Amazing Shidduch Idea

32

By Moshe Pogrow, NASI Project 

for Matzav.com

Over the last few weeks I have been contacted by no fewer than six shadchanim who have expressed their plans to either quit or significantly cut back on the time they currently invest working on shidduchim. Normally this wouldn’t be to concerning, as there are in general plenty of people happy to redd shidduchim to their friends relatives and neighbors. What was and is alarming is that these six shadchanim are from the very few who are dedicated bilev v’nefesh to spending the vast majority of their waking hours working on behalf of the singles in our communities who find themselves with few shidduch opportunities coming their way. In fact I’d be hard pressed to name another six such shadchanim in the country like them. It would truly be a very sad day for the community if we lost the dedication and expertise of these shadchanim.

 

Anyone even slightly familiar with the shidduch scene with readily acknowledge that some singles are easy to get “yesses” for, others aren’t, and of course there is a broad range. This is an assessment that experienced shadchanim with know very quickly after meeting or hearing about a single. With regards to the singles whom the shadchanim perceive as not so easy to get yesses for, the shadchanim understand the degree of concerted effort it will take to get a shidduch for them off the ground.

 

To think that overwhelmed shadchanim should do this full time as a chesed unrealistic. It wouldn’t be realistic to hope/expect any other busy service provider (plumber/electrician/Lawyer etc)  would devote tens of hours for a particular issue that I need assistance with, and it is equally unrealistic to expect that of shadchanim who are spending hours upon hours each day working on shidduchim and who are pulled in all directions.

 

The very few shadchanim -tzadikim and tzidkanios- who do focus on the under the radar singles on a consistent basis, inevitably quit, significantly cut back their hours, or simply shift their attention to the singles for whom it is far easier to get a shidduch off the ground. This is due to a combination of frustration with the lack of perceived success since most of their efforts on behalf of these singles don’t even end up with a shidduch getting off the ground to a first date! Coupled with the almost non-existent compensation for all their super human investment of time and energy. This happens time and again with large numbers of ex-shadchanim now in the real estate, mortgage or other fields where their expertise and perseverance enables them to help bring home a parnsassah for their families, something that full time shadchanus on behalf of the under the radar singles clearly doesn’t- this includes taking into account the “shadchanus gelt” they receive for each of the difficult shidduchim that they make. This hit me with a thud with these recent phone calls.

 

It is clear, that we as a community desperately need an army of such shadchanim who will spend the vast majority of their time on behalf of the singles who have no one looking out for them.

 

The following two suggestion would go a long way towards making this happen.

 

  1. 1. If a professional shadchan makes a shidduch for a single who has been in shidduchim more than 24 months, then shadchanus should be set at 2k minimum. Depending on the specifics of the shidduch the shadchanus should go up accordingly. The (current) notion of shadchanus being the same for a shidduch where the single has been in shidduchim for three months or ten years, straightforward family situation or complicated situation, a family that will make a takanos wedding or  if they will make a gala, no-holds-barred top of the line affair, is simply unfair and unrealistic. This current unacceptable state of shadchanus compensation is a primary cause why there are so few professional shadchanim who can afford to invest their time in singles who have been dating four/six/eight/ten years. The compensation adjustment needs to be standardized and openly discussed in our communities. Widespread implementation of this idea will be extremely beneficial, it will help those who need the help the most.

 

 

  1. 2. If you know of a particular single who has been in shidduchim for 2-6 years and you are aware that this particular single is currently getting barely -if- any attention from shadchanim, there is an effective tactic that I have seen work many times. Friends/relatives/acquaintances should put together funds and reach out to a number of active shadchanim who are likely to know the kinds of boys/girls who would be appropriate for that particular single. Let those shadchanim know that you understand that for whatever reason it isn’t easy to get shidduch interest from boys/girls on behalf of this particular single. You are asking them to go the extra mile, to put in the extra time and work to find a quality shidduch idea for this particular single. In recognition of their time and effort that is entailed, you are offering them fair compensation should they set up a date and it reaches date #2. I personally would recommend the offers be anywhere between 500-2000 for a date #2 (depending on the specifics of the situation/level challenge for that particular single to be set up), and another 500-1000 should it reach a date #4. This approach of offering fair and appropriate compensation as per the effort that it takes to help the singles whom don’t have an easy time getting “yesses” has proven to accomplish just that. (for various reasons it is best if the parents and single themselves are completely unaware of these efforts).

