Post-Article Remarks From Reb Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz


shlomo-yehudah-rechnitzFirstly, I’d like to thank those of you who took out the time to read the article. It is my fervent hope, that iy”H this will serve as an impetus to the change we so desperately need.

As this issue at hand is at the forefront of Klal Yisroel‘s collective mind, I am extremely encouraged by the 1000 + responses that were received via email and forums for public comments. This assured me, without any doubt, that everyone would like to be of help in some way (even if it was just with another idea).

As I haven’t had the time as of yet to read each and every one of the responses, there are two observations that I feel I need to share.

1. I received at least three emails from “older” girls, who were very hurt, (and rightfully so) that I mentioned the harrowing statistics that face single girls over the age of twenty five. I can only imagine that some of those girls were not aware of the percentages, and some of the girls who did know, preferred for obvious reasons not to be reminded. I’m now sure that quite a few Shabbosim were ruined due to my lack of sensitivity.

This was not a complete oversight, but I should have probably discussed it with someone that has a lot more experience than I do. I thought about it long and hard before including those statistics. I assumed that while most girls would prefer it not be that blatant, they would understand that I was trying to convey this unprecedented catastrophe in the strongest possible terms, evoking the strongest reaction from the reader, thereby ultimately solving the real dilemma.

All parents cringe (and some even cry) as they watch a pediatrician administer a vaccine injection into their baby who is shrieking, looking to their mother for “help.” Obviously the parent realizes that this pain is temporary and will hopefully fend off a more severe, lengthy and painful illness.

It was exactly for this reason that I offered the $10,000 incentive in the immediate subsequent paragraph. I projected that this proposal would cost me a few million dollars (hopefully more), but I hoped that the girls would understand that we were going to do everything in our power, and iy”H be successful in substantially changing those statistics.

In addition, I decided yesterday that I would put together and fund a group of three shadchanim whose sole focus would be to find shidduchim for girls over the age of twenty four. (I plan on this group being ready within 60 days.). However, thinking back, I should have shown more sensitivity, or perhaps written it in softer words, and for that I ask any girl who was offended, to try to find it in their heart to be mochel me.

With that I’d like to rephrase my words from the original article. “With the help of askanim and the roshei yeshiva, all girls over the age of twenty five will iy”H find their bashert in the near future.”

2. There were several comments that placed the blame of the “shidduch crisis” on the roshei yeshiva. While I can understand how such a misconception can arise, I can personally attest to the inaccuracy of those beliefs and assertions.

Firstly, the main reason I am focusing on this issue, is due to the constant requests and pleas that I receive from the roshei yeshiva. When meeting with roshei yeshiva and this issue comes up, you can literally see the anguish on their faces.

The problem is that there is absolutely no rosh yeshiva today, who has close to the power, to persuade his bochurim to diverge from the norm. Until most yeshivos implement a new system, any single rosh yeshiva, as a yochid, who tries to persuade his bochurim to make such a rash change, while other yeshivos maintain the status quo, will be written off as “not with the program” and has a good chance of losing his bochurim with nothing accomplished. I don’t even believe that there are any three or four roshei yeshiva who can collaborate, attempt to implement a new plan, and be successful. Any new ideas, systems or changes, would have to be undertaken by a large percentage of yeshivos to be successful. It is for this reason that the roshei yeshiva are tirelessly working together with the askanim to develop a cohesive group of yeshivos to act quickly and develop a program that solves the crisis without compromising the high quality of today’s bochurim. I’m confident that, iy”H, we will be successful.

Shlomo Yehuda

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  1. Just one question, why was there no mention of HKB”H in the entire article? Don’t we all believe that at the end of the day Hashem is the one that’s in charge???

