"We are selling a Jewish date for when the bar scene gets old," said Hochstadt, who plans to attend a national conference next month in New York City to standardize the program and market it to other religions.
The emphasis on relationships stems from a concern that Jews ages 24 to 35 intermarry more than generations before them.
Names remain only within our group of shadchanim and are revealed to a prospective match only after we receive the appropriate consent. Baruch Hashem, much attention has been given to shidduchim lately.
The concept was developed by Aish Ha Torah, an international Jewish outreach program, and pitched to chapters around the world.
The first session was held in Los Angeles in March 1999 and already boasts one marriage.
The goals are to find a shidduch for everyone, using a personal touch, and to treat each person with sensitivity and compassion.
A central telephone number was created for people to call, which will, iy H, facilitate making appropriate matches.
Organizers match up the dates and call the participants with phone numbers. To help participants avoid discussing their jobs, organizers hand out a list of sample questions, such as, "How often do you speak with your parents? "The idea, said Rabbi Tzvi Hochstadt of the Birmingham Aish Center, is to assess if the person sitting across the table shares your life goals and feelings on religion.
Hochstadt, who leads the sessions, says the program has a 75 percent match rate.
The start of a long-lasting relationship could take only seven minutes of conversation in a coffee shop.
But during that span, the two people sitting across from each other can't talk about their jobs or where they live, and they can't give out their phone numbers.
The "sponsor" can then email the background form to his/her single talmid and ask them to fill in the details and email it back to the "sponsor".
Once the "sponsor" uploads the form, with any additional comments, to the web site, he/she can then search the site for a possible shidduch for his/her student.
Electronic Mailing Lists Groups and Organizations Shidduch Resource Sites On-line Direct Shidduchim Sites On-line Indirect Shidduchim Sites Special Needs Shidduch Resources Shidduch Humor Shidduch Themed Web Logs (Blogs) Miscellaneous Shidduch Themed Sites Note: The Encounter USA Zivugim site is only usable by rabbis, rebbetzins and educators, seeking shidduchim for their talmidim/talmidos.