SHIDDUCH INITIATIVE: Roshei Yeshiva Collaborate on Systemic Changes to Address Shidduch Crisis

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A meeting in Lakewood, NJ today of roshei yeshiva was focused on a fresh set of measures to combat the escalating challenges in the realm of shidduchim faced by bnos Yisroel.

At the forefront of this initiative are senior American roshei yeshiva, including Rav Shlomo Feivel Schustal, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Tiferes Yerachmiel of Lakewood; Rav Elya Chaim Swerdloff, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Gedolah of Paterson; Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Gedolah of South Fallsburg; Rav Mordechai Dick, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Heichal HaTorah of Monsey; and Rav Mendel Slomovits, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Toras Chaim of Lakewood.

The effort was inspired by the hadracha of the Slabodka rosh yeshiva, Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch.

The gathering today, held at the home of Rav Shlomo Feivel Schustal on Cabinfield Circle in Village Park in Lakewood, yielded a unanimous decision among the roshei yeshiva to introduce a transformative rule mandating that bochurim go to learn in Eretz Yisroel no later than Pesach of third-year bais medrash.

While the precise timeline for the implementation of this takanah remains to be determined, it is anticipated that these changes will be set into motion once yeshivos have assimilated the new directives.

It was discussed that the burden of resolving the shidduch crisis is not to be borne solely by the bochurim. Young women are also called upon to make significant adjustments, delaying the commencement of their dating by a year subsequent to their return from seminary.

The roshei yeshiva underscored the need for collaboration among both young women and their families, recognizing that shidduch solutions focusing solely on the bochurim will prove inadequate in addressing the overarching issue.

A comprehensive outreach campaign is on the horizon, aimed at persuading and incentivizing young women and their families to embrace this adjusted timeline for entering the shidduch scene.

Further details regarding this shidduch initiative will be disseminated in due course.

Today’s meeting came many years after the NASI Initiative first raised awareness regarding the shidduchim age gap and its devastating impact on the shidduch scene in the American Torah world.

The meeting follows months of concerted effort, tracing back to a pivotal meeting between American roshei yeshiva and Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch several months ago in Bnei Brak.

Later, while in the United States, Rav Hirsch again spoke to roshei yeshiva to address their inquiries and reservations concerning the proposed takanah.



  1. The age-gap crisis has become so terrible, even the Aibishter can’t save the girls and their inquiring mothers. Terrible. Truly terrible. Crisis of epic proportions. Even the normal connected families are terribly effected by this out of control crisis. We must do what we can to bail out the Aibishter. Everything is mikrah. There are solutions for everything. There are segulos for everything. Sorry Aibishter. We don’t need you.


    • My freind, you are being a “nebach apikores”.
      Because while your message is well intended (ANd I too have failed to understand the “shidduch crises”) you cannot disparage Rabbanim Gedolim, (even B’psik Reisha).
      They are the leaders of our Dor and it is folly to assume one is better thought out than they.

      Yes, there are Rabbanim who dont follow this prescribed “crisis” and its fine if one follows their camp.
      But one musnt be so haughty as to be dismissive of what many of Einei Ha’eida consider significant.

      In regard to the actual subject matter,
      the idea that we as people must try to implement the will of the RBSO and not simply say Hashem will take care, is a basic tenet of what we believe.
      This is why its a Mitzva to do Hishtadlus, and why we find repeatedly that even things that were said B’nevua there was still effort and at times extreme actions taken to facilitate it.

    • You are a certified nut job. If the aibershter told us to marry younger like in pirkei avos for example and we don’t listen to him and cause a crisis, how can you blame him that the numbers don’t work?

  2. This is big news and everyone will have a comment here. Afterall, we all have an opinion on this matter. But FIRST, let’s all be careful! These gedolim are our “70 zikainim” of this generation and we must be respectful and ready to accept their guidance.

    • Just like we all have different opinions, so do Gedolei Yisroel. Every person / family should follow THEIR Rov. Delaying the commencement of girls’ dating by a year subsequent to their return from seminary is very shocking idea. If anything, the boys should start a year earlier, which is the correct way al pi halachah too.

  3. No girl will listen.
    They should, but they won’t.

    Raising the starting dating age is the only way to close the age gap.

  4. Maybe we can start the boys going to elementary school a year earlier, like it used to be here in Lakewood when all the boys were bar mitzvah in 8th grade. We may have to adjust that it’s not too hard for them, but we then gain a year on the boys. Keep the girls how it is, or even start a drop later, and you gained at least a year. I’ve discussed this with many people and all thought it was smart. Maybe if we all want that it may work.

  5. I guess that chazal about 40 days before the vlad, a baskol comes out and says bas ploni liploni, was only kidding.

    • When you push away your bashert because you need to fit in the clique of society, you lose. Reality today is, the vast majority care about societal cliques then Torah. They claim it’s Torah, but it’s not. There’s absolutely no reason a bachur needs to spend 3-4 years in American bais Medrash, then 2 years in EY before being “ready” for shidduchim. It’s a loke beyond proportion. By 20 the latest they should be off to EY. If they are to immature at 20, then their parents failed. How is it that a girl is ready for EY at 18, but a boy can’t be ready before 22-23.

      • It’s the parents as well. They are sometimes way too picky for their princess of a daughter. They hold that their 19 year old who just came back from the top seminary in Israel, is the greatest female since Sarah Emainu. They can only accept “Mr. Perfect” for a son in law. And the michutanim must be absolutely perfect as well. The arrogance of some of these parents is astounding.