  2. During the holocaust the Bobever Rebbe z”l who had papers as a goy went to Hungary to tell people what is happening in Poland. Not to make them feel bad but to warn them that if they do nothing then the same thing can keep happening. Go hide run away or get goyishe papers. Some listened and saved their lives. In the ghettos it was too late to make changes. Be”h Reb Shlome yuda will be matzliach to get 1000 22 year old boys,1050 21 year old boys & 1100 20 year old boys in shidduchim and the crisis will be”h be over. Let that boy 23 year old + beg for a date with the older girls. Hushing up the crisis is a bigger crime than publicizing it. This way people know how to correct it. Most Rabonim say MITSVAH LEFARSEM. The silent majority demands change. Reb Shlome Yuda keep up your great work, Lman Bnos Yisroel

  3. thank you, not only for the letter but to be courageous enough to come back and apologize
    when one bears in mind the statistic, and knows, that it was given in a way only to help- it hurts less

  4. Your a great guy and do great things for Klal Yisroel BUT the age gap thing has NEVER BEEN PROVEN EMPIRICALLY.

    Mentioning one unnamed high school somewhere in the USA is not scientific proof.

  5. Yes Reb Shlome Yuda they don’t want the boys to go to EY after they finish the US Yeshiva, but they cant stop them because the boys want to go. Any bocher that is ready to ask the U.S. RY if he should go YES or NO and is ready to accept NO, NOT TO GO his RY will say NO not to go. However the Erets Yisroel Roshai Yeshiva will say YES come and stay as long as we can
    The issue is not blaming but doing. Reb Shlome Yuda keep doing your great work of convincing boys to start younger. Lman Bnos Yisroel

  6. Just to clarify. My intention is not a business idea. I’m talking about this issue of shidduchim. I have an idea that I think is worth discussing .

  7. I don’t understand I have a 21 year old bh who is going to learn in eretz yisroel
    while hes a great kid all around he does not want to go out now he is not ready for marriage
    face it if he goes out now and gets married he could have a child by 22
    that’s an awesome responsibility
    hed have to be crazy to take that on now
    to push the boys to marry very young can and will backfire
    as they are not ready for the responsibility

  8. I must add my admiration of R’Shlomo Yehuda. Someone who has emunas chachamim, ahavas Torah, AND is successful in his business ventures AND who knows what tzedaka means, this is a yochid b’doro. I don’t mean there aren’t others. But Hashem is obviously shining on R’ Shlomo Yehuda and for that we must thank him AND do all we can to help him. By the way, does everybody realize how many nigguim we sing from him at our Shabbos tables?? To find such a neshama today, makes me so happy to be a Yid! #11= in the Mishpacha article, there was an interview with his Lakewood assistant. He gave his contact infomation there.

  9. This “crisis” is utterly ridiculous and man made.
    statistical “age gap” problem is crazy! It completely denies the whole concept of “bashert”. I guess 40 days before one is born, a bas kol cries out that ploni will marry ploni, but only if they are the same age.

  10. just one question….and i hope not to insult anyone. I can understand if a girl does not have yichus, pretty, or rich which is not under her control. what I can’t understand why i should have rachmonus on a girl or boy who is overweight. educate yourselves in proper nutrition eating whole foods naturally without all the diet sodas and checmicals etc…AND YES YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT ! It IS under your control. A good place to start is to read “if it’s not food, don’t eat it” by kelly hayford”. Until then, ……..

  11. To letter # 2
    Hashem already bashert the shidduch, gave the first mitzvah and the Halacha of age 18 to 20.When Americans pick up from the goyim to decide on their own that the age is 23 they are not listening to Hashem & the Halacha. They mess up their bashert. According to the Ari z”l if someone sins he does not end up marrying his bashert. Its like a ganev stealing and saying it is bashert for him to be a ganev. Hashem c”v gives him that Parnosah. Just listen to Halacha, and to the recent of Reb Shlomo Yuda. Boys must start younger. Lman Bnos Yisroel

  12. There is no need to apologize. The truth hurts sometimes and, frankly, sometimes the girls themselves need to hear the brutal truth. In any case, it is critical for the rest of us to hear this truth and to be aware of the stark statistics.

    As for your second point: People love to blame “The Rabbis.” My argument is that if everyone listened to the Rabbonim there would be no talking – or texting – in shul! For all the talk about loyalty to Daas Torah, the sad fact is that many people, lulei demistafina, simply do what they want or what social pressures tell them to do.

