Dating Coach Behind ‘Jewish Matchmaking’ Series Says Finding Life Partner is the ‘Hardest Thing to Do in the World’
by Shiryn Ghermezian
Professional Jewish matchmaker and dating coach Aleeza Ben Shalom, whose skills are on display in the new Netflix series Jewish Matchmaking, admitted in the show’s premiere episode that finding love is no easy feat and in fact the “hardest thing to do in the entire world.”
In the eight-episode series, which premieres on Netflix on May 3, Ben Shalom meets with a diverse group of Jewish singles in the US and Israel and aims to help them find a life partner through the Jewish traditional dating process called shidduchim. She first has interviews with her clients about their values, desires, what is non-negotiable and their hopes for a partner before she sets them up with someone. The show is a spinoff of Indian Matchmaking and Ben Shalom has already helped over 200 couples get married.
“No matter what religion you practice or what country you come from — it’s hard for anybody to find love,” the married, mother-of-five, who is based in Israel and grew up in Philadelphia, told TODAY.com. “Our goal every time is to hit the nail on the head and make a match. Hopefully they’ll live happily ever after.”
Ben Shalom started a legally registered matchmaking business in 2012. Her clients hail from different Jewish religious backgrounds and ethnicities, and she said she hopes audiences will learn more about Jewish culture by watching the Netflix show.
“I want people to be curious about Judaism — Jewish customs, practices and beliefs — and learn more,” she said to TODAY.com. “I think that we have a lot of beautiful customs, traditions and wisdom to share. [The show] is meant for the whole world. It’s not just meant for the Jewish people.”
She also said she talks to her clients about staying hopeful during what could be a long process until they find the right person.
“I think the most challenging part of being a matchmaker is helping people to have patience with the process because matchmaking takes time,” she told the publication. “Like anything, it’s an investment and something we have to work with very closely to get the results that we want. It’s not instantaneous. For me, the most important thing is setting the expectations properly because when people understand the expectations, then nobody gets upset.”
Her own children, ranging from ages 9 to 19, also know that they can turn to their mother for help when they want to get married. She told TODAY.com, “One of them joked with me and said, ‘Well, if I can’t find somebody, I’m not really worried because you’ll just set me up.’ I said, ‘Yeah, exactly!’”