 

As a community we are quite familiar with the cost of wedding related expenses like the caterer, hall, flowers, clothing, apartment etc, but we have been in the dark vis-a-vis the fair and realistic cost to generate sustained shadchan attention for the singles that are struggling from a lack of shidduch opportunities coming their way. Perhaps the readers would agree with me that of all the wedding expenses, the cost to  generate quality shidduch opportunities for such a single is by far the most important wedding expense.  What I have seen from extensive involvement in this kind of model and after much research coupled with unending trial and tweaking,

is that it costs approximately 7500, – invested wisely as per the above model –  to generate the requisite sustained shadchan attention to bring these singles to the chuppah.

 

I have never spent more than $10,000 on any particular single without them getting engaged. Sometimes despite very fair offers, the shadchanim were unable to get these singles dates-but they surely tried. For the singles who did get set up as a result of the shadchanims focus on them, they are Baruch Hashem engaged without having to go out with too many different suggestions.

 

Generally speaking, for singles who have been in shidduchim 2-6 years and barely go out, all they need is a few date 2’s, one or two date 4’s and Bezraas Hashems they will be standing under the chuppah. All these singles need is a few good shidduch opportunities. This is a model that has been proven to be an effective and reasonable histadlus on behalf of these singles. As such, it would be extremely beneficial for this tactic to be adopted by friends, family (other than parents) to help individual singles. The more widespread this becomes the more people we will have who are enabled to really invest themselves on behalf of the singles who need it most.

 

Od Yeshamah Biarey Yehuda Uvichuztos Yerushalayim.

{Matzav.com}

 

32 COMMENTS

  1. It’s great to think of new ideas.
    At the same time we want to make sure that we don’t discourage people from taking a second date because they may have to pay a shadchan. Many people reluctantly go out a second time and do get married. Why put in another roadblock?

  2. These are GREAT ideas.
    Kol HaKavod!
    There should be an official Shadchonim registry for active Shadchonim who were successful in making a certain number of Shidduchim already. These people should have a dedicated e mail for weekly updates & quarterly conferences.

  3. Excellent idea.
    A lot of these older singles, both the men and the women, are making very nice salaries. If they are truly serious about getting married (sometimes I wonder) they must be willing to pay the price. THEY should be paying the shadchanim. Not their elderly parents. There is no such thing as a free service. The hard working shadchanim also have a life and they have other things to do other than spending countless hours on the phone with you. These older singles should be made to pay, win lose or draw. Who do they think they are? We don’t owe them anything. Plain and simple. They want service, THEY have to pay.

    • you’re right- We don’t “owe” them anything. But chesed isn’t about owing anyone anything. It’s about doing for someone else because they are a member of klal yisroel and this is the trademark of a yid. It’s not “each man for himself” in our circles no matter the circumstances. I wonder if donating money to help an older single get redt shidduchim can come from ma’aser money.

  4. Sorry but this makes no sense, is unfair and not realistic.

    Do Hatzoloh guys who dedicate Leiv Vonefesh to the Klal, get paid? Do Rabbeim who work 24 / 7 for their Talmidim get paid extra because they work harder on some of their students then others simply because that child needs the extra attention? Do doctors get paid extra because some patients need a 2 hour appointment and some need a 30 second appointment? When it comes to Chesed and doing for others (one of the 3 pillars our world stands on) what does the amount of time and effort have to do with the compensation? Are you really comparing Shadchanim to plumbers / lawyers or other professionals?

    Do we find anywhere where when one does a Chesed there must be a financial payment for that Chesed. As a matter of fact because it is not the norm to pay for a Chesed that is exactly why the Shulchan Aruch dedicates a few pages to the halochos of Shadchanus – to teach us that there is an obligation in this particular area and that in fact Shadchanus (translated to hakoras Hatov) is required. However, to put demands and numbers on it is unfair especially to all those who cannot afford it. Are you suggesting that a family with no money will just have to suffer and take a back seat to the richer ones when it comes to finding a Shidduch?

    Do any of these Shadchanim take courses, go to school, get trained, study, take tests and do anything to certify themselves professional? Or do they have Koichos given to them from Hashem, have Siyata Dishmaya given to them from hashem to do the work that only Hashem arranges and only at the exact time to the exact person that Hashem chooses? Shadchanim are Shiluchim of Hashem. Nothing more. After all who a person will marry and when is destined at birth and not based on how hard a self proclaimed Shadchan does or doesn’t work to help a single.

    Perhaps the best approach is to stop thinking it is the Shadchanim who are making the Shidduchim and start re-thinking that it is the people who care about others, who think of others, who try to do for others, REGARDLESS of the circumstances, regardless if it takes more or less time, regardless if they have or don’t have money. Every boy and every girl deserves their Shidduch and it will come ONLY at the right time. It has nothing to do with being picky, paying for dates or anything related to that.