  6. Just to clarify if you actually read the letter they can stay until 4th year sukos / winter not 3rd year pesach and also it was not mentioned that the yeshiva’s will start excepting earlier at first year bm beginning Elul instead of pesach (the only yeshiva it makes a difference for is Reb Mottel all the other ones already have a first year program)

  7. At the end of the day, not every boy or girl is marriage material. It may be painful to hear and accept, but limaaseh that’s the mitzius. Biderech kllal, most normal emotionally healthy, unpicky singles, with a head on their shoulders get married eventually. Some have to wait a bit. It’s not easy, but it will happen be”h.

  8. “A comprehensive outreach campaign is on the horizon, aimed at persuading and incentivizing young women and their families to embrace this adjusted timeline for entering the shidduch scene”. Perhaps a takanha signed by all of the roshie yeshiva, most importantly including the roshie yeshiva of Lakewood, that girls should not begin shiduchim before a certain age would be very helpful, and just as important, that bochurim not begin a shiduch with girls below a certain age. And this should be enforced by not allowing a bochur who went against this taknah to continue learning in yeshiva, similar to bochurim that violate the “freezer” rule.

  9. How about having the young men and women marrying at the same age like 23 and 24 instead of 20 and 21 so they can actually learn how to take care of their families first?

  10. Why is it a MUST for the boys to go to eretz yisroel ? I do think want to seem like Im going against daas torah, but why does it make sense for girls to wait a year?

  11. Abolish pre-1st date reference checks. Nix parental involvement until after the first date.
    The shidduch crisis is solved

    • Agree 1000 percent! Enough with all the phone calls and phone calls and phone calls. All the checking and interrogation before they even go out once is insane! You can ask a thousand questions in advance, then the boy and girl go out, and after seeing each other, they both decide in the first 5 minutes that they are not for each other. So what did they gain by all the checking and checking???! I’m not suggesting that a boy or girl must go out with everyone that is redt to them. But if the shidduch is being redt by normal people and friends that you know, and they are touting both sides, so GO OUT on a first date and then you can bang your head against the wall with your thousand phone calls! I’m speaking from first hand knowledge and experience with my own children.

      • The singles who survived the Holocaust dated and married without their mothers (hy”d) calling any references.

        Today’s single guys pretend as if it is an issur d’oraisa to try a first date or even acquire a woman כדת ודין without their mothers making any reference calls.

        Worse, in almost every case where references don’t even have the time to answer their phones (such as a bochur’s chevrusa getting married that day)
        , the inquiring party will the nix the shidduch suggestion altogether.
        How disposable.

  12. how about leaving it to our gedolim and keep our amazing ideas to ourselves. Its not up to anyone besides them to make a widespread change anyway

    • Rabbeinu Gershom solved the shidduch crisis of his generation by banning men from marrying more than one wife.

      The Gedolei Hador can likewise impose a cherem on making more than reference call before deciding on a first date in order to solve the shidduch crisis!

      So Ditto what Rav @Ari Rosman said!

  13. How about we keep a real strong eye on the END result and focus on the even bigger issue. Pushing kids not ready to be married, not responsible, with no coping skills, and no prepardness for what it means to be a husband or wife is just creating a much larger issue of bad, broken marriages with way to many divorces.

    The age gap theory is humorous at best, dangerous at worst. It’s not real. No actuary or real statistician agrees or stands behind it. It’s the theory of a bunch of balei batim who have turned shidduchim into a business rather then allowing it to be the process of HKBH. When we send a message to G-D that we can do things better then G-D steps aside and says go ahead and do your thing.

    When the Almighty claims that shidduchim is as difficult as splitting the sea that should be more than enough of a reason to stay far away from deciding how to make it happen. Our job is to redt shidduchim. Just do it. Let Hashem solve the problem. So far ever since we have come up with these shidduch crisis intervention ideas and organizations the shidduch problem has seen no real relief and the divorce broken marriage problem has exploded.

    It’s about time we allow the mesader gittin experts advise us and stop just listening to the mesader kiddushin experts.

    • The age gap theory is humorous at best, dangerous at worst. It’s not real. No actuary or real statistician agrees or stands behind it.
      More than that. Those who studied the topic concluded that there is at most a minor age gap. (1 example is Dr. Yosef Sokol, but there are a number of others.)

  14. ” Aimed at persuading and incentivizing young women and their families ”

    So we need to “persuade and incentivize” the victims of the crisis to get on board and help fix their crisis?

    Do we need to incentivize someone with a broken car to call a tow truck?

    And what if the girls all say: Thanks but no thanks!?

    then what?

    Crisis fixed and the case closed, or does NASI still continue to crowdfund 300K a year anyway?

    Long Time Shadchan

  15. “ A comprehensive outreach campaign is on the horizon, aimed at persuading and incentivizing young women and their families to embrace this adjusted timeline for entering the shidduch scene.”

    Must not be a major crisis if the very victims of the crisis need to be incentivized and persuaded to fix it.

  16. To Anonymous @ 9:53
    So we parents , our sons & daughters ,should just shut up and do as told, huh ? Stop playing gedolim cards.

  17. Bmg had 1613 bochurim rosh chodesh shevat few bochurim in the irv called up all the different yeshivos in America for post eretz yisroel to find out how many guys are learning in yeshivos outside of bmg their is over 50 (yes they where also surprised) shocking but there is more bochurim learning in such places off the beaten path than in bmg close to 2000 not a few hundred which gets tossed around close to 2000 this is not even counting working guys there is no shidduch crisis there is a hashkafa crisis The Irvington monthly article shidduch crisis exposed


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