I love setting up people. And from past blogs you probably know I’m a huge fan of recycling. Just because someone does not work for one person, does not mean that person will not be a perfect fit for your friend. Trying to do a mitzvah, I recently set up two friends. The set up went beyond the normal ‘you are both Jewish, breathing and single…L’chaim.’ I view both friends as accomplished, bright, attractive and funny individuals and thought they would enjoy each other’s sense of humor. Although reportedly the date was a very nice night and they were both attracted to each other, one part of the equation did not feel enough chemistry to motivate a next time. Chemistry is intangible and although all the check boxes may be present, it is just “the feeling” – excitement, yet calm – that motivates us to give up our limited extra time to put extra effort in for the next time. Some may argue that this feeling is not instant and it develops over time. For me, I have experienced both the initial fireworks and the quick demise, and the slow-burning candle. What amazes me is how often two people are on the same date but can have different versions of the date. He may have thought it went amazing; and well, she said, not so much. I guess that is why we are on JDate and in the search to find the perfect proverbial “right” lid to fit the pot felt by both parties.
I recently turned to my husband and thanked him – thanked him for inspiring me to create a website for those who have fallen in love and decided to get married.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was nursing a broken heart and considering starting a site for those who were scorned. It’s a good thing that my husband and my chance encounter on JDate changed both my life and my career direction!
A funny thing happens when you meet your spouse on JDate – you find out how many other couples met on JDate too. Some stats: Nearly half of my married Jewish friends met their spouses on JDate. I recently attended my high school reunion and learned that four out of five of my married Jewish classmates met on JDate as well. After I launched Jewish Wedding Network, I started receiving submissions from bloggers, and when questioned on how they met their fiancés, nearly half of them answered, you guessed it – JDate. Those are some pretty amazing statistics!
Why am I telling you all this? For those of you who have met your beshert on JDate, I say “Mazel Tov.” For those of you who have not yet met anyone, I say “hang in there.” I know how hard it can be to feel as though you may never meet “The One.” I was in that position too, as well as many of my friends who are now married. Over the next few weeks, I am going to be sharing some incredible stories of couples who met here on JDate. I hope to one day share your story too.
Dear Gems from Jen,
I am Conservative both in my Jewish faith and my politics. Why is it that 90% of Jewish women are liberal or left wing? These women will not even SPEAK to a Conservative man. I find it hard to believe that being Conservative makes me a pariah. What’s the deal?
My first question to you is, who gave you these percentages? I’m not so sure you are looking at all of the possibilities. Are you willing to give a woman who is not as conservative as you in both faith and politics are fair chance? Many relationships have, and do work when one partner holds a different belief system than the other.
I believe it opens up the possibility of healthy debates and learning to become more tolerant of other people’s belief systems. I once dated a guy who was much more religious than I, and we spent a great deal of time learning to listen to each other and focusing on what we did have in common.
I do understand that beliefs create passion and can at times cause disagreements, if not full-blown arguments, but I’d much rather date someone that I can have an intelligent debate with, rather than dating someone who shares everything I believe. Where’s the adventure in that?
There are many women, by the way, that are both Conservative in their politics and faith. You are by no means a pariah. Don’t let what you believe to be fact become ingrained in your thought process. Just because you believe that 90% of Jewish women are liberal and would never date a guy who is Conservative does not make it true.
I have a very dear friend who was raised in a Conservative home. She ended up marrying a Reform Jew and they have made it work. She continues to attend her Conservative synagogue and the two of them have made a home together that encompasses both of their belief systems. The moral of the story is they respect one another and allow each other to be themselves.
Gems from Jen
In light of the current J.J. Abrams cinematic reboot of the Star Trek franchise, the JFacts team decided to dig a little deeper and see what impact Jewish people have had on this ever-evolving cultural phenomenon. First and foremost, you should know that three members of Star Trek: The Original Series (or TOS in geekier circles) are, in fact, Jewish.
