By Yehudis Bluming
I felt compelled to submit a response to a previous Op-Ed about Shidduchim, addressing some frustration in the Shidduchim space.
As a little background, I was raised in a home where I watched my mother Mrs. Rochel Heber A”H live and breathe the world and work of shidduchim.
Fast forward to 2023.
Her sensitivity towards shidduchim has left an impact on my life. It is just too painful watching the scene of seeing so many singles 2,500 over 25 years from our very own anash community.
How many parents and singles have such heartache and sleepless nights as they journey this stage in life.
As years pass conventional methods of the shidduch scene become less and less effective the longer someone is “on the market”.
They are constantly being invited to their friends’ simchas, celebrating their children’s milestones, and it is way too crushing.
It’s a natural desire and yearning for a person to find one’s match and settle down to start a family, – this is the obvious.
After investing hundreds of thousands of dollars on our children’s education, all too often we see older singles leaving the fold simply because they don’t fit in, or feel that their community doesn’t have anything to offer.
Yet What was startling, however, was the aforementioned growing number of older singles without a concrete plan of action to do anything about it.
It was time to take action and change a shidduch crisis to a shidduch revolution.
About a year ago my husband and I together with a group of askanim and Rabbonim in crown heights founded an organization called Shidduch Influencers.
As Shidduch Influencers, we made it our mission to empower each and everyone of us to become shadchannim, or at the very least a spokesperson and advocate for a single friend, cousin or sibling, making sure they are constantly on someone’s radar.
Our motto is:
”If you see someone, say someone!” It takes a village!
Additionally, we have invested financially heavily into compiling lists and creating comprehensive databases, dealing directly with schools, seminaries, yeshivas, community leaders, and the leading shadchanim in our communities.
We have produced and released over 60 educational podcasts directed at older singles and their families, with the intention to encourage, educate, empower and ensure our children have the chance and happiness they do deserve! We have offered gifts and incentives for suggesting shidduchim with the knowledge that every suggestion can be one step closer to hitting the jackpot for the single.
We regularly host networking and singles events, and while the financial investment is considerable, we are pleased to report over 20 Shidduchim in our first year!
What would a couple pay to have even 1 child?
Imagine we magnify that question, WHAT WOULD WE PAY TO HELP A COUPLE TO THE CHUPPAH AND RAISE A FAMILY OF MANY CHILDREN?
With all these programs and initiatives, finances should not stop us from helping to build families!
I applaud whoever it was who wrote that previous article and I can understand the frustration with constantly being told “iyh by you”, it really can be devastating.
But we have been taught as Jews and Chassidim that there is never an obstacle placed in our way that we cannot overcome.
Don’t get me wrong, this is absolutely not a problem that will go away simply by throwing money at it. But maybe, just maybe if we were able to add a little bit of fuel to the fire and do all we can as a community to transform a shidduch crisis to a revolution. With all of us becoming shidduch influencers, we can turn 21 Shidduchim in year 1 to 50+ in year 2 and even more, with Hashem’s help.
Today, I ask each of you to join the bandwagon and help financially however you can, so we can look into the eyes of our sibling, friend, coworker, or roommate with confidence and say you are not alone, we will hold your hand and help in every way possible until they walk to the chuppah.
We should celebrate many simchas this Year!
Visit their website to view our ongoing projects and resources https://chassidiclife.com/.
To support the Shiddch Influencers Initiative, click here.
This initiative is a great stepping stone for reaching greater heights. However, we have tried to access and become part of the influencers (and to be added to theist of influencers on ChabadMatch) and were repeatedly questioned if we were an official shadchan or not. We thought the whole point of this new channel was to allow others who aren’t necessarily shadchanim access a database in order to match up singles they have in mind or have seen in shul, neighborhood, etc…. I don’t know if this has been just us or not,but all in all, this is a wonderful… Read more »
“It’s a natural desire and yearning for a person to find one’s match and settle down to start a family, – this is the obvious.” This is not true. Not everyone feels the desire to settle down and have a family, therefore it is not natural. If someone does not want to get married or have kids, they are not “outside of nature.” It is perfectly normal to want to either stay single or childless, and there is nothing wrong with you no matter what those in the community or society may say.
Yet the first chapter in the Torah says otherwise-
We are here mandated by the divine to create blissful Jewish homes
Sichos in English, Volume 31, to the graduates of Beis Rivka
“Every woman has this innate sensitivity and essential soul-longing to build her own family, blessed with sons and daughters, whom she will be able to raise and educate.”
It may be hidden and underused but it’s there.
Don’t be the person who stands looking at the sign offering piano lessons and yell angrily, “I don’t want piano lessons!”