    A few other comments:

    1. Anyone who denies that “The Age Gap Issue” is a factor in this Catastrophe is sorely lacking in basic math skills. Nonetheless, it’s not the only factor in play. To my mind, the only crisis we have is an Entitlement Crisis, which has created numerous other “crises.” Young men and women feel entitled to what they believe they are due, and will not “settle” for less. This has helped foster the Singles Crisis for both men and women.

    Entitlement is also a big factor in the uptick in divorces. When dreams fall short of expectations, and life starts to get hard, many people believe they are entitled to a better deal. They want to get out quick and start over. There’s no sense of commitment.

    2. The same parents who are desperate for a date for their daughters and complaining about “The System” are the very same parents holding their boys out for the “perfect” girl, treating them like precious china dolls, and allowing them to build up long lists of potential dates. Then when it’s their daughters’ turn they complain about how hard it is to find a boy!

    Very few people have only sons or only daughters. Yet, they don’t seem to see the hypocricy in how quickly they jump to the other side of the fence when it suits them.

    3. Another possible add-on to Mr. Rechnitz’s suggestion is to encourage boys to only date in their age range, say, up to one year younger. If a boy does not want to go out until he’s 23, fine; but he shouldn’t go out with girls younger than 22.

    Of course this isn’t any more enforceable than the other ideas. But, through a combination of takonos, social pressure, and financial considerations (eg, kollelim that only accept boys who married within their age group), this idea might gain traction.

    It would also help with the unfortunate backlog of girls, who are already in their early 20s.

    I’m not sure which article your referring to? In both the original one and the above one it is mentioned a couple of times. Go back and read it without your HATING glasses on. HATERS ARE JUST GONNA HATE.

  14. There is no question to the great sincerity and mesiras nefesh that Reb Shlomo Y. shows and DOES for klal Yisroel. But to say that the Roshei Yeshiva cant do anything? Really? They sem to be in a different neighberhood each week raising money so that they can have bigger Batei Medrash and more people moving to and learning in Lakewood! How about stop the building up of Lakewood and stop taking in all the talmidim and be more strict about what boys should be doing with their lives

  15. Kol hakovod to reb shlomo yehuda I do have a suggestion instead of giving 10k to shadchonim maybe if you can offer it to the young couple themselves, i think it would be a great incentive to get boys to start dating at a younger age knowing they will start off life with 10k in the bank maybe helping them learn an other yr

  16. Please insist to any Yeshiva that you support, that every bochur that reaches the age of 20 must submit a resume to a group of 3 shadchonim. It does not mean that the parents must listen right away but the boy knows that pretty soon he is in shidduchim. He will start behaving like a mentch right away. If something good comes up and the parents think it something to consider usualy the boy will want to start shidduchim. After all Hashem created humans with an inclination to want to date and get married. Once a shadchen has access to the name and gets a few good shidduchim going, just watch how fast the whole class grows up, matures, shtiegs, and ready for shidduchim. Once the rest of the class is in shidduchim Be”H the crisis is over.$$$ people please tell the RY you don’t want to be guilty of causing bnos yisroel to stay single. You will only support them if every bocher submits a resume @ age 20. BeH the crisis will be over.

