Hoda Kotb and Joel Schiffman have called it quits. “Joel and I have had a lot of prayerful and meaningful conversations over the holidays,” Hoda said during the Jan. 31 episode of TODAY, “and we decided that we’re better as friends and parents than we are as an engaged couple, so we decided we are going to start this new year … on our new path as loving parents to our adorable, delightful children, and as friends.” Hoda said that this wasn’t because “something happened,” but that their relationship ran its course.
As Hoda and Joel navigate this new direction, here are five things you need to know about Joel Schiffman.
1. Joel met Hoda in 2013
Hoda met Joel at an event she, apparently, “didn’t want to go to,” according to her appearance on Watch What Happens Live. As she was readying to leave the event, Hoda signed a few autographs when Joel approached her. Their meet-cute left an impression on the Today show host, as she passed along her email address to him. They’ve been together ever since!
After years of dating, Hoda Kotb and her longtime partner, Joel Schiffman got engaged in November 2019. The news was announced on an episode of Today, and Hoda was beaming when she shared the sweet pic from her engagement. The proposal appeared to take place on the beach, where the happy couple stood behind their names, which were written in the sand, as Hoda flashed her stunning ring. Unfortunately, the couple postponed their wedding a few times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. He’s been married before.
Joel had a serious relationship before meeting Hoda and has a grown daughter from that marriage named Kyle Schiffman. Since his relationship with Hoda, Joel has become the father to Haley and Hope, whom Hoda adopted. During her appearance on The Wendy Williams Show, Hoda shared that she “knew I’d chosen the right man” when she asked Joel about adoption.
3. Joel told Hoda he loved her first!
During an episode of Today, Hoda shared with her co-host, Jenna Bush Hager, how Joel revealed his true feelings. Upon hearing him say those three magic words, Hoda said she had “to sit with that for a minute.” After a brief pause, Hoda told Joel she loved him, too!
4. Joel works in finance
As of 2021, Joel worked as the Head of U.S. Defined Contribution and Insurance Sales at an investment management company. Before his current job, he was the Vice President and Director of Financial Institutions for Janus Henderson Investors for over three years, according to his LinkedIn.
5. He has two major degrees
Joel attended the University of California and graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in 1981. After a number of years, he attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which is the business school of the private, Ivy League university, and finished his degree in 1995.