Ezra Levine ’00, son of Congregation Rodeph Sholom (CRS) Head Rabbi Robert and Gina Levine, and Katie Levy ’04, daughter of Janet and Gary Levy, started dating many years after leaving their RSS home, but never forgot the roots they put down here so early in their lives.
Every year, CRS organizes Mitzvah Day for CRS and RSS families, offering congregants a multitude of opportunities to do good deeds, such as cleaning up parks and volunteering at a local soup kitchen. This year, under the guise of taking Katie to a 2015 Mitzvah Day event at the synagogue, Ezra led his future bride to the RSS gymnasium - and much to her surprise, he popped the question! Family friend and professional photographer, Nomi Ellenson, was hiding on the balcony with Ezra's sister Maya to capture the picture perfect moment and Katie and Ezra's joy:
“I was completely surprised by the engagement,” Katie said. “Rodeph is such a meaningful place to both of us. Had it not been for Rodeph we probably wouldn't even know each other. So it felt fitting to celebrate such a joyous occasion in a place that is so full of meaning and happy memories for us both! Also, we are so thankful to everyone who helped set up the entire evening and joined us in celebrating this special moment,” she said.
Middle School Division Head, Maxine Borenstein, remembers Katie’s time here at RSS fondly. “During our 6th Grade advisory meetings, Katie was able to see things with such heart and soul, even years beyond her age. It was at that point that I realized that she would need a life partner who had great soul and depth. I never taught Ezra, but when I met him when he was younger, I saw that same thread in him. It makes perfect sense, and makes you feel like all is right with the world, that the two of them found each other,” Ms. Borenstein said.
“The first time two graduates will tie the knot; it’s an extraordinarily special occasion for us all here at RSS as well. “Our community feels a little more whole than it did before,” Alumni Director Louie Glaser said. “Katie and Ezra, thanks for reminding us that we’re more than a school and a temple; we’re a home and a family too. Wishing you all the best, always!”
The Levine and Levy families have strong connections to Rodeph Sholom. Rabbi Levine became head Rabbi of the Congregation in 1991, and he and Gina are the proud parents of Ezra ‘00, Judah ‘98 and Maya ‘08 - all three graduates of RSS.
Especially active in communal affairs, Rabbi Levine is a past President of the New York Board of Rabbis, as well as having served as Vice-President and Chairman of its Interfaith Committee. He chaired the Catholic/Jewish Dialogue with the Archdiocese of the City of New York, the publications committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and is a member of the Commission of Religious Leaders of New York City, the American Jewish Committee, and Synergy/UJA Federation. In 2013, he received the All Stars Project Bridge Building Award for Leadership in Community Relations. He is also the author of three books.
Janet Levy, the future bride’s mother, is a former member of the RSS Board of Trustees and currently serves on the CRS Board of Trustees. Janet and Gary are also the proud parents of two RSS alums, Katie ‘04 and Nicholas ‘07.