Twice-Divorced Holocaust Survivor Marrying Woman Nearly Half Century Younger Wants ‘Big New York Party’ to Celebrate
A Holocaust survivor who recently got engaged to a woman nearly half a century his junior told the New York Post that he hopes to have the wedding at the Fifth Avenue Synagogue, where he is a member.
Two-time divorcé and father-of-four Jack Garfein, 86, is marrying Natalia Repolovsky, 39, next month — with a “big party” to celebrate the event.
Garfein — who survived 11 Nazi concentration camps, though the rest of his family perished — proposed to Repolovsky in his apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on July 2, his birthday. The Jewish director, acting coach and part-time resident of Paris said that after he told her he couldn’t live without her and proposed, she responded, “What took you so long to ask?”
The couple first met at a social gathering in 2012, shortly after Repolovsky, a technical writer for a software firm, moved to the United States from Russia. Garfein — who has worked with movie starts Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Paul Newman and Marlon Brando — told the Post that the first thing he noticed about Repolovsky was her beauty.
He recalled that during the taxi ride home at the end of their first date, “I immediately thought, ‘This is a person who gets me.’ I just felt a closeness that I’ve never felt in my life. I felt a connection. I felt at home…We kissed [and] I would call it an explosion.”
Repolovsky told the Post she was instantly attracted to Garfein, but she could not believe God had sent her someone 47 years older than she. She said she also feared people would “look at me so differently when I’m with him.”
She recounted calling her friend in Moscow, who advised: “The way you feel now, you should take all of it and enjoy every minute. If it lasts a day, enjoy it. If it lasts a month, enjoy it. Who cares what people think?”
When Garfein is not teaching acting in London or Paris — he is credited with discovering actors Ben Gazzara, Steve McQueen and George Peppard — he and Repolovsky enjoy walking through Central Park and having breakfast in bed.