Shidduch Resumes and Bottlenecks


By Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin MA

We live in a world driven by data and research but at this point since Shidduch [matchmaking] Resumes are relatively new inventions there is no hard proof whether they help or not. Entire sectors of the Frum [Orthodox] and Charedi worlds do not rely on any sort of Shidduch Resumes. So far no one has heard of a “Shidduch Resume” in any sector of the Chasidisha or the Israeli Charedi worlds. So that makes Shidduch Resumes unique to the English-speaking American Yeshiva world.

The families of Roshei Yeshiva, of Maggidei Shiur, prominent Balebatim in America do not seem to be using Shidduch Resumes, while everyone else in the English-speaking American Yeshiva system does rely on them because it is the only way the limited number of well-known reliable Shadchanim can “get to know” and try to process the hundreds if not thousands of requests for Shidduchim [dates/matches] that come their way and they therefore have been the ones to require and promote the use of written “Shidduch Resumes” to find the needles in the haystacks, so to speak, to make good Shidduchim.

But where does that leave everyone else who is not as Choshuv [a important person] or wealthy and do Shidduch Resumes help or hurt the Hammon Am [Jewish masses]?

There is of course no research on this subject (yet) and I would welcome any and all feedback and responses as to whether people in the English-speaking American Yeshiva world feel that the now-universal use of Shidduch Resumes is helping or hindering the Shidduch[dating] process and if it does or does not contribute to the now well-known Shidduch Crisis.

Allow me to share from my own experiences. When our oldest son was considering dating plus minus less than a decade ago it was only girls who were required to have Shidduch Resumes. By the time our last son was dating in recent years both girls and boys needed to have a Shidduch Resume. As the common wisdom goes it is generally boys who are flooded with the resumes of girls it seems and from our experience we were at one point sitting with dozens of resumes approaching the hundred or two hundred mark. At that point my wife asked me to alphabetize the printed-out resumes of girls we had received via Emails and Faxes because they had piled up and created a virtual “bottleneck” since we could not sort through them due to volume.

Spending a few hours I took out a thick marker pen and put the letters of the alphabet on each actual resume and not on the cover letters on Emails that Shadchanim would often send. It was a very thick pile and it needed updating every few weeks to incorporate newer resumes. I happen to be good at organizing things but I asked myself what if someone is not that organized, or what if people cannot print out the resumes from the WORDs or PDFs or Emails they arrive in? What if they get lost or thrown out or some such? One loses track of where the resumes came from or who Emailed them. No doubt everyone has their own experiences, sometimes there are not enough resumes coming in, or all the resumes are not what you are looking for. It is complicated. You begin to realize what Shadchanim are going through as they have data bases with thousands or even tens of thousands of resumes to handle and process and at the end of the day it is only a handful of proven dedicated Shadchanim who come up with the (hopefully) prize picks that will get the best attention and best results of course (hopefully).

It is a miracle that anyone gets married this way!

So my advice is to be very organized, read resumes carefully, do not ignore any resumes and do not be quick to judge or misjudge a resume because it’s just a “needle in a (digital) haystack” but it is the needed needle that is about your eligible son or daughter, and just as you would want to get the best attention for them because you care about them, try to give the best attention to someone else’s son’s or daughter’s resume and try not to contribute to the bottleneck but to alleviate it as best you humanly can, with the help of HKB”H!

To be continued…

Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin lives in Flatbush and is the Director of the Jewish Professionals Institute and his wife Zahava, although they are not Shadchanim, have counseled many in the area of Shidduchim and dating. He can be reached at or718 382 5610 and 718 382 8058. 

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    • You are obviously not involved with the saga of Shidduch Resumes for your children and try to help them get married. I am going out on a limb to share our own experiences in the hope that others can benefit and learn something from our own ten year effort to marry off all our children and this subject of Shidduch Resumes is very central to the whole Parsha of Shidduchim in the American Fum Black-hat Yeshiva Velt and in the world of Bais Yaakovs.