  17. Let the ‘guys’ respond
    I’m a twenty seven year old boy currently learning in Bais Medrash Gavoah of Lakewood. There are hundreds of us, and, believe it or not, we too all would have liked to have gotten married yesterday. It might not be a “Catastrophe”, but it’s definitely a crisis. We too feel the pain of loneliness, and, let me tell you, it isn’t easy watching your former classmate walk his four old son to kindergarten. Thank God we are able to keep ourselves occupied with Toras Chaim, which instills our hearts with the purest joy, and through this tremendous gift from above, we can allow our minds to escape our sorrow. But, let me tell you, it isn’t easy.
    Are we to blame? Are we not traveling across the globe to meet girl after girl, time after time, again and again? Are we rejecting the girls so much more than the girls are rejecting us? All boys will confirm that a twenty year old girl is just as prone to reject a boy, whether before the actual date or afterward, as the boy will reject the girl. And, yes, many of these proud female ‘dumpers’ end up being the daunting addition to some latest statistic – and “those picky boys” are left out and about to carry the blame. Does a girl have the right to demand a tall, broad, dark, handsome, masmid – who is also “with it”, major lamdan, best boy in yeshiva up until she turns twenty five; and then approach the nearest ‘askan’ with tears running down her face, begging him to look around on the other side of the mechitza for a boy that would be willing to date her?!
    You want to change a successful system while there are still thousands of boys all waiting, and begging, to date just about anyone? Older boys have a fairly difficult time getting dates too! (I know you’re all assuming that I’m probably some loser who, nebuch, can’t get a date for the life of himself and thinks this is a universal problem. But let me assure you, what I’m writing here could have been written by, at least, a few hundred boys in Lakewood.) The facts are that the older boys get the more open they are to dating an older girl. Granted it’s still hard to get even an older boy to date a girl his own age, but I have yet to see a twenty five year old boy reject a twenty two year old girl, or a twenty seven year old boy reject a twenty five year old girl.
    FYI: Shadchanim DO NOT give the same amount of time to older boys as they give to fresh boys. Gone are the days when the shadchanim would greet me with a smile on there faces, opening their files to allow me access to their ‘lineup’. When a boy hits twenty five the shadchanim avoid him like a plague, running from him as if he was a contagious disease. I don’t think they are to blame and I totally understand them (and would probably do the same if I was a shadchan). The facts are that it is easier to match up a younger girl with a younger boy, people, boys and girls, are simpler at a younger age. The Shadchanim need to make a livelihood, and even the simplest businessman realizes that it’s smarter to invest your time with a higher probability of a profit.
    One more point I’d like to make is that, sadly, I personally find that older girls, over time, lose their respect for Bnai Torah, and for Limud haTorah in general. Many girls, even those who wanted ‘very long term learners’ when they were twenty, by the time they hit twenty four will not date a boy who does not have specific ‘financial plan’. I don’t know why this is? It may be the environment of the workforce, the fact that they forget the values they picked up in their year in seminary, or simply a reaction of their bitterness toward the system, but, in any case, the conclusion remains the same: there aren’t many older girls available and up to par for an older, serious learning boy.
    With respect,
    Just another Irv Boy

  18. In response to number 20
    If you can offer the money to the young couple themselves, if a boy 23 or older marries a girl 1 year younger!!!!

  19. When my sons were in shidduchim, and I told the Shadchanim that i would help 50%, I WAS A TZADDIK.

    when my daughter was in shidduchim, and I told the Shadchanim that i could only do 50%, I WAS A SCHNORRER AND MY DAUGHTER WOULD NEVER GET MARRIED!

    go figure!

  20. Number 15, weight is absolutely not in everyone’s control and you are quite wrong to differentiate from the other issues such as money and yichus. Some people are born with the bracha of an active metabolism and some people are not. Some people gain weight as they get older and continue to sit around without dates. Some people are to blame. You never know and cannot judge. Thank you REB Shlomo Yehuda for your initiative – I hope it works to stop the spread of the problem and save Klal Yisroel.

  21. R’ Rechnitz, my hat’s (figuratively) off to you. I have had some serious issues with the age gap and the rhetoric but coming from you, I will rethink. I do have a few questions:
    What of chanoch l’naar? Why don’t boys go to E”Y when it’s part of their organic growth? Will pushing it off till after marriage just create added stress to a young couple in shana rishona if, quite possibly, neither party has ever been in E”Y and navigated life there?

    And I really, truly feel your pain when you say that the roshei yeshiva don’t have the authority. Is it possible to invest in a movement of individual hadracha, training mashgichim, the development of relationships between rebbe/r”y/mashgiach and talmid, with the involvement of their parents? I have long wondered if, were that present, the shidduch age gap crisis would be less acute.

    Tizku l’mitzvos and may you and your extended family see nachas and simcha.

  22. You did not sign your name but
    I will quote a big asken in the crisis “when a girl stays single at age 27 she is a victim of the Shidduch crisis. When a boy stays single @ 27 it`s because he is a Baal Gaiva and a Baal Taiveh” You are expecting more than your market value. There are thousands of older girls out there. If a shadchen would sign his name on your story maybe I would believe some of your story.

