Shidduch Resumes & Shidduch Crisis

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By Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin MA

If you are, as I am, a regular reader of various frum publications, then you often see articles from various people offering advice or making pronouncements to help the singles situation, and so forth.

From the experiences I had during the time my own children were dating and getting married during the ten years from about 2005 to 2015, what was helpful was getting names of Shadchanim [matchmakers] and trying to get them to help. But my wife preferred relying on a network of close friends and people she knew rather than cold-calling Shadchanim. My view has been more pragmatic, to find whatever works, that you have to TRY, to make the Hishtadlus [efforts], I like to say “you do your best and HaShem [God] will do the rest” and when there were lulls in dating I would collect the names of listed Shadchanim and Email them RESUMES, but at the end of the day that was not what helped us that much.

Communications via a simple chat on the PHONE, or plain Email, or a personal meeting between people has always worked best. Of course this is hard in today’s frenzied times but still, try to go for the personal touch as much as possible!

But something has happened in our English-speaking Frum world in America that more and more people have taken on the mantra that without a “Shiddush Resume” you can’t get a date and that will supposedly leave our sons and daughters single! So we spend hours and days trying to come up with the “perfect” Shidduch Resume and it’s not an easy job and then agonizing who to send it to and who not to send it to and what if it lands up in the “wrong hands”?!

Stop for a minute and ask yourself if we should be putting ourselves through all of this or even more basic how did we get to a point that we have become like the corporate world where you basically can’t get a job without a professional resume and that Shadchanim are some sort of corporate-style “head hunters” without their own lives? What kind of world is that? That idea has now floated and mixed into the mind-set of the English-speaking Frum world that thinks you can’t find a husband or a wife without a Shidduch Resume.

I am NOT advocating dropping Shidduch Resumes, on the contrary, if you need it then get one ASAP, but please do not lose perspective and please do not put your faith in finding a good Shidduch only through a piece of paper or in a WORD or PDF computer document!

With all the many tens of thousands Shidduch Resumes floating around now there is still the ongoing “Shidduch Crisis” and if you just stop for a minute and think about it, maybe, just maybe, there is a link between the “Shidduch Crisis” and the “Shidduch Resume” that tells us so much about ourselves and what has become of us.

After all, in Eretz Yisroel, from what I know of the way Shidduchim are made over there, no one mentions a Shidduch Resume especially among the native-born Charedi Jews of Eretz Yisroel. If you look at the Chasidisha worlds in both Israel and the USA no one seems to rely on Shidduch Resumes. Not to mention the Modern Orthodox world, they would scorn at the very notion of a Shidduch Resume as being “silly” and “unromantic”!

So why and how has the English-speaking Yeshivisha world become so “married” to using Shidduch Resumes over the last ten years especially?

No doubt everyone will have a different opinion, so I will share mine for what it’s worth.

If you look back over the last 50 to 100 years when Jews arrived as immigrants to America, none of them really came with official resumes. Most did not even speak English! Yet, they basically all found spouses to marry, jobs, and places to live and built solid Jewish families that we all come from. They overcame the obstacles in front of them! It may have been hard, but at the end of the day people became successful in business, built nice families and found very nice housing, mostly done WITHOUT any resumes for any of this.

Why is that? The answer is very simple, and it connects with why Chasidisha people and Eretz Yisroeldikka people still do not rely on a piece of paper to find work, a house or a spouse, because they rely on each other, they are connected to each other, they help each other, they feel responsible for each other and for fellow Jews who may need…anything.

As an example as in years gone by, when Jewish people got off the boats to start new lives in America basically every last Jewish relative, Jewish “landsleit” people from the old towns and communities they had once belonged to in Europe and just ordinary Jewish friends, Jewish neighbors and casual Jewish acquaintances automatically took on the “bein adam lechaveiro” [relations/commandments between man and man] and practiced “ve’ahavta lerei’acha kamocha” [love your neighbor as yourself] the kind of Ahavas Yisroel [love of fellow Jews] that flowed in them as naturally as their own blood flowing in their bodies that it was never ever a question that you must help every fellow Jew because it was instinctive and natural to them to help!

In that way, everyone helped everyone else!

If you knew of a Jew looking for work and you knew of a job, you helped him get the job. If you, meaning any Jewish person in a community knew of an available apartment or house and a fellow Jew was looking for a roof over his or her head, you helped them get it, and of course if you knew a single Jewish boy or girl or man or woman, then everyone clicked into action and said “Oh (or Oy!), do I have a nice Jewish boy/girl for you!” That attitude is now gone for too many people. We have lost that human touch and now everything is corporate and cold and impersonal and treated like just another nameless number, like you “can’t” get a job/shidduch unless you have a resume. While that may true in the corporate world it is not always the best way people need to find and get “Redt Shidduchim” [set up on dates] in the Frum world.

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 [email protected] or 718 382 5610 and 718 382 8058.

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  1. You can’t turn the clock back.
    Resumes are not disrespectful. They are helpful tools.
    The very best boys on the market have one.

