Matchmaking services com play the dating game online
I’m sitting in a Manhattan apartment watching the sun set with 11 of New York’s most eligible Jewish singles.
It’s Friday night and the table is a traditional Shabbat setting—a Kiddush cup filled with red wine, freshly-blessed candles and challah bread that’s been ripped apart and passed around the table.
’” A handful of miracle couples have come out of her dinners—and one marriage is on the way.
My own experience after Shabatness resulted in a handful of dates, a very classic courtship, and a typical falling out of disinterest by both parties—but it was a better match for me than any tech-assisted dating I’ve tried.
“ And I realized it was an ideal environment for singles to meet each other.” She interviews singles and promises those selected for the dinner a potential partner, a night of unlimited alcohol and a meal, at her apartment or one of the guests’ who chooses to host, all for just —a division of 18, or chai in Hebrew, a lucky number in Judasim—The idea became a business when Davis applied and received a fellowship through Presen Tense, a social entrepreneurial program with a focus on the Jewish community.
Davis got access to mentors, donors and business classes to put her vision in place.
Labe Eden, a committee member at Presen Tense who has attended a few Shabbatness dinners, says he was struck by Davis and her idea from the get go. The idea could seem old school—but each dinner has its own special twist.
He explains it as a more wholesome experience than dating at a bar. One dinner was called Bourbon and Beatbox, where contestant and special guest Jay Stone beatboxed the Shema, a prayer from the Torah.
Sure, JDate is popular and apps like Tinder and Hinge are growing, but that has consequences.This is “Shabatness,” an invite-only service that sets up young Jewish professionals over Shabbat dinners.Davis is quite rare, a matchmaker who does things the artisanal way, setting up singles through dinner parties, not apps or algorithms.Her goal is to make it a 501(c)(3), a nonprofit and tax-exempt organization similar to the Birthright Israel Foundation.“I’ve seen the passion behind birthright donors and the sustenance of Jewish practice and the formation of Jewish couples,” Davis says.