The best boy meets best girl in a Lubavitcher-style shidduch

Rabbi Zushe Greenberg, spiritual leader of the local Chabad Jewish Center in Solon, Ohio, took seriously his mission of finding "the best girl" as a shidduch (match) for his younger brother, Shalom.

After all, the rabbi reasoned, Shalom is an outstanding person. At the age of 24, Shalom, a graduate of a rabbinical yeshiva, was already the director of an important public relations project for the International Chabad Network, based at Lubavitch headquarters in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

At the same time, Greenberg's wife, Miriam, was searching the world for "the best boy" for her sister, Dinie, 22. A graduate of Beth Rivkah Teachers Seminary in New York, Dinie had completed her student teaching at the Lubavitch Teacher Training School in Sydney, Australia. She was also slated to be the director of Camp Emunah, a teen girls' camp in the Catskills.

It didn't take more than one Rosh Chodesh for the two shadchanim (matchmakers) to see the light.

His brother and her sister were the best boy and the best girl they could find. The two were convinced that they had a perfect match!

In time-honored, traditional fashion the arrangements were discreet. At his brother's urging, Shalom phoned Dinie and they met for a date, talking nonstop for six hours. They discovered that they had much in common, not the least of which was that each came from a large Lubavitch family. They remembered seeing each other at family functions over the years, but had never spoken.

Their next date was clandestinely arranged, with Dinie already at camp under the scrupulous eyes of 200 curious teenage girls, who had some romantic ideas of their own about the marriage-age counselor.

The couple's second, third and fourth meetings reinforced their feelings that they belonged together. It was a shidduch! There would be a wedding!

Shalom Greenberg and Dinie Alevsky stood under the chuppah on Nov. 24, 1996.

Fourteen of the 17 Greenberg children and their families attended the wedding. They traveled from El Paso and Austin, Texas; Detroit, Israel, Alaska and Paris, where they head their respective Chabad communities.

The eldest, Yisroel, 35, of El Paso, has yet to really get to know the youngest of his siblings, 15-year-old Chavi. Like all of his brothers who followed him, Yisroel left Israel at an early age to study at a yeshiva, and never returned. Chavi was unable to attend the wedding, but she visited last summer at Yisroel's home in Texas.

Although members are dispersed all over the globe, the Greenberg family is closely knit and loving, speaking to each other often on the phone and exchanging photos and videos.

In a similar vein, it was a grand reunion for the Alevsky family, with all 10 of Devorah and Leibel Alevsky's children together for the first time in 11 years. Sixteen of their 26 grandchildren also attended.

This was the sixth wedding for the family, with seven of their offspring serving Chabad communities in far-flung corners of the world, including Argentina, the West Bank and Anchorage, Alaska. Coincidentally, one of the Greenberg brothers heads the Anchorage Chabad House. Devorah Alevsky's many siblings, the children of Rabbi and Zalman Kazen, were also at the wedding with their families.

One of the sheva brachot (traditional seven blessings) took place in Solon because Rabbi Greenberg wanted his young suburban congregants to experience the spiritual high and heartfelt emotions, the singing and dancing that accompany such a happy night of blessings.

"It's very wonderful to be part of a family that has so many brothers and sisters, who care for each other even though they live apart in different corners of the world," he noted the night of the wedding.

"I care deeply about this shidduch. I wish Shalom and Dinie many years of happiness and nachas (pleasure) together as they build a Chassidic family wherever they go."