Love is in the air

Coming to Israel has brought many couples together.

Natalia and Leo from Germany (photo credit: Courtesy)
Natalia and Leo from Germany
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Natalia and Leo first met at the lost and- found counter at Ben-Gurion Airport after their suitcases hadn’t arrived on the flight from Frankfurt.
Over the course of the next two days, each of them kept looking for the other in the crowd and smiled when their eyes met. Their connection finally led to conversation when they made contact in Jerusalem.
The small talk bloomed as their hands shyly touched while dancing in the desert under the stars. As the trip came to a close, they found themselves sitting next to each other and holding hands. They have been together now for six months.
Josh Drothnin from Washington, DC, came to Israel on a Taglit- Birthright trip with his girlfriend Chris and a ring. They had been together for six years when Josh bought the ring. He knew when they registered for the trip that he wanted to propose in the most romantic spot in Israel. When their tour reached the Haas Promenade in Talpiot, overlooking the beauty of Jerusalem, Josh got down on one knee and asked the woman of his dreams to marry him.
The 10-year-old Israel-based Camp Kimama offers a variety of activities tailored to the needs and desires of teenagers and adolescents from around the world. Kama from Pennsylvania was a counselor at the camp for three summers. During her third year, a year and a half ago, she met a new Israeli counselor, Idan. They clicked at first glance, and their summer romance blossomed. A few months after camp was over it fizzled out, but it was rekindled when Kama decided to move to Israel “to give things a try.” They have been together for 10 months.
Masha Alin was born with Down’s syndrome. When she was 11, she and her mother moved to Israel in search of a better life. Masha is now an independent woman employed at Chimes Israel, a nonprofit organization that provides services to people with intellectual, developmental and/or psychiatric disabilities.
Chimes’s aim is to assist clients in developing to their fullest potential in order to live the most independent and rewarding lives possible, which is what Masha is doing. For the past 15 years she and her fiancé, Benzi, who suffered mental and developmental disabilities after a serious car accident, have defined themselves as a couple. Although they cannot live together and may never get married, the two remain strong in their love, dedication, friendship and concern for each other.
Shir and Aaron Barchai first set eyes on each other six years ago at the Simcha Leyeled summer camp, which provides assistance to children with chronic and genetic diseases. Shir was a camp mentor, and Aaron was a member of the team in charge of the technical side of the organization. They lost contact for a time until Shir began working for the same organization, and the two decided to give their love a chance. Together, they volunteer at the organization as mentors, helping other young people to express their everyday pains, illnesses and joys. Two months ago, the couple decided to consolidate their love under a huppa.