May 20, 2024
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May 20, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

By Nina Glick

Do you remember when shuls hosted events for teenagers and college students and everyone was anxious to go? Remember when a resume was necessary only when applying for a job?

Remember when no one hesitated about inviting a visiting college student or friend’s child who lived out of town for a Shabbat meal without worrying that it was improper because it might not look right having them sit at the same table as their own college-age daughters? Remember when kids who grew up together on the same street remained friends for years despite their gender? Remember when a family friend might suggest to your son or daughter that they met a lovely young person and would love for them to meet each other, and it was considered natural and kind?

We know that today that would no longer be possible until after tremendous scrutiny and investigation.

My daughter could not believe that a person I met casually would ask me if I knew of someone for their daughter. “Why,” she said, “would a strange person ask you that?” Simple answer is that more and more people are getting desperate. If you are 25 and female you may feel “desperate.” As one lady recently said to me, she felt as though she had to “sell” her wonderful daughter to convince people of how special she was, until she married at 30.

Just recently I heard of several situations of couples going out with each other as many as 30 years ago, broke up because they were sure they could find someone “better,” and then lo and behold reunited, hit it off and married.

Many organizations are working on this crisis. There are tons of dating sites reaching out to singles who are usually a drop older. Boys from the New York area have no reason to travel out of town to go on a date, even if the girl seems perfect. Why should he? Instead, with all of his choices, he still cannot find anyone locally. Girls from out of town, desperate to meet their bashert, fly in regularly to go on dates to no avail.

I feel strongly that all of this nuttiness has to stop, and appeal to the local rabbonim to open up their hearts and minds and encourage young people today to cut out the nonsense.

Ask the local rabbonim today how they met their wives, and I can promise you that none of them had resumes. Ask them if they think resumes are the way to go, and I believe that most of them would agree that it is craziness.

Some shuls have gone so far as to hire young couples to meet with eligible candidates from their shuls, with the hope that they might be able to match them with someone they know or perhaps someone else in the shul community. What would happen if these young couples made a barbecue and invited everyone on their radar to come and join and have fun together? So what if it is 15 girls and nine boys? Bottom line is it has to begin somewhere.

We send our children to Israel programs where they are encouraged to not mingle, to marry with the help of a shadchan, to forget what was normal in their lives prior to going to Israel.

Has anyone ever determined what the hashkafot are of the seminaries and yeshivot we are sending our children to with regard to dating? Again, with so many young rebbeim in many of the schools, one should ask them how they met their wives. Some at NCSY, some at HASC, some through their neighborhood or a suggestion from a relative, and a rare few through shidduchim. For those whom the system has worked for—good for you. I believe that the majority would say that it is a daily heartache. For those who are dying each day when they hear that one of their child’s friends just got engaged, I feel for you.

We have got to stop the nonsense, and I think that pressure needs to be on the local rabbonim to, at least in our communities, encourage change by encouraging socialization—and throwing out resumes.


Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected].

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