Posted on December 1, 2013
“She fell in love with corned beef…and with corny Jon!” says husband Jon Alban of his beshert wife Marcela who he met while out with his parents at the Jerry’s Deli in Costa Mesa. (She was dining with a girlfriend at a close by table.) One year later they were engaged and within four months married. The wedding specifically took place on Purim in precious memory of the Grandma Esthers they both had lost just prior to meeting. (Yes, they both had a Grandma Esther who, they are convinced, are responsible for their match made in heaven.)
It’s surprising the two didn’t meet well before the deli. They both grew up in Huntington Beach, yet Marcela was born in New York. They both had worked at the Waterfront Hilton years earlier. And they both have an absolute love for travel and all kinds of foods.
Both are also go-getters. Marcela was on the drill and dance team in high school. At California State University, Long Beach she earned a degree in Consumer Affairs and Marketing and became a project manager in technology –a “professional nag” she admits. Now as a stay-at-home mom, she says her family benefits from her wonderful nagging skills! She also is very active in the PTA. In high school, Jon was in student government, editor of the school newspaper, and competed on the varsity gymnastics team. He also participated in Jewish youth groups and found time to be a ski instructor in Lake Tahoe and Big Bear. It was at Berkeley and Arizona State, where he earned Business and Law Degrees, respectively, and became an Estate Planning Attorney to help families with wills, trusts, probate, and guardianships. He’s been on the Boards of Jewish Federation Foundation and Jewish Family and Children’s Service (in Long Beach) where he organized the first-ever Race with a View fundraiser.
Judaism has always been an important part of their lives. Jon had his Bar Mitzvah and was confirmed at Temple Israel in Long Beach where the Alban family is well known. His great-grandfather was the first-ever Hebrew teacher in all of Long Beach and many generations of Albans have since found their spiritual home at the synagogue Marcela is actually not new to Temple Beth David. Her parents were active members years ago. She attended the religious school, had her Bat Mitzvah, and even worked in the school during high school and college. Sadly, Rabbi Henri Front passed the week of her Bat Mitzvah and she recalls the sanctuary and Oneg overflowed in his memory the night she was on the Bimah.
When the time came to choose a synagogue, the Albans explored many local temples and decided on Temple Beth David. “The members are so friendly and warm, not at all pretentious, and we are able to relate to the Rabbi’s sermons,” they explained. The Rabbi even had children around the same age as their son. After joining in 2011, they soon became members of Brotherhood and Sisterhood and a vibrant family Chavurah. If you were at the last Purim Spiel, you may also recall Jon played Mike Brady (Brady Bunch), Marcela was Samantha (Bewitched) and Noah – behind the very hairy wig – was Cousin It (The Adam’s Family). While not kosher to say, they are self proclaimed “hams!”
Among their travels was a 21-day cruise that covered four continents. (Noah has already been on 13 cruises and he’s only 11!) They play tennis, do yoga and zumba, go camping, and play games. As a matter of fact, they create a different Jewish themed game show each year to feature at the annual Passover Seder on Jon’s side. With up to 80 family members in attendance and each family bringing some sort of entertainment, it’s one of the highlights of their year. Marcela and Jon say watching their son compete in sports and seeing him excel in Math and Scouting are also highlights for the whole family.
It’s obvious the Albans like to be on the go! We’re just so happy their “go” brought them to Temple Beth David!
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