Serge and Kaylee Zenin
Couple of the Year
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Serge and Kaylee first met in NYC in 2018. Kaylee heard about MJE at the Shabbat Across America event at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in 2019. She started going to the Hebrew classes offered by Rabbi Heller, and Serge soon joined her. They became regulars at MJE events and classes, and during Covid continued taking classes online. One of the highlights of their week during that time was tuning into Kabbalat Shabbat with Rabbi and Yosef Wildes. In September 2020, they celebrated their aufruf at MJE and were honored with having Rabbi Heller read the Ketubah at their wedding. During 2020-2021, Kaylee and Serge completed the MJE fellowship. Their son David Noam was also born in 2021, and they were delighted to bring him on the Fellow's Israel trip in 2022. Serge and Kaylee now live in Teaneck, NJ, and continue to attend MJE events throughout the year. They are incredibly grateful to MJE for the friendships, Torah learning, and daily inspiration from Rabbi Wildes and his staff.
Serge was born in Moscow and immigrated to the United States in 1991. Although he attended a yeshiva for new immigrants, he did not have a positive experience with Judaism and moved away from it when he was in middle school. Although Serge’s ancestors were a religious family from Ukraine, a few generations in the Soviet Union resulted in his parents and grandparents growing up secular and unaffiliated. Growing up in Brooklyn, Serge was mostly unaffiliated and uninterested in his Jewish roots. In 2012, after Serge had completed law school and started working, he had an epiphany that resulted in him becoming more open to exploring his Judaism. Serge started learning with Rabbi Alevsky from Chabad of the Upper West side, going to shul services, Torah Lunch n’ Learns, and reading the Chumash on his own. 
When Serge started attending MJE services and learning Hebrew with Kaylee, he was inspired to take his observance to the next level by learning to keep shabbos, eating kosher, learning Torah regularly, and davening with a minyan. The experience of becoming observant and having the opportunity to share Torah with his family and friends, as well as living in a Jewish community in Teaneck, is a constant source of inspiration for Serge. A former medical malpractice attorney and co-founder of an artificial intelligence startup, today Serge works as a general manager in charge of operations at the law firm Morgan & Morgan. 
Kaylee Zenin is a Florida native who has been living in the New York/New Jersey area since 2016. Although she was not born Jewish, as an adult she felt that she could not connect to the religion she was raised with. Her soul searching led her to explore Judaism and in 2018, when she attended the beginner's service at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, she immediately felt a strong connection and desire to learn more. Kaylee’s interest was piqued by Judaism’s emphasis on asking hard questions rather than shying away from them. 
Kaylee was inspired by the idea of having a direct pathway to connect to Hashem through the keeping of mitzvot, such as observing Shabbos and learning Torah. As she started attending Shabbat services each week, soon enough, she started bringing Serge along with her, and it became the highlight of their week. After 2 years of regularly attending services and learning, she converted to Judaism in 2020. Currently, Kaylee is a doctoral student at Rutgers University researching the effects of bilingualism on adults with autism.
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