    • The article is not claiming that Shidduch Resumes are
      “disrespectful” they are only a modern tool, but not an end in themselves and can never replace the human input that must before, during and after they are used.

  2. We have to tackle the age-gap crises with all our resources. This is a terrible development that became so complicated, that only a basar vadam can rectify. If we can solve this dreaded age-gap, every boy and girl will easily find their bashert without lifting a finger. So there you have it.

  3. I take what you have to say very seriously, but I do appreciate the resume. I have sons and I don’t need a “perfect” resume, just enough to get some basic info. And as a mother of boys I also send out a full resume for my sons too, not just my daughters.
    We’ve been in the parsha since 2005 too and things have changed. Shadchanim are simply so strained that the same shadchanim who were very accessible then are not now, and not because my children are difficult in any way.
    Looking forward to seeing how the conversation develops.

  4. The resume’s are creating the shidduch crisis – Period – a young man or woman is not applying for a “JOB” – and perhaps the resume’s are reason the DIVORCE RATE OF YOUNG MARRIED”S ARE SO HIGH – They want to change ‘JOBS”

  5. the purpose of the resume is to get accurate factual info such as names of mechutanim and phone numbers of references. it saves time, and aggravation when you don’t have a paper handy to write down the info from the shadchan, or if you wrote a wrong number down and therefore cant get through to references. Subjective info should never be on the resume, as that requires person to person speaking, so you can hear how the person answers, not just what they say.

  6. Mommy has it right. The resume is just for convenience sake, insteadf of writing down all the information about refernces, etc each time a shidduch is read. The resume should never say what the person is looking for, or personality type. That should be done by the person reading the shidduch, or by speaking to references.

    • You say “The resume should never say what the person is looking for, or personality type.”

      But as everyone who uses them knows they do have that kind of information on them most often.

      You are definitely right when you say “what the person is looking for, or personality type. That should be done by the person reading the shidduch, or by speaking to references.”

  7. Well said, anon, mommy, and nyj.

    I have been the mother of the girl, the mother of the boy, and the shadchan. All my children have had resumes; as noted previously, resumes contain exactly the same information that used to be slowly and tediously dictated to the shadchan, and then by the shadchan to the other side. Having the information already written (which some singles did even before the era when resumes were common) saves everyone time, allowing those of us who’d like to red shidduchim as a chessed (after coming home from to our day jobs) to do so.

    • Yes, you are right, it’s a sign of the times we live in! But by the same token never lose sight of the human factor involved.

      By the way what would you or readers say, is the percentage of the role of Shidduch Resumes in making actual shidduchim? In other words what percentage of the needed hishtdalus does the Shidduch Resume fulfill? 10%? 25%? 50%? is there anyone who claims that it’s 100%? Let’s say if there are roughly 5,000 shidduchim made in the American Yeshivisha velt per year, what percentage of those shidduchim happened because of a Shidduch Resume only? Or put the other way, of the 5,000 or so shidduchim how many would have happened even without the existence of Shidduch Resumes?

      Face it, young people need to get married no matter what, with or without resumes if you need to get married then having or not having a resume will make no difference because you will find a way and the person to marry! Or will you remain single forever if you don’t have a resume? So you see there is an inordinate level of misguided faith, almost like a subtle “avoda zora” if one worships the power of resumes as the “key tool” to find one’s bashert when the truth is that you will find your bashert even in a world without resumes simply because you have to get married just like you have to eat to have clothes have a place to live have parnosa and, with getting married, that happens even if you never heard of a resume of any kind!

      Just food for thought!

  8. The resume is not a tool to get a single married; that is in the hands of the Ribbono Shel Olom. It is a convenience, which shows consideration for the people redding shidduchim. If a single or parent is asking a shadchan for help, it is considerate to write the information down, rather than expecting the shadchan to do so as it is slowly dictated. I don’t think there is a reason to read anything more than that into what is now a written form of what used to be given over orally.

    • You say: “I don’t think there is a reason to read anything more than that into what is now a written form of what used to be given over orally.”

      If so, I have a question for you, why don’t Chasidisha Shadchanim and Eretz Yisroeldikka Shadchnim “require” Shidduch Resumes like the American Yeshivisha Shadchanim do?

      Any suggestions? I have my theories, such as Shadchanim may be over-reaching and acting too powerful than they really are because in the end most Shidduchim happen not because of Shidduch Resumes but in spite of them, or am I wrong on that?

      The real problem is when people start putting their faith into a system that is based in pieces of paper, rather in networking and of people relying on each other and on HKB”H of course.

      After all, we are the people who believe in the importance and power of Torah SheBe’al Peh and the so-called “Fifth Chelek” of the Shulchan Oruch, meaning our Sechel and common sense and sense of humanity and right and wrong to get things done in the end and not just on some new newfangled notion of “resumes” taken from the cold impersonal American corporate world and it seems this is how the Chasidim in fact think and work in a more Heimish and Mentschlich way without resumes of any sort for anyone for anything, and they do not talk about having a so-called “Shidduch Crisis” by them either, why is that exactly, and so why can’t the Litvish Yeshiva people in America be like that as well?!

      Just some food for thought.


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