Time Traveling in the Weddings Section
Do they make ‘em like they used to?
Was anyone else struck by this wedding announcement from yesterday’s New York Times? Not just the two ostentatiously Jewish names—like the grandmother going over the plane crash victims in the Philip Roth story, many Scroll readers no doubt immediately scan the announcements to decide which ones are worth reading and which aren’t. But the nuptials of Emily Rubinstein and Igor Zilberman feels almost anachronistic, carrying the whiff of a time when the Jewish-American dream was to come from a solidly middle-class outer-borough existence and become a doctor, and maybe do good to boot. Zilberman is a neurologist whose mother is a database administrator in Westchester and whose father works for the city in Brooklyn. Rubinstein is an epidemiologist who volunteers to fight AIDS; she hails from the Bronx; her father is a union lawyer, her mother a traffic violations judge.
I don’t mean to oversell this: The bride and bridegroom attended Tufts and NYU, respectively; they didn’t grow up speaking Yiddish on Hester Street. But one senses that nowadays it is more the children of these sort of Jews, now safely ensconced in the upper-middle-class and more likely to be pursuing a creative-class, less remunerative type of career (like, say, blogging for an online magazine), that you tend to see in the Weddings/Celebrations pages. (The wrinkle is that Zilberman was born in Ukraine: Perhaps Soviet Jews are today’s equivalent of the “mainstream” Jews of 40 years ago?)
In the adorable accompanying video, Zilberman testifies that when he first laid eyes on his future bride—in Columbia’s library, naturally—she struck him as “This cute—very studious—but very cute girl.” Perfect. Mazel tov!