Brian Kvitelman has a successful job, an expansive social circle, and a tight-knit family. Now the young man from Brooklyn is ready to take the next step in life. On November 30th, surrounded by his coworkers and friends at Kings Highway Day Services (where he is a maintenance worker), Brian asked Aleksandra “Sasha” Kipnis for her hand in marriage.
“We met six years ago at the Shorefront Y,” Brian said, referring to a Jewish community center straddling the border of Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach in southern Brooklyn. Brian and Sasha became fast friends, connecting on issues including their religious backgrounds and life with a disability. “We still talk on the phone every day,” Brian said.
Kings Highway pulled out all of the stops for Brian and Aleksandra’s big day. The facility was draped in purple and turquoise decorations. A large banner reading “Congratulations Brian and Aleksandra” was displayed near the computer center. A number of staff members and people receiving services brought in sweet treats to celebrate, and bottles of sparkling cider were made available for a toast.
Popping the Question
In the common area of the facility, Brian asked his family and peers to gather around him and Sasha. “I want to thank everyone for coming to this beautiful occasion. I’ve known Sasha for the past six years, and I must say it has been the happiest I’ve ever been. She is my best friend and I am excited to spend the rest of my life with her. Everything about her makes me smile. Her friendliness, her kindliness, and the way she treats me as a person. She respects me and always wants me to be a better man.
“The woman I have always been dreaming about has come to reality and it’s Sasha. I’d also like to thank my father, who has always been there to lend me and Sasha a helping hand. Sasha, I love you very much, and thank you for being a part of my life.”
With that, Brian got down on one knee, pulled out a ring, and asked Sasha to marry him. She accepted and a raucous cheer came from their gathered friends and family.
“He’s kind,” Sasha said about her new fiancée. Sasha attends the day center three days per week. “He’s always helping me out and I love him.”
“I Am So Proud”
Brian and Sasha’s colleagues could not contain their excitement for the newly betrothed couple. “Brian is my good friend,” Yolanda Ocasio said. “I’m happy for him because he helps us out a lot here. I wish him good luck!”
“Brian is 32 years old and it is his time. I am so happy for him,” Stanley Kvitelman, Brian’s father, said.
A family friend of Brian and Sasha had his remarks translated from Russian by Maria Ghenzeli, Community Support Supervisor. “This couple is very brave. I’m proud that I am their friend and that they made it. A lot of people thought that this would be impossible, but yet, they are here, they did it, and now they are engaged, and I am so proud.”
Brian and Sasha plan to move in together within a couple of months. Congratulations to the happy couple!