In one hand she holds a filing card with a photograph stapled to it. In the other is her phone. She peers at the card and tells the rabbi on the end of the line: “Her parents are separated, not divorced. Sirota flips the card over and reads out a couple of names and phone numbers: references provided by the young woman for community elders who will attest to her character. All being well, a meeting between the pair will be arranged and then, Sirota hopes, an engagement. Sirota, 67, is a shadchan, a traditional Jewish matchmaker. Beneath the vaulted ceilings of her house in Mea Shearim, one of the earliest settlements outside the Old City walls and home to the strictest adherents of the Jewish faith, a wicker basket of filing cards lies on a large cloth-covered dining table. Some are clipped together with laundry pegs: these are couples Sirota has introduced and who are now dating with a view to marriage.
The Jewish matchmaker
In prerevolutionary Russia, a Jewish peasant contends with marrying off three of his daughters while growing anti-Semitic sentiment threatens his village. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Jews and Orthodox Christians live in the little village of Anatevka in the pre-revolutionary Russia of the Czars. Among the traditions of the Jewish community, the matchmaker arranges the match and the father approves it.
The milkman Reb Tevye is a poor man that has been married for twenty-five years with Golde and they have five daughters. When the local matchmaker Yente arranges the match between his older daughter Tzeitel and the old widow butcher Lazar Wolf, Tevye agrees with the wedding. However Tzeitel is in love with the poor tailor Motel Kamzoil and they ask permission to Tevye to get married that he accepts to please his daughter.
Matchmakers access members’ profiles to find and suggest potential matches, and members can also search the data base to see limited information about members, excluding photos, names, and contact details. Tens of thousands of Jewish singles and marrieds alike have done so through Rebbetzen Esther Jungreis’ Hineini organization.
Many married couples first met each other at a Hineni class or social gathering for singles. Hineni also offers matchmaking services. Each year, Inbar celebrates a number of weddings for men and women who have met thanks to its services. The site employs many features, including private mailboxes, so users can communicate safely until they choose to share personal information.
The site also offers services of a matchmaker to recommend potential dating partners from the list of members. It offers a free matchmaking service for Jews of all religious affiliations which is run by a non-profit organization that has already made many matches of special needs couples. Users have a more comfortable experience because they only see those profiles that are relevant to them. Its many programs encourage young Jewish adults to explore their Jewish identity, develop their leadership potential, and find their own place within the community.
Many married couples first met each other at one of RAJE’s Shabbos or holiday meals or social events. While it primarily serves Canadian singles, its matchmakers work with a worldwide network of matchmakers and singles. The site is discreet, private, and does not allow browsing of other singles‘ profiles, but still gives daters the power to proactively look for a match. The combination of personal input from the matchmaker and the comprehensive information daters put into the system results in more compatible dates and more than 2, married clients.
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The institution of marriage in East European Jewish society remained largely traditional until the early twentieth century but also reflected broader transformations in general society. In the absence of civil marriage in the Polish—Lithuanian Commonwealth , and later in tsarist Russia , marriage belonged to the competence of the rabbi, who supervised wedding ceremonies and adjudicated divorce according to Jewish law.
In contrast, following the Polish Partitions, the Habsburg Empire maintained an ambiguous separation of church and state in matters of family law.
ChaeRan Freeze explores the impact of various forces on marriage and divorce among Jews in 19th-century Russia. Challenging romantic views of the Jewish family in the shtetl, she shows that divorce rates among Russian Jews in the first half of the century were astronomical compared to the non-Jewish population. Even more surprising is her conclusion that these divorce rates tended to drop later in the century, in contrast to the rising pattern among populations undergoing modernization.
Freeze also studies the growing involvement of the Tsarist state. This occurred partly at the behest of Jewish women contesting patriarchy and parental power and partly because the government felt that Jewish families were in complete anarchy and in need of order and regulation. Extensive research in newly-declassified collections from twelve archives in Russia, Ukraine, and Lithuania enables Freeze to reconstruct Jewish patterns of marriage and divorce and to analyze the often conflicting interests of Jewish husbands and wives, rabbinic authorities, and the Russian state.
Balancing archival resources with memoirs and printed sources in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Russian, she offers a tantalizing glimpse of the desires and travails of Jewish spouses, showing how individual life histories reflect the impact of modernization on Jewish matchmaking, gender relations, the”emancipation” of Jewish women, and the incursion of the Tsarist state into the lives of ordinary Jews.
Review “The publication of this first book by ChaeRan Freeze, a scholar of Russian-Jewish history at Brandeis University, marks an important moment in the field, as this is certainly the most substantial and repercussive archive-based contribution to the history of Russian Jewry in many decades.
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But the matchmaker, he said, was disorganized. In addition to the regular questions about age and height, users also answer questions about whether both of their parents are Jewish, and if they keep kosher and Shabbat. People can register on the site by themselves, however, they can only be introduced to others by a matchmaker. Russian-speaking Jews are now spread around the world, including the United States, Israel, and other countries.
The site helps to bring them together, he said.
“Old school matchmaking with a modern twist”.
