In May 2015, neither Tori or Dylan thought when they signed up for Birthright Israel, they’d meet their soulmate. Now, a few years later, they’re engaged and can’t wait to start their life together. We had an opportunity to catch up with them and learn how their Birthright Israel love story played out!
Did either of you think you’d meet your future partner on Birthright Israel?
Tori: Not at all. I don’t think either of us were looking to meet someone in that way, but we ended up sitting next to each other on the plane (Dylan pulled some moves without my knowledge to make that happen), and we hit it off immediately. When we said our goodbyes at the airport, I really didn’t know if we would see each other again—but we did and have been inseparable ever since!
Dylan: I had just gotten out of a five-year relationship and really wasn’t looking for my future partner when I met Tori, but I knew how great of a girl she was and didn’t want to risk losing her. Glad I didn’t! Four years later, we went on vacation to Tulum, where I asked to spend forever with her and her poodle Jimi!
Did you two share an experience on the trip that you’ll hold close forever?
Tori: The moments I remember most are sitting next to each other every time we got on the bus. I’d give him one headphone, and we’d listen to my classic and indie rock playlists together, which I thought he also enjoyed. He didn’t, but we’re working on his music taste.
Dylan: The entire trip is something we will always hold close—we talk about it often. It’s where I met my future wife and watched her develop friendships with all of my closest friends.
Do you think your life would be the same if you hadn’t gone on the trip?
Tori: My friend Isabelle who I went on the trip with, is really the reason we met. Her boyfriend was bringing some of his friends, one of which happened to be Dylan. My life would be totally different if it were not for this trip. I definitely would not have moved to Miami after school and would have never met Dylan. Birthright really worked out for us!
Looking back on your trip, can you think of something you learned that surprised you?
Tori: Before this trip, I didn’t prioritize dating Jewish men, even though I always felt so much pride in being a Jew. Judaism is more than a religion to me; it’s a culture. I learned how important it is to marry someone that holds the same values and family traditions.
Dylan: I was shocked at how little the Jewish youth in America knew about their religion. It only emphasized how important it is to marry Jewish and uphold Jewish values while raising children.