Speaking in a mixture of English, Yiddish, and Hebrew, they rifle through their notes, searching for matches.
They are helping the men and women—especially the women—fulfill the primary social responsibility of their community: to get married.
I once told a friend of mine that being between relationships is a little bit like treading water: it’s so tempting to grab onto whoever comes along next, even though it might mean you both drown.
“Who in their wildest dreams can begin to describe the . “No one will have mixed seating at a wedding anymore, even though there’s nothing [religiously] wrong with it.
No one goes to the movies anymore.” Acting out isn’t worth it if it might cost you—or a sibling, a cousin, or a child—a match.
If all goes well, the matchmaker makes an introduction.
One chilly afternoon this fall, I met with one of the five Borough Park matchmakers—let’s call her Raisy—in her basement sanctum.
To the mother of these women, the author added: “Borrow the money if you have to; it’s an investment in your daughter’s future, her It is important to note that actual evidence of a crisis can be hard to find.
Because of the insularity of these communities, no formal research into the issue has been conducted. ’”The paramount importance of marriage in these communities cannot be overstated. In their world, the individual doesn’t quite matter as much,” said Samuel Heilman, a sociology professor at Queens College whose work focuses on the social ethnography of contemporary Orthodox Jewish movements. For the men, it’s about Single women have no role in the organized life of this very communal religion.
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middle-aged women gather in the basement office of a brick building in Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood to assure the survival of ultra-Orthodox Judaism.
Strict conformity and a sense of being observed and judged has become par for the dating course.
More stark, although perhaps inevitable, is how the crisis empowers the already powerful.
Now I’m free to join as many church groups as I’d like, to spend my time meeting new Orthodox people and to participate in church events instead of planning long-distance visits or scheduling phone-calls.