  23. #25. irv boy,
    I felt that I had to respond to your post.
    There is more Emmes in this well written post, than there is in countless “shidduch crisis” articles I’ve read.

    I’m responding because you wrote, … you’re all assuming that I’m a loser…” I did not think for a second that you’re a loser! I suspect many other readers here agree with me and also know the truth. As you mention, there are older single guys out there as well. And a lot of girls- yes, the ones with the tears in their eyes- are indeed, as you call them (a bit inelegantly, but accurately) “dumpers”.
    All the hype and hysteria has led to some shadchanim willing to give time to older girls; they do not pay attention to the older guys. Every word you wrote is true.

    I sincerely hope that Mr Rechnitz, and the others who wish to help bring people together to build Jewish homes, will pay close attention to you. There is a lot more needed here than mathematical formulas. We need some real change in the dating system we have created;
    change that will only come when the problems are analyzed with cool heads and open minds, listening to all sides.

    Thank you for being brave and articulate enough to present your thoughts!

  24. To number 25 Irv Boy

    I do feel for you.
    Firstly, there are six times as many single girls than older single boys.
    The Age Gap is the cause.

    Secondly, I find it hard to believe that most of the older boys could not get descent dates
    in all the years that they are in Shidduchim.
    Most are picky or need guidance to be realistic when looking to marry.

    A boy who turns 25 usually is one who is not really committed or confused.
    No wonder a Shadchan will avoid setting him up.

    I set up an older Bochur with a girl and was so embarrassed by the boy who acted as if he
    was Prince Charming.

    Just as Lakewood has a freezer, it should also have an exhaust for 25+ who are stagnating in the Irv.

  25. Reb Shlomo Yehuda AMV”S,

    With all due respect, there is a serious flaw in the scaling calculation of the age gap.

    Suppose 100 boys 24 years of age marry 100 girls of age 19, then 100 boys of equal amount – in that same age group of 19 – are now at a surplus when they hit the age of 24.

    While those surplus of 100 boys now have an even larger pool of younger girls to choose from, should they all choose girls of age 19, then once again you have the same 100 surplus of boys when they hit the age of 24, and the cycle stays the SAME!

    Simple math states that so long as there are equal amount of boys to girls there is an equal amount of unmarried boys as there are unmarried girls.

    The question then really is this: where are those unmarried boys??? And the answer is NOT that they went off to marry girls of a larger pool – because that is not answering the question of where the UNMARRIED boys are. And as noted previously the age gap does not compute.

    The 1 and only marketing rule is ALWAYS supply and demand vis-a-vis the price for supply in respect to demand.

    The fact that many more girls are looking for the same quality “Ben Torah” boy then the market supplies for in a timely manner is by and large THE major contribution to the “catastrophe”. This becomes compounded by the age gap, since the girls hold on to their value system much longer then the market retains the product (the “Ben Torah boy”).

    While I’ve conceded that the age gap plays a role in this issue, the real problem is much more complex. In fact, this author believes that unless the seminaries (shut down or) teach girls a different perspective on WHO to marry, on the contrary, if you close the age gap the problem may compound itself.

    I would suggest for all the askanim to think really hard about what this simple and humble author stated in the aforementioned.

  26. Why would a healthy man who is shomer mitzvos avoid getting married until some silly arbitrary age of 23? After all, CHAZAL and our own physiology would most strongly disagree. Perhaps the “off the derech” epidemic has something to do with the above.

  27. Number 29 – I’m sorry to differ but metabolism is controllable. Let’s see these same overweight people do an hour of walking a day and not lose weight. Let’s see them substitute all their junk foods for whole foods and not lose weight. Let’s see them line up by a certified nutritionist. Sorry, I don’t buy it. The level of tayva is so strong (due to their sugar addiction which can be overcome in a week by abstention), that these people prefer a piece of cake & soda over a spouse. I for one do not pity them. Sorry, for being so harsh but this is the reality.