  1. perhaps the frum community needs to employ full time professional shadchanim under one roof. a shiduch organization which has the time and manpower to be on top of the thousands of resumes. If shadchanim can be employed full time in a professional manner they can put their full strength and focus on churning out more shidduchim. instead of being overwhelmed with resumes, professional databases can be created to help find suitable matches.

    we already have organizations which help for referrals for medical purposes. is this no less important?

    • Indeed, but right now the way the situation has evolved is that there is no such “central” organization and there will never be one any time soon.

      What you do have right now is a system of a minority of official full-time Shadchanim who are swamped and hard to reach and hard to get to work for you all the time, and then a majority of unofficial Shadchanim which is basically anyone who is willing to Redd a Shidduch, such as relatives, friends, rabbis, rebbetzins, colleagues, associates, etc.

      I have been receiving some questions about using social gatherings “singles events” and Internet “dating sites” but I have made it very clear that currently that is not allowed by any Rosh Yeshiva or Posek or Mechanchim and Mechanchos in the Frum Yeshiva and Basi Yaakov worlds. While that option may be open for secular Jews, for the Modern Orthodox, for some Baalei Teshuva (if allowed by their Rebbeim), and perhaps for some older singles or unconventional people who cannot work with the formal Shidduch system, there is no way that the official American Yeshiva and Bais Yaakov Velt allows that and all are required to abide by the given rules and that means that anyone is free to use the existing system of formal and professional Shadchanim and Shadchantes, or anyone may use the unofficial Shadchanim and Shadchantes which could be any person in the Frum community you are part of.

      The truth is, if, as I stated in one my earlier articles, that if everyone would pitch in and care for everyone else then we would have the perfect system of Ve’ahavta LeRei’acha Kamocha, and people would be Redding Shidduchim to each other as naturally as they go to Shull, shop for Kosher food, and do all the things that a Frum society does together and for each other and that therefore means that we can avoid creating yet another “shidduchim” bureaucracy that will just be as imperfect as all the other organizations that cannot solve uniquely human problems.

      One cannot “outsource” the solution to our problems, we need to fix them ourselves, with the help of HaShem of course!

  2. Leitzonus is always appreciated in comments on an article, especially when the
    author probably put a lot of work and time into it, and is only trying to help people.

  3. Good Morning, America! I’m a shadchan in Eretz Yisrael and what do you know? Here we use so-called shidduch resumes, too. The Israelis may call it something else, and may not fill it out as completely, but I’ve been using my personal “questionnaires” for a long time now. (Actually, I was surprise to see it called a resume, which is indicative of a potential employee, somehow more demeaning.) I prefer to consider it a way to get to know the person, who he is, what he’s looking for, and how far he’s willing to look outside his dream for his spouse.

    • Gut Voch “L” and thanks for your response.

      But I have to tell you that you only prove my point that in in the Isreali Charedi world there is no such thing as a formal Shidduch Resume that is created and written NOT by the shadchanim like yourself who are perfectly right to have their own system for organizing people and information about prospective “clients” the parents and singles that come to them for help to find their Basherts.

      What we are talking about here in America is something very different, whereby the Shadchanim have gone a step further than what you say you do in Israel, and now require that anyone who comes to them — unless they are very Choshuv or rich — even then they may still demand a Resume to work with you and help you find Shiddduchim.

      So yes, this is something unique to the North American Frum Yershiva Velt (so far) and is a real Nisoyen for many people, and it gets worse because sometimes it becomes a “substitute” for real Hishtdalus and Mentschlichkeit of everyone feeling an Achrayus to Redd Shidduchim and not just leave it to what the professional Shadchanim do with their own records or what they now require of others to do to get entry into their doors.

      As that old saying goes, it’s time for a deeper look to see how we can all improve things to help our singles get married and stay married and build their Bayis Ne’eman BeYisroel, Halevai by everyone, Amen!

