Young Professionals Weekend to Focus on Relationships for Marriage

The upcoming CYP Encounter Shabbaton will guide young Jewish singles ready to settle down and create Jewish families.

The Simchas Torah attacks awakened deep emotions in Jews worldwide. For many young Jews, it’s brought home the urgent need to establish Jewish marriages and families. “I’ve never seen this level of enthusiasm,” says Rabbi Mendy Levertov, director of Chabad Young Professionals Austin, Texas. “People are getting serious about marrying Jewish.”

With more than five hundred young Jewish professionals due in New York City for CYP Encounter, the Shabbaton’s organizers are equally serious about helping them find their soulmate—tapping educational workshops and Met@Chabad’s speed-dating program to jumpstart participants’ journeys toward the chuppah. 

“Dating and marriage are at the top of a lot of young professionals’ minds right now,” Rabbi Levertov says, “so when you have five hundred highly engaged young Jews coming together for a Shabbos, that’s an opportunity nobody wants to miss.” 

Shabbaton-goers will enjoy a special question-and-answer session and workshops with Rabbi Manis Friedman and dating coach Manya Lazaroff, and they’ll get the chance to join a proprietary Met@Chabad speed-dating event after Shabbat. 

To ensure no opportunity for connection goes unutilized, professional shadchanim will be present throughout the Encounter. Rabbi Beryl Frankl, director of Chabad Young Professionals International at Merkos 302, notes that CYP Encounter won’t be the first Shabbaton to host shadchanim. “In the 1960s, when Chabad’s Pegisha brought college students to Crown Heights for Shabbat, the Rebbe advised the organizers to facilitate shidduchim.” 

But, building on the technological breakthroughs of Met@Chabad, CYP is breaking new ground by using AI technology to suggest values-based match-ups—which shadchanim then review, taking the singles’ values, preferences, and location into account. 

Rabbi Frankl says the Shabbaton balances two disparate elements, reflecting CYP’s two-prong approach to aligning the Shabbaton with the most urgent concerns of young Jews. “CYP Encounter’s dating track balances opportunities to meet with education and guidance for navigating the dating process,” Rabbi Frankl says. 

Although the current trend towards settling down began on October 7, CYP’s framework is well established. This past year saw over 1,500 young professionals join CYP’s Jewish Dating Course at Chabad Houses worldwide, with many more expected over the coming year. At the same time, over 13,000 singles have joined Met@Chabad dating events, with over 93 couples currently dating and tens already married. 

Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, Executive Director of Merkos 302, says CYP’s dating program, at this Shabbaton and beyond, is aimed at creating a robust framework to empower young Jews to meet their soulmates. 

“We’re inspired by their enthusiasm for creating warm Jewish homes when the world seems most cold,” he says. “We’re inspired by the shluchim who’ve undertaken to be there for so many young Jews on their journey through this foundational moment in their lives.”

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