You're Jewish. And you're single. We all know that it isn't easy to find that "special someone." Besides, is it so important to marry another Jewish person, anyway? Isn't that very limiting?
Good questions. It is important to marry someone Jewish, whether born Jewish or sincerely converted. Why? The main reasons I give are threefold:
(a) with many fewer areas of disagreement (holidays, kids' religious education, etc), same faith marriages report significantly higher happiness and more success than interfaith relationships, whether Hindu-Muslim, Protestant-Catholic, or Jewish-Christian;
(b) the children of same-faith marriages generally grow-up with a clearer sense of identity and higher self-esteem;
(c) the chances of Jewishness lasting in a same-faith family are far, far higher than in an family where one parent is non-Jewish, even if he or she agrees to allow to raise the child as a Jew.
Furthermore, there are, in fact, so many Jewish singles out there that in most cases dating Jews is not very limiting at all. The 2001 National Jewish Population Survey revealed that over 1/3 of American Jewish adults are presently single. That is over a million people in the U.S. alone.
All this being said, how are you going to meet your mate? Here are some time-tested tips to making it happen -- soon.
WAY #1: Move to a Jewish neighborhood.
Almost every major city today has parts of town which are 'more Jewish,' and parts of town which are 'less Jewish.' Live where Jews live. Aside from improving the statistical chance of you bumping into someone Jewish at the local Starbucks, it makes all kinds of Jewish networking much easier.
WAY #2: Join a Torah class
Jewish learning today is constantly expanding. In every city today with a sizeable Jewish population, there is serious adult Jewish learning. Often the classes are geared for certain age groups. Find out which classes the singles and young marrieds go to and join. Aish HaTorah branches around the world are an ideal place to meet lots of eligible singles, and learn some amazing Torah along the way. One Aish branch I know has thousands of Jewish singles come to its events every year.
WAY #3: Make Jewish Friends
It is a wonderful thing to have friends from all kinds of backgrounds. Take a quick count, though: if most or all of your friends are not Jewish, it may be hard to be introduced to other Jews to date: studies have shown that 'friendship circles' and 'dating circles' largely overlap. Go out of your way to make Jewish friends.
WAY #4: Get Set Up
The old fashioned way: a Matchmaker! Sound archaic? Don't dismiss a system that works -- in every major city today there are personalized dating services that service Jews from all backgrounds. You get to find out a lot about the person before choosing to go out with them, thus saving emotions, time, (and cash!). Furthermore, ask your friends and family to be on the lookout for you. Put the word out that you are looking and open to being set-up -- people will often be hesitant to 'mix in' unless you specifically ask them to.
WAY #5: Go To Singles' Events
Don't like singles' events? Don't worry -- many people there feel the same way you do. The point is to meet people. Ideally your beloved. Or, to get to know people who may later make that connection for you. These events actually work. If you want to organize something more 'interesting,' get on the organizing committee (perhaps your soul mate will be on the committee too!). Try singles' trips to Israel as well.
WAY #6: Go Where Jews Go
Go to the Jewish bakery and kosher supermarket. Browse in the Jewish bookstore. Join a synagogue with lots of young people. Make Friday night dinners and invite friends -- the more you go where other singles go, the more people you meet.
WAY #7: Use the Internet
Last but not least -- use the Internet. Jewish online dating has already had some notable success and is certainly the fastest growing -- and largest -- vehicle to meet other Jews. It is a relatively easy way to meet Jewish people. Almost half a million Jews have tried online dating and shown that it can work. For some practical tips, check out: Maximizing Dot-com Dating.
This article was adapted from www.jewishanddating.com.