Yes people should be sensitive but what your saying is less than 1% of people
This is the way Hashem created the world to be. Just because you don’t like it, it doesn’t change the facts.
Like who is paying the ten tuitions???
Our society needs to look in the mirror. The expectations, for some are too much.
Children are a beautiful and most precious gift. Is there a balance???
is this really being written on a “chabad” website?
does anyone have a clue what the Rebbe said about family planning?
I’m so touched by your care for something that you have no personal gain other than simple Ahavas Yosroel. It’s so true we all need to think and help our friends and family to make an impact and change the shidduch crisis.
You breathe so much hope and optimism in this space
I appreciate you clarifying how the funds are used
I have donated and will encourage my family
Amazing work you both do!!!
This was written so well straight to the point
Our motto is “One true friend is better than twenty shadchanim”! Al Achas Kama v’Kama several true friends.
A true friend is a bracha from Hashem. Definitely helpful for a shidduch.
Has anyone ever considered that marriage may not be all it’s hyped up to be? If we didn’t put such an unworthy emphasis on someone’s marital status then we could avoid this “shidduch crisis” completely. If we stopped viewing marriage as the pinnacle of human existence then singles would be allowed to be singles. They could pursue other interests and grow in other ways without the guilt/pressure of marriage breathing down their necks. I would recommend married couples honestly discuss their relationships with their single friends, because life does not magically get better after marriage. You’re still the same person… Read more »
I supported the cause ! We can’t just kvetch about the shidduch crisis yet actually be part of doing something about it. Thank you for making it a community issue for us all to have to help and worry about
Thank you for sharing all of the details of what is being done and how much they cost! Transparency is so helpful when trying to direct limited tzedakah dollars.
“all too often we see older singles leaving the fold simply because they don’t fit in, or feel that their community doesn’t have anything to offer”
Some shadchanim are respectful and some really contribute to why people leave the fold.
Your hair is too short, too long, send me poses like this, be like that, do like this. Fling profiles around. Suggest kohanim to divorcees, fling pictures… We are people with souls and feelings.
Is that what Hashem wants??? Would you treat your child like that???
i agree, for the most part. i am a kohain and had divorcees suggested to me.
But it’s been over 10 years since i even heard from a shadcin.
i have pretty much given up finding a wife.
I know it’s hard, and seems impossible. But remember, Hashem really is in charge, and He can make anything happen! I’m struggling with some legal issues now, and this is what I keep telling myself. Chazak v’ematz!
I support this cause and believe we all need to do soemthing everyday to help at least one single , network with friends, suggestions ans ideas, share friends resumes But an even bigger issue is the fact that shadchanim and even parents “gatekeep” names based on their own idea of who’s worthy and which family is more mchubadig for that family. If you would directly suggest these names to the singles they would possibly go out and even marry. So let’s stop deciding who’s yichus goes with whomever pedigree and who’s beauty goes with whomever financial success and actually make… Read more »
There are many very special, sensitive, insightful, mentchlich boys and girls out there, who work hard on themselves ….. because they have issues to overcome, and many also take medication,
it is so difficult for them to get a date, bc people are not educated enough in this topic and so they stay away. What is going to happen to these wonderful boys and girls???
Yehudis is amazing!!!
Please accept this as corrective criticism = Incentives are a Nice idea but there has to be some reason and explanation given when a name is suggested. For a shadchan or influencer to simply send out profiles is a ridiculous concept. Wasn’t appreciated and takes away energy and interest in doing research on a suggestion that is well thought out.
Your single events are a wonderful channel. Keep up the good work.
Some times these suggestions are most valuable as their are ussually coming from friends that thought of their friends. Can’t get better than that
Zalmy and Yehudis, keep it up!!I feel like I’m seeing your mother in action.yehi zichra Baruch.
the only thing I don’t understand is why someone would NOT make a suggestion if they had one…
Rochel Heber A”H was such a dedicated shadchan and made so many of my childrens shidduchim. I miss her dearly! Her legacy truly lives on!
I have posted many times asking who help for shidduchim for young sadly divorced women to find their zivug and happiness. No one has sent info for that. Who do we turn to? Suggestions please?
She has something going for every age in lubavitch!
A real shlucha!
Hasn’t been my experience. Please do share who deals with divorcees that are in their forties
Great work. On another note, there are some singles that have been ‘burnt’ in the system, they have gone out, met like minded people, and it didn’t work out for whatever reason. Not sure throwing more names at them is the full solution, certainly important, however, at this point there may be confusion, comparing, uncertainty, may be a lack of trust that this is best for them, or other things holding them back, so they may need other help besides for names. They may need a guide, mentor, friend, that they can go over the process with for as long as… Read more »