William Shatner as Captain James Tiberius Kirk
Before negotiating the terms of air travel and hotel stays for Priceline.com, Shatner negotiated through space and time as Captain of the USS Enterprise. Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Shatner’s grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Poland and Hungry. Shatner’s grandfather was born Wolf Schattner and later anglicized the family name to Shatner. After the initial 1966-69 run of Star Trek, Shatner reprised the role of James Kirk in seven subsequent Star Trek films,starred as the title role in T.J. Hooker and won an Emmy for his performance as attorney Denny Crane in Boston Legal.
Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock
Leonard Nimoy was born in 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts to Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants from Izyaslav, Ukraine. After starring in over 50 television and film roles, Nimoy was cast as Mr. Spock in Star Trek and received three Emmy nominations for playing the complicated half-human, half-Vulcan character. Nimoy would go on to star in seven subsequent Star Trek film adaptations, including 2009’s Star Trek, and directtwo of the films, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and the most successful of the original film adaptations, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Nimoy also directed the 1986 hit comedy Three Men and Baby starring Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg.
Walter Koenig as Pavel Checkov
Koenig was born in 1936 in Chicago, Illinois to Jewish immigrants from Russia who upon coming to the United States shortened their last name from Konigsberg to Koenig. Koenig was added to the cast of Star Trek because of his resemblance to The Monkees star Davy Jones, in an attempt to woo a younger audience. The character was also added because of an article in Pravda (the central publication of the Soviet Union), which complained about the lack of Russians in Star Trek. After the run of the initial television series, Koenig rejoined the cast of Star Trek for six subsequent films and was a frequent cast member n the TV series Babylon 5. Koening stood as best men for Trek cast mate George Takei (Sulu) in his highly-publicized 2008 wedding to Brad Altman.
The Vulcan Salute
One of the most famous lines in Star Trek is the Vulcan salutation, “Live long and prosper,” which is usually accompanied by a hand salute with an extended thumb and a v-shape made by spreading the index and ring fingers. This salute was created by Leonard Nimoy on the fly during the filming of the first episode of the second season of Star Trek: The Original Series. Nimoy felt there should be a distinct greeting amongst Vulcans, something akin to a handshake, so he adopted a gesture similar to what was used in the synagogue he attended as a youth. The Jewish gesture he co-opted for Star Trek is half of the original blessing used by the kohanim, whom are genealogical descendents of Jewish priests from the Jerusalem Temple. The true blessing used for Jewish worship uses both hands. As the Vulcan salute seeped into pop culture, many incorrectly assumed it was a tip of the hat to the hippie culture that arose around the same time. It was not until much later when Nimoy revealed the secret of the salute, that its Jewish origins were made public.
I find it quite frustrating that even though I am a nice Jewish girl and I want what every nice Jewish girl wants –a nice Jewish boy, I am stigmatized because I have a tattoo, a big tattoo. I love my tattoo, and want to get another one. My frustration comes from people not even looking at my profile because of the tattoo on my picture, and it’s not something that I want to hide since it is so big. So, I was wondering if you had any advice for me – related to finding guys who can look past my tattoo or how to handle this topic when I’m just starting to meet someone?
Tattoos are a funny thing in the Jewish culture. I once spent an evening with a group of very observant Jews who were all covered, and I mean covered with tattoos. The work that had been done on their bodies was absolutely beautiful, but I kept thinking: they are all Jewish and highly observant, how is this possible?
I came to the realization that tattoos are very personal and definitely make a statement. Whether right or wrong, that is up to each person to decide. You stated that you love your tattoo and you want another. Keep your picture exactly the way it is. Your picture represents who you are and the tattoo is a part of yourself. However, a tattoo does not define you as a person.
Those people who chose to skip over your profile based on your picture are obviously not looking at all of the qualities you have to offer. There are many Jewish people who do not find anything wrong with tattoos. Look at it like this: some people prefer blondes to brunettes, some prefer brown eyes to hazel eyes, some prefer tattoos and some don’t. Keep your profile active and continue your search for a nice Jewish boy.