  28. I have 6 younger friends who applied to the Mir (Yerushalayim) and were rejected and told to come back in a year because they’re not yet 20. Maybe R’ Shlomo Yehudah can speak with the Mashgiach, and ask for this new policy to be changed as I don’t think it’s helping with the changes he’d like to implement.

  29. Being that most bochurim want to go to Lakewood, wouldn’t a partial solution be to only accept bochurim to Lakewood who have not yet reached 22 and a half? Many bochurim will thereby come back sooner from EY or not go altogether.

  30. The math is correct. Your post is flawed.

    The reason…..

    There are far more children age 19 than there are childrend age 23

    The reason….

    population growth.

    now re-read your post…

    or better

    Ask that it be deleted…

  31. $10,000 to get a girl over age 25 married to a younger guy specificaly? what about $10,000 to get her married off , period ! ? if she faces an 85 percent chance of not getting married once 25 , were now going to try pushing younger guys to her as opposed to boys older then her? makes no sense !

    Youd be far more effective by offering the $10,000 to the boy himself where if boys were to consider older woman based on the cash incentive, then the chances are then much larger for the girl to marry after age 25.

  32. to #2
    IY”H refers to HKB”H. He is mentioned many times in both articles, and if you know R’ S.Y.R. you would know that his every move is for Him.

  33. To all those people who commented on the email address-The email address in the article is that of Yisroel Friedman, not of R’ Shlomo Yehuda

  34. To commenter 35:
    You write:
    “…..While those surplus of 100 boys now have an even larger pool of younger girls to choose from, should they all choose girls of age 19, then once again you have the same 100 surplus of boys when they hit the age of 24, and the cycle stays the SAME!”
    You clearly do not understand the math. The cycle DOES NOT STAY THE SAME. In order to understand why, you need to fully understand the difference between adding on additional AMOUNTS vs. adding on additional PERCENTAGES. Do you remember learning in school about compounded interest???
    If you put $100 in the bank at 5% interest, the first year you will earn an extra $5. The 2nd year you will NOT earn an extra $5 but rather an extra $5.50. You need to fully comprehend why this is so, in order to understand why each year the age gap causes a surplus of girls who are dating. Our community grows each year by PERCENTAGE not by AMOUNT. Please have someone explain it to you. Your math is completely wrong.

  35. To “all due respect”, There is a serious flaw in your calculating method. Your argument was, that the cycle repeats let’s demonstrate: suppose you have 100 girls of age 19 in the entire population to go along with 100 boys. how many 24 year olds (boy or girl) do you think there will be? Well assuming they are jewish, we will have (for arguments sake) 90 of them. Lets take your example of the one hundred 19 year old boys. When they turn 24, they will be facing 110 girls in the shiduch market. So the 100 boys of 19 years of age will remain at 100 until they turn 24 years of age. Now at that point they have a choice of 110 girls now aged 19. So, please explain me, to whom those 10 “surplus” girls will go. There is no surplus of boys! As far as your analysis of the shiduch crisis, you claim that the girls are all looking for the same ben tora. But that cannot be the case since at the end of the day, the boys are marrying SOMEONE. So if the age gap is NOT the issue, the question remains at large, WHERE ARE THE BOYS?

  36. Mr. Rechnitz. You can withold all donations to yeshivos in Israel if they accept American boys over 20. That’s one way of getting boys not to go.

  37. Irv boy:

    As a mother and a shadchan, I can say that every word you speak is true, except for the part about shadchanim not wanting to deal with you (at least in my case). My heart goes out to you, since not only are you single, you also have to deal with comments like, “it’s easy for the boys”, “are you picky?” and, “do you even know what you want?”

    IY’H you should soon find the right one, who will appreciate all your years of learning, and all that you have to offer.

