LOUISE SUMMERS ANDSIMON BRODKIN
LOUISE ANDSimon grew up in Hampstead Garden Suburb but did not meet until they went to youth movement Habonim Dror. After gaining a degree at Bristol, Louise took a postgraduate teaching course at Manchester University and now teaches religious studies and philosophy at Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith, West London. Simon qualified as a doctor at Manchester University Medical School and is a comedian.
“Si and I both went to Habonim Dror, but as he was three years younger than me, I didn’t give him the time of day,” Louise says. “We first properly got to know each other after bumping into each other at a nightclub in Manchester when we were studying in the city. We started dating after that.” The proposal: “After seven years together, Si proposed to me when we were holidaying in the French Alps,” says Louise. “And I thought, ‘About bloody time’.”
“We were married at the Congregation of Jacob Synagogue in Bow, East London,” says Simon. “It’s an absolutely stunning, intimate, friendly and historic shul in the heart of Jewish East London. It has just undergone major refurbishment to restore it to its former glory. Our link was through a good friend (and ex Habonim member), Dave Russell, who’s passionately involved with it. The whole community (spearheaded by Rev David Brandes) helped make it perfect. Rabbi Reuven Livingstone [from Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue] conducted the service and pitched it perfectly to be moving, funny and genuinely warm.”
Louise adds: “We had klezmer music and beautiful singing from Chazan David Kraus. The chupah was made by me and my best friends and two friends had been married under it, which was particularly meaningful. The party was at Floridita, a Cuban bar and restaurant in Soho, which was perfect to eat, drink and dance ’til the early hours with friends and family.”
“Si got a little carried away with the mojitos and left our passports and tickets at Floridita, so we missed our flights. Luckily, we managed to fly the next day and had a perfect time in Barbados, lying on the beach, swimming with turtles and dancing to soca music. We were away just long enough for me to forgive Si.”