WHC 2239 Takes Part in Special Simcha

This spring, WHC 2239’s Metro Minyan hosted an incredibly special simcha (joy) – the engagement of two 2239 members, Brian and Michelle.

Metro Minyan was the site of Brian and Michelle’s first meeting back in October 2013, when they randomly sat at the same dinner table after services.

According to Brian, “neither of us intended to meet one another, but sometimes you just get lucky.”

After over a year of dating, Brian came up with the idea of proposing at Metro Minyan as a way to proudly celebrate their love and the setting where they were first brought together.

For Rabbi Aaron Miller, being asked to participate in Brian’s proposal was a special milestone for Washington Hebrew Congregation and 2239. “On a larger level, Washington Hebrew is inspiring the next generation of Jewish programming and engaging thousands of young professionals each year, but it is small moments like this, where Brian and Michelle celebrated the love they found through WHC, where we see the impact our congregation has made.”

At every Metro Minyan, Rabbi Miller asks members of the congregation to stand up and share their special simchas from the last month. Normally, this happens in the middle of the service, but this time, Rabbi Miller “forgot” to ask for simchas, purposely reserving this moment – and Brian’s proposal – for the end of service.

After the last congregant shared her simcha, Brian stood – with ring in pocket – to propose to Michelle.

“Outside of being especially nerve-racking, the moment was surreal,” said Brian.  “It was tough deceiving my fiancé and asking our friends to deceive as well, but everyone was up to playing the part. Being able to celebrate in their presence and in the presence of the Jewish community felt superlative. I will never forget that evening and am so blessed my fiancé said yes.”

“Brian totally surprised me,” said Michelle. “Looking back at the pictures and videos, I see how many people helped make this night special for me. Getting engaged during Shabbat services was magical. It is a memory I will cherish forever. Metro Minyan is where we met, where we go on some date nights, and now the place we got engaged. It’s a special space, because of the people that go there, not the physical location as that always changes. I am so blessed to have met Brian and for a second chance at love.”

When Michelle said yes, the entire room broke into cheers, applause, and tears.

“It was one of the most incredible Shabbat moments I have seen,” said Rabbi Miller.

As the congregation rejoiced, Song leader Noah Solomon led everyone in singing “siman tov u’mazel tov” and people danced around the room.  

As one long-time Metro Minyan participant wrote on the 2239 Facebook page, Brian’s proposal was “The coolest thing to ever happen at a Metro Minyan.”

Learn more about Brian and Michelle’s engagement in this recent article from Washington Jewish Week.

Find out about our tradition of sharing simchas at Metro Minyan in this recent article from Washington Jewish Week.