  38. to number 25

    the older girls don’t loose any respect for learning
    these girls who are out in the workplace are very machshiv learning but they have finally woken up and realized that you don’t have to be learning full time to be a learner
    at 27 you should be working or in school

    “veasafta deganecha” is in shma we say it everyday

    a girl out of seminary at 19 is still under the influence
    but a girl in her 20’s mature etc realizes that one can go to work and learn as well as is not necc looking for a 27 year old who cannot support her etc and will not become the next rosh yeshiva

    the system has to change your rosh yeshiva is doing a disservice to you

  39. I just finished reading all the comments; do the posters above not realize how ridiculous it is to sympathize with an “older” single girl, but blame an “older” single boy? Just in the past week, I have been told point blank by the mother of a “older” girl that looking into the boy I’d red “just isn’t a priority”, by two girls that she is “too busy with work” to date, and by one that she don’t want her resume given out to anyone she has not already looked into. I’m not implying that it’s the fault of most girls that they are single, but neither is it the fault of most boys. Maybe they are each single because the proper shidduch has not yet been red. It’s often the case that when a couple gets engaged, the shidduch had not been thought of by anyone previously; it seems it just wasn’t the right time until then.

  40. My math is 100% correct.

    The popular belief about the shidduch crisis stemming from the age gap is more like an optical illusion.

    So long as the population for boys and girls is more or less the same, it is mathematically IMPOSSIBLE for the population growth to have any role, whatsoever, in this crisis.

    The population growth only has a snowball effect on an already existing problem, but it itself is NOT the source to the problem.

    While I concede the age gap and rapid population growth perpetuates the problem, it is NOT the source to the problem.

    THE major contributing factor is a supply and demand cultural problem and that IS the fact that hundreds more girls are taught to seek after the relatively few, Ben Torah, boys, and by the time they turn around (at 24 which happens very quickly) and realize that there were only a few such boys around, it is late in the game, and their age becomes one more consideration against them. (Since most boys do in fact prefer younger girls)

    Compounding this problem is our cultural stigmas which is further which is further compounded by the age gap and population growth.

    Think of two Russians playing chess, each of them takes an hour to make a move. The game becomes “never ending”. Our society is busy snooping under every judgmental corner, and as the clock ticks the chances for these girls to find those few, high quality boys become dimmer and dimmer.

    I KNOW because I sat on Shidduchim panels, and I heard from 26 years old girls how they still wanted that Ben Torah boy, or wished they had thought about it differently from the get-go. Go ask any honest Shadchan and he will tell you that THIS is the source to the problem!

    By way of illustration, add to this the fact that, R”L, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of boys who are “at risk ”, on the streets or working, and hundreds more enrolled in “at risk yeshivas”. Ask yourself honestly – how many girls entering the shidduch market are willing to consider those boys?!

    Now ask yourself another honest question – suppose we close the age gap to 19 – 20, what will happen to all the girls – who were not willing to consider any other such boys – when they reach the age of 21+ – and there aren’t boys around to marry them?! Hashem Yishmor.

    The solution to this problem is to effect a change on the cultural stigmas that have swept us, so that the chess pieces move around faster, and we avoid what we have today in our circles – a stalemate.

    V’Hamaivin Yovin

  41. Hi, I’m a shadchan and would like to reach R’ Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz. How can I contact him regarding this initiative? -Thank you!

  42. #50 & #52–
    You both post under the name “Shadchan” so I’m guessing that’s what you are.
    And it shows!
    It takes a person with experience in the field to comment in a truthful, practical way. I would like to suggest that Mr Rechnitz, who is blessed with a great heart and unparalleled devotion to the klal, should consult with people in the field who can give insight into what’s really going on in the world of young men and ladies in shidduchim. That way we can try to help all our young people, male and female, find their way, in a respectful manner, to their own batei ne’eman.

  43. In response to WHERE ARE THE BOYS?

    They are in yeshivos. They are in the workforce. They are in your shul. They are teaching in your son’s yeshiva. Look around. There are plenty of older single boys; as Irv pointed out, hundreds in Lakewood alone.

  44. Dear SY,

    I have an idea. Why not get together with a bunch of other frum philanthropist and create a fund that will heavily support yeshivas that follow your plan of having the boys start dating at a younger age. Simultaneously, girls high schools can create an extra grade in high school (ie. 13th grade) where the girls can work on completing their BA degree before seminary. You can offer similar support to the girls high schools that follow these guidelines. This would effectively cut down the age gap by 2-3 years which in turn would alleviate the catastrophe.