Simply Compatible

Photos provided

Photos provided

Linda & David Koren

First Date:
Jan. 10, 1986, Westview Cinema and Pargo’s Restaurant

Wedding Date:
Sept. 20, 1986

Chizuk Amuno Congregation

Venice, Fla.

Favorite Activity:
Walking together


For a few years, David Koren, with friends Carl and Robin Goodman, rented a townhouse in Randallstown.

The Goodmans set him up with Linda Jaffe, a nice Jewish girl, also from Randallstown.

Coincidentally, both graduated from Randallstown High a year apart. They grew up just four blocks from each other, and their brothers were friends.

At the door before their first date in January 1986, Linda held Brandy, the family dog. Usually skittish, Brandy liked David, which proved an omen. Rona and Seth Jaffe liked David as well.

Linda and David went to two places now closed — the Westview Cinema and Pargo’s Restaurant. After, they sat in the car, comfortably talking. David walked Linda to the door and delivered a peck on her cheek.

A week later, David invited Linda to watch TV. Both “homebodies,” she agreed.

They discovered more in common: Their families knew each other, and they had both lost family members around the same time. They quickly fell in love.

“I just knew,” said David, 55. “It just came so easily, so naturally.”

While upstairs in the townhouse, six weeks after their first date, David knelt down and asked Linda to marry him.

“We were in our early 20s, both ready to settle down,”  explained Linda, 54. “We didn’t want to date anymore.”

beshert-nowThey married seven months later, on Sept. 20, 1986, at Chizuk Amuno Congregation. A little bit of adversity ensued as a bridesmaid tripped up the stairs to the bimah, Linda’s grandmother fainted delaying their introduction as husband and wife, the dessert truck crashed on the way to the  reception, and Rona’s Pontiac stalled as they were leaving. They laughed, realizing they could get through anything  together.

They lived in a few rentals before buying their first home in Reisterstown in 1991. By that time, their daughter, Heather, was 4 years old, and Linda was pregnant with Jeremy, named for David’s father, Gerald Koren.

In 2007, they moved to Venice, Fla., to be near Linda’s parents. Today, they enjoy spending time with their granddaughters, Skyping with Jeremy, stationed in Washington State with the Navy, dining out, watching Ravens games, walking and traveling.

Linda and David recently celebrated their 30th anniversary.

“It’s gone by in the blink of an eye,” said David. “I can’t  believe it.”

Like all couples, they’ve weathered a few storms, especially the loss of family members including Linda’s father last December.

Realizing that no marriage is perfect, Linda acknowledges they disagree far less than in their early years together. Most arguments were petty, related to their kids.

Today, they return home after work — Linda does billing for a plastic surgery practice, and David is a project manager for a commercial glass company — and eat dinner  together, talk, watch TV and then part ways for a while until bedtime.

“The compatibility between us is unmatched,” said David. “It’s made it so easy.”

David is also a firm believer in marrying within the faith, as well as compromising.

“Give in to each other,” added Linda. “It’s about give and take.”

Linda L. Esterson is an Owings  Mills-based freelance writer. For  “Beshert,” call 410-902-2305 or  email

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