The origins of Jewish matchmaking have a history as long as that of the Jews themselves. The tradition of employing the help of a shadchan stems from a time when communication between Jews in different geographical areas (even if it was just the next town) was far more difficult than it is today. Nevertheless, despite having the most modern methods of communication available to us, it is still a challenge to meet that person who we feel is our beshert. This is why 21st-century Jewish matchmakers are becoming so popular.
To begin with, you’ll have to choose between personal and system-based matchmakers. System-based matchmakers have found a place of prominence in the popular zeitgeist of the moment, such as eHarmony, JDate.com, etc. In spite of the economic climate, the use and overall earnings of matchmaking services and the online dating industry as a whole has continued to climb in the last few years.
As you might have guessed, personal matchmakers tend to charge more, but you get what you pay for. Personal matchmakers screen their clients, meaning there’s a less of a chance of one of their clients “lying” to you in an online submission, since such lies reflect poorly on the matchmaker as well as the client. Some personal matchmakers insist on “rules” in terms of your image, weight, etc. But if you are looking for your beshert, paying a little extra and following the matchmaker’s guidelines is more likely to result in success.
While the number of couples being brought together by online dating has been on the rise, there’s still no guarantee of success, and it can cost you a lot of time, money and frustration before you even get a chance at a lasting relationship. This is where 21st century Jewish matchmakers shine. They match you with the best potential partners, screening out others who may just be a waste of your time and money.
Regardless of the path you choose—a personal matchmaker or a system, 21st century Jewish matchmaking has come a long way since the days of our grandmothers setting us up with possible partners.