China – Possibly the first heimishe wedding in China since World War II took place today at the Marriot in Shanghai as a New York businessman married a Belgian employee of a high tech company.
Ari Lauber of Brooklyn’s Ner Mitzvah has been living in Shanghai for approximately seven years and is known for his tremendous hachnasas orchim, feeding guests, making cholent and helping travelers to the area as he manages Ner Mitzvah’s interests in China. Reizy Weingarten of Antwerp moved to Shanghai for business five years ago but it was a traveler from Boro Park who suggested what should have been the obvious shidduch to Lauber, saying “If the two of you are the only heimishe yidden who live here, maybe it is a basherte shidduch?”
And indeed it was. Approximately 150 guests from various locations including New York, Skver, Antwerp, Israel and England flew to China joining 200 members of the Shanghai community for this landmark event. The wedding was catered by R’ Shulem Greenberg of Chabad, with R’ Akiva Asher Padwa head of the London Beis Din and a frequent guest of Lauber’s serving as Mesader Kiddushin.
Entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer was flown to Shanghai for the wedding as a gesture of hakaras hatov by a group of businessman who have enjoyed Lauber’s hospitality over the years. Schmeltzer was one of only six people who managed to get onto a Continental flight out of Newark when his flight was cancelled due to the blizzard.
“A heimishe wedding in Shanghai. It is just gevaldik,” said Schmeltzer in an exclusive interview with VIN News. “They are the only heimishe people here besides the shluchim. They both had to move to China to find a shidduch.”
Below, short clips of the wedding have been uploaded on YouTube by Heartytomato