Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Death of the Matchmaker

February 17, 2011 4:41 pm 1 comment

Matchmakers have taken on various forms through the ages. Photo: moaches.

Although not by any means my area of expertise, some recent conversations about the pros and cons of the matchmaker with some single secular friends, prompted me to put some thoughts into writing.

Made famous by a prominent character in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and even more so by contemporary culture with various TV shows like ‘Millionaire Matchmaker,’ the matchmaker character has long had a place in relationship lore. For some completely irrelevant, for others in more orthodox communities, essential, but for most, whether in person or internet based form, the possibility of involving a third party in the search for a significant other has certainly been considered.

Matchmakers have taken on various forms through the ages, and today the function is largely served online, as the internet dating business is worth as much as 4 billion dollars. Websites are often specifically targeted to ethnic groups and even within those groups they come very specialized. In the Jewish world, while JDate is perhaps the most prominent, websites catering to a number of individual communities have sprung up recently.

With the rise of social media influence and its widespread use, it seems that the role of the matchmaker is rapidly shifting. Whereby originally acting as a point of access and introduction, the role has now taken a step in the direction of facilitator. Even in Orthodox Jewish communities where dating is exclusively orchestrated with the assistance of a third party, the matchmaker is less the starting point for young singles looking for a partner, and more a source of information and coordination.

However for those who have marriage in mind, or think that they might have marriage in mind if the dating goes well, it can only benefit the search to keep in mind that the role of the matchmaker is as much a concept as a profession. In fact the matchmaker concept, that has been a staple in observant Jewish communities since time immemorial, is gaining traction in mainstream society as many young searchers strive for more meaningful relationships.

Although there are many elements to the matchmaking process one of the primary components is the pre screening. For a serious long term relationship to have the best chance of success there are fundamentals that need to be determined to ensure that the perspective couple are on the same page. for example , do they wish to have  children, are they prepared to live in the same locale and do they have compatible values or goals. Determining the answer to these questions will confirm the logical compatibility of any relationship.

Of course there is also the aspect of emotional connection that in most cases develops over some time. What seems to be the downfall of many relationships is when these two components come in the wrong order. Once a couple meet and the relationship takes off, the fundamental logical aspects of compatibility are usually left to be discussed at a later stage if at all, by this point, the emotions can easily tempt the parties to ignore glaring differences. Emerging at a later stage, they can often be the cause for divorce or much conflict and resentment.

The innovation and modern relevance of the matchmaker concept is largely that it provides those involved with the opportunity to find out important background information in advance and make relevant decisions based on that knowledge.

Although the matchmaker is in decline, in an age where there is much disillusionment with the marriage institution due to peaking divorce rates perhaps the growing popularity of the matchmaker concept will help reverse the trend.

The Author is the director of the Algemeiner Journal and the GJCF and can be e-mailed at defune@gjcf.com .

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Middle East Larry King Asks Saudi Arabian Fan If Taking Pictures With Jews Is Permitted

    Larry King Asks Saudi Arabian Fan If Taking Pictures With Jews Is Permitted

    Jewish former CNN host Larry King asked a Saudi Arabian fan if taking pictures with Jews is allowed in his country, before agreeing to pose for a photo with the man, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. The world-famous interviewer was leaving the Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington, D.C. with a New York Times reporter when a “dark-skinned man” approached and asked to take a picture with him, according to the publication. Whereupon, King asked the fan where he was from. When the man said Saudi […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports Britain’s Lord Sugar Says Synagogues Will Be Empty With Yom Kippur Matchup of Jewish-Supported Soccer Teams

    Britain’s Lord Sugar Says Synagogues Will Be Empty With Yom Kippur Matchup of Jewish-Supported Soccer Teams

    British-Jewish business tycoon Lord Alan Sugar joked on Wednesday that London synagogues will likely be empty during Yom Kippur with congregants fleeing to watch the match-up of two leading English soccer teams known for having hordes of Jewish fans. “Spurs V Arsenal cup game drawn on most important Jewish festival,” Lord Sugar pointed out on Twitter. “Both teams have loads of Jewish fans. Conclusion Synagogues will be empty.” North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal FC will go head-to-head in the Capital One Cup third-round […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Jewish Men Pass Jimmy Kimmel Social Experiment, Rescuing ‘Spongebob’ in Distress (VIDEO)

