The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY LIFE -

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.”


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