Solving the Shidduch Crisis, One Date At a Time

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shidduchimDevorah is a young married woman living in Lakewood.  Every once in a while, her thoughts wander to the plight of her close friends who are still single and haven’t dated in months.  She even considers redding shidduchim for them.  But the thought of the endless phone calls and the sleepless nights is just plain discouraging.  And besides, what are the chances that any shidduch she redds would actually come to fruition?  So Devorah abandons her plan as being too risky and time consuming.  And her single friends stay single for much longer.

How many of us are like Devorah?  We wake up in the morning with a burst of energy, a shidduch idea germinating in our heads.  But by the middle of the day we lose momentum.  More often than not, we are scared that our suggestion is going to flop.

For all the whining about our community’s Shidduch Crisis, how many of us are actually doing something about it?  Our shadchanim and mentors are certainly working hard to keep our young people dating and we all truly appreciate their efforts.  But maybe it’s time we took a long and hard look at the system itself, to see where it needs improvement.  Maybe we need to consider a whole new perspective.  That’s where the Nasi Project comes in.

For the last 3 and a half years the NASI Project has been singularly dedicated to alleviating the shidduch crisis we find ourselves in by encouraging more close in age shidduchim. They started by educating the masses about the nature of Age Gap and how that has created the problem we find ourselves in. The immediate result was the breaking of the stigma associated with dating slightly older girls. Hundreds and hundreds of shidduchim took place with girls who where close in age to the boys if not even older.

Now the Nasi Project is introducing a innovative and simple plan that has the capacity to generate massive shidduch attention for the slightly older girls.

Here’s how Moshe Pogrow of the Nasi Project explains it:  “Let’s face it.  Being a shadchan is a difficult and thankless task.  Shadchanim are harassed and bothered wherever they go by virtually everyone they meet.  It’s no wonder that even the best of them get frustrated.   And people like Devorah are afraid to even try.” For the hundreds of people that attempt to redd shidduchim very very few last more than a few tries simply beause no one likes being a failure, and that’s exactly how they have been treated. NO engagement, NO success.  And we all know, failure breeds quitting

“Our goal with this program is to illustrate to those who redd shidduchim that we absolutely DO appreciate their efforts.  When a shidduch doesn’t materialize, there’s no reason to think it’s a failure.  If you got it to a first date, it was a success on a certain level.  If you got it to go to a fourth date, it was an even greater success.  This has proven to be a tremendous motivator to get people to redd shidduchim. Both, novice shadchanim as well as experienced long time shadchanim have clearly stated that this concept is a huge motivator to focus on the sightly older girls. And the more quality shidduchim that are redd for the slightly older girls, then inevitably the more shidduchim  will  ultimately successful for those girls.

Here are the numbers.  In Community #1, after just twelve months, 90 dates have been arranged, 30 have dated seriously and 12 engagements have resulted.  In Community #2, after three months, 70 dates have been arranged and 4 engagements have resulted.  Recently more communities and even one school has implemented this concept on behalf of their girls. But the figures and statistics only tell half the story.  The interest and excitement that has been generated through this program is unprecedented.  People are eager to redd shidduchim to these girls like never before.

Each community funds, runs and monitors the program on their local level. The basic concept (thought each community structures it as is appropriate for their situation) is if you get a slightly older girl to date number 1 the shadchan will receive $100. If it reaches a date number 4, the Shadchan receives and additional $300. Some of the communities are instituting a second level whereby even greater appreciation is shown for the dates that are set up for the girls who have been previously dating more than 6 years.

We are simply redefining success in terms of what a shadhan can produce, namely set up quality dates; as opposed to judging success by that which is really the sole realm of a Hakadash Barcuh Hu i.e. completing the shidduch.

The NASI Project is willing and ready to help any community, school or shul to implement this program to benefit their own girls. It is extremely cost effective as money is only spent on results.

Those of us who are doubtful about the effectiveness of this program may first want to hear out Mrs. JR, the coordinator for the community where this project is already in effect for the past twelve months. She is overwhelmingly enthusiastic.  Here’s what she says:  “There is no question of a doubt that this initiative has produced major positive effects and results.  Many more dates have resulted for the slightly older girls that would have never been achieved otherwise.  Numerous engagements have resulted.  And most of all, the girls know that they are being cared for and looked after.  That is the greatest chizuk to them.”

Still not convinced?  Here are what some big-name shadchanim and the people funding the programs on these communities are saying :  According to EG, “The project speaks for itself.  The money incentive spurred massive activity. I seriously wake up excited each morning and feel my job is recognized and valuable.”  SR says, “It’s a gevaldike idea.  It will multiply dating!”  AG adds, “This is for me a dream come true!  Chazak V’ematz and don’t let go!”  And PF says, “I was pleasantly surprised by how effective the one-date/fourth-date compensation was in influencing even the biggest and best shadchanim to focus on this age group!”

Of course only the Ribono Shel Olam is mezaveg zivugim, and our efforts at redding and coordinating shidduchim are just that – human efforts.  But the hishtadlus must be made and  the shidduchim must be redd in order for the Master Shadchan to do his holy work.  This new project will ensure that this happens more consistently and more successfully than ever before for the older girls.

Devorah wakes up in the morning with tremendous enthusiasm.  She has begun dabbling in shidduchim and actually feels that she has a knack for it.  Her friend Suri will be going out with Heshy for the third time tonight and Yehudis is scheduled to have her first date with Yakov tomorrow.   Raizy dated Yochanan twice and it didn’t work out, but it was exciting to get a check in the mail anyway.  And now, Devorah thinks, maybe Raizy would be perfect for Aron…

For information on how to bring this program to your community, contact the Nasi Project at

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  1. In general the financial reward of shiddchim, i.e. only being paid when a couple gets engaged, encourages shadchanim to read the shiddchim that are most likely to get a yes and then get engaged. That tends to be young people who are “mainstream” from “good” families.

