Met @Chabad currently has seven shadchanim working to make matches within their proprietary system. The movement is currently looking for more individuals to become shadchanim to make as many matches as possible.
“For the people in our community who want to marry someone Jewish, there’s a glaring problem: they have no idea where to go.”
That’s how Chaish Mentz, shluchah to Forsyth County, Georgia, describes the situation in her community. And it’s not a unique situation. In cities both large and small across the country and really the entire world, young Jewish singles wishing to marry another Jewish partner have no address to which to turn. Sure, a plethora of dating apps exist, but a decade in, the holes in that system are glaring and noxious.
Enter Met @Chabad, the innovative program from Chabad Young Professionals that has taken the Jewish dating scene by storm. There are many elements to this program that have brought resounding success, but the indisputable secret sauce lies in a feature that is as old as the institution of marriage itself: the shadchan.
Long eschewed as a relic of the past, Met @Chabad has made an increasingly convincing argument to the broader public that the shadchan isn’t outdated at all. In fact, paired with modern innovations like an AI-driven database of over 10,000 singles and a network of fellow shadchanim, it’s about as avant-garde as it gets.
So when Mentz heard about the program, she immediately signed up to be an official Met @Chabad shadchan. “It’s a lot of work and takes a lot of my time,” said Mentz, “but it’s worth every minute. I’m passionate about helping people marry another Jew, and this is the best way to do it.”
After a series of training courses from experienced shadchanim and dating coaches, Mentz was ready to start her new calling. “The beginning is quite intense—in a good way. I was given a list of signees to the program and scheduled an interview with them over Zoom. This is not a casual interview, to say the least, I ask a series of questions that give me an understanding of their values and aspirations. The interviewee is prepared beforehand, so it gets very detailed and personal. After the session is over, we really know each other, and I come out feeling that I’m very much equipped to help them find a suitable partner.”
Using the propriety software developed by Met @Chabad, the next step is to plug the information in with relevant searchable terms, empowering the algorithm to do much of the heavy lifting to match potential partners with one another. “Once the data is in, I’m able to browse the database and really narrow things down to match the person I’m looking for. For example, if they’re looking for someone between 25-30 years old, with a college degree, who wants to live in the US, and who has a specific set of life values, I can absolutely find those criteria.
“Perhaps the most powerful thing is that every person in the database is Jewish, and they can all be confident that every person there is ready and sincere about getting married. The whole notion of going through a middle person and giving me their confidential trust may be new to them, but the benefits are so tangible, people are really ready to go for it.”
Of course, Mentz doesn’t operate alone. As one of a cohort of seven initial shadchanim, she is in regular contact with her colleagues to see how they can pair their “clients” together. “The digital software and database are definitely amazing tools, but nothing compares to the serendipity that occurs between us when we discuss our clients. As we share information, matches come up all the time, and we’re able to put our heads together to suggest intelligent and promising matches. If we come up with one, the next step is immediate: we both contact our clients, suggest the match and if they say yes, we set them up then and there. As far as I know, such intimate, intelligent pairing doesn’t exist anywhere else.”
Seven shadchanim putting in countless hours every day to build Jewish homes is a great start. Indeed, as Mentz put it, things are