Painful Conversations Require Innovative Solutions| February 14, 2023
Adopt a Shadchan (AAS) began with a small group of dedicated shadchanim, committed to helping singles find their match
WE all see the pain, we all empathize, and yet we sometimes feel helpless despite wanting to help.
We’re a nation of chesed, and that’s what we do best. However, when it comes to shidduchim, we often feel that our hands are tied. There is no one-size-fits-all formula or dedicated hotline that can accommodate all requests. When we have conversations about the “shidduch crisis,” many are really thinking, How can we fix the system? And if we’re brutally honest, there’s a little voice in the back of our heads asking, Is it even fixable?
After pausing to acknowledge that Hashem is the one that’s mezaveg zivugim and all shidduchim come straight from Him, we have seen that there are definitely things we can do as individuals and as a community to help the shidduch process. We realize that we will never know which exact hishtadlus it was that ultimately tipped the scale in our favor, but when there are so many shidduchim yet to be made it’s up to us to do whatever we can to aid the process.
Adopt a Shadchan (AAS) began with a small group of dedicated shadchanim, committed to helping singles find their match. Originally founded by shadchanim Ruchie Giberstein and myself along with Daniella Feldman, a woman of action, the plan was to assign shadchanim that would focus on singles of specific shuls in the tristate area. Since its inception and largely due to the synergy between AAS singles, shadchanim, and parents, we’ve far surpassed our organization’s initial goal, moving forward at lightning speed, creating initiatives and projects that help everyone involved in the process. From shadchanim, coaches, singles, and parents, from the writing of a résumé through the signing of a kesubah, we’ve seen you, we’ve heard you, and we’re there for you.
And the lesson we learned?
Every single individual can and should play an integral part in creating new batei ne’eman b’Yisrael.
Our list of endeavors is ever-growing, and we’d like to share them in the hopes that they inspire you to join us or get involved in similar projects, allowing us all to answer the question of, “What can we do?” in the most powerful and productive way we can.
Adopt a Shadchan Headquarters
In our Flatbush headquarters, we have shadchanim on the premises to meet singles by appointment. We have meetings with targeted age groups from ages 19 and up. We are slowly creating different targeted divisions to accommodate as many age groups as possible. To accomplish this goal, we are interviewing and hiring part-time shadchanim at a steady pace. Shadchanim are advised to take part in our monthly training workshops. There is no fee to meet shadchanim.
Extensive Shadchan Network — we are a sisterhood
Adopt a Shadchan at its core is an extensive network of over 300 dedicated and caring shadchanim who span the globe and network daily to redt shidduchim. We have an amazing WhatsApp group that has collaborated on over 30 successful shidduchim to date. Our belief is that it is a useful and helpful platform that when used responsibly, can be a tool to bring about good things.
By pooling our resources, we effectively maximize the opportunities to redt on-target shidduchim. Baruch Hashem, this network has been slowly growing since 2018. B’ezras Hashem, we hope to continue to expand this network both numerically and geographically. We have shadchanim from New York to Los Angeles, Florida to Toronto, and England to Israel. This has helped facilitate numerous long distance shidduchim.
Database — technology at its best
Adopt a Shadchan has a sophisticated database. The math is simple. The more people who register in a database, the bigger the pool and the more potential matches can be made. To ensure privacy, only shadchanim in the system can view any of the profiles in the database. Since we only wish to send appropriate matches, everyone who joins the database is assigned a shadchan who is committed and responsible to search the database on their behalf.
This shadchan will either have an in-person or phone meeting with the registrant to get a clear picture of who would be an appropriate suggestion. Any member of the database can log into the system and see if anyone has done a search on their behalf. In order to have access to the database, a shadchan is screened and must go through training while committing to a certain amount of hours looking for matches for their designated singles.
There is a low monthly fee to utilize this service to help cover the costs and running of the program. This database has proven to be very successful for both in- and out-of-town singles.
Subsidized Dating Coaching — an idea way overdue
Adopt a Shadchan is, for a limited amount of time, offering subsidized dating coaching sessions. We believe that a good dating coach can significantly improve the dating process and experience for many singles. Even two or three sessions can be extremely helpful. We also have an onsite coach available by appointment.
Adopt a Shadchan organizes curated speed dating events. These events are supervised by talented and approachable shadchanim. Each event is geared toward a specific age range and hashkafah to ensure realistic matches. This past Succos, we organized two events in Eretz Yisrael, each for a different age range, enabling singles to connect with people from all over the world. It took some practice, but we got it right!
At a wedding, everyone is already dressed up and in simchah mode! The baalei simchah reserve their date with us (designated private room in hall required), and we arrange for shadchanim to attend the simchah. They are available after the chuppah until right before the first dance to meet the friends of the chassan and kallah in a non-pressurized setting.
Fredting — dictionary worthy
Fredting = friends redting friends a shidduch
Every Rosh Chodesh we run a 24-hour “fredting” campaign. Have you ever dated someone really nice who wasn’t for you? Think: Who do you know who might be a good idea for that person? If you have a shidduch idea for your friend but have no way of redting it, contact us and we will try to set it up! If it works, we are happy to give you the credit, and if it flops — it’s on us!
Prayer Pact — our most powerful weapon
Prayer Pact is a tefillah initiative that matches singles with other singles, mothers with other mothers, and specifically mothers with a few children in shidduchim with a partner experiencing the same. The daily tefillah was approved by Rabbi Moshe Tuvia Lieff shlita. The Lishmah program is an extension of the Prayer Pact where anyone can sign up and daven for a single. Shadchanim are also matched up with fellow shadchanim to daven for each other’s siyata d’Shmaya.
After signing up, you receive a daily email reminder and are notified when there is a simchah. Tefillah cards are available for pickup. The feedback we have received from this initiative has been incredible and shows the beauty of Klal Yisrael.
Here are two examples: “It is very liberating to put aside my own needs and focus on someone else.” “I was feeling like a broken record and I thought, I am burned out from davening for my own needs but I can surely daven for someone else!” We run each round for 40 days. We are currently at Round 11 and we are at over 180 shidduchim of participants since we started.
Our next initiative will be focusing on a myriad of workshops for parents, singles, shadchanim, and coaches that want to help our singles in the best possible way.
Currently our website is a portal for our database, however, we are building a new one that we hope will be informative and helpful for many shidduch-related topics, and to make appointments with our shadchanim.
The creation and implementation of all of these projects and initiatives are the result of collaboration between shadchanim and the singles themselves. Adopt a Shadchan prides itself on not only having initiatives for singles, but giving singles initiative. This is a group of incredibly talented and capable individuals with so much to offer us all. Many of our events are made possible by their involvement, from setup to referrals, feedback, and brainstorming. Adopt a Shadchan is a place where me becomes we! —
Adopt a Shadchan is run by Lisa Elefant and Ruchie Giberstein, under the guidance of Rav Moshe Tuvia Lieff, Rav of Agudah Bais Binyomin.
For more information about any of our programs, feel free to contact Adopt a Shadchan at (718) 957-2270 or email@example.com. For database information, visit adoptashadchan.com.
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 949)
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