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Weddings/Celebrations: Elizabeth Stone, Jud Nirenberg

coupleBy MARGAUX LASKEY
June 24, 2011
The New York Times

Elizabeth Dee Stone and Jud Nirenberg are to be married Sunday by Rabbi Rebecca L. Dubowe at Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa in San Diego, Calif.

The bride, 36, will take her husband’s name. She is a project manager for the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University in Washington, where she provides education and support to parents and professionals working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. She also manages some of the center’s projects, like the development of American Sign Language standards for kindergarten through 12th grades.

She graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology and received a master’s degree in public administration from American University in Washington.

She is the daughter of Jill Stone and Evan Stone of Del Mar, Calif. Her father is general counsel and the senior vice president of legal services at Pacific Medical Buildings, a real estate development and management firm in San Diego. Her mother is a past president of Jewish Family Service of San Diego, where she continues to volunteer.

The bridegroom, 39, is the associate director of the United States Association for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, working in Washington on public outreach and fund-raising. He is also the author of “Samson’s Walls” and is the editor of “Gypsy Sexuality: Romani and Outsider Perspectives on Intimacy.”

He graduated from American University and received a M.B.A. from the École Supérieure de Gestion, the business management school in Paris.

He is the son of Dr. Sid Nirenberg of Plymouth, Mass., and the late Barbara Nirenberg of Fairfield, Conn. His father is the chair of the obstetrics and gynecology department at Jordan Hospital in Plymouth.

The couple met in March 2009 through JDate.

Ms. Stone noted in her profile that she is fluent in American Sign Language, but did not mention her deafness, she said, because she was “afraid that would attract all kinds of characters.”

Mr. Nirenberg contacted her first and asked, “Are you a Sacks fan?” (referring to “Seeing Voices,” a book by Oliver Sacks about the deaf community).

Ms. Stone was beyond impressed. She was used to getting responses to her profile like “I have a friend who has a deaf sister.”

“I knew I had to find out more about this guy if he thinks originally like that,” Ms. Stone said by e-mail.

After about three weeks of messaging and e-mailing each other, Mr. Nirenberg suggested they meet in person. Ms. Stone, who still hadn’t told Mr. Nirenberg about her hearing loss, suggested they try instant messaging. Mr. Nirenberg was put off. He said he places e-mail and instant messaging in the same category, and didn’t respond. After two days passed, Ms. Stone messaged him again.

“I should be more forthcoming,” she wrote. “I’m deaf, so IM is really the most direct form of communication.”

Unfazed by her disclosure, Mr. Nirenberg immediately suggested they meet at a bar so they could text and write to each other in person.

“Anytime a hearing guy suggests a method for communication, it wins major points in my book,” she said. “I knew I had to meet him pronto.”

They got together a week and a half later, in May 2009, at a bar in Washington. The date lasted five hours, and despite the unusual form of communication, it felt effortless for them.

“It was surprisingly nothing nerve-racking or wrong. Everything felt right,” Mr. Nirenberg said.

She said she wasn’t at all nervous about how they would communicate, and credits Mr. Nirenberg’s roll-with-the-punches attitude for that.

“I liked him right away,” she said. “And it continued to get better throughout the date. In fact, I have the papers to prove this. After only 30 minutes of meeting each other, he wrote, ‘I’ll let you sleep on this, but I’ve decided to cancel my JDate subscription.’ I thought he was joking, but he wasn’t. And he had been on it for a year before we met, I think. So, he may not admit it, but I think he knew right away.”

By the end of the month, Ms. Stone had canceled her JDate membership, too.

Mr. Nirenberg, who started taking sign language lessons by their third date, used it to propose last September.

