Sunday school sweethearts
Shelley Globman Osipov and Marty Osipov (photo from the Osipovs)
Can Marty and I be childhood sweethearts if we didn’t start dating until we were 26? But we did meet when we were 4 years old. It happened in September 1961 at the preschool at I.L. Peretz Shule in their original location in Vancouver, on Broadway near Birch – though neither of us remembers that encounter.
From age 6, we both attended classes at the shule’s current location at 45th and Ash on Tuesdays after school and on Sundays in the morning. For me, Marty was just another one of the boys in the class.
In our six years at the shule, we were taught Yiddish and learned about Jewish culture, initially from lehrerin Sarah Sarkin and, then, by lehrer Leibel Basman. In our last year at the shule, John Mate taught us Hebrew – lessons that would come in very handy for me.
On Sundays, we had choir practice. Little did I know that our choir teacher, Claire Osipov, would become my mother-in-law. I’m sure everyone who attended the shule remembers the big box of Bader’s cookies that was passed around to bribe us to sing. I have fond memories of the cookies, though not so much of the songs – and not yet of Marty.
We attended the same high school – Eric Hamber Secondary – but were in different social circles. We were never even in a single class together for the five years we were there, but we did say hello once in awhile as we passed in the hallway. Very obviously, we were definitely not a couple then either.
Fast forward to eight years after graduation – university and travel in Europe for both of us, and a couple years living in Israel for me. We meet, after all that time – having dated other people – at a Jewish dance at the Faculty Club at the University of British Columbia.
A few days later, Marty called and suggested we get together to catch up. I agreed and, as we’d known each other for so long, figured it wasn’t a date. With our courtship shortened at least a little, because we already knew so much about each other’s childhoods, we became sweethearts at last! This comes with the special distinction of being, as yet, the only Peretz Shule students to have met there and gotten married.
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No doubt, many other wonderful stories will be shared at the Peretz Shule Alumni Reunion, which takes place May 27, 1 p.m., at the Peretz Centre for Secular Jewish Culture. Alumni and their friends and family are invited to the event, which features a display of archival photos; entertainment by Peretz alums Saul Berson, Lisa Osipov Milton and Sheryl Smith, and a bit of magic by emcee Stephen Kaplan; wine and light refreshments. Admission is $20. RSVP by May 20 to 604-325-1812, ext. 1, or [email protected].
Shelley Globman Osipov and Marty Osipov will have been sweethearts for 34 years this September. They have lived in Richmond all that time and have two other sweethearts, their daughters, Shira and Liora.