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They Were Supposed to Have Their Wedding in Houston on Sunday

They Were Supposed to Have Their Wedding in Houston on Sunday

A young couple transforms their disappointment by helping flood victims

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Dayna Skolkin and Josh Tillis, who postponed their wedding in Houston this week, donated and helped prepare food meant for a pre-wedding Shabbat dinner. Instead, the meals were delivered to families made homeless by Hurricane Harvey.
Dayna Skolkin and Josh Tillis, who postponed their wedding in Houston this week, donated and helped prepare food meant for a pre-wedding Shabbat dinner. Instead, the meals were delivered to families made homeless by Hurricane Harvey.

Dayna Skolkin was supposed to be spending this week busy with all of those last-minute preparations that occupy a bride’s life just days before a wedding. Then Harvey descended on Texas, and Dayna’s plans changed drastically.

With the family of her fiancé, Josh Tillis, unable to fly in and their wedding vendors dealing with the effects of the storm—which dumped nearly 50 inches of rain onto Houston and turned creeks, streams and bayous into raging rivers, making travel impassable—Dayna and Josh made the difficult decision to postpone their wedding. That meant that the food that had been purchased for a pre-wedding Shabbat dinner planned for this coming Friday night at the Aishel House was just sitting at the Chabad-Lubavitch run center waiting to be used.

“It was really hashgacha pratis [Divine providence] because we had all this food—a lot more supplies than we usually have on hand—so we were able to make dinner” for many more people, said Rabbi Eliezer Lazaroff, co-director of Aishel House with his wife, Rochel.

It turns out though it wasn’t just food that the young couple contributed.

As Rochel Lazaroff says, they were just starting to make a chicken dinner with a small group of volunteers when in walked the bride- and groom-to-be.

“I said, ‘Oh my G‑d, Dayna, this is the food we were going to use for your wedding,’ ” Rochel Lazaroff tells Chabad.org. “She almost had tears in her eyes and said she wanted to help. So she and Josh joined the assembly line and started breading chicken for more than two hours.”

“I’m grateful that we were able to help,” says Skolkin. “It felt very good to do something proactive yesterday. It was really cathartic to us to take a step back from wedding preparations,” she says, and see the community come together.”

Skolkin, a nurse practioner, says that when she and her fiancé decided they wanted to get out and do their part to help their community, there was nowhere else they would rather be than Aishel House, as the center was very special to her mother, Holly Harwood Skolkin.

Says Skolkin: “The food helped people who really needed it. That was amazing!”
Says Skolkin: “The food helped people who really needed it. That was amazing!”

According to the Lazaroffs, Harwood Skolkin was a driving force in helping to build Aishel House, which provides housing and meals for families with loved ones in local hopsitals.

“Aishel House has always been [a part of] our family,” says Dayna Skolkin, adding that going there is “my way of connecting with my mother.”

Postponing the wedding—now scheduled for mid-December, so as to allow for Houston to get up and running again—did lead to something positive, Skolkin maintains, noting that “the food helped people who really needed it. That was amazing!”

Says Rochel Lazaroff, “I told Dayna, ‘I know your mother is shepping so much nachas.’ Holly was so important to Aishel House, and it’s so beautiful that Dayna naturally went to the place where her mother would have gone.”

To assist in the hurricane relief effort, donate to the special fund here.



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Anonymous August 31, 2017

It is quite easy to get married if one is ready in my opinion. There are so many other cities that are functioning and rabbis. Reply

sherry klein Ponchatoula September 8, 2017

Blessed be the God of All Comfort Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those in any trouble............ Reply

Joella Werlin London September 4, 2017

Holly joy I write this from London. Heading back to Seattle today. Dear Dayna and Josh, our incredible Holly is smiling radiantly over you. Your joyous story is an enduring tribute. With love, cousin Joella Reply

Ryan September 2, 2017

Love Gives......Joel Osteen I hope you are listening! You don't "wait" to be asked. Reply

George Carlsbad,CA September 2, 2017

A great story with a wonderful ending . We had the Platts in California and they were so excited to go to the wedding. Not a happy ending but a good use of what was available. Reply

Jane Philadelphia September 1, 2017

Shining examples of humanity at its best. Mazel tov Dayna and Josh. Such nachas for your families. L'chaim! Reply

Robert Gross Pikesville, MD September 1, 2017

Minor correction It was 50 inches of rain, not 50 feet. Still plenty bad. May God bless and keep everybody safe down there. Reply

Lynne Singerman Houston September 1, 2017

Holly is smiling !! She has always been so proud of you!! Reply

Patricia August 31, 2017

Holly would be smiling her big, infectious smile, and, is smiling upon you both. No wonder she loved you so much. Dayna and Josh, you represent, stand for, and act for everything which is good. Your wedding will be here before you know it. You already think together, work together, and are creating a better world together. Love you. Tricia R Reply

Chaya Canada August 31, 2017

Very very special people Reply

Anonymous Los Angeles August 31, 2017

Wonderful story. Mazel tov! I wish this generous couple much naches! Reply

Anonymous Michigan August 31, 2017

B"H
Such ahavas Yisroel! I wish them the best! They are truly a shining example for others! May their wedding take place in Yerushalayim with the coming of Moshiach now! Reply

Anonymous September 7, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

Amen Reply

Anonymous August 31, 2017

This couple is good for the world Reply

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