Meredith Gettys’ next step into adulthood started with a game from childhood.
The 28-year-old Greenfield resident met her fiancé, David Brown, 33, while playing kickball with Shalom Pittsburgh’s team in the Pittsburgh Sports League.
Gettys moved back to Pittsburgh in 2007 after working as a BBYO director in northern Virginia and was introduced to Shalom Pittsburgh by her friend, and the program’s former manager, Suzanne Green. Shalom Pittsburgh and like-minded program J’Burgh offer platforms for young Jews to meet through social programming, forming a Jewish team within the Pittsburgh Sports League teams.
Brown was the captain of the team; it didn’t hurt that “he’s a great kickball player. He’s really team-oriented and always kicked really well,” said Gettys. “We hit it off right away.”
Love at first kick isn’t entirely unusual.
“Programs like Shalom Pittsburgh or J’Burgh help to promote individuals meeting one another and possibly dating, which leads to Jewish relationships,” said Shalom Pittsburgh Associate Becca Lehner. “[Young people] are meeting at programs specifically for Jewish young adults, so they have the tendency for Jewish values.”
“The potential for love is really big in Pittsburgh right now,” said Gettys, the Site Based Programs Coordinator at the city’s Big Brothers Big Sisters. “People definitely want to fall in love. These programs are really great to do that, whether people find love or just friendship, there’s definitely a connection.”
Gettys’ wedding is planned for next March; the couple recently joined Rodef Shalom Congregation.
“It was not a successful season of kickball,” said Gettys. “But it was successful in the fact that we met, and I made some new friends in Pittsburgh.”
(Justin Jacobs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)