Melissa and Lee Brill

No strangers to the local Jewish community, Melissa and Lee Brill have a busy life filled with work, volunteerism and a new baby on the way! Read how these Couples Committee members stay so involved and what advice they can offer.

How did you first get involved with The Associated?

Melissa: Chizuk Amuno Congregation is one of the partnering synagogues under the Associated. I became familiar with The Associated through this, and then became involved with JPRO and DFI a few years back – becoming more involved in committees. Now I am on the Marketing Committee of Na’aleah, the DFI Programming Committee, as well as IMPACT Couples Committee. 

Lee: We started getting involved with The Associated when we were dating. Melissa had a connection through work and we started attending events.

What suggestions do you have for someone wanting to become involved with The Associated and Jewish Baltimore? 

Melissa: Be open. There are so many different agencies and professional development areas that the Associated is involved in. Anything that interests you, there is something for you. Even if you may not have a strong bond to your faith, or work in a faith based place, the Associated has something for you if you chose to be involved.

Lee: I had an instant “in”, having grown up in Pikesville, I easily followed my parents’ path to Jewish community involvement. But even if someone isn’t from the area, they can attend events and ask questions. The groups I have become involved in made me feel very welcome when I first attended events and made it really easy to get involved – those are the kind of groups in which you want to be involved.

How did you first meet? How did you know you were ‘the one’ for each other?

Melissa: My coworker introduced us as I was trying to start a Young Professionals organization at Chizuk Amuno, and she felt that Lee would be a good fit to be on there. Lee was a soccer coach at Krieger Schechter Day School at the time, so would stop by before practices and bring me coffee. (It may have been our mutual love for coffee that I knew ????) But.. then we were at the same table at a JNF Israel Breakfast event, and started talking more online after that event about our love for running (I was completing a half marathon, and Lee was training for one). It was through our many common interests, as well as our unique ties to Chizuk Amuno Congregation and Judaism with traditions (Lee being a 5th generation member) that we grew our strong bond. 

Lee: One of Melissa’s co-workers presented me to her as someone who could help get a Young Adults group together at Chizuk Amuno. After that, we connected on Facebook and ended up chatting about running – both training for half-marathons – and many other topics. I knew she was the one that first day chatting on Messenger about running, sports, Disney, and who knows how many other topics. The conversation was so smooth and easy that I told my friend that day “I think I just met the woman I am going to marry”. Two years later we got engaged.

Which has been more enjoyable (and why) – planning a wedding, getting married or preparing for your first child? Which has been more stressful?

Melissa: Enjoyable – getting married. Although we had a pandemic wedding (November 7, 2020) Everything went off without any issues, and it was truly perfect. We were very lucky to have it when we did. We kept our original wedding date, and it was beautiful. It was at Chizuk Amuno Congregation as well. I know many do not get married in synagogues anymore, but we both felt such strong connections to Chizuk in different ways. It was also special to be where we met, and to honor his dad who passed away 8 months into us dating in 2018. (Which was probably one of the hardest things we went through together, but it brought us closer together as well so early on in our relationship.) Most stressful – Preparing for our first child (Due November 16). In this year of another unknowns, we are blessed in so many ways, but the stress of not knowing, and the stress of my anxiety around birth, and never changing a diaper! Is something that stresses me out. However, I know it will be one of the most rewarding experiences for us and bonding. So although it is stressful getting things ready, and trying to clean the house, amid an insane working season for me, I know it will all work out. 

Lee: Each event has been more enjoyable than the last because they keep building on each other. Planning (and replanning multiple times) the wedding during the height of the pandemic was the most stressful of the three events.

If you could plan the perfect date, what would it be and why?

Melissa: Perfect Date: April 25 (Ok, sorry! Miss Congeniality joke!) – But really, first date – being outside – great view by the water. Going for a walk, then enjoying some coffee or a drink by the water – a beach, some place scenic and relaxing. 

Lee: I would take Melissa on a hike with a picnic in view of the water. (Ideally, it would be a campfire dinner, but I haven’t quite gotten Melissa to that point yet) Melissa is not that outdoorsy, but she is very athletic. So it takes some convincing to get her to hike with me, but she always enjoys it and that feeling of accomplishment after finishing a tough hike is amazing, and I love seeing that emotion on her face.

What is your favorite tv show? 

Melissa: Friends. It is something I can fall asleep too, always have on, and never get sick of.  

Lee: Ted Lasso

For more information on how to get involved with other young adults, please visit
The Associated’s IMPACT Page.

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The Associated is a home for everyone in the Baltimore Jewish community. We offer several email lists to help people find a community, engage with their peers and support Jewish journeys around the world.

Join Our Mailing List