Category: Jewish Dating

There are few topics in Jewish society which can simultaneously evoke rage, empathy, and unsolicited opinions and advice as Jewish dating. To take just one example, my statistical analysis of dating prospects drew approval from other frustrated singles, criticism for contradicting the positive experiences of others, and suggestions as to other sites to try and even a few specific set-up offers. Aside from the blog posts here and elsewhere, there are numerous books on the world of Jewish dating including “Shidduch Crisis: Causes and Cures,” which ironically can be added to your wedding registry.

To be sure, I’ve done my share of personal reflections as a single – after all it’s great blog fodder. Longtime loyal readers may recall such classics as The Harm in Being Nice, Waiting on a Friend, The Mind of a Matchmaker , and Top 10 Dating Questions – all of which for the most part still holds up today. And I’ve been guilty of offering my own Guide to Jewish Dating and another one specifically for online dating sites. But fast forward several years, countless women, forgettable dates, even more encouragement, criticism, and unsolicited advice, I am still single. However in the past few years serving as a Rabbi I’ve also gained a much better perspective. While my community attracts young Jews, it is by no means a “scene” which means there is significantly less communal pressure for single’s to get married. Furthermore, I have personally adopted a “no dating congregants” policy, meaning my religious communal experience of synagogue attendance is uncharacteristically devoid of any pretense of trying to impress women.

Thus I write from the relatively unique perspective of being a single rabbi – aware of the struggles of others while experiencing the same challenges first hand. Consider it unintentional participant observation if you will. And with this dual perspective I have come to the following conclusion: the so-called “shidduch crisis” is a collection of myths which only exacerbate the social pressures and anxieties at the core of the Jewish single’s community, specifically the denial of individuation.

Jewish Dating

Jewish Dating Personal

Jewish Dating

In my recent post “Defending the Rebbitzens” I discussed some ways in which the rabbi’s wife may be taken for granted by a congregation in terms of her communal contributions.…

Jewish Dating

One of the reasons why I don’t post that often is because I try to let thoughts percolate so that I can post something more substantive than a reflexive rant. Last Friday I first found the OU’s new abstinence website www.Negiah.org and posted a quick response to one of their articles. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to read through all the articles on the site, and it appears I was inappropriately glib.

My argument was that the site was condescending towards teens in a painfully clumsy attempt at being cool and relevant. Other bloggers have similarly blasted the OU for either being naive or promoting an irresponsible health policy. But after carefully reading the entirety of the site, I have concluded that the problems are quantitatively and qualitatively far worse than initially reported.1 Sadly, the sanctimonious tone of the OU’s site is merely one example of a systematic disregard for teenagers and Torah.

Jewish Culture Jewish Dating Jewish Law / Halakha Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava

Given the accurate stereotypes of Jewish dating neuroses, it should not be surprising that JDate started way back in 1997. Since then a few more sites have popped up like Frumster which concentrates more on Orthodox Jews and SawYouAtSinai which combines modern technologies with traditional matchmaking.

Regardless of which site one choses, all dating sites involve somewhat impersonal forms of communication; all dating sites require a profile of some sort and with the exception of SYAS, an initial e-mail or response. Unfortunately, while the profile and e-mail are essential parts of online dating, it is apparent that people have no idea how to use them effectively. Profiles are trite and many initial e-mails are simply worthless.

That’s where we come in. After reading far too many profiles and e-mails from both myself and friends, we’ve decided to provide some simple tips in navigating the online dating world.

Jewish Dating YUTOPIA's Guides

Update: Also see the later and more detailed post How to Handle Negia.org SIW points us to the OU’s new site dedicated to abstinence with the redirected link www.negia.org. SIW…

Jewish Dating Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava

Years ago at the Shabbat table my sister and I used to tease my father’s “selective” memory with the old joke “the memory is the second thing to go.” What…

Jewish Dating Personal

It seems that everyone’s favorite shidduch website Saw You At Sinai has been going through some changes as of late. On 1/16/2006 the SYAS support staff sent out the following…

Jewish Dating

A little over a year ago, I wrote the entry “Frumstats” in which I used the popular Jewish dating site Frumster to conduct socio-demographic research on the Jewish dating population. In that post I focused on the percentages of divorcees in the dating pool for two reasons. First, data on Jewish divorce rates can be hard to come by, but with dating sites like Frumster, the users themselves enter in their personal data thus making otherwise unattainable information available. Secondly, Frumster is after all a dating site so its usefulness for complete demographic studies is understandably limited.

I reran those searches from a year ago and conducted a few others as well. Again, the same disclaimers from last year apply. First this data must be taken in its context. Frumster represents only a small cross-section of the dating pool and an even smaller sample of the larger Jewish community.

However, even with these disclaimers some results are in my opinion significant enough to make people notice some of the ramifications of the modern day shidduch system.

Jewish Dating