True Love Take 2

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Dear Tamar,

Do you think after spending 39 years with your Beshert, there is another one out there?  I am a young-ish widow (58 years old) and wonder if I will spend the remainder of my life without that type of love again.

Dear True Love Take 2,

First, I am sorry for your loss. Losing my spouse at a young age is one of my worst nightmares. My parents have friends in this situation as well, and I’ve fully supported them in signing up for JDate, attending temple functions and going on blind dates. You are young, active, and could have 40 more years of living to do (knock on wood) and want someone to share that with. Totally understandable!  That said, I do think it’s possible to find true love again! Not only do I believe in there being more than one Beshert for each of us, but I believe that once we’re in a different stage of our lives — as you are — our idea of who or what defines a Beshert is different from our definition when we were much younger.  Just think, compared to 39 years ago, your list of preferences is so much simpler — you’re not worried about finishing college, having kids, buying your first place, getting a job that will support your growing family and so forth. You’re probably more concerned with sharing the same interests in movies, food, traveling, and spending time with grandchildren. Keep your JDate preferences as broad as possible and let your friends, family, Rabbi and virtually everyone you come in contact with know that you’re interested in being set-up. Good luck!


Dazed & Confused

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Judaism,Online Dating,Rabbi,Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I’ve been seeing a man who’s not Jewish that I met on a dating site 7 months ago.  We’ve said we love each other, however when we first met, it was Hanukkah and he bought me a huge number of gifts and it felt uncomfortable and overwhelming.  He also bought a menorah and a book about Judaism. It felt like too much for me and he felt rejected by the way I felt. Since then, I thought we had moved on and have spent almost every day together. Recently, he was reading my e-mail and saw a letter I had written to my Rabbi back in January where I had doubts about the relationship because of the fact he wasn’t Jewish. He broke my trust and has apologized but feels hurt I felt that way when we had already been dating for a few months and wants to take a break for a month. I want to respect his wishes but I miss him and know he misses me as he did write me yesterday. I’m just trying to understand whether we have broken up or not and if I should move on or if we are truly taking time to figure out what we want with the intention of possibly getting back together. I don’t understand how you can work something out without talking about it. Can you provide some input and help me to understand? Thank you!

Dear Dazed & Confused,

My initial impulse is to ask: why are you on JDate asking for advice about a relationship with a non-Jew? But the answer doesn’t matter, I’m happy to help as long as you answer a question for yourself first: how important is it to you to marry a Jew? This answer does matter. When you first had doubts, you went to your Rabbi. Now you have doubts again and you’re coming to JDate, so my inclination is to believe that religion is important to you and while you’re on this break you should really think deeply about it. It sounds like this guy might be willing to convert, have you discussed it? If you want to be with this guy – Jewish or not – you need to get him on the phone and then in person to talk. A few days apart to think things through is understandable, each of you needs to put things in perspective and decide what you want from each other, if anything. But now it’s time to get talking because you’re right – you can’t work on a relationship without both parties being present. Good luck!


Mazel Tov Soon-to-be Rabbi Alysa Stanton!

by JewishFactFinder under JFacts,Judaism,Rabbi

On June 6, 2009, when Alysa Stanton, 45, is officially ordained, she’ll create history as the first African American woman to become a rabbi and the first African American rabbi to lead a majority white congregation. In August, Stanton is to begin her new job at Congregation Bayt Shalom in Greenville, NC, a synagogue associated with both the Conservative and Reform movements. Stanton’s ordainment comes at a time when, according to the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, approximately 20% of American Jews are “racially and ethnically diverse by birth…by conversion or adoption.” And, “Approximately 20,000 – 30,000 marriages between Jews and African Americans grew out of the civil rights movement.”

Stanton was born in Cleveland, Ohio and was raised as a Pentecostal Christian, but believes that even at an early age she was, “a seeker.” She converted to Judaism during college in 1987, and after attending Lancaster University in England and receiving a Master of Education degree from Colorado State University in 1992, she then studied Torah at the HUC-JIR campuses in Jerusalem and in Cincinnati, Ohio. When asked if she was born Jewish, Stanton usually replies, “Yes. But not to a Jewish womb.”