More stark, although perhaps inevitable, is how the crisis empowers the already powerful.
“The men have gotten pickier,” said one male matchmaker, who didn’t want his named used (“I have kids to marry off”).
This marital imbalance has been exacerbated by the overall growth of the community. (Among Hasidic Jews, men and women generally marry at the same age, so this problem has not affected them.), a family magazine, ran a lengthy feature in August on the subject—Title: “Crisis Control”—in which they called single ultra-Orthodox women a demographic cancer “that is metastasizing.” Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz, a wealthy Orthodox businessman, went further, writing in suggested that female singles should consider surgical enhancements, like a nose job.
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(Dena is not her real name—she feared reprisals from men and matchmakers alike). I don’t want to see that picture.’”Aliza, 31, described an almost factory-like approach by some .
When she asked why men kept rejecting her, the matchmaker replied, “Maybe you should go to the gym a little bit more.”Sharon, an Orthodox 40-year-old from the Midwest (also not her real name), told me that another matchmaker insisted they become Facebook friends, and then went through her online photos, deleting ones she didn’t like. She recalls going to an event with another panel of matchmakers in Brooklyn. “One had a binder, one has notecards, one has a computer.
And while you’re talking, they’re flipping through their lists of guys.” The matchmakers asked for information on men she’d dated previously and for the names of married men she found attractive.
They jotted down everything she had to say, but the grilling yielded no introductions. One solution to the crisis, of course, would be to ask ultra-Orthodox men to marry younger, or to marry women of the same age or older.
But in a society that values tradition, there remains little incentive for young men to change. Assimilation is the great fear of Orthodox Jews: the loss of their young, and ultimately their identity, to the wider secular society.
We review every profile on our Jewish dating site and approve only those we feel are accurate and relevant to our members, creating an exclusive community of Jewish singles serious about meeting the right one.Because of the insularity of these communities, no formal research into the issue has been conducted. ’”The paramount importance of marriage in these communities cannot be overstated. In their world, the individual doesn’t quite matter as much,” said Samuel Heilman, a sociology professor at Queens College whose work focuses on the social ethnography of contemporary Orthodox Jewish movements. For the men, it’s about Single women have no role in the organized life of this very communal religion.One anecdotal study, however, done about ten years ago in Lakewood, New Jersey, predicted that for every 1,500 young women, approximately 150 were doomed to not marry. The study, conducted by a rabbi and an insurance analyst, may have employed questionable research methods. “Basically, from the perspective of the community, they don’t really exist,” said Yossi Krausz, an Orthodox journalist for crisis has changed these communities in powerful ways.They ask around about the other family’s connections, check to see if there are any divorces, or if any of the proposed relations have abandoned the community in favor of the secular world.If all goes well, the matchmaker makes an introduction.One chilly afternoon this fall, I met with one of the five Borough Park matchmakers—let’s call her Raisy—in her basement sanctum.