Neri Oxman and William Albert Ackman were married Jan. 19 at Central Synagogue in New York. Rabbi Angela Buchdahl performed the ceremony.
Ms. Oxman, 42, is a professor at the M.I.T. Media Lab. She graduated from the Architectural Association School of Architecture, RIBA Part 2 (Royal Institute of British Architects) in London. She also holds a Ph.D. in design computation from M.I.T. and was recently honored with the National Design Award in recognition of her contribution to the world of design and architecture. The bride served as a member of the Israeli Air Force from 1996 to 1999, achieving the rank of first lieutenant.
She is a daughter of Rivka Oxman and Robert Oxman of Caesarea, Israel. The bride’s father is professor emeritus of architecture and the history of modern design at Technion Israel Institute of Technology, where her mother retired as a professor of digital design.
Mr. Ackman, 52, is the founder and chief executive of Pershing Square Capital Management, a hedge fund company in New York. He is also the founder of the Pershing Square Foundation, a charitable venture that has provided more than $400 million in grants since 2006.
He graduated from Harvard, from which he also received an M.B.A.
He is the son of Ronnie Posner Ackman and Lawrence David Ackman of New York. The groom’s mother is a member of the board of Lincoln Center in New York. His father is a New York-based real estate investor, and a member of the board of the New York Philharmonic.
The bride’s first marriage ended in divorce, as did the groom’s.
In January 2017, Mr. Ackman received a phone call from Marty Peretz, 80, a former professor at Harvard who has since become a mentor and father figure.
“He told me there was someone he had been wanting to introduce to me for the past five years,” said Mr. Ackman, who has three children from his previous marriage. “He said her name was Neri Oxman, and that she was the most gorgeous, brilliant, artistic, loving and talented person he had ever met.”
“She was texting me from the Silicon Valley Visionary Award Ceremony in California,” Mr. Ackman said. “She told me that she had just met the most incredible, warm, wonderful, energetic and intelligent woman, someone she thought I should meet.”
“So here I had one person from my inner circle who knew Neri for five years, then another who knew her for five minutes, and they both described her exactly the same way,” Mr. Ackman said.
Mr. Ackman eventually reached out that summer, and they began a conversation that led to a first date in September 2017, at a restaurant in Cambridge, Mass.
“She was everything they had described her to be,” Mr. Ackman said. “I knew in about five seconds that she was perfect for me.”
They began dating immediately, and it wasn’t long before she was feeling much the same about him.
“Bill inspires me to assume a bigger identity, to grow while being grounded, but not without asking me the hard questions,” said Ms. Oxman, who cited their many things in common.
“We both appreciate the expansiveness of life, love and living associated with cultivating, building, sharing and inspiring a creative life,” she said, “one that transcends the often-prescribed categories of family and work and unites them into synergy.
“We both believe in the notion that what we do is not a job or a career, it is a calling. We both believe that gratitude is a skill. We believe in human expression. We work hard. We love to laugh.”
The most exciting thing to happen to them is still on the way as Ms. Oxman is expecting their first child come spring.
“Having children is something Neri has always wanted,” Mr. Ackman said. “So this is quite an amazing gift for both of us.”