    It is a good thing to implement financial reward for other parts of process.

  2. Well I guess this will work well in the ‘good’ ‘normal’ ffb communities as for the ‘rejects’ and ‘damaged goods line’ I dunno.

  3. Girls are staying single well into their 30s and beyond, because they wont give a chance to the guys that are currently availible to them.

  4. what about the shadchanim that put their efforts in to the more wealthy families because thats where the $$$ is and not only is the shadchanus better but its an easy sell because lets be honest the bachurim running for the $$$$$
    what about the shadchanim that think they know your kids better the you do and dont like when you say no to an idea without telling them the loshan harah

  5. there is nothing wrong with paying but if the whole attitude would change and people would start thinking about helping another fellow jew instead of just thinking what in it for MEEEEEE
    then alot of our so called crises would disappear.
    This isnt only for shiduchim. its for all our issues the torah world suffers so much today.
    getting chilren in to school is just one example

  6. How about in our yeshiva/ bais yaakov circles we start single meals where 4 guys and 4 girls have a shabbos meal with a facilitating young couple. This way ppl will actually not care about many of the frivolous things that prevent shidduch ideas from getting to the date stage,and will level the playing field and help girls. B/c if you mature enough to be married you should be mature enough to date. One reason why we dont do this is b/c in our circles “its not done”. But if gedolim all signed a kol korei in favor then it would be “done”. (And the idea of every one of your stereotypical “devoras” starting to rhed shidduchim makes myself (someone in shidduchim) nervous of all those pushy calls from friends wives who barely know you but want to set up there friends)



  8. yossi-

    when it goes back to “what does the boy do?” then boys w/o good jobs will not get dates and many girls will wait for the guys with good jobs

  9. to shmuel comment 7:

    bad idea on many levels.

    theres no reason for bais yaakov girls and yeshiva boys to date any other way then they currently are.

    Changing method of how they meet is not going to help solve the imbalance of boys and girls.

    yeshiva boys have no problem getting married using the current dating style. They are not complaining.

  10. My experience as an older single man is that unless you are financially well-endowed, you are persona non-grata. That is the bottom line. All the rest is needless commentary. There is no need to go out on dates and waste your time and money.


    Funny, the last time I checked, despite the fact that “THE PROBLEM IS THAT IN EVERY CLASS THERE ARE ONLY SO MANY GIRLS WITH MONEY”, there are far more unmarried older girls than boys.

    It’s odd that “THE BOYS THAT CURRENTLY DONT GET THE RICH GIRLS WAIT FOR THE NEXT YEAR “CROP” “, and yet, the vast majority of them are married, while so many girls from the same year’s “CROP” are, nebach, still single.

  12. This will lead to people redting crazy shidduchim. Just Today I was redt a 29 year old girl- I’m 23!
    And this was from a so called “regular shadchan”. Now imagine if this plan was implemented in all cities, everybody would be getting these crazy ideas and it will get out of hand.

  13. Way to go shmuel 2!
    From your mouth.
    Alteh bucher, you say it is a bad idea on “so many levels” yet you fail to explain even one of the levels.
    You then say “theres no reason for bais yaakov girls and yeshiva boys to date any other way then they currently are” Im not sure if youve had your head in the sand, but it wouldve been impsoible to pick up one of our publications (ie hamodia, yated mishpacha etc etc) over the past 3-4 years and not seen mention of a “shiduch crises” If a crises doesnt call for a change then what would?
    The imbalance is only part of the problem, and it would help even that part as it would allow many girls to get the oppurtunity to meet many more potetial husbands.
    Your last line was the dumbest

  14. Sounds to me like if a plan works it’s worth duplicating or at the very least investigating.

    As the saying goes the proff is in the pudding…

    Any one with other ideas should, make them happen, chart the results, and then publicize them.

    So far this seems to be the only program that has done that.

    That’s got to count for something.

  15. I am sick just looking at what shadchanim are doing to the world of shidduchim. It obviously all boils down to money. Rather than encourage boys and girls to focus on personality, middos, background, they are dangling carrots in front of horses faces.

  16. I already give money to everyone who sets me up! I don’t give 100 for the first date but it varies on how many dates i go on.

  17. #22:

    exactly and that’s why generating massive attention for the slightly older girl will
    directly result in more close in age shidduchim

  18. To Yankel:

    Yes I follow the shidduch crisis belly ache crying in ther yated hamodia etc.

    The shidduch crisis is because of boys starting to date at 23 and girls at 19. Unless we start dating th same time as the chasisdim do it, the problem will never be solved. Just like musical chairs, there will allways be more girls left regardless of how they meet.

    Getting 4 yeashiva boys and 4 bais yaakov girls to a shaboss table will not only be an akward setting for both as they have been trained not to socialize from since they were kids, but will have no affect at all in solving the girls to boys imbalance crisis.ust like musical chairs, where everyone is trying to grab the chairs and there is allways one left standing with no chair.

    The method of meeting/dating works, because almost 97 percent of all boys in lakewood and other yeshivas get married within the first two years of their arrival.They are not complaining about how they meet the girl. (reference to my last “dumb” line).

    So then who is complaining? The remaining girls that dont get those guys.

    Thats the extra imbalance of girls that were talking about.

    Alteh Bucher


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