From the moment they met, love was in the cards


Several years ago, Heather Klein was performing in a show called “Beshert” (“Destiny”) at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, acting out the real-life stories of couples who met and fell in love. When she caught the eye of her boyfriend of just seven months in the audience and saw him beaming at her, she thought, “I think you’re my beshert.”

She was right about that. Klein married Eli Segall on May 17 in Las Vegas, where they now live. It also happens to be where Klein, 34, grew up and where her parents still reside. And it’s where Segall, 33, landed a job as a business reporter at the Las Vegas Sun three years ago, before they were even engaged. Talk about destiny.

When they met in December 2010, Segall was living in Campbell and writing for the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Klein, a classically trained opera singer, was working as a cantorial soloist and b’nai mitzvah tutor and performing for Jewish audiences, frequently in Yiddish, a language she started learning as an adult. (She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in vocal performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.)

Eli Segall and Heather Klein, happily married in Las Vegas photo/adam frazer

Their winter meeting in San Francisco appears to have been beshert, as well. Segall was with a friend at a SoMa restaurant and ran into a woman he knew. Klein stopped by the restaurant around the same time to promote an upcoming gig — she said she might have driven on by had she not found parking right in front — and it turned out she knew the same woman.

Introductions were made all around. The whole interaction didn’t last long. But it was enough time for Segall to take note of Klein’s curly hair, and the 5’3” Klein to take note of his 6’2” height. She hoped Segall would call, even though he was too nervous to ask for her number in the moment.

Segall eventually worked up his courage and emailed her, and they met at a Palo Alto Starbucks before going to dinner at a Thai place nearby. Two more dates followed. But then Klein had to leave for a monthlong residency to study Jewish music in Budapest.

She and Segall stayed in touch online, and he asked her out on their fourth date before she returned home.

“Heather is a very positive, upbeat person, and if I’m angry or upset or stressed out, she can always have me looking at both sides and bring me back to reality,” said Segall. “She has an infectious personality and is so warm that I just want to be around her and not leave her side.”

Klein said that her artistic temperament makes her a little oversensitive at times, and “Eli easily pulls me out of it.” Furthermore, “the fact that he loves his family as much as I do [mine]” is another reason she fell for him.

“We also know how passionate the other is about our career and really want to help each other move forward,” she said.

Klein, whose new position is cantorial soloist at Temple Sinai in Las Vegas, said she will continue to book gigs in the Bay Area, her home for 16 years before moving last month.

For three years the couple kept up a long-distance relationship, with frequent visits back and forth. They picked out a ring in the fall of 2013, but Segall wanted to formally propose and couldn’t find the right time; whenever Klein came to visit him in Las Vegas, they’d spend much of the time with her parents, and when Segall came to see her in the Bay Area, the same would happen with visits to his family in Los Gatos.

Finally, the day after Christmas in 2013, they went for a run in Los Gatos, and he gave her the ring afterward while they were sitting on a bench. “That was the last place I thought he was going to ask me,” Klein said.

They married in Las Vegas with Rabbi Avi Schulman of Fremont’s Temple Beth Torah officiating. During the ceremony, the rabbi wrapped the couple in the tallit of Klein’s late grandfather.

“He had met Eli within the first three months of our relationship, and considering that he had very strong opinions about people, when he said he liked him right away, my parents’ and my jaw dropped,” said Klein. He died within a few months of that meeting.

Schulman uttered the priestly blessing so only they could hear.

“I’m not religious at all, but that was an incredibly special, spiritual moment,” said Segall. “It was electrifying.”

Unions features a recently married couple with an interesting story. If you want to share your tale, or want to nominate a couple married within the last year, contact [email protected]

Alix Wall
Alix Wall

Alix Wall is a contributing editor to J. She is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals and is writer/producer of a documentary-in-progress called "The Lonely Child."