  4. What’s the big deal?
    Shidduch resumes just list super-generic information and names/numbers of references.

    If there was no shidduch resume, you’d take the info over the phone, write it down in your own hard-to-read handwriting, and have the same info. They include the convenience of it being typed up already.

    I do not get the purpose or point of this article.

    • Thank you for your interest, and for your question, namely “I do not get the purpose or point of this article.”

      The answer is both simple and complicated.

      It’s “simple” but sad, that we have a so-called “Shidduch Crisis” on our hands in the Frum world, which by another name is known as the “Singles Crisis” everywhere else.

      What’s “complicated” is that no one is sure, or agrees on what is causing the Shidduch Crisis, and how to fix it, even though there are lots of opinions and points of view from all sorts of people, from Rabbonim and Gedolim, to columnists, pundits and almost every man and woman who has to deal with it, either for themselves or on behalf of a single child looking for a good Shidduch.

      When there is a problem, as there is with this so-called Shidduch Crisis, then it does not matter where along the line of its parameters and outlines one chooses to stop and “dig” or investigate what is going on. To use a wild example, when an investigator is examining the site of an accident or disaster, then one looks for any and all evidence so to speak to come up with clues and solution as to what happened, what went wrong, and how to prevent it from happening again. For example after the Titanic ship struck and iceberg and sank, there was special maritime commission set up and iceberg patrols were introduced to avoid any such accidents again. Of course today we have satellite images and technology that helps to prevent ships from smashing into icebergs in the middle of the ocean by accident. We are grappling in the dark to find the keys to stop and prevent any more Shidduch Crises from happening and so far we haven’t gotten there yet, but it does not mean we should stop thinking and trying find ways to discover what is causing the problems and the cure for it so other people will have safer voyage and easier time finding their Bashert!

      Having just B”H married off all my children in the Frum world, and having experienced many chapters in this long story, I thought it would be helpful to start by focusing the discussion on seeing what connection there, if any, between the Shidduch Crisis and Shidduch Resumes as I explained in my first article in this series “The Shidduch Crisis Was Created by Humans” that lays out the beginnings of the discussion, and then followed up by the second article in the series that gets more into it: “Shidduch Resumes & Shidduch Crisis” and now this article, that is part of that series.

      I received very good feedback to the first article that encouraged me to look into this subject a little deeper, such as:

      “Rabbi Rudomin, I have just read your article on regarding resumes and I wanted to say thank you! I’m currently in shidduchim, and have been for ten years, and find the whole emphasis on the résumé to be demeaning and counter to how Torah Jews should be living. (I agree, if its helpful do it! More the idea that people have become as you wrote ‘PDFs and docs’, and that people are forgetting that we rely on Hashem!) It was a breath of fresh air to read the article and a relief to know that this is being shared in the frum world. Many thanks once again and hatzlachah in all you do….”

      So please stay tuned, and don’t jump the gun, because as anyone in the Parsha of Shidduchim knows, especially people first getting into it, the use of formal Shidduch Resumes can be challenging and very confusing, and it does not get easier, if you have had any experience with this, you would know!

  5. Rabbi:

    What happens when you are matched by a shadchan and the boy or girl is at a difference level of observance than you, but otherwise it is a good shidduch? The girl has good midos and yichus (comes from a good family) and the young man has a parnasah so that the couple can have a life together? Or what happens when a marriage partner becomes more/less frum? Can shalom bayis still prevail? What if the couple still love and care for each other and don’t want a get? please advise.

    • Dear Gedaliah thank you for your questions, my answers follow your comments below starting with “YR” thanks!

      “What happens when you are matched by a shadchan and the boy or girl is at a difference level of observance than you, but otherwise it is a good shidduch?”

