Sunday, June 04, 2023

Many people are familiar with the Tinder online dating app and its many variants: Using global positioning technology and Facebook, the face of someone nearby pops up on your cell phone and you swipe right to accept contact information and swipe left to reject. Because they are so easy to use, these apps have swept the nation and turned the world into an online dating universe. Now, the founders of Sawyouatsinai.com, an online matchmaking website, have come up with an app for people looking for more than just a casual hook-up: JBolt.

JBolt is a Jewish dating app for people in search of a serious relationship. “We are focusing on long term relationships and marriage,” JBolt Founder Marc Goldman told the Jewish Link. “We were interested in this ease of use technology so people can use their phones for positive results.”

Once someone fills in their extensive dating profile—age, religious identification, education, etc.—a bunch of matches, or “Bolts,” are sent to his or her phone. Similar to Tinder, they can check out the potential match’s profile and swipe right when interested and left when not.

What makes this app stand out from all other apps is the added element of a matchmaker. The matchmaker screens and reviews each person’s dating profile, making sure the information is credible. They are also responsible to call each person to get to know their personality a bit more. This app is different from their parent company, Saw You At Sinai, since the user has the ability to choose dates for themselves. The matchmaker doesn’t get personally involved until the user has selected a potential match.

Once two people decide they want to go out with each other, the matchmaker confirms that the match has potential and encourages the two to get in contact. The matchmakers are invested in the match—smoothing over misunderstandings, controlling the flow, and ensuring that there is the right focus. “Sometimes [when you’re dating], you just need someone to bounce ideas off of,” explained Goldman.

“With Tinder, a lot of time nothing actually happens,” said Goldman. “You can receive 30 potential matches but half don’t get in touch with you and the other half aren’t what you’re looking for. Here, there’s a matchmaker that’s involved in the process and they make sure the actual dates happen.”

JBolt was created for people across the spectrum of religious observance. “The use of Tinder-like dating apps, although started amongst secular communities, are being used in religious communities today,” said Goldman. “In the initial phase we have right now, we have a lot of Orthodox people. The yeshivishe people should start using it—so many complain how the current system is broken. What would make it different for the yeshivishe community is that the parents would be the ones searching because they control the dating relationship.” Having JBolt used from the secular to the yeshivish is “where we envision [the future of JBolt] today.”

By Bracha Leah Palatnik

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