June 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Medical Conditions Can’t Stop Shidduchim

The road to the chuppah can have many bumps, even for the boy or girl who can check all the right boxes. When there’s a medical consideration, the path can be even tougher to negotiate. Fortunately, one woman saw a need and made it her goal to help men and women with medical conditions find their bashert.

Sarah remembers the day years ago when she first became aware of the problem. A family friend called from Israel, and told her the difficulties they were having finding a shadchan who would help their son with hemophilia, a genetic condition. “Feeling their pain, I launched a search on their behalf for an organization in the Jewish non-profit world specializing in medical shidduchim,” she recalled. “I found a few shadchans working independently
and largely unknown to each other in various and diverse communities who were successfully handling medical shidduchim but doing so largely alone.” One of them was able to facilitate a shidduch for this young man, who is now happily married with a beautiful family.

That could have been the end of Sarah’s story, but instead, it was the beginning. Determined to help others, she recruited specialists in medical shidduchim and this month launched Kesher Networks, a website for singles and their parents looking for help. “We are using technology to exponentially expand the power and reach of shadchanim networking,” she said. “I’m proud that what we’ve created is the resource that I assumed existed all those years ago.” Although based in Brooklyn, Kesher Networks is a worldwide, multilingual resource. Sarah said they are already getting about 40-50 phone calls a week.

To set up the organization, Sarah spent countless hours speaking to doctors and parents as well as shadchanim. Her family was also an invaluable resource. Her husband, a rabbi, reviewed all plans to insure adherence to halacha. A daughter who is in the medical field, and has access to many doctors, helped her speak with medical professionals. “We have a good family mix for teamwork,” she said.

Here’s how it works. Kesher invites Jewish singles from a wide variety of backgrounds who have a physical or mental medical condition to join the network. The singles fill out a dating profile, including information on personality, level of religious observance and medical information. Clients are required to agree to share family references and medical files when the right time comes; however, this information remains strictly confidential until two clients agree to meet. After completing a profile, the client can search the database for potential matches. When a client clicks “Match Me” from a list of potential candidates, a Kesher shadchan is alerted and begins the process of reviewing and acting as an intermediary.

Kesher Networks encourages people with medical issues who are looking for a partner in life to register at www.keshernetworks.org.

By Bracha Schwartz

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