    Jewish Men Pass Jimmy Kimmel Social Experiment, Rescuing ‘Spongebob’ in Distress (VIDEO)

    Two Jewish men were the only unwitting participants in a social experiment conducted by Jimmy Kimmel, for his popular TV show. As part of a candid-camera-like sketch featured Monday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host devised different street scenes to observe human behavior — in particular, to see how long it would take people walking down California’s bustling Hollywood Boulevard to notice and interact with others in distress. One scene involved a man in a Spongebob Squarepants costume who had “fallen down” on the sidewalk and needed help […]

    Read more →
  • Education US & Canada International Jewish Organization Blasts Israeli-Born Star Natalie Portman for Comments on Holocaust Education

    International Jewish Organization Blasts Israeli-Born Star Natalie Portman for Comments on Holocaust Education

    A major Jewish organization rebuked actress Natalie Portman on Monday for saying in a recent interview that Jews put too much emphasis on teaching about the Holocaust relative to other genocides. The Israeli-born movie star told the U.K.’s Independent that the Jewish community needs to examine how much focus it puts on Holocaust education over other issues. She said she was shocked when she learned that a genocide was taking place in Rwanda while she was in school learning only about the horrors of the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel Book Draws Parallels Between Holocaust and Palestinian Nakba, Sparks Outrage

    Book Draws Parallels Between Holocaust and Palestinian Nakba, Sparks Outrage

    JNS.org – A new book that draws parallels between the Holocaust and the Palestinian Nakba (the Arabic term for the displacement of Palestinian refugees during Israel’s War of Independence) has sparked outrage ahead of an official book launch, to be hosted by the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute on Sept. 7. The Zionist organization Im Tirtzu wrote a letter to the institute demanding that it cancel an event it planned in honor of the book’s authors, under the title The Holocaust and […]

    Read more →
  • Education US & Canada Natalie Portman Says Holocaust Education Shouldn’t be Used for ‘Fearmongering’

    Natalie Portman Says Holocaust Education Shouldn’t be Used for ‘Fearmongering’

    Famed actress Natalie Portman warned on Friday against the use of Holocaust education to evoke fear and paranoia. In an interview with the U.K. Independent she added that the trauma should make Jews more empathetic to others who have also experienced hatred. “Sometimes it can be subverted to fearmongering and like ‘Another Holocaust is going to happen,’” the Israeli-American star said. “We need to, of course, be aware that hatred exists, antisemitism exists against all sorts of people, not in the same way. I […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary A Righteous Gentile Navigates the Sharkpool of Washington’s Middle East Correspondents (REVIEW)

    A Righteous Gentile Navigates the Sharkpool of Washington’s Middle East Correspondents (REVIEW)

    The Tribalist, by Louis Marano, is ostensibly a work of fiction but at its core a kind of love song by a gentile journalist for the State of Israel, and especially its secular Zionist core. (Because of the relentless attacks by left-wing polemicists on Israel’s allegedly “messianic” fringe, it’s often forgotten that most of Israel’s founders and all its leaders have been secular Zionists.) The author, the product of an Italian-American family in Buffalo, served two tours of duty in […]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Rugelach Roundtable: Does Beloved Pastry Need Dairy to Taste Good?

    Rugelach Roundtable: Does Beloved Pastry Need Dairy to Taste Good?

    JNS.org – Rugelach (singular: rugala) are a beloved traditional Jewish pastry, with a quirky history to boot, but they often present a kosher conundrum. Though parve rugelach are often a preferred dessert after a meat meal for those observing kosher laws (which stipulate a waiting period between eating meat and dairy), some of today’s most popular rugelach are known for their dairy fillings. Pastry chef Paula Shoyer—author of the books “The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy” and […]

    Read more →