Hundreds of parents belonging to the religious Zionism movement are losing sleep over this problem. Rabbis are shockedby the extent of this phenomenon.
No, we are not talking about the future of the settlements or the level of education in the State of Israel: The religious public is concerned over the “bachelorhood phenomenon” – thousands of young men and women who have reached the age of 30 without getting married.
This urgent problem has become the life’s work of Chaim Falk, a member of the National Religious Party, who about 10 years ago founded Yashfe – a huge matchmaking agency for the religious public.
After seeing more than 150 couples marry thanks to his services, the person known as the “matchmaking doctor” has decided on an in-depth treatment of the problem troubling the Zionist religious public. He recently set up a “matchmaking commando” of 800 volunteers, who will storm every neighborhood in Israel and help the religious sector’s 50,000 single men and women find their match.
“We are being bombarded with calls from bachelors. Today, people are no longer ashamed to ask a matchmaker for help. It’s becoming increasingly acceptable,” Falk explains. “Our goal is to reach every single bachelor or bachelorette and escort them all the way to their wedding.”
Single men needed
A campaign promoting the revolutionary project was launched last weekend, followed by a training session for the new volunteers. The “bachelorhood busters” take part in matchmaking workshops, listen to lectures and are introduced to Yashfe’s matchmaking software.
The volunteers will be screened according to their skills and traits. “We realized that we must work on personal attitude and deep acquaintance between the bachelor and the matchmaker,” explains Yashfe Director Shirat Malach. “We want the person being matched to get to know the matchmaker well, and we are trying to lower the volunteers’ age group to 25 to 30.”
The requirements for the role of matchmaker include bringing along two or three single men, as Yashfe’s database of bachelors, which includes 3,500 names, is mostly comprised of women.
Each person included in the database must pay an entrance fee of NIS 250 (about $72). Those who can’t afford that sum, the agency says, can make a donation for the match.
The idea for the new project was born in the religious Habayit Hayehudi party after Knesset Member Uri Orbach, chairman of the party’s parliamentary faction, convened an emergency discussion on the “bachelorhood problem”. Yashfe hopes to complete the recruitment of its matchmakers by July.