It was Aug. 7, 2022, under the guise of a simple dinner out with family. Joe Alterman surprised Stephanie Friedman with a proposal. Friedman quickly said, “Yes!” and did a small celebratory dance.
Cued by Alterman, both of their families emerged from their hiding places nestled by the Chattahoochee River, to celebrate the newly engaged couple.
Alterman and Friedman met in August of 2020 – thanks to a “set up.” Alterman called Friedman during the pandemic: “I don’t know what ‘going out’ looks like these days, but I think it’d be fun to get to know each other.”
What followed was a series of outdoor dates, picnics, tennis matches, hikes, and one or two Zoom dates when it rained on their plans. A month into dating, the two recognized a special anniversary on the day they synchronized their COVID tests and hugged for the first time. It was an odd new way to date – but the two cherish their unique courtship and the time it allowed them to get to know the new special person they had found.
One special way these two connect is through music. Throughout their relationship they would sing and jam (Joe on piano and Steph on ukulele or guitar) and often get so caught up in their music that they’d forget dinner and suddenly realize it was 2 or 3 a.m.
Both Atlanta natives, Friedman and Alterman are both professional performers who also have careers in the Atlanta Jewish community. As a pianist, Joe Alterman is, as jazz legend Ramsey Lewis says, “happy music with tasty meat on the bones!”
He is also the executive director of the Neranenah Concert and Culture Series. Friedman acts in Atlanta and is director of theater education and the popular drama camps at the Marcus JCC. She also performs with the therapeutic clown team Humorology Atlanta, as Dr. Steph O’ Scope!
Parents are Richard and Marty Alterman and Ross and Teresa Friedman.
In terms of the future, Friedman said, “We are so happy and enjoying this special time. As far as wedding plans go – none yet, but I would have happily married Joe on the spot!”
To enjoy some music from the couple, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-qqekdhoeY.