How a CU Hillel Girl Fell For a CSU Hillel Boy

Stacey was a senior at CU-Boulder, interning at Hillel. She had just returned from studying abroad in Israel and was looking for a community to join and help her adjust back to Boulder. Several of her high school friends, who now attended CSU, convinced her that she needed to go to the Western State Hillel Convention that year! Stacey applied and was sent there…this is where she met Mitch. Mitch was a CSU grad student studying engineering. He was serving on the CSU Hillel board as their social coordinator. Hillel was the first place for Mitch where he felt really comfortable being Jewish, which pushed him to look at his life in a new way and get involved.

Stacey had been feeling out of sorts since returning back and felt at home around her old CSU friends, and Mitch too. After the trip, she started driving up to CSU for Shabbat dinners and different social events. She says she was on the road a lot her second semester of senior year. Luckily for her, CSU and CU had been working on a lot of joint programming that semester, so the drive went both ways.

As Stacey finished up her senior year, she applied to Hebrew Union College for a masters in Jewish education with the intent to defer for a year. She had a dream of getting a job and living out a year in the Big City where her parents are from. She was accepted to HUC-JIR. and had a job lined up for the gap year — everything was in place.

Mitch finally got the nerve to ask her out in May, just days before she graduated. She can vividly remember him driving up to Boulder to take her out on their first date in a purple pick up truck. The two of them absolutely hit it off and dated all summer, but Stacey felt that she needed to follow her set plans. In August, she packed up and moved to New York.

With all her boxes unpacked in her new apartment and heading to her first day on the job, Stacey realized if she was really going to make it work with Mitch then she needed to be back in Colorado. She called her job, politely quit, and went to start packing up.

Stacey moved back home to Colorado and within a week Mitch proposed! As a 21 year old, Stacey could hardly believe that her parents had given Mitch their blessing. It had to be the craziest thing she’d done, but it was worth it!

Stacey and Mitch married and headed out to Israel for Stacey’s first year of grad school. Israel was a completely new and game changing experience for Mitch. Stacey found classes for Mitch that he could take for free while she was studying. It was during these classes that Mitch decided he wanted to become a Rabbi. Stacey’s first thought was, “No way! Are you crazy?!”. She asked him to take some time to think about this large commitment.

Stacey and Mitch had finished their year in Israel and moved back to Colorado. When Stacey was finished with her program, Mitch still had the dream of becoming a Rabbi. He applied for HUC-JIR and they packed up for Israel round two.

Today, Mitch is a Rabbi and Stacey is a Jewish educator in Washington state. They have two beautiful children and are so thankful that Hillel brought them together and helped them make a meaningful connection!

Stacey & Mitch at Horsetooth in Ft Collins in 1997


Stacey & Mitch with their two daughters this last Hannukah!