I am the sum of all my experiences. My parents (June, my late dad Julian, and my step-dad Merrell), brothers (David, Mark and Peter), grandparents, family, friends, the places I’ve lived, the travels I’ve had, the good times and bad – all these experiences are me in addition to what I came into the world with from some previous place. Being the fourth son gave me the opportunity to view the world through my brothers’ eyes before I had to learn things for myself. My parents introduced me to the world in a place called Durban, South Africa. Back in 1971 when times were simple and TV hadn’t even made its debut in South Africa yet. Uprooted at 8 years old, I was moved to a new life in Johannesburg where I struggled to find my place but now look back on it with some of my fondest memories. At the age of 12, we schlepped back to Durban for a short stint before making the giant leap to Houston, Texas – we were on a plane just 3 days after my parents dressed me up in Red, White & Blue at my USA themed Bar-Mitzvah / Farewell celebration (as you can see, I’m still bitter about it).

Culture Shock. Umm. Yes. I eventually got over it and began to realize that what people in America teased me about in middle school was the same thing they admired me for in high school. My confidence grew and every year got better and better all the way through my time at the University of Texas at Austin. My poor folks! All my life I had wanted to be a doctor. Half way through my freshman year I announced I had found my passion and was going to be a filmmaker and (with their full support) I haven’t looked back. I moved to LA in 1993 and joined my brothers (Mark and Peter) and have had the good fortune to work with the best in both the feature film and commercial worlds. I produce TV commercials that I don’t watch and made a documentary feature film on co-existence between Jewish and Arab teenagers in Israel – I came here to do something meaningful, after all! I got the travel bug early in life and have been fortunate to travel to about 35 countries so far. I love adventure and photography and have a horse in the Malibu mountains that I don’t get to see often enough these days. How was I going to find a girl to share my passions… and be Jewish??!!! Trust me – I looked everywhere!

My Version of Our Story: After spending endless time and money on and off JDate, I decided to take matters into my own hands. How could I make internet dating more organic? I was about to put my clever plan into action when JDate contacted me and invited me to join Joe’s Club. Joe’s Club? An experiment (that has since ended) started by JDate to do just what I wanted – get me face to face with like-minded interesting people in a relaxed environment instead of shopping for my soul mate in the endless halls of mostly “factually challenged” JDate profiles on my computer screen. Excited about this new concept, I went in and spent 2 hours describing my hopes and dreams of what I was looking for in a woman. Joe’s Club then supposedly digested my desires and went to work matching me with 5 other members for my first dinner.


A few rules to the dinners: don’t be late, don’t use your cell phone, don’t leave early, don’t ask for anyone’s contact info, sit male-female, and pay for your own meal. My first dinner was an absolute disaster. Not one woman there was remotely in my reference group. I called the next day and furiously demanded a refund as they obviously were wasting my time. The woman running the program, whom I had never talked to before, called me back immediately and talked me into giving it one more try. She said she had the perfect group of girls for me to meet already setup for a dinner the following Thursday. I said I would give it one more try.


I was now dinner participant Number Seven at an evening set up for Six. Needing one more woman to even it out, the organizer called her acquaintance, Andrea, to beg her to please show up to the dinner and fill in as the Eighth for that evening. Even though it was last minute, Andrea agreed to be there – now there were 4 women and 4 men.


I was the 7th to arrive at Napa Valley Grille that night and can’t say I had high expectations. I was pleasantly surprised as I was greeted by many attractive faces in the midst of talking about themselves. As we went around introducing ourselves, I noticed these crystal clear eyes bursting out of the darkness in the back corner of the restaurant. They appeared to belong to a beautiful shy girl who looked way too young for me (Andrea)! We were seated randomly and the evening of chatter began. I was flanked by two very attractive women who became less attractive the more they talked and vied for my attention (mainly due to their competitive instincts rather than their interest in me). I tried to get involved in the conversation across the table from me to even out the experience but due to the table having eight people, it was too big to hear what was going on on that side.


The dinner ended and as we were walking out, I noticed that the young girl with the exploding eyes also had an amazing ass. “Hmmm. I’ll email her tomorrow just so I don’t leave any stone unturned.” We were outside and cars were arriving at the valet when Andrea made a comment about my Magen David necklace. Apparently I didn’t respond with much as I was leaving and planned on emailing her the next day anyway. I emailed Andrea the next day requesting we get together as we didn’t get a chance to chat. She seemed up for it but I explained it would have to happen three weeks later as I had to leave town for work. She was going to Spain for dance for two weeks so that worked out well. When I got back to LA, I made a plan to meet her for sorbet at 5pm. I had tentative plans with another woman later that night that I had been on a date with a few weeks earlier but wasn’t sure I was into it. My date with Andrea was easy. It just flowed. There wasn’t any pretense or effort. After walking and talking, I suggested a movie and dinner - of course I had cancelled my other plans by then.


I wasn’t smitten by any means. I thought she was beautiful and easy to talk to but wasn’t sure there would be any chemistry as she seemed so innocent and young (I was surprised to find out she is only 5 years younger than me – you will be too when you meet her!). The only way to find out? I kissed her on the corner of 4th and Wilshire in mid-sentence as we stood by her car. “OOOOOkkayyy! So maybe I will ask her on a second date!” What impressed me more than her amazing kissing abilities was the fact that she kissed me on a public corner as though there wasn’t another human being present on the planet. That takes a certain self-confidence that peaked my interest. She suggested we extend the evening by going to get a drink across the street. Well, that first kiss broke the dam wall and barely another word was uttered the rest of the kissing evening. THAT’S ALL THAT HAPPENNED THAT NIGHT! You naughty person.


My love for Andrea snuck up on me. All of a sudden one day I realized that she is exactly who I’ve been looking for all my life. A big turning point was when I left for vacation in Mauritius. I was so sad to leave her. My heart felt numb. My friend, Martin, generously surprised me by flying her out to Mauritius only giving Andrea an hour to pack, cancel her life plans for 10 days, and get on a plane. Now THAT is my type of girl! Click here to see the shock on my face when Andrea appeared at breakfast!


I’m a pretty cynical guy when it comes to “happily ever after” but Andrea changed that for me. She is such a pure, kind-hearted, good-intentioned, selfless individual who is completely drama free. I know what you’re thinking. “Wait until you’re married then see how drama free she is.” She just doesn’t have it in her. Andrea is just pure love and I can’t believe how lucky I am to be able to share my life with her and to be so deeply loved by her. It is so wonderful to finally meet someone who I can consider a partner in the journey of life and whose happiness is more important to me than my own.

Andrea's Story