Combining the advantages of Internet dating with the old-fashioned
know-how of professional matchmakers, a new online dating site is
hoping to provide a service unlike the countless number of online
dating sites already in existence. Sawyouatsinai.com promises to be the
interactive medium that puts control back in the hands of individuals,
while still allowing them to benefit from the expertise and
facilitation of matchmakers.
"The Internet is an amazing medium for meeting people outside of
your core group of friends," according to Marc Goldmann, co-founder of
sawyouatsinai.com, but its inability to assure confidentiality and
information verification left him unsettled. He had a better idea.
"Many people today use a real estate agent to help them find a
house, a head hunter to help them find a job, why not a matchmaker to
help them find a husband?" said Goldmann, who started the site with
founding partner Azi Cutter and matchmaker manager Orlee Guttman.
Goldmann researched common ways that people meetÃ¢â‚¬â€at community or
charity events, at Shabbat meals, after synagogue, or by being set up
through friends. Each of these methods, he felt, had their downsides.
He realized the difficulty of following up with people after a chance
meeting on Shabbat, the agonizing awkwardness of introductions between
strangers at parties, and the letdown of blind dates, only to discover
you've been misled by false personal information. Goldmann thought that
by combining the Internet with matchmakers, many of these issues could
The major advantage of Internet dating is the absence of
geographical boundaries. The Internet lets a person meet others in
different cities and social circles. Another plus to online dating is
the ability to preview pictures before accepting a date.
Matchmakers, long a staple in the Jewish tradition of dating and
marriage, develop efficient ways of organizing their information and
facilitating appropriate dates. By using personal information updated
by individuals on the Internet, the matchmaker can match-make even more
proficiently. The added advantage of an online matchmaker is her
ability to validate another's profile and to assist in the "follow up"
To begin meeting on sawyouatsinai.com, individuals go online and
fill out a profile. The site allows members to change their status on
the web site if they become involved with a number of dates, or one
special person. Members will also be given a sawyouatsinai email
address, so when a matchmaker has someone for the member to meet, an
email will be sent telling members to log onto the site and access the
information. The matchmakers vow to abide by a code of conduct, so that
they won't abuse their privileges. Much of the information will only be
seen by the matchmaker, allowing for maximum privacy. Members also have
the option of choosing matchmakers according to individual needs. He or
she can choose up to five matchmakers, who each list their areas of
specialty (i.e.: age ranges and religious denominations) on the web
Dr. Tova Weinberg left full-time dentistry to go into full-time
matchmaking. Goldmann brought her on board because of the glowing
recommendations he received about her from many couples. Weinberg has
been setting up couples for 26 years and has almost 100 marriages to
"Sawyouatsinai is so interactive. It's just going to put meeting
people through a matchmaker on a different level. It's fabulous," said
Debby Levitt, has been involved in matchmaking for five years. She
works with the West Orange Shidduch Club, a group consisting of
matchmakers in New Jersey who meet to set up couples. Now that Levitt
is part of sawyouatsinai, her her pool of available individuals will
"What's great about the site for us as
matchmakers, is that we don't have to update the single's information,
the single does that himself," said Levitt. "So the singles are part of
the process and they're becoming heavily involved in finding their own
match." Levitt also praised the absolute confidentiality of the site.
With the direct involvement of matchmakers, sawyouatsinai claims
to have an advantage over other online dating sites in the area of
verifying member information. Since a matchmaker will be checking
profiles and references, people may be less likely to provide false
information. If someone is caught lying, he or she is thrown off the
Goldmann, an entrepreneur, has been involved in consulting for the
past ten years. Sawyouatsinai is his fourth start up company. He plans
on officially launching the site in January, although sawyouatsinai is
already online and accepting information.
"At the end of the day, I want people to get married. If someone
gets married because of their involvement on the site, I'll be
ecstatic," he said. "If I can get people married quicker, that means
we're being successful."