berkowitz’s future mother-in-law asked Boroff is she could set Berkowitz up with one of her three sons.
They ended up setting her up with her son, Arthur.
“In those days, we all did a lot of blind dating,” Berkowitz said. “He didn’t call for six months, and we went on our first date in January.”
The two grew up in the Har Zion Temple community, though they didn’t know each other. The whole synagogue knew about their relationship while they were dating and, when Boroff and Berkowitz’s mother-in-law passed each other in the community, they would just shrug their shoulders. The two were dating, but there was no commitment.
After about two years, Berkowitz told Arthur that she didn’t want to just keep dating. She wanted to get married or break up. He told her he would make a decision in January, on the anniversary of when they first started going out.
The day of their anniversary, Berkowitz, who worked as a teacher, received a dozen red roses at school. The flowers came with a note that had a simple message: Lisa, yes, Arthur.
Later that day, he bought her a skirt, as she wanted to pick out her own ring.
They got married that October at Har Zion.
Their wedding was the largest of the three, with about 350 in attendance. The assemblage was so large they had to get creative with the bar, going with one that had a circular shape, so that a lot of people could get to it at one time. Rabbi Gerald I. Wolpe, Har Zion’s popular rabbi at the time, officiated.
“I do remember what this child of mine said after the wedding,” Boroff said. “She said, ‘It’s perfect. It’s exactly what I wanted.”’
“I wanted to get married,” Berkowitz added. “So I was just happy to have a party. I was just happy to be getting married.”
In what might be a family tradition, Berkowitz also played a role in her daughter’s matchmaking as well, but with a 21st century twist. While Fridberg was a graduate student in St. Louis, Berkowitz encouraged her to try JDate.
That’s how Fridberg met her husband Jonathan. He was only the second person she met through the dating site. After graduation, the two moved to Chicago, then to the Philadelphia area a year ago.
Fridberg knew he was going to propose — they had gone ring shopping together — but she didn’t know when. After about two years of dating and during a weekend away together, he popped the question.
They were engaged for about a year and a half. Though they were living in Chicago then, they wanted to get married in Philadelphia, closer to where both of their families lived. Berkowitz ended up doing much of the planning with the help of a wedding planner. She hadn’t used a planner for her own wedding, but was glad to have the help for planning her daughter’s.
They chose the Phoenixville Foundry as their venue, and a Reconstructionist rabbi officiated.
“We knew we didn’t want to get married in a synagogue,” Fridberg said. “We wanted to get married in the place where the party would be kind of rustic-themed.”
Fridberg and her husband wanted the wedding to feel like it was just the two of them there. They also wanted the wedding to just be fun, with lots of dancing.
“A wedding is a happy occasion, a joyous occasion,” Fridberg said. “We don’t want to stress about little things.” ❤
Dawn and Ted Fisher of Richboro announce the engagement of their daughter, Stephanie Ariel, to Daryl Andrew Batoff, son of Pamela Batoff and the late Steven Batoff of Northeast Philadelphia.
Stephanie, a graduate of Bloomsburg University, is working toward a Master’s Degree in Special Education at Temple University while working for the Bucks County Intermediate Unit as a Special Education teacher. Daryl, a graduate of Temple University, is working toward his second Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership at Holy Family University while teaching instrumental music at First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School.
Sharing in the couple’s happiness are Stephanie’s grandparents, Sharon Cohen and Carl Scarantino, and Selma Fisher, as well as Daryl’s sister, Gail Batoff.
Ron and Robin Neifield of Philadelphia announce the engagement of their daughter, Zara Neifield, to Adam Szumski, son of Jerry and Donna Szumski of Avoca.
Zara is a graduate of Emerson University and a photographer. Adam graduated from Wilkes University and earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh. He is an analyst at the Pennsylvania Economy League. A Philadelphia wedding is planned for the fall of 2019.
Debra Foreman Cohen of Bryn Mawr and Robert Cohen of Philadelphia announce the engagement of their daughter, Alison Pam Cohen, to Justin Michael Lingel, son of Helene and Bruce Lingel of Reisterstown, Md.
Alison graduated from Elizabethtown College with a Bachelor of Arts in education and has a master’s degree in teaching English as a second language from Bar Ilan University in Israel. She teaches special education at Richmond Elementary School in Philadelphia.
Justin graduated from University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies, then graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He is completing a fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J.
Sharing in the couple’s happiness are Alison’s grandparents, Roy and Irma Foreman; her sister, Nicole; her brother, Jason; Justin’s brother and sister-in-law, Derek and Yelena; and nephew, Max.
Danielle Grossman, originally of Philadelphia, and Adam Credeur, originally of Louisiana, announce their engagement.
Danielle is the daughter of Harvey Grossman. She graduated from Temple University with a degree in broadcast journalism and also studied at the University of Tel Aviv. She is an evening news anchor at the NBC/FOX affiliate in Lafayette, La.
Adam is the son of Fred and Chris Credeur. He is twice a graduate of University of Louisiana at Lafayette, having earned his BS and an MBA. He is the regional manager of decision support at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Lafayette.
The wedding will be on March 22, 2019 in Philadelphia.
Joyce and Seth Schulman of Lower Gwynedd, and Mark Hyman and Cecilia Brennecke of Baltimore, announce the engagement of their children, Sarah Elise Schulman and Benjamin Herbert Hyman.
Ben graduated from George Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in geography. He received an MBA from Johns Hopkins University, Carey Business School. He is employed at the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore as director of special projects.
Sarah graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins with a bachelor’s degree in writing seminars. She is enrolled in the masters of arts communication program at Johns Hopkins. She is employed by Johns Hopkins as senior administrative coordinator in the Office of the Board of Trustees.
Sharing in the couple’s happiness is Sarah’s sister, Dana, and Ben’s brother, Eli.
The couple is planning a June 2019 wedding in Baltimore.
Barry and Elise Dinetz of Mount Laurel, N.J., announce the engagement of their daughter, Sarah Dinetz, to Ari Levine, son of Neil and Jodi Levine, of Cherry Hill, N.J. Sarah, a graduate of William Paterson University, is a freelance writer and current graduate student at Rosemont College. Ari is a graduate of Brandeis University and a tuition scholar at Villanova University, where he studies history.
Rachel Azarow, originally of New York City, and Jared Dashoff, originally of Philadelphia, announce their engagement.
Azarow is the daughter of Robert and Amy Azarow. She is a graduate of The George Washington University and a graduate of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Dashoff is the son of Todd and Joni Dashoff. He is twice a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., having earned his BA and an MPP. He is a public affairs specialist with the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The ceremony will be held on Oct. 21 in Washington, D.C.