Three trips to Israel: a meeting, a proposal and a wedding

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Liron Biton, 28, and Yaniv Scherson, 25, met three years ago in Israel, when Liron worked in Kiryat Shmona as a social worker at a community center for at-risk youth. One day, Yaniv came to the center as part of an organized trip sponsored by the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation.

“We clicked right away,” Liron recalled.

They talked about places to travel in Israel and nearby; the next weekend they traveled together to Petra, Jordan. They continued to travel throughout Israel until Yaniv returned to Palo Alto.

They kept in transatlantic touch until finally, one year after they met, Liron was accepted to the Jewish Agency Shlichim (emissaries) program. She said she was “lucky enough — or maybe it was destiny — to get a position at the Israel Center of the Jewish Community Federation in San Francisco.”

Yaniv Scherson and Liron Biton

After Liron arrived in San Francisco, the two started dating seriously. One year later, Yaniv proposed during a vacation in Israel.

The couple married March 18 in Herzliya, Israel.

“It was very special since members of Yaniv’s direct family lived in Israel at various points in their lives, and returning to Israel for our wedding felt complete,” Liron said.

Currently, Yaniv, a native of Irvine, is a doctoral student in mechanical engineering at Stanford, and Liron works at the Israel Center. They live in San Francisco’s Noe Valley.

Something old: A close friend of Yaniv’s family in Mexico keeps a tradition of giving meaningful personal items as gifts to significant people. To Yaniv and Liron, he gave a silver Kiddush cup from 1947 that has stayed in his family, traveling from Eastern Europe to Mexico and now California via Israel. 

“We hope to hold on to it for many years and maintain this tradition,” Yaniv said.

Something new: While standing under the chuppah, Yaniv used the tallit and yarmulke that his grandfather gave him for his bar mitzvah. But the rabbi suggested that they use a new tallit and yarmulke as a spiritual symbol of the beginning of their new life.

“This way the history and story of this tallit begins with our wedding day and the beginning of our life together,” Liron said.

Something borrowed: The couple borrowed Liron’s brother (from his wife and two kids) on the day of the wedding.  He was the official chauffeur in his florally decorated Honda Civic.

“He was a great sport and made the day even more fun,” Yaniv said.

Something Jew(ish): They debated where to have their wedding, as Yaniv’s family is in the United States and Mexico and Liron’s family is in Israel. Ultimately, they settled on Israel.

“It was symbolic for us to have our wedding in Israel, the Jewish home that brought us together for the first time,” Yaniv said.

An Israeli song titled “Ki MiTzion Tetze Ha’ahava” (From Zion will come forth love) played while they walked down the aisle to the chuppah.

“We felt it captured the essence of our love story and the significance of Israel in our lives,” Liron said.

Stacey Palevsky

Stacey Palevsky is a former J. staff writer.