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A Match Made in Group Meditation

In September 2018, participants in a Yom Kippur meditation began to arrive in front of the Turtle Pond in Central Park. Daniel Bloch Jeydel introduced himself to Danielle Casey Bloch.

“She had curls in her hair and big blue eyes, she was incredibly beautiful,” said Mr. Jeydel, 32, a graduate of N.Y.U. and the founder of the Bashert Group, a consultancy in New York that works with family offices on venture investing and global philanthropy.

“What troubled me was that our first names — Daniel and Danielle — were similar, and even more so, that her last name, Bloch, is my middle name,” he said. “I really liked her and hoped to talk to her a lot more.”

He said he also “needed to get the history of her surname.”

But the meditation session swelled to 50 participants and got underway before the conversation could go any further. He and Ms. Bloch parted without exchanging contact information.

Two evenings later, Ms. Bloch and Mr. Jeydel found themselves at the same Shabbat dinner in Manhattan, where Mr. Jeydel was living. (Ms. Bloch was living in Brooklyn at the time.)

“I noticed him first, and a short while later he had one of his friends sit next to me and ask if I were dating anyone,” said Ms. Bloch, 34, the founder of Williamsburg Speaks, a speech therapy practice in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

“This time, Daniel and I did talk and we did exchange numbers,” said Ms. Bloch, who graduated from West Chester University and received a master’s degree, cum laude, in speech-language pathology from Long Island University.

“I found out that he and a bunch of friends were going out after dinner,”’ she said. “I was really busy and declined the invitation and went back to Brooklyn.”

Credit…Paul McGlade Photography
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Five weeks later, Ms. Bloch was out to dinner with several friends when she mentioned Mr. Jeydel’s name, and when one of those friends said that she knew Mr. Jeydel, and then began raving about him, Ms. Bloch began to rethink the situation.

“I called him the very next day,” said Ms. Bloch, who is originally from Bucks County, Pa., “and I asked him out.”

Mr. Jeydel was on a business trip in Los Angeles, but told Ms. Bloch that he would get together one day the following week, when he returned.

“I was thrilled to hear her voice again,” said Mr. Jeydel, who eventually met Ms. Bloch for dinner at a Brooklyn restaurant, where they hit it off, each exchanging fascinating nuggets about their families.

Mr. Jeydel told Ms. Bloch that his great-grandfather was Maurice Bloch, the minority leader of the New York State Assembly from 1922-1929 and a manager of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s successful campaign for New York governor in 1928.

When Ms. Bloch revealed that all four of her grandparents were Holocaust survivors, Mr. Jeydel, a seventh-generation New Yorker, made a realization: “That meant that it was highly unlikely that Danielle and I were related,” he said.

Considering the deep attraction he’d immediately felt to her, “It was always on my mind,” Mr. Bloch added. “I wanted to make sure I shook every family tree to be sure she wasn’t in one of them,” and to his relief, she was not.

When Mr. Jeydel’s speech therapy practice went virtual at the height of the pandemic in 2020, he and Ms. Bloch moved into a Manhattan apartment together.

They were married Sept. 18 by Rabbi Amy Ehrlich and 140 vaccinated guests at Beach Point Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

“I don’t always notice things, but she’s taught me how to look at the world differently,” the groom said of the bride. “She’s brought to me a level of happiness and spirituality that I had not previously known.”

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