Wednesday, March 02, 2005

A READER ASKS...

A letter from a reader, requesting your sensitive feedback, gentle readers... D. writes: Right now, I've got a profile on match.com. In recent months, though, profiles have gone stale -- it seems like every woman there loves to laugh, loves candlelit dinners and romantic evenings by the fireplace, and wants a knight in shining armor who is as comfortable in a tux as in a pair of jeans. Sigh. Anyhow, during a conversation at a family gathering a few months ago, I mentioned my the difficulty in meeting people in the city I just moved to. My aunt and a cousin said "Have you tried JDate?" "I don't think I can, because I don't have the 'J'." You see, Dad's Jewish (Conservative, if that matters at all), and Mom is Lutheran. Dad isn't that observant and wasn't very enthusiastic about raising me as a Jew, so it was off to church, Sunday school, and confirmation classes. In the city where I grew up, the Jewish community is prominent but small, and intermarriage is common. (By the way, they've been happily married for over 40 years.) I'm a terrible Lutheran. When I do go to church, it's usually a Unitarian-Universalist congregation. My own personal spiritual beliefs lean more towards simple monotheism than Christianity with the Trinity, the Holy Ghost, and all that. I live in an area where the vast majority of the city's 80,000 Jews live. I have a Jewish last name. I'm told I look Ashkenazi. I don't have a problem with raising my children, if I have any, as Jewish. I've got half of my family begging me to meet and marry a Jewish girl. My question to the JDaters: do you see anything wrong with a half-breed shagitz on JDate? Of course, if I did have a profile there, I'd explain my background and offer fair warning that I am technically a goy boy. I've heard that there are non-Jewish women on JDate who are looking specifically for a Jewish man, but what about gentiles looking for Jewish girls? Since the Jewish dating pool here is already very large, would it be a futile attempt? My response, which you are free to agree or disagree with, follows: My personal opinion is that JDate is for men and women who identify as Jews. But the reality is that there are many non-Jewish men on JDate (I have no idea about non-Jewish women on the site, as that's not where I'm looking...) If you do join JDate, be honest about your religious background. And if you're looking to escape the cliches, you may be out of luck. They're EVERYWHERE. Readers?Anyone else care to respond?

7 comments:

annabel lee said...

Yeah, you pretty much summed it up. Be honest, and beware of falling cliches.

Mirty said...

I came across this blog and just wanted to drop a line. My husband and I met through JDate and got married a year later. We're very happy! It really does work sometimes!

Now, to the question at hand. I agree with your response. He could put his profile on JDate. He just needs to be honest. Someone might be interested -- why not try?

Anonymous said...

Technically, he's not Jewish. Religion comes from the mother's lineage. If his mother was Jewish, it would be a different story. At this rate, if he meets the right girl, he could be expected to convert if necessary. Also, in my opinion, the whole point of Jdate is for JEWS to meet. There are plenty of other sites for mixed religions, as well as social groups. Why step into the Jewish dating pool and make the competition even harder for those who are actually Jewish?

Esther said...

AL, right as always.

Mirty, welcome! Come back again! Just because you're successfully mated doesn't mean you aren't welcome here...in fact, it could be good for my readers to know that JDate works sometimes.

Anonymous, you're right according to Ortho and Conservative sources. But Reform Jews believe in patrilineal descent--there are many Reform Jews on JDate, many of whom may not be Jewish according to your definition. The bottom line is, as long as he's presenting himself honestly, I don't think it's WRONG for him to join.

That said, I find it very frustrating when I click on a cutie's profile and he's not a Member of the Tribe...so maybe I'm impossible to please...

Hafiz said...

Honesty is the best policy... and yes, I even I have a JDate profile. I have many Jewish friends and went to a high school that had a strong Jewish population. Most of my girlfriends were Jewish back then so I identify with the culture on many levels.

But I'm not Jewish, yet I think Jewish girls are incredibly attractive on every level. So curryLovin on Jdate gets no love, but I posted there any way a long, long time ago.

But JDater go there looking for a partner that they can culturally connect with. I fall out of the norm on any Indian dating site, and that's what drove me to create a profile back then.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine who wasn't Jewish told me he met a lot of women on JDate who didn't mind that he wasn't Jewish.

I've seen quite a few women on JDate who aren't Jewish, and as long as it's mentioned in their profile it hasn't bothered me (I just skip over them). I've contacted and spoken to a couple of women on JDate who turned out not to be Jewish who didn't put it in their profile, and I found that a bit annoying. I even went so far as to suggest to the folks at JDate that they specifically add a category Non-Jewish to the choice of religions, but so far they haven't.

I suggest he mention in his profile (in words, not just checking the Secular box) how he was brought up and whether he'd raise his kids Jewish, and let the women make their own decisions.

ari said...

I'm a bit conflicted on this. Seems to me, the whole point of JDate is that it's for-us, by-us (catchy name, that... i wonder if... well, probably not).
Plus, if you're not a member of the tribe yourself, but want to date one, there's more than a bit of stereotyping going on there -- however reality-based it might be -- and some people will be put off by that. (My best friend's grandma wanted to hook me up with her best friend's granddaughter -- but it turned out it wasn't really bcs she thought we'd particularly click, but just cuz I was an eligible & available jew-boy. I felt really offended by that. Maybe I shouldn't have, but I did.)
But on the other hand, as long as you're honest & up-front in your profile, seems to me anyone who doesn't want to respond can do just that, and someone who isn't put off might just find a connection.
The Real Thing is tough enough to find; why would we want to make it tougher for anyone?