      YR: Any Shadchan has a responsibility to do the right thing, and if they are making wrong types of recommendations then stay away from them and use a better Shadchan. If it was a “good shidduch” then by definition it would mean that they were and are well-matched and suited for each other on their “level of observance” which is usually what happens in the Frum world. The type of scenarios you are talking about, although they can happen in the Frum world, are more common outside of the very Frum circles, such as among Baalei Teshuva or among Out-Of-Town crowds where there is more mixing between Jewish people of different levels of observance, meaning people outside of the main Frum population centers.

      “The girl has good midos and yichus (comes from a good family) and the young man has a parnasah so that the couple can have a life together?”

      YR: Again, hopefully, in any marriage not just a Jewish marriage, the girl has good human qualities that she can contribute to a successful marriage in her own way, being good managing a household and taking care of her children, husband and other responsibilities and hopefully she is not an “arm chair” “back seat driver” kind of person but she must also have strong practical skills to be a successful wife, mother and of course a true Eishes Chayil. And the husband must be more than just a “money making machine” and “cash cow” he too needs qualities of good character and kind personality because nobody wants to be married to just a mindless uncaring cold “CEO” but also for him to be a kind, caring, honest, warm, Ehrlich human being, who is a Yerei Shomayim, Kovei’a Ittim LaTorah and a be a Baal Chesed. So all of that would go into making a good Shidduch, but if either them are lacking the practical as well as the spiritual and moral qualities then they are obviously starting with deficits and need to reconsider because life is a very hard journey and if you are matched up with a person who is not on the same page as you in all ways, it will spell trouble and stress on the unbalanced marriage. Marriage is not about “fixing” your spouse, or sitting back and living it up, it’s a very hard job and has many demands, it is a partnership between two well matched equal human beings working hard together to build a life and future and Bayis Neeman BeYiroel relying on each other with the help and blessings of HKB”H for without His help nothing can be accomplished in the end!

      “Or what happens when a marriage partner becomes more/less frum?”

      YR: This happens among those who are becoming Frummer with time, sometimes less Frum, and among Baalei Teshuva all the time and for this they need to be under the guidance of a wise and competent well-seasoned Kiruv rabbi and Rebbetzin because they deal with these kind of issues all the time and know how to resolve them in a practical way! Personally I am against divorce when this happens because sometimes with the wrong advice the one becoming more religious gets more intolerant and starts getting into all sorts of Chumras that are not for them, while in truth here are always peaceful ways to resolve everything where there is love and good will among all the parties.

      “Can shalom bayis still prevail?”

      YR: Yes! With good will and love, and Siyata Dishmaya, it can always be achieved and maintained.

      “What if the couple still love and care for each other and don’t want a get? please advise.”

      YR: Nobody can really force anyone to “divorce” or to “love” in the kind of world we live in today in the USA. Some questions need to be taken to the highest Rabbinic authorities and Poskim who are familiar with Sholom Bayis disputes for guidance as to what to do. Sometimes in combination with couples therapy with a well known and reliable therapist who will not inflict more harm to the relationship, as I said I am against divorce. Sometimes therapists can be unhelpful and at other times they may be of help. Caveat emptor, meaning “buyer beware”! It is best not to involve meddlesome relatives and friends and even well-meaning nosy bodies and outside rabbis who are not familiar with the situation. It is important to hear both sides carefully, it is always 50-50 in any relationship in spite of what it may appear to be, there is always the other side of the story and coin. Every situation is unique. I hope you have a rabbi or rebbetzin you can trust who can guide you in these matters and who knows what they are saying and doing in such complex matters. Thank you!

      Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin.

  6. Rav Rudomin

    For the record, writing from the Dati Leumi community in Israel, and with two boys post-yeshiva/army “in the parsha” BH, resumes are becoming increasingly popular, used by parents of both boys and girls to share information with each other – most don’t gather hundreds of resumes, but just a couple after asking friends/acquaintances for ideas as who would be appropiate. Like any tool, it is only effective based on the information included – is it simply a larger Rolodex or does it give a glimpse of the special unique neshama that it tries to represent. And here in lies the challenge …