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Hatches and matches the Jewish way




However, the methodology of former years has changed somewhat. There are Jewish websites and online dating where prospective brides and grooms can “catch their own catch”.

And, although many successful marriages have been translated from cyber to reality, those using online dating to meet people, should be wary of scams.

One young woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, feels the problems with South African-based sites are that the community is too small, there is not much awareness of the sites or apps and many of the responders are from overseas.

“I personally found Jewish guys are on both mixed and Jewish sites – so they are chatting to a Jewish girls saying they wanted to get married, but on the side they are with non-Jewish girls.

“I went out on many a date from these sites:, jswipe, Jcrush and others and the guys were just okay.”

Rael – who dates online – says online can be a good place to meet people, but he has not experienced anything more than a friend – which did last for six years.

“The problems I encountered were that pictures were not updated and profiles were incomplete.”

One man, who wouldn’t give his name, met his wife on “After a six-week whirlwind romance, we were engaged and married six months later. We now have two daughters.”

Shereen says she often goes on Jewish and non-Jewish sites, with the objective of meeting other Jews. “I have met quite a few guys who have turned into great friendships, with one or two relationships on the way.”

But she also had one bad experience: “I met a ‘Jews’ on a non-Jewish site and chatted for a month, while he was in the US on business. He then wanted me to collect a box that he was sending via courier for me to keep for him while he was away.

“Turns out that when the courier company wanted me to pay for ‘extra weight’ and I confronted him about it, he got ugly and then I realised our whole ‘relationship/friendship’ was a scam and he was just trying to get money out of me.”

Conversely, Casey Shevel is a flesh-and-blood shadchanit of the old school. She is stopped in shopping malls and in the streets, and told: “You are going to heaven”, because one widely-held belief is if one sends three couples under the chuppah, one is assured of a place in Olam Haba.

Casey, an events co-ordinator by profession, now runs singles evenings at her home every six weeks. She calls her efforts “Shmingles”.

“I am passionate about this. I thank G-d – it is a novel way of bringing people together. I have three age groups and sometimes run campaigns on Facebook for over 50s, for whom I arrange cheese and wine evenings.

“I have arranged 11 weddings in three years, even met my own husband Eyal through a shidduch and have three wonderful, wild boys.”

Rebbetzen Chaya Masinter was an accomplished shadchanit until her home – and her files – were burnt in a fire eight years ago. She now does her work on an ad hoc basis, but has chalked up several successful marriages of leading members of the Jewish community, including within her own family.

“Sandra” terms herself an “unofficial” matchmaker. “When I meet single people – widows, widowers and divorcees – I take down their telephone numbers and try to have them over on a Friday night.”

When fixing up two young people, Sandra ensures they want the same things out of life, including Jewish observance. “When they are older, we look more towards companionship.”


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Lior

    Aug 4, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    ‘I’m 30 and recently from Cape Town – looking to meet friends in Jozie.’

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