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Bergen County Nursing Home Throws Dream Wedding For Senior Couple

Evalyn and Irwin Brownstein renewed their vows with much more ceremony than they had the first time around. Photo Credit: contributed
Evalyn and Irwin Brownstein have been together for 58 years and got a dream wedding at Rockleigh's Jewish Family Home last week. Photo Credit: contributed

ROCKLEIGH, N.J. -- Nearly 60 years after their "wedding that wasn't," Evalyn and Irwin Brownstein got a fabulous do-over, thanks to the Jewish Home at Rockleigh.

Fifty-eight years ago -- faced with the challenged of wartime and recent loss of Evalyn's mother -- the couple had a quick, tearful wedding, with fewer than a dozen guests. Last week, however, the couple was treated to a full-fledged bash, after staff had heard their story.

Irwin is a resident of the Jewish Home at Rockleigh and Evalyn a frequent visitor.

The festivities began with a bachelor party, complete with a belly dancer -- and some residents and staff even joined in. Afterward, guests, residents and staff, gathered in the Jewish Home's synagogue. Chaplain Rabbi Simon Feld officiated the ceremony under a chuppa -- a Jewish wedding canopy -- followed by the traditional breaking of a glass and boisterous singing and dancing.

"We are so grateful to be celebrating with all of you here at the Jewish Home," Evalyn said following the ceremony. "This truly is a happy place."

"This is a gift from God," Irwin added.

Later in the day, residents dressed in their finest attire joined the happy couple for dancing, toasts and a wedding cake.

The Brownsteins were originally from Brooklyn. They moved to Teaneck in 1963, where Evalyn taught. Irwin was the director of student life at City College and taught special education, where he developed the first environmentally-based special education curriculum.

The couple has two children and four grandchildren.

The Jewish Home Family operates the Jewish Home at Rockleigh, Jewish Home Assisted Living in River Vale, and a variety of community services through the geriatric care service Jewish Home at Home. The organization provides care to everyone, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity, in accordance with Jewish tradition.

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