Shidduch Crisis: Cutting Through Inertia and Red Tape

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By Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin MA

Director: Jewish Professionals Institute
Email: [email protected]

Despite of everyone’s awareness of the ongoing “Shidduch [Singles] Crisis” it nevertheless does not hold our attention at center stage. There are many reasons for this. Obviously life is very busy and there are all sorts of things going on around us with all sorts of personal and community “crises” to capture our attention so that one crisis cannot always be at the center of things.

But all people want to be happy and all Frum Jewish young people when they reach “18 for Chuppa” they and their parents start to worry and work about getting the singles married. This is a major personal, family, community and Klal Yisroel objective. That everyone should find their Bashert and be Zocheh to build a Bayis Ne’eman BeYisroel (“a true [married] home among the Jewish People”).

We talk and talk about it and work hard to get the job done all the time. Then as the years go by there is a group of singles that does not get married, or gets married and then divorced, or tragically loses a spouse to death, and hence the so-called Shidduch Crisis is born and goes into full bloom.

But after all the talk, and articles, and more talk and more articles, an inertia seems to set in. Many people get tired of the topic and quite a few even lose hope, and this then becomes the de facto situation of the crisis being “buried in red tape” and “lost in committee proceedings” so that many people throw their proverbial arms up in the air and just, Lo Aleinu, get fed up and give up!

This goes on all the time unfortunately. Even when Frum newspapers carry Shidduch-advice columns and letters to the editor about the Shidduch Crisis, many people just yawn and move on to the next subject letting inertia take over. Psychological “Cobwebs” and “Red Tape” and ennui ensue.

But for the tens of thousands of parents and their children who are not finding their Bashert Shidduchim for the children after many long and tough years of trying, it is no joke. For the single Bochur or Bas Yisroel who is worrying themselves sick and crying into the night beseeching HaKadosh Boruch Hu to send them their Bashert Zivug Hagun, it is a painful, raw agonizing time.

People in this situation cannot imagine why the world “does not care” about them and why there is so much virtual “red tape” and bureaucratic layers of inertia, callousness and indifference that are standing in the way of greater care and efficiency in smoothing the path to find a suitable husband or wife for a long-time single person when there are today Boruch HaShem so many hundreds of thousands of Frum people among whom those potential life partners are to be found.

To be continued…



  1. Did anyone think that age gap was the only issue driving the shidduch crisis?

    I believe MONEY is the underlying (and ego) are more of a factor!

    People have hard time paying for the whole wedding process especially when they know that this is just the beginning. There are many expenses that come right after the wedding, rent, food, school for the wife .

    Kollel life is beautiful but the girls who become the money maker have a late start.

    They should be getting credits in HS and finish whatever training they plan on doing before dating, secure a job and start saving money for a down payment for a house so when they do get married they can live in their own basement, rent out the upstairs and pay the mortgage.

    If girls would not waste time in HS memorizing things that they will forget and instead prepare for the real world the shidduch “crisis” wouldn’t be as bad.

    There is so much more to say. Common sense has been lost in our girl HS a long time ago. We became ego driven institutions!

  2. Due to many requests, I am sharing these articles with a broader audience. If you would like to receive the articles in pdf form, please email [email protected]

    Tips and Tactics for Generating Sustained Quality Shadchan Attention

    By Moshe Pogrow, Director, NASI Project

    Part I – Introduction, click

    Part II- Meeting the Shadchan, click

    Part III- Getting the Shadchan’s Attention Part I, click here

    Part IV- Getting the Shadchan’s Attention Part II, click here

    Part V- Using Money Effectively and Fairly Part I, click here

    Part VI- Using Money Effectively and Fairly Part II, click here

    Part VII- Using Money Effectively and Fairly Part III, click here

  3. “Tens of thousands?” That is a bit of a stretch. We all know there is a “problem” with older singles but let’s not exaggerate.
    You keep talking about “red tape”. What red tape are you referring to? As the singles get older, the choices for a spouse get narrower & narrower. This is a natural outcome.
    You seem to avoid discussing how they got older & single to begin with. We are not discussing a girl that’s 23 and all her friends got married already. That is not a “crises”. That’s still considered young. I would say when a girl hits 30 and she is still single, then we have a problem. But what happened during those years? What she dating? Was she returning shaddchanims calls? Was she being truthful /realistic in what she wanted? Did she need guidance and refused it because her ego wouldn’t allow it? Here it comes: Was she being picky?! Was she turning guys down, left and right, because he wasn’t Mr. Perfect? Was she dating based on what her Parents/community wanted but not what she deep down wanted? I can go on forever. The point is, THERE IS A REASON why an older single becomes older and single. IT DOESN’T HAPPEN BY ITSELF. It applies to both the girls AND the boys.
    To say that the community just doesn’t care or has somehow thrown them under the bus is not true. We are constantly looking to help our neighbors and people we know with shidduchim. We join the shidduchim meetings where we exchange names and ideas. Kllal Yisroel are rachmonim.
    There is a saying: you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. All we can do is redt them shidduchim. If they refuse to cooperate than maybe they’re just not interested in getting married.
    One last thing. Someone once told me. If someone ELSE is out of a job you call it a “recession”. If you YOURSELF are out of a job you call it a “depression”.
    It’s always easier to rationalize away yenims tzaros.
    Let’s continue to daven that all of Kllal Yisroel should find their richtikeh zivug bimihaira!

    • How do you know why they delayed? They could of had problems, which they’ve gotten under control, & are now ready for the next stage i.e. getting married! ps when they are struggleing with the problems how do you know that if 10% any population would put in the effort they are the world would be a better place!

  4. To Common Sense – Interesting how you have laid the whole problem at the girls doorstep. She is not getting the right chinuch in HS that would cause her to earn enough. She should work hard and put away money for a house before she starts dating. It’s all her obligation!!
    What happened to the boy? He is the one who signs on the Kesuba that HE will support his wife. He has no part in all this? Why?
    So it’s like you said in the begining – it’s all about MONEY – her money or her parents money.
    No wonder you have a Shidduch crisis – this model does not work.
    And it is surely not a correct or valid model.
    You make a Bris on the 8th day because that’s what the Torah says.
    You make a chasunah by the 20th birthday, because that’s what the Torah says.
    You try to do a shidduch based on values, Torah values, and then you try your best – and trust the RBS”O to do His.
    Viola, no shidduch crisis.
    It IS that simple

  5. Rabbi Pogrow, I appreciate your efforts but there is so much more than getting the attention of the shadchanim.
    There is working on the ego and money issues we see in the current situation. There may well be some sort of gap here as far as good boys for the good girls or what have you but THAT IS NO EXCUSE FOR THE MIDDOS GAP.
    And there is nothing wrong with being 22, 23, 24 and a single young woman. What is more demoralizing is not getting shidduchim. I do not believe that paying the shadchanim more will help with the middos gap. We have to encourage our young men to look for young women with whom they can build a bayis neeman b’Yisrael.

  6. As long as girl get off the plane and start panicking for dates at 19 , there will be no end in sight to this crisis.

    So while Rabbi Pogrow’s marqee cause is still the age gap, let it be known that that wont ever change unless girls agree to start dating older.

    Not fair to keep asking the boys to make all the changes like dating older and cutting out Israel, while girls who are the ones with the problem make none.


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