But JToronto, jtoronto. Instead, this site relies on a matchmaker to pair up men and women. Additionally, not everybody wants to go public with their search for love. JToronto gives them a discreet way to search, he said, since only the matchmakers can see the pool of participants. There are no partnerships with synagogues. The age group in question is 25 to Almost anything goes within that range, from non-observance through to modern Orthodox — just not haredi, since members of that community tend to use traditional matchmakers, Rabbi Zaltzman said.
From there, she speaks to each user to make more informed suggestions.
Russian-speaking Jews seek matchmakers to find them a find
Imagine if your parents or grandparents had never met. If you could go back in time, as did Marty McFly in Back to the Future , what would you do to ensure your existence? Ensuring the creation of future Jews is a sacred mission that transforms strangers into loving families, representing a rich diversity of Jewish belief, lifestyle and practice. The art of shadchanut matchmaking goes back centuries in our tradition and is making a strong comeback. After informally serving as a matchmaker within my own social circles for several years, I founded YentaNet shortly after moving to New York City in In order to accommodate the steadily increasing matchmaking demand and represent more demographics and social circles within the Jewish community, I needed a network of talented matchmakers with whom I could work and expand our reach, thus YentaNet was born.
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The Shidduch is a system of matchmaking in which Jewish singles are introduced to one Hungary · Italy · Latvia · Lithuania · Moldova · Netherlands · Poland · Portugal · Romania · Russia · Spain · Sweden · Ukraine · United Kingdom. Asia.
What would you do if you were single and Jewish in Germany? Jose Weber Frankfurt’s own Jewish matchmaker has an answer. He runs the only Jewish professional dating service in Germany. Weber calls his dating service Simantov the Hebrew words for good omen and a popular song at Jewish weddings. Following the introductory interview.
Weber searches his databank and comes up with a few initial suggestions. He then passes on names and telephone numbers to both prospects, but strictly warns the woman not to call the man first. If a woman has not received a call from her prospective boy friend within 14 days, she is to call Weber, not the man. Weber, who is married to a Russian Jewish immigrant he met through work, says he typically asks prospective clients to commit themselves to two years of enrollment in his service he refuses to say how much it costs for the two-year contract, only that most working people should be able to afford it.
If a marriage results from his efforts, then both the bride and the groom are required to pay him what he calls a “success fee.
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local matchmaker, Yente, to arrange a suitable marriage The persecution of Russian Jews by tells the story of Tevye, a milkman in a Russian-Jewish village.
Their connection felt genuine and she was eager to cut out the middleman. Her future husband was less certain and suggested they wait. For instance, a shadchen acting as an intermediary at the beginning of a relationship served Lily in her early 20s, but was less effective as she matured. Lily attributes this disconnect to the reality that shidduch dating was originally intended for people in their late teens and early 20s. He says that, thanks to his work, 58 couples have gotten engaged.
He generally sets up young, secular Jews, because he feels that non-Orthodox Jews have limited dating resources. He also writes a monthly advice column in The CJN. Finding your soulmate is reuniting those two lost halves, whose destinies have been entwined from the start. For Anna Sherman, a marriage and family therapist who for 17 years has made matches in her spare time, the motivation to set people up stems from a distinct sense of empathy for the emotional distress shidduch dating can cause.
Three couples she introduced have gotten married. She often matches people who are baal teshuvah, or have become more observant, as she knows from experience that they are often stigmatized in the religious dating world.
That was, apparently, the wrong answer. Never mind. I had just been sized up, then dismissed, as a potential match. A dentist by training, she long ago gave up that career for her full-time calling as a shadchen, to use the Hebrew and Yiddish word for one who makes shidduchs, or matches.
Jewish Marriage and Divorce in Imperial Russia by Freeze ChaeRan Y. from on Jewish matchmaking, gender relations, the”emancipation” of Jewish women.
Fear of Jewish white slavery, the sexual traffic in immigrant Jewish refugee women, often conducted by Jewish men, was a topic that preoccupied Jewish communities in Europe and immigrant communities in North and South America from the s until the outbreak of World War II. Of all Latin American cities, Buenos Aires, Argentina, was cited as a haven for white slavers because it had a system of municipally regulated prostitution from until , when a national law, the Law of Social Prophylaxis, outlawed brothels throughout Argentina.
Jewish women emigrated to Argentina from Poland, Russia and Germany in an attempt to escape poverty and religious persecution. Pressed into prostitution by inflexible religious laws such as those regarding agunot anchored wives unable to obtain a divorce , the economic desperation of entire families, and the belief that wives, even those married under false pretenses to pimps, should obey their husband, they were among the groups of immigrant women most at risk in Buenos Aires.
As immigrants in a predominantly Catholic society, the Jewish community in Argentina—the largest in South America—became very concerned about reports of Jewish criminality in any form. The claims of white slavery, Jewish pimps, and Jewish prostitutes shook the community to its very core, and every attempt was made to separate the Jewish criminal element from the larger community, including banning them from synagogues in Buenos Aires.
In the Jewish community held a public meeting to discuss the implications of street protests in Jewish neighborhoods against pimps and their relatives. Wherever he stopped in South America there were Jewish women in brothels, many of whom spoke Yiddish, and most of whom were Russian or Polish Cohen , 1—