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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

NJ Shidduch Group Hosts Singles Shabbaton

Jewish singles from all over the United States and Canada will gather in Englewood the Shabbos of November 20-21, Parshat Vayetzei, as part of the North Jersey Shidduch Group’s Shabbaton. Organized in conjunction with Dine-n-Meet, YU Connects, Saw You at Sinai, Match Point, Congregation Ahavat Torah and East Hill Synagogue, the shabbaton is intended for Jewish singles of all denominations from ages 28-38, and is expected to attract up to 80 guests.

The NJ Shidduch Group has been in existence for approximately 15 years, with the same women working together to happily pair Jewish singles for the long term. These women, from Teaneck and Englewood, include Cookie Fischel, Chaya Goldsmith, Yvonne Kuzniecky, Heidi Leifer, Toby Parker, Esther Scharf, Amy Spivak and Helen Zelig. These women came together out of a shared love of bringing companionship to singles.

“I started introducing people who ended up getting married,” said Goldsmith. “They told their friends, others found out and people came to me. Once I had made a couple of successful matches, I joined some of the community-based shidduch groups. I got together with these other women who had similar ideas, and our North Jersey group was formed.”

In addition to her local group, Goldsmith is also a part of the Los Angeles, New York City, Five Towns, Riverdale, Teaneck and Englewood shidduch groups, enabling her to share her group’s expertise with singles in various communities. Together with the other women in the North Jersey group, Goldsmith brings close to 30 years of expertise to matching singles worldwide. These singles include those who have never been married, divorcees and widows/widowers of all hashkafic levels from non-religious to “black hat.”

To date, Goldsmith has made thirteen successful matches, and she looks forward to many more. The group’s website has 2,000 singles currently signed up, with more joining daily. The services are free of charge and the women all work on a volunteer basis.

The women try to keep track of their successful matches, staying in contact via phone or email whenever possible. They shep nachas when one of “their” couples has a baby, and love to tell stories about how the matches were made.

“I was at a simcha and met a lovely woman who I introduced to my husband’s cousin. They are now married with children,” Goldsmith said with a smile. “Another time, one of our group was at a wedding and complimented someone’s scarf. She was an older single and when our member told the story to the group, another member mentioned a single cousin. They set them up and they got married,” she continued.

The plan for the shabbaton is to connect like-minded singles and allow them to get to know one another. Dine-n-Meet will filter the participants to find compatible singles to dine together and will then arrange for groups of eight singles to share Friday night dinner in the homes of members of the Englewood community.

“Intimate dinners with eight compatible singles seemed like a good number,” added Goldsmith. “We hope to have someone for everyone at each of the meals.”

After the quiet dinners, the entire group will gather for dessert and “speed gaming,” after which everyone will retire to prearranged homes within the local community for the night. On Shabbos afternoon, there will be a kiddush lunch for the group, and the Motzei Shabbos activity will be a “special, exciting social event,” held at an Englewood home. Follow-up matchmaking will be available.

The cost of the shabbaton is $55 and reservations must be made by November 16 at 1 p.m. at www.dinenmeet.com.

For more information, visit the group’s website at northjerseyshidduch.org or [email protected].

By Jill Kirsch

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