Todd is a film geek, TV developer, husband, father, and Brooklynite.
According to their ketubah – the Jewish marriage contract – Todd and his wife, Dana, are committed to building “a home filled with happiness, peace, love, and the traditions of our heritage.”
Beginning with their cat, Happy, Todd and Dana have taken their promise quite literally.
We got Happy almost three years ago because we had mice. Our exterminator said, “If you want to get rid of mice for sure, get a cat.” My wife had never had a pet before in her life and she’s like, “OK, we’re getting a cat.” I went to PetFinder, found a cute cat, sent her a picture, and she says, “Great, let’s get him.” I’m like, “Oh, I think you might be serious.” Happy was in an apartment in Cobble Hill with 2 other cats that were not getting along well with him. We sat down, Happy came up to us slowly, let us pet him a little, it was definitely an immediate love. Dana always thought, “I’m not gonna be a good mom, I don’t have that bone,” but she’s like, “Hello, my love.” And I’m like, “Who are you?”
(Get all your cute cat stuff here.)
Todd and Dana’s other bundle of joy – their baby son, Hugo – was born just a few months after our interview.
No one’s ever ready for a kid. We’re very excited and very scared at the same time. I feel like everyone just gets the hang of it. Dana’s never babysat in her life, I never have. You just figure it out. We went to this childbirth class on Saturday for seven hours, and I’ve been reading a book called “The Birth Partner,” so I actually know some stuff. There were four other couples there and they made us feel so good, because we knew so much more than all of them. No one there had done a hospital tour, we did a hospital tour. The thing I was most afraid of was breathing – that’s your job as the husband to coach – I was thinking of Lamaze and all that, and it’s just not the way they do things anymore. The teacher of the childbirth class was like, “You know how you’ve been breathing for the last hour? That’s all you need to do.”
I feel pretty good now. Can we take care of the kid? We don’t know how to do that, but the actual birth, I feel a little better about.
(Get your own set of kid-friendly earth science prints here.)
We had these printed for our wedding day. They represented the family members who could not be there in person, but who were there in spirit. We wanted to honor the lineage of our two families coming together.
On the wall are: Dana’s parents, Eric and Meryl Sussman, on their wedding day; my parents, Jeff and Paul Weiser, on their wedding day; my maternal grandparents, Harry and Esther Sherberg, sometime after they were married in a DP camp in Germany after WWII; my paternal grandma, Hilda Weiser, on her wedding day; Dana’s paternal grandparents, Jack and Ruth, on their honeymoon in California; my paternal great-grandmother, Jane Weiser, on her wedding day; Dana’s paternal great-grandparents, Sol and Anna Rothkopf; and my paternal great-grandmother, Mary Dresner, on her wedding day.
Our kiddush cup was a gift from two brothers whom I grew up with outside of Detroit. We met in high school and were in AZA (a Jewish youth group) together, then we went to U of Michigan together. Their father is Israeli and the older brother was born there. They still have a lot of family in Israel and they visit often. The older brother and his wife bought the kiddush cup outside of Tel Aviv. They had a layover in New York on the way back, and it was their first time seeing Dana and me since our engagement. It was the first wedding present we received.
Wanted a ketubah with a unique look and language. An artist named Tsilli Pines from Portland, Maine designed this one for us. She has since retired from making ketubot, although I’m guessing friends pull her out of retirement from time to time. The Aramaic is a legal text, and quite unromantic, so the English accompanying it is an attempt to introduce some modern language of equality into the ketubah. We love the bird imagery for its simplicity and romanticism. To be honest, we also love the “Put A Bird On It” sketch from “Portlandia.” What’s more perfect than a ketubah with a bird on it from an artist in Portland?
Photos by Andrew Avrin.