By Yehudis Bluming
I felt compelled to submit a response to a previous Op-Ed about Shidduchim, addressing some frustration in the Shidduchim space.
As a little background, I was raised in a home where I watched my mother Mrs. Rochel Heber A”H live and breathe the world and work of shidduchim.
Fast forward to 2023.
Her sensitivity towards shidduchim has left an impact on my life. It is just too painful watching the scene of seeing so many singles 2,500 over 25 years from our very own anash community.
How many parents and singles have such heartache and sleepless nights as they journey this stage in life.
As years pass conventional methods of the shidduch scene become less and less effective the longer someone is “on the market”.
They are constantly being invited to their friends’ simchas, celebrating their children’s milestones, and it is way too crushing.
It’s a natural desire and yearning for a person to find one’s match and settle down to start a family, – this is the obvious.
After investing hundreds of thousands of dollars on our children’s education, all too often we see older singles leaving the fold simply because they don’t fit in, or feel that their community doesn’t have anything to offer.
Yet What was startling, however, was the aforementioned growing number of older singles without a concrete plan of action to do anything about it.
It was time to take action and change a shidduch crisis to a shidduch revolution.
About a year ago my husband and I together with a group of askanim and Rabbonim in crown heights founded an organization called Shidduch Influencers.
As Shidduch Influencers, we made it our mission to empower each and everyone of us to become shadchannim, or at the very least a spokesperson and advocate for a single friend, cousin or sibling, making sure they are constantly on someone’s radar.
Our motto is:
”If you see someone, say someone!” It takes a village!
Additionally, we have invested financially heavily into compiling lists and creating comprehensive databases, dealing directly with schools, seminaries, yeshivas, community leaders, and the leading shadchanim in our communities.
We have produced and released over 60 educational podcasts directed at older singles and their families, with the intention to encourage, educate, empower and ensure our children have the chance and happiness they do deserve! We have offered gifts and incentives for suggesting shidduchim with the knowledge that every suggestion can be one step closer to hitting the jackpot for the single.
We regularly host networking and singles events, and while the financial investment is considerable, we are pleased to report over 20 Shidduchim in our first year!
What would a couple pay to have even 1 child?
Imagine we magnify that question, WHAT WOULD WE PAY TO HELP A COUPLE TO THE CHUPPAH AND RAISE A FAMILY OF MANY CHILDREN?
With all these programs and initiatives, finances should not stop us from helping to build families!
I applaud whoever it was who wrote that previous article and I can understand the frustration with constantly being told “iyh by you”, it really can be devastating.
But we have been taught as Jews and Chassidim that there is never an obstacle placed in our way that we cannot overcome.
Don’t get me wrong, this is absolutely not a problem that will go away simply by throwing money at it. But maybe, just maybe if we were able to add a little bit of fuel to the fire and do all we can as a community to transform a shidduch crisis to a revolution. With all of us becoming shidduch influencers, we can turn 21 Shidduchim in year 1 to 50+ in year 2 and even more, with Hashem’s help.
Today, I ask each of you to join the bandwagon and help financially however you can, so we can look into the eyes of our sibling, friend, coworker, or roommate with confidence and say you are not alone, we will hold your hand and help in every way possible until they walk to the chuppah.
We should celebrate many simchas this Year!
Visit their website to view our ongoing projects and resources https://chassidiclife.com/.
To support the Shiddch Influencers Initiative, click here.