MARGAUX LASKEY.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/fashion/weddings/elizabeth-stone-jud-nirenberg-weddings.html?_r=1

Life Cycle

OUR DEEPEST SYMPATHIES

  • Irwin Gelb

We are saddened to inform you that Irwin Gelb, father of Felece Gelb Steele (Robert Steele) passed away on June 24, 2011 in Wilkes Barre, Pa. Felece sent a copy of the obituary that reads as follows:

"Irwin Gelb, Laflin, passed away unexpectedly early June 24, 2011. He was the son of Phillip and Sarah Gelb and was born July 20, 1932, Ashley, PA. He is survived by his wife of 53 years Judith Gelb, and daughters Felece Gelb Steele (Robert), Lesa Gelb (Barry Dyller), Johanna Gelb and Sarah Gelb and grandchildren Francis Steele, Phyllis Steele, Nathan Gelb-Dyller and Benjamin Gelb-Dyller. He graduated from GAR High School and Wilkes College receiving a BS degree in Commerce and Finance in 1955.

He believed in working hard and noone worked harder than he did, never retiring, working up until the day of his death at Macy’s where he worked since 1990; for the majority of his life he owned his own business where he worked since he was a teenager with his father.

He believed in volunteerism, serving currently on the Board of the JCC and on the Jewish Family Services Board. He had been a past member of the Masons, the Jaycees, the school board of Temple Israel, and the past chairman of the Laflin Democratic Party. He was an Eternal Light member of Temple Israel. He believed in his faith and attended services religiously.  Shiva will be observed at the home of Judith Gelb, 7 Fairfield Drive, Laflin, PA. Sunday, June 26."

The family chose WSJD* as their charity in memory of Irwin Gelb.  Donations payable to WSJD can be sent to Jeff Buxbaum, Treasurer.  The mailing address for donations is:

Jeff Buxbaum, WSJD Treasurer
5317 Stonington Drive
Fairfax Va 22032

Condolence cards can be sent to:

Felece and Bob Steele
20804 Amber Hill Ct
Germantown, MD 20874

May his memory be for a blessing.

*WSJD is now a 501 C 3 tax exempt organization. This information is being sent to you as a courtesy of Washington Society of Jewish Deaf and at the request of Felece Steele.

  • Sol Fischer

We are saddened to inform you that Sol Fischer, father of Lance Fischer (Kitty Fischer) passed away on June 21, 2011 in Boca Raton, Florida. Lance sent an announcement, that reads as follows:

"I want to inform you that my father, at the age of 91, died this morning at the nursing home in Boca Raton, FL. He had his breakfast and he died sometime afterwards while napping.  He had severe dementia for several years. My father, Sol, is survived by his wife, Tessie of Margate, FL; his children, Lance (and Kitty) of Silver Spring, MD, and Gail (and Tim) of Gaithersburg, MD; his grandchildren, Jason of Silver Spring, MD, and Rachel (and Evin) of Atlanta, GA, and one 3 month old great-granddaughter, Maya.

There will be a grave side service for my father at Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge, NJ this Friday, June 24 at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Deaf Seniors of America (DSA) 2013 Baltimore conference. The mailing address for donations can be sent to:

MDSC/DSA 2013
P.O. Box 2600
Silver Spring, MD 20916-2600

My entire family will observe shiva with an Open House at our house this Saturday, June 25 from 7 to 9 p.m.  For those who are unable to come on Saturday, Kitty and I will observe shiva on Sunday, June 26 from 2 to 4 p.m."

Shiva will be held at:

Lance and Kitty Fischer's home
3006 Memory Lane
Silver Spring, MD 20904

This information is being sent to you as a courtesy of Washington Society of Jewish Deaf and with permission from Lance Fischer.

  • Harriet Birnbaum

We are saddened to inform you that Harriet Birnbaum, mother of David (Joan Raciti) Birnbaum passed away on June 14, 2011 in Huntington, New York.  Funeral took place in New York.  Shiva will be held at David and Joan's home Sunday, June 19 from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

The family chose Deaf Seniors of America (DSA) as their charity in memory of Harriet Birnbaum.  If you wish to make a donation, make checks payable to MDSC/DSA and mail it to MDSC/DSA, 2013 Baltimore, PO Box 2600, Silver Spring, MD 20916-2600.

Donations are tax deductible.

Condolence cards can be sent to:

David and Joan Birnbaum
10309 Breconshire Rd
Ellicott City, MD 21042

This message is being sent with permission from David Birnbaum and as a courtesy of Washington Society of the Jewish Deaf.

Source: Washington Society of the Jewish Deaf