Article

An Israeli Adventure, and Obscure Movie Quotes

Jillian Melissa Beer and Daniel Pasquale Sommer were married Jan. 25 at Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, N.J. Cantor Rebecca Zwiebel officiated.

The bride, 29, is taking her husband’s name. She is a regulatory compliance coordinator at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., where she is responsible for keeping the transplant program compliant with federal rules. She graduated from Drexel University.

She is the daughter of Marie Beer and Philip Beer of Edison, N.J.

The groom, 30, is a policy analyst who conducts legal reviews of companies and helps design internal policies and procedures at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority in Trenton. He graduated from St. Lawrence University, and received a law degree from George Washington University.

He is a son of Deborah Sommer and Judah Sommer of Miami.

The couple met in May 2014 during a 10-day trip to Israel via Birthright Israel, a program offering young Jewish adults between 18 and 32 a free trip to Israel.

“I wanted to go to Israel,’’ said Ms. Beer, at first anxious about going because she had never traveled that far, but her best friend since second grade, Allison Preefer, finally talked her into it. “I wanted to learn about Israel, and get away with my best friend.”

Her maternal grandmother, Donalda Cisternino, considered one other possibility. “She said ‘I hope you meet a nice Jewish boy on this trip,’’ recalled Ms. Beer, who rolled her eyes saying “O.K., Grandma. We’ll see.”’

Ms. Beer noticed Mr. Sommer when the group of about 40, mostly women, met outside their boarding gate at La Guardia Airport. Both had chosen to travel with the trip organizer Amazing Israel.

“He was very handsome,’’ she said, “six feet tall, with blond hair and blue eyes.’’

Their first day in Israel, Ms. Beer recalled saying to no one in particular as they were eating lunch, “free hot dogs for life,’’ a line from the comedy “The Other Guys, ” to which Mr. Sommer swiftly added the next line. “No drinks, can’t do it.”

“She and I have a talent for obscure movies,” he said, which they found out when they began chatting more as the trip went on. “We became very good friends,’’ said Mr. Sommer, “but the majority of our bonding came after the trip.”

They sat next to each other on the flight home (she was off to New Jersey, and he to Washington), and two weeks later they got together, with Allison and another friend from the trip, for a weekend in Ocean City, Md.

“Allison came along strictly as my wingwoman,” she said with a laugh.

Ms. Beer and Mr. Sommer had their first kiss that weekend, and a week later they had their first date in New York, which included the movie “22 Jump Street’’ and a Shabbat dinner with friends from their group.

In August, Ms. Beer moved to Washington after she had landed a job there, and he started law school. “She was a very steadying force in my life,’’ he said, and they would often get away to his parents’ house along the Chesapeake Bay in White Stone, Va.

In November, he met her family, including her very welcoming grandmother, at a cousin’s housewarming party on Staten Island.

“I knew you’d meet a nice Jewish boy on this trip,’’ she recalled her grandmother telling her when she pulled her aside.

Ms. Beer also gives thanks to a couple of others.

“It was divine intervention to meet him in the Holy Land,’’ she said. “He’s the love of my life. I am also forever grateful that Allison made me go with her.”

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