    The same G-D who decides how much money a person has is not then turning to the poor person and saying “sorry, since you don’t have money your child won’t get married”. The same G-D who knows exactly when a person will get married and to who is the same G-D walking hand in hand with that single boy / girl looking for their Shidduch. He has not forgotten any of them.

    If these Shadchanim want out or are burnt out that is fine. It is their choice to stay in the game or not. Either way they choose not even 1 boy or girl will get their Shidduch a day earlier or a day later.

    It’s not always about the money!!!!!!!

    • to oy vei
      your whole attitude is wrong
      the halacha states one must pay the shdchan, but not a hatsolah member or anyone who saves ur life

    • It is very nice to say that making shidduchim should be done as a chesed. It would be wonderful if that could be so. It is not the same as Hatzolah etc, because with Hatzolah, the volunteers usually have a source of income and they are “squeezing” in some chesed in their free time. If someone has a source of income, and also free time, of course it would be wonderful for them to become shadchanim, and there are many people who do. But we can’t expect people who need to earn a parnosoh to become a shadchan, and use shadchanus as their parnosoh, because as Rabbi Pogrow pointed out Shadchonus pays very little per hour. If a community wants to have shadchanim that put in a full days work, they need to somehow ensure that the shadchanim get a full salary like any other profession, or else the most we can expect is that people will try to make shidduchim, as a chesed, in their limited free time, and that is not enough to service the community.

  5. Let me understand idea #2. Pay the shadchanim for setting up dates? Not a successful shidduch? Since when have we ever done such a thing? I understand that we have shidduch crisis but this reminds me of Ronald Reagan’s line…. Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
    And he realized that this didn’t work.

    The best advice I received as my children entered the shidduch phase: Don’t do all the drishus v’chakiros up front. After they go out twice or three times and there is something there, then do the extensive drishus v’chakiros. Saves time.

  6. As the article states

    “Friends/relatives/acquaintances should put together funds…….”

    “For various reasons it is best if the parents and single themselves are completely unaware of these efforts.”

  7. The big shadchanim have made 100s if not thousands of shidduchim already …..multiply by $2,000+ = ……..
    I’m not crying for them as I know they don’t cry for me. I never get a phone call back from any of them and I couldn’t care less if they quit…..

  8. For many years Rabbi Pogrow has been offering numerous suggestions for fixing the shidduchim problems. He is very well intentioned. If desire to help could solve the crisis, his would surely be enough to tip the scales. However, all of his suggestions have one common denominator. Every single one that I have ever seen him suggest involves transfer of more wealth from the parents who most need help to the shadchanim.

  9. I think this is all backwards. I think the new takanah should be there are no shadchan fees other than a token amount of money or gift with a maximum value. Problems do not get solved with money, all money does is push the problem down the road and create new problems in the interim. There should be no professional shadchanim, either a person is willing to do this chessed at whatever the cost is or not.

    • I have news for you, as a shadchan for over 23 yrs…mostly in the chassidish world (and no…it’s not easy there either )if your theory holds water, that either you want to do the chesed (and yes we do, otherwise we would quit….but there’s a but)or you move on, let me let you in on a secret…NO ONE WOULD BE CALLING and ALL OF YOU would be sitting and waiting ON us VOLUNTEERS to knock on your door.

      I work days sometimes from 8 am to 1 am….day after day..week after week.month after month..I don’t give up because I do want to help, but unless you walked in our shoes and tried this..you have no right to an opinion.

      We are not malachim.We are not robots. We take abuse and then some…we are drained and our brains are fried and yet we continue on. Money is not the issue , trust me…it is about people letting us in to even listen what we offer. The door gets closed in our faces. Parents have issues…and children follow. If mom wants a pretty girl rich girl…the Vilner Goan or the Steipler. The list goes on and on. Parents are still involved in childrens lives, controlling them at age 30. I KNOW. I live breathe and eat this every day. They are unrealistic, motivated by the wrong ideals and don’t give shadchanim the chance to help at times.

      There are many things wrong with the system. But more money won’t bring it on, if I’m not the basherta shadchan.I can probe the world and not be successful. However, that being said….nobody is physically and emotionally capable of going on and do this for free. The least we can get is hakoros hatov for the limitless hrs , hair raising…brain fried hours we put in. You are wrong…and I’m sorry. Yes there are a few who do lots and lots at a time. Most put in endless days and years only to do 1 or 2 a year sometimes and work full time and overtime. Walk a mile in our shoes and then we can talk again.

  10. As the article says

    “What was and is alarming is that these six shadchanim are from the very few who are dedicated bilev v’nefesh to spending the vast majority of their waking hours working on behalf of the singles in our communities who find themselves with few shidduch opportunities coming their way.”

