Canvassing for Love

Karina volunteered for Federation CJA’s FedNext campaign in 2006. What happened during a canvassing call would change her life forever.

Karina and Brian at their first Federation CJA FedNext event in 2008.

Karina Roskies was still in college when she began volunteering for Hillel, and became involved with FedNext at Federation CJA. While attending a campus Campaign event, Karina was handed a list of potential young volunteers, and asked to call and invite them to participate in a car rally themed fundraiser.

As the incoming Chair of FedNext, Karina was determined to lead by example, and set about making as many calls as possible.  Mid-day, when she had really hit her stride, Karina dialed a number she did not recognize, and a stranger picked up the phone. After explaining who she was and why she was calling, the stranger identified himself as Brian. He had never volunteered before, but was interested in learning more. He proceeded to ask her if she knew of anyone on the car rally committee.

Looking around the room, Karina saw the nametag on the girl making calls to her left. Feeling like a seasoned cold-calling canvassing pro, she told the boy on the phone about the lovely girl canvassing next to her who would certainly be at the event – and read her nametag into the phone.

The pause on the other end of the line was deafening.  “That,” said the boy, his tone noticeably less excited, “is my ex-girlfriend.  Unfortunately, I will have to politely decline.”

Karina hung up the phone in haste, realizing she had inadvertently touched a nerve. They may have been strangers, but she had heard something in his voice that made her understand how he was feeling.  From home that night, Karina sent him an email and apologized for any discomfort she may have caused. Brian wrote back, and was appreciative.  A communication ensued.

Brian attended Karina’s first event as Chair of FedNext the following spring.  And, as she points out with a wide grin “he has been at every event since then.”

Karina and Brian at a Federation CJA FedNext Softball Tournament in 2009.

On November 10, 2013, six years after that fateful call, Brian and Karina were married before a wide community of family, friends – and fellow canvassers. Still actively involved in the community as they reach young adulthood, the couple will be taking part in the Mega Mission to Israel this coming May.

Brian, for his part, still marvels at the way they met, and couldn’t be more thankful his wife was canvassing that day.  Maybe, it was just luck. And maybe, just maybe, it was beshert.

Karina and Brian at their wedding in November 2013.

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