“Dreidel Robbers”: Age Gap Issue Makes it to The NY Post

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age-gap-smallReuven Blau of the NY Post, in a story titled “Dreidel Robbers,” reports (excerpts): There’s an epidemic of kosher cradle snatchers – and a group of rabbis is out to tame them. The Talmudic titans, based here and in Israel, are calling for matchmakers to stop setting up Jewish men with much younger women, claiming the practice is leaving too many older women unmarried.Matchmakers should set up men only with women whose ages are “within a year or two of the boy’s, or even older,” the 60 yeshiva rabbis declared in a letter.

The marriage missive, issued in late September, also suggested that shadchanim — Jewish matchmakers — concentrate on girls “age 20 and above.”

Local singles bristled at what they saw as an implication that women who aren’t even of the legal drinking age are already old maids.

“That mindset is the reason there’s a crisis,” said Allison Witty, 30, a communications director. “Women in the Orthodox Jewish world shouldn’t have an ‘expires by’ stamp on them.”

Sima Greenstein, a volunteer matchmaker in Cedarhurst, LI, had “mixed feelings” about the letter.

“When 30-year-old men say they want a 19-year-old girl, it’s just unfair to the ones who are the right age for them,” she said.

But, she added, “I’m not closing my doors to anybody. There are some 19-year-old girls who want to get taken by an older man.”

About five years ago, the rabbis assembled an emergency meeting to address the growing number of single Orthodox women — the so-called shidduch crisis.

Those rabbis concluded that older men marrying teen women was the primary cause.

They sponsored ads in Jewish publications promoting close-in-age matches. Some even suggested that matchmakers get paid double for making such connections.

Rabbi Shmuely Boteach, author of “The Kosher Sutra,” a relationship guide, welcomed the latest edict.

“Men need to grow up,” he said. “Rather than appreciating a woman who has matured like a fine wine, they often look for someone who is all cover and no book.”

He said he knows many women in their 40s and 50s who have completely given up on love.

“This is getting worse because we live in a visual age. Men are only looking for wrinkle-free women,” he said.

Michael Salomon, author of the book “The Shidduch Crisis,” said the rabbis need to do more.

“I think this [edict] is a feeble attempt to address a situation that has never been addressed properly,” said the Orthodox Jewish psychiatrist from Long Island.

He said the crisis is also reflected in spiking divorce rates and domestic violence among observant Jewish couples.

Singles are being bullied into marriage by pushy matchmakers, the therapist said.

{NY Post}

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. “There are some 19-year-old girls who want to get taken by an older man.”

    Get taken??? Ew. I’m a 19-year-old girl, and I don’t want to be taken by anybody. I want to choose, and be chosen.

    And this was printed in the NY Post? Fine, let the world think that Orthodox women are “taken”. Uch.

  2. According to my research, there is a large number of tall girls who have very minimal shidduch prospects, as there is an insufficient number of boys taller than them.

    Then you have shadchanim who will irresponsbily suggest a short girl for a tall boy, thereby taking another tall boy off the market.

    True, there are a small number of boys who don’t look at height and are willing to marry a girl an inch or two taller than them – but they are very few.

    Some have suggested that we convince boys to date girls taller than them, but it is hard to overcome the natural desire of a man to feel dominant in a marriage, and being the taller of the two contributes to that feeling.

    However, it is clearly very important that we urge the shadchanim to make extra efforts on behalf of the tall girls, and, conversely, consider short girls only when dealing with a very short boy.

    In this way we may somewhat redress the imbalance that has crept into the shidduch world.

    I plan to go around to Roshei Yeshiva and ask them to sign a Kol Korei on this matter, as soon as I can get all the Bais Yaakovs in US to give me statistics on how many tall unmarried girls they have among their alumni.

  3. For the record:

    The Author of the book Shidduch Crisis doesn’t begin to grasp the Age Gap concept as is self evident to anyone who reads his book. Why he is considered a authority on the issue without having even the basic understanding of what is going on is mind boggling.

    I understand that the NY Post has no way of knowing that-but why on earth Matzav gives him the time of day is beyond me.

  4. It is unbelievable how so many people still don’t grasp the basic math that it as the core the of the shidduch crisis. It’s not exactly PHD level mathematics

  5. Thank you comment #4 ‘Mr Anonymous’ for your world class anaylsis of a respectable person, a professional that deals with this and other social issues across many communities.

    Unfortanately, you gloss over the fact that this man is an expert in his field. In other words, he deals with this day in, day out – ALL Day. He doesn’t write on Kashrus, siruv, mikvos, chinuch, money laundering etc… he only discusses that which he knows.

  6. #7

    If you reda his book it is self evident that he knows close to nothing on the topic of the shidduch crisis. His one page attempt to explain the math and disprove it are not worthy of second grade level math.

    Being a professional therapist doesn’t mean that he has any idea what the is at the root of the shidduch crisis. Sorry, I’m not impressed by titles and covers, only by content- of which that book has little.


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