    FYI- to consistently make 7 shidduchim a year requires yomam volaila of work. There is no shadchan who can make 7 a year without it being more than a full time occupation. Without any base or guaranteed salary…

    do the math… 7x two sides x 2k. grand total of …… 28,000

    and that’s if everyone paid 2k.

    which they don’t.

    We need to stop focusing on the maybe three biggest names who make a nice parnasaah… this is about tens of other shadchanim …. and within that group… those who are or had been in the past spending eons of times on the singles who are not having it easy….

    This is NOT about improving the quality of life of the shadhcnim….

    This is about ensuring the singles themselves have whom to work for them.

  11. I have no problem with this as long as it also becomes the norm for boys to seek out a wife by themselves in a kosher way if they do not want/cant pay. If you want to use Shadchan then you may need to pay.

    Also I feel one problem with the Shidduchim world is the first date is based on a paper. Sometimes two people can meet who on paper is not a match but the two click very well in person. So not using a Shadchan should also become the norm!

  12. It is unrealistic for a rebbe or someone else struggling with parnassa to pay such ridiculous amounts for shidduch or dates ! Not everyone is as wealthy as the author thinks!
    We made a shidduch recently and would never expect anything close to those suggested amounts!
    People say ” money is not important!” That is correct-if you have plenty of money, it’s not important!

  13. I think the idea is right. However, a serious financial incentive will provide the shadchan too much reason to be dishonest. Trust and trustworthiness is essential for a shadchan to be successful. With this added incentive, we need a money back guarantee. If the couple divorces within two years, then the shadchan would need to return the money. This will help ensure the integrity and success of this type of arrangement.

  14. These shadchanim most probably don’t even get the basic hakaras Hatov. If a shiduch is suggested, but goes nowhere-still thank the shadchan (professional or not) WARMLY for thinking of you/your child. If the Shiduch does begin, but breaks off at some point, no matter how few times they went out, recognize the shadchan’s (professional or not) efforts with an appropriate gift. Basic mentchlechkeit goes a long way on both sides.

  15. Each person is destined to get married. The shidduch comes from Hashem. Everyone has the opportunity to get the zchus of redding the shidduch…you’ll get a “payment” as well. If you want to make money off everything you do then open a business instead of redding shidduchim.

  16. Not sure what the concern is re: Rebbeims etc who can’t affort. That is precisely the objective of this approach. To afford those singles the attention,.

    As the article states
    “Friends/relatives/acquaintances should put together funds…….”

    “For various reasons it is best if the parents and single themselves are completely unaware of these efforts.”

  17. I am sure that many have seen the graph ads, showing that the Yeshivish system keeps feeding 20% more girls than boys, year, after year, after year, into Shidduch Island. All because boys are starting at age 23 and the girls at 19. A four year Age-Gap. The only way every girl will have a chance to get married is by stopping boys and their parents from delaying listening to Shidduchim till 23. Is it only the American Yeshiva boys that are too stupid to listen to Shidduchim until they Shtieg in Brisk Kodshim Yeshivos, or is it American Goyishkeit that allows boys to do whatever, and whenever they want? The only way out of the crisis is by boys starting younger. Please don`t blame the Shadchonim payments. Blame the boys, and their parents. They are the cause of all the torture that Bais Yakov graduates are having to go through.Convince 4 boys to start Shidduchim at 21 and you saved one girl from staying single! Bring in the young boys for the young girls! This way the young take the young, the older take the older, and the crisis will be`Ezras Hashem be over.

  18. to: oy vey.. UNFORTUNATELY IT’S TRUE—CORRECT OR NOT—–POOR OR NOT SO WEALTHY PARENTS DO TAKE A BACK SEAT WHEN IT COMES TO SHIDDUCHIM—ESPECIALLY IF IT’S THE GIRL , BECAUSE HER PARENTS HAVE TO COME UP WITH SOME SUPPORT IN ALMOST ALL CASES…

  19. To “Money back Clause:”
    Your idea is kineged halacha.
    To “A Rabbi:”
    Hard to blame the boys when most mainstream Roshei Yeshiva are not encouraging their boys to date any earlier. Obviously the Roshei Yeshiva disagree with Nassi. Despite the “Kol Koreis” that would have you think otherwise; just ASK the Roshei Yeshiva what they really hold.

    • To “observation”: Your idea is kineged halacha.
      Your claim is in itself kineged halacha!

      There is absolutely no halacha that says that this huge added incentive should be given to certain shaddchanim. Obviously, then, any extra money that they’re given can be given with a stipulation. Just be careful that the good in your ideas are not offset by the it’s pitfalls. Be, humble, proactive and preventative.

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