Those following this newspaper’s singles calendar may have noticed that it has been getting shorter each week, culminating in the absence of the calendar altogether in this issue – not because we do not want to publicize singles events, but rather because there are none to list. Much has been written about the growing shidduch crisis and this turn of events (or rather lack of events) exemplifies a major problem in our area: We are not reaching out to our singles population.
Scan JDate or any other Jewish matchmaking service and you will find dozens of singles in their 20s, 30s, and 40s in the area. Granted, northern New Jersey is not the Upper West Side, but that doesn’t mean we can turn our backs on the singles here and expect them to do all their socializing in New York.
Of course, New York offers no shortage of opportunities for singles. After a long day of work, though, many are hard-pressed to get all farpitzed and journey across the river. If such programming were available locally, these singles could mingle more easily.
With their lower living costs and easy access to New York, places like Englewood and Teaneck could become popular homes for single Jews – if the Jewish community puts the right infrastructure in place. We don’t need love seminars or speed dating. Simple things such as a game night with snacks would be the perfect opportunity for mingling.
Some will argue that there are no young single Jews in their communities. We believe they do not know about them because they do little to make singles feel welcome among their programs geared toward families or the elderly.
Meanwhile, some synagogues have made efforts to reach out to their singles, but they tend to focus only on singles in their late 30s or older. Many of these singles tend to have been previously married and have families, and these programs exclude the many in their 20s who live and work in our area.
Providing our children with a Jewish education helps secure the Jewish future by preparing them with the knowledge to continue our traditions. By essentially forsaking our young adult single Jews, however, we are dooming ourselves. These singles may soon feel abandoned and then begin to look outside the Jewish community for their mates – thus negating those expensive day school educations.
The shidduch crisis has hit New Jersey. Now what are we going to do about it?