Unlike many young women in her ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, Yael Mizrachi drives and has two university degrees. Originally published on May 5, 2014 11:52 am Yael Mizrachi, a 30-year-old Israeli woman, has been to many matchmakers.
Jewish FriendFinder is a Jewish dating site for singles looking for friends, romance, and marriage. JDate is a leader in Jewish matchmaking online and has created a Jewish relationship dating community of like minded singles looking for love.
Shared Jewish values and culture are a great place to start your search for a soul mate or just a casual date. There are over 100,000 members, but there is still a low density of members in less populated cities. JDate features a community-based magazine where members discuss issues of Jewish dating, Jewish matchmaking, and Jewish life. Matchmakers are the traditional way to find a mate in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community to which Mizrachi belongs. You can join this Jewish dating site for free so you can see exactly what you’re paying for should you decide to upgrade your membership. Mizrachi is part of a growing number of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel who are seeking job skills, getting higher education or joining the military. On a practical level, to Mizrachi, being "modern ultra-Orthodox" means she wears long sleeves and long skirts, but also drives — something unmarried women in her community normally do not do. She won't attend mixed parties but bucked tradition by getting undergraduate and master's degrees in social work. Mizrachi's parents, who became ultra-Orthodox as adults, supported her college education, she says, but others did not.
Traditionally, ultra-Orthodox men have been able to avoid serving in the military or getting a job by engaging in intense religious study.


Their families then often rely on government support or wives with limited education for income. Still, skilled Torah students have long been seen as the best husband an ultra-Orthodox woman can catch.
Except college programs designed especially for ultra-Orthodox students, including the programs Mizrachi chose, are strictly sex-segregated. The solution: a new dating service, especially designed to serve ultra-Orthodox just like her.
It's called "Shidducation" — rooted in the Yiddish (and Hebrew) word for matchmaker, but ending with a modern lilt. The founder, 26-year-old Eli Postavsky, studies law at a college where men and women take classes on different days of the week. Questions include the usual name and age, plus number of siblings and whether those siblings are married, parents' occupations and what style of religious dress the person wears, including what head covering would be expected after marriage. The key difference between traditional ultra-Orthodox matchmaking and this service is that here people are valued for having experiences outside the often closed ultra-Orthodox communities.
Eli Postavsky says he saw matchmakers who didn't really know how to treat him without the familiar pedigree of religious study.
There's no upfront fee, but if you find a spouse, a traditional matchmaking fee of perhaps $1,000 would be expected. They go to different schools and lived two hours apart, so they might never have met otherwise. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: In Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities, the business of matchmaking is adapting with the times.
By tradition, a woman's ideal catch has been a man who devotes his life to religious study. Well, now, NPR's Emily Harris has found a matchmaking network designed for changing tastes.


EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: Yael Mizrachi is 30 - old for an ultra-Orthodox woman to still be single. MIZRACHI: (Through Translator) Matchmakers were always trying to set me up with somebody who studies the Bible all day. When men are dedicated to religious study, they rely on welfare checks or wives with limited education to support their families. So they have small businesses like having a deli, but they were not involved in really economic life. The men and women who study there are probably very suitable for each other but don't have any way to make connections. Twenty-four-year-old Natanel Schlesinger says it values ultra-Orthodox who are a little bit different. NATANEL SCHLESINGER: (Through Translator) What interested me was that it was for ultra-Orthodox who were going to college.
It's free until you find a spouse, when a matchmaking fee of perhaps $1,000 would be expected.
Rabbi Fogel says the program helps prove to skeptical ultra-Orthodox that education can respect tradition.
HARRIS: Yael Mizrachi, the 30-year-old with two degrees, has met several men through this matchmaking service but no sparks yet. Marriage is very important to her, says this modern ultra-Orthodox woman, as are children and her career.



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