Gems from Jen
As I was getting ready for a date on Saturday night I began to think about my body language and what I am really saying with my non-verbal communication. I look at the body language cues my clients are always sharing with me, but my own have never been that important to me, at least in the dating arena. Of course there is always my grandmother’s voice in the back of my head reminding me to watch my posture and stop tapping my legs. But that is neither here nor there. She wants me to find a nice Jewish man so I kept those reminders with me during my date last Saturday night, too.
Remember learning how to interview? What is the cardinal rule? Eye contact! The more eye contact the better, that is if you are interested, of course. I was well aware of my eye contact last Saturday and it worked. I gave him long gazes and didn’t turn away, even when I was feeling uncomfortable or unsure of myself. Now, don’t get me wrong I wasn’t staring at him all night long, but I was giving him enough eye contact so that he was aware I was interested in what he had to say. I remained very aware of the times I looked away and made a conscious effort not to stare at other restaurant patrons, the ceiling, or the floor. I kept my focus on him.
I made sure my stance was open and inviting. I did not cross my arms and did everything in my power to ensure my body was facing him throughout the date. I leaned forward on a few occasions, just so he knew I was paying attention.
I made sure to laugh, give him open lipped smiles, touch his arm when the moment seemed right, and tilt my head every so often.
None of these non-verbal tasks were difficult, but that’s because I was interested. Since I was so keenly aware of what I was doing, I decided to study his body language throughout the evening as well. He initiated and returned my eye contact. He never crossed his arms, and he leaned in towards me on several occasions. We began to mirror each another using a completely non-verbal language. My findings? He called- we are going out again this Saturday. Wish me luck.
In an age when there are endless profiles that match our on-paper list of requirements, how can we really know when someone is really right for us? I have ran into several guys on JDate that are just looking to have a good time and are using JDate as a vehicle to get some action. Let’s face it, Jewish people have some of the lowest STD percentages out there, so if you are just looking for action, it is not a bad group to target. However, I am seeking a husband or long-term partner and do not care to engage in any hook-up scandals. Are there signs to look for in peoples’ profiles to avoid the male JDate player?
Dear What Are The Signs,
I can’t count the number of times I have been taken in by someone only to find out down the road that looking good on paper doesn’t always translate into the same thing in the “real” world. These realizations made me feel like I had been smitten by one of the Ten Plagues. A bit dramatic, I know, however I’m sure you catch my drift.
Profiles can be tricky, and to weed these “players” out there are a few things to look for. Firstly, does the profile seem too generic? For example, short answers, non-specific qualities that the person is searching for, and a concern more with looks in a potential date, rather than traits that complement theirs. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that physical attraction is what hooks us initially, but looks are fleeting and someone who is serious about a real relationship will certainly be more concerned with qualities that go much further than skin deep.
Another sign to keep in mind is, how do they present themselves in their profile? Is it well thought out? Did they take the time to explain what it is they are searching for? Did they mention long-term relationships and/or marriage in their profile? If these components are missing you might be dealing with a so-called “player.”
Lastly, trust your instincts. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. We all have the power to say, “no thank you” and move on. You never know – you might be moving on to the real thing!
Gems From Jen
Los Angeles seems impossibly small when it comes to dating, let alone dating in the Jewish community. My New Year’s resolution in, what month is it already, March? My how time flies! It seems that my environmentally-friendly philosophies have carried over into my dating life and recycle, reduce, reuse are more than a way of life, they unintentionally became my dating mantra, as well as several of my girlfriends’. Guess we took preserving our resources a bit too far, eh girls? So, back to my resolution. In the third month of the year I am starting fresh. Things for me usually happen in threes, third time not necessarily a charm, and so in an effort to initiate a dating renaissance, I have erased all evidence of the former flames.
I am currently in possession of a blank page, blank contact list, and blank text message inbox, and let me tell you – the white abyss has never looked so dangerous. I guess there’s no fool-proof life preserver when you jump back into the dating pool. I can only thank G-d that my bff’s are well-rehearsed in CPR, because they will always be there to rescue me, or jump ship with me depending on the dating situation. Project SOS (Save Our SweetLo) has commenced, and I’m diving head first into uncharted territory, and a newly clean contact list, in the hopes of swimming forward instead of just treading water.