What happens when you mix five eligible men with five compatible women in a lively Zoom conversation? Lots of dates, for one thing. YUConnects’ “Zoom with Whom?” virtual social events have been on a roll since Pesach. With an average of four events a week and a remarkable 60% “match rate” (or follow-up dates), this innovative meeting opportunity will undoubtedly continue beyond the pandemic era.
The YUConnects matchmakers facilitate the session, and the participants are asked a series of icebreaker questions that invariably stimulate some interesting discussions. Those tuned-in are pre-selected to ensure compatible religious orientation and age range. By the time the 45-minute session ends, everyone has become friendly.
Mindy Eisenman, Malky Galler and Naomi Landsman, the YUConnects staff connectors, have often remarked that “Zoom with Whom?” leads to more dates than after typical singles events. When asked to follow-up with a phone call or personal Zoom date with someone from the group conversation, most people agree readily.
“It is easy. It is fun. What have I got to lose,” said one 25 year old Zoom attendee.
The popularity speaks for itself. More than 400 people have already registered for the “Zoom with Whom?” sessions. The difficulty has been in accommodating applicants, as each event is small to ensure that everyone can speak and meet. As word has spread, communities (whose members live everywhere from London to Toronto to Israel to the West Coast) have asked YUConnects to assist them in setting up similar social venues.
“That’s what we are here for,” said Dr. Efrat Sobolofsky, YUConnects director. “We are happy to teach others and facilitate even more matches. One of my husband’s former students already drove down to Maryland twice from New York City to meet a young lady (in a socially distant manner) after first meeting her in our Zoom room.”
Marjorie Glatt is the special projects coordinator, YUConnects.