Jewish Singles: Challenges for Jewish Singles Dating today
By Suzanne Zettel
There is an interesting dichotomy in the world of Jewish singles today. Although Jewish singles can take pride in belonging to a religion that has endured for over 3,000 years; although Jewish singles can travel anywhere in the world and be able to enjoy hospitality from another Jewish family, who not only can host but also introduce Jewish singles to their Jewish singles friend or relative, the Jewish singles testify to a tougher Jewish dating environment. A growing diversity on a sociological and demographic level has led many Jewish singles to feel closer to other ethnic minorities and has made the Jewish singles’ path harder to navigate. The situation for Jewish singles today is much more complex than ever before. The phenomenally high cost of Jewish education in North America propels the average Jewish child towards a public school education with a very high representation of ethnic minorities. Therefore, many average Jewish singles have been accustomed to having boyfriends and girlfriends from many different backgrounds (see the Matrimonial Divide, Seema Nayyar). Also, Los Angeles, which boasts 164,000 Jewish singles, is still described as a very difficult place for Jewish Singles to find a match due to its great distances, its mobility and a lack of a central hub where Jewish singles tend to live. The 164,000 Jewish singles over the age of 18 have diverse interests in activities, relationships and Judaism, but they wait longer to get married, instead pursuing education and careers and will tend not to belong to Jewish institutions. (Demographics and Sociology). Two Toronto Jewish singles have been at the forefront of a very ambitious initiative to try and halt and even reverse the decline in Jewish demographics. In Toronto, where there is a population of 56,000 Jewish singles, The Jewish Singles’ World acts as a regular place to meet, a place where Jewish singles can participate with other Jewish singles of a similar age, and deliver a message to the total community of presently unreachable Jewish singles by a mass media advertising campaign on the website. It is not a Jewish singles dating service but instead a means of encouraging Jewish singles to be part of a Jewish community.
The above research illustrates the dichotomy that despite the fact that Jewish singles are living in a time of greater Jewish emancipation and expansion, they are not necessarily faring any better in their ability to meet spontaneously. It is no wonder then, that with all the difficulties in Jewish singles meeting their match, the latest research has shown that internet dating is enabling the Jewish singles to avoid diversification and instead to date with specific intent. Online Jewish dating enables Jewish singles to actually be able to spell out their needs, to be more specific about what they are about and rather than diversify, Jewish internet dating is allowing Jewish singles to avoid assimilation by giving Jewish singles a better way to meet other Jewish singles (The matrimonial Divide, Seema Nayyar). The experience of online Jewish dating is surreal to say the least, a voyage into cyber space, it is something oblique and transcendental, occasionally replete with video profiles, live chat rooms and instant messaging. But what this sublime form of dating is allowing is for the young Jewish singles in Pittsburgh, an area where they are outnumbered by an aging community, to sit in a room and connect with other young Jewish singles all over the United States, specifying the exact distance they are prepared to travel to date other Jewish singles. The mothers who are concerned that their Jewish singles daughters are not making enough effort to marry Jewish can suggest their daughters create a profile on a Jewish singles internet dating service. The Jewish singles in California who have no time to break out of a non-Jewish work circle to meet the “right person” can now use an internet dating service, for those whose lives may have been used to dating other ethnic minorities, they can now specifically note in their profile they want to meet other Jewish Singles, and even post their profile to a Jewish singles only website. Through Jewish Internet dating such as www.sawyouatsinai.com and JRetroMatch.com, demographic challenges can be met head on, reaching into the heart and souls of Jewish singles; that is a great gift to the Jewish singles world of dating.
Suzanne Zettel is a Jewish Matchmaker on JRetroMatch and works with Jewish Singles all over the world. She has her Masters in Social Work from Leeds Metropolitan University and has worked as a Family Guidance Counsellor in Toronto, Canada. As an employee of JRetromatch, Suzanne is able to use her many life experiences and challenges to truly reach every one of her members, opening up their hearts and souls so they can receive and appreciate the many joys of Jewish dating and marriage. She is now living in Israel.