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Community Connections

Joshua Katz and Nicole Margulis married at the Newport Carnegie Hall in Newport, Kentucky, on April 14, 2019. 

Joshua is the son of Randy and Cynthia (Keller) Katz of Cincinnati, and the grandson of Rita Katz and the late Dr. Elmer Katz of Cincinnati. Cynthia’s parents were the late Fred Keller and Elsie Rude of Colorado.

Nicole is the daughter of H. Glen and the late Lynn (Sinclair) Margulis of California. She was the granddaughter of the late Melvin Margulis and Nelda Ray Trull of California and the late John Charles and Marguerite (Norman) Sinclair of Ontario, Canada.

“I knew within the first five minutes of our first date that I was going to marry Nicole,” said Josh. “I waited a week after that date to tell my parents, and a few days later until I first told her that I loved her.”

“The story of two Jewish Navy veterans finding lasting love starts where all stories like these start: at a Christmas party,” said Nicole. “Well, it may have been disguised as a holiday party, but let’s call it what it was, a Christmas party hosted by an organization based out of Los Angeles that helps guide veterans in the entertainment industry. Joshua and I were two newly minted Los Angelinos looking to find community and comradery amongst others who have served.” 

“We were friends for five years before we started dating,” said Josh. “She was an intelligence specialist in the USN (United States Navy), four years of active duty. I had also served in the USN for the same duration, although a few years before her as a gunners mate and missile technician. I became a first military responder to both New York and Washington, D.C., on 9/11 and deployed immediately for almost a year straight to the Arabian Sea for Operation Enduring Freedom. However, these experiences were a breeze compared to just existing as a Jew in the U.S. military, which is rife with anti-Semitism. In addition to that, Nicole had to put up with an institution of misogyny as well. It was not a great time for either of us, but I’d do it all over again just to meet Nicole.”

“After that first encounter, it’s likely that another Christmas and Hanukkah passed before we saw each other again,” said Nicole. “This time it was on set. From strangers to coworkers, Joshua and I often played military roles on screen. ‘The Last Ship,’ a TNT drama set in a post-apocalyptic Navy, gave us the chance to dawn the uniform again.”

A few years later, the couple reconnected. Their first date was on Valentine’s Day.

“For well over a month, I planned a weekend proposal,” said Josh. “Both of us being fans of Harry Potter (and just nerds in general), I convinced her if she stayed in Sunday night, she would miss the light show at Hogwarts Castle inside of Universal Studios Hollywood. After caving to my insistence that she dress up, we departed for the theme park.” 

“As night approached, we walked towards the Harry Potter section of the park. The park was filled with patrons, all of whom had crowded together to view the impending light show, but I wanted it to be a show for just she and I, so I had arranged for us to ‘sneak’ into the overflow area off to the side. She and I passed my hired videographer, who was already recording. He told us that he was getting a wide shot for his project and assured us that we were not in his way. We waited, just the two of us, far away from the crowd and up close to the light show.

“The light show was dazzling as all four of the Hogwarts houses were represented one after the other in a brilliant visual dance on the side of the castle. At the end of the show, the Sorting Hat said, ‘I know what is in your heart.’ Thousands of dazzling lights came up white all over the park in a display that put any lantern ceremony to shame. I turned to Nicole, held her in my arms, and repeated the Sorting Hat’s words. I dropped to my knee and presented the ring box.

“A dozen of Nicole’s closest friends appeared from the crowd, some of whom travelled very far just to be there on our special night. Tears streamed down Nicole’s face. I’ve never seen her happier. 

“We had a small ‘elopement’ ceremony with an officiant and a handful of close family. This would make it easier for her California family to join us in celebration. The ceremony was inside of a local comic book store. We learned that the storeowner was another military veteran, a Marine. Though we did not know it at the time, this person had worked on a TV show about the US Navy on which Nicole and I worked for five seasons, and grew our friendship prior to dating.

“The ‘wedding-wedding’ as I called it, meant a great deal to me,” said Josh. “I wanted a wedding back home near Cincinnati, a Jewish ceremony, and everyone I cared for dearly to be there.”

“Finding an officiant felt a bit daunting at first,” said Nicole. “Being from California, Ohio is a strange place where the winters are bitter cold and the chili has no beans. I didn’t know a single Rabbi in the entire state. We could not have been more blessed to find Rabbi Julie Schwartz of Hebrew Union College, a Navy veteran. She understood that serving changes you – that it becomes a part of you like a limb or a lock of hair, as much a part of us as our Jewish heritage.” 

“For our reception, Nicole went with a Harry Potter (and other nerd culture) theme,” said Josh. “Eighty of our closest friends and family members were in attendance. My wedding was the happiest day of my life.”

 Nicole and Josh live in California where they continue to work in the film and television industry. Josh hopes one day to bring a production of his own to Ohio, and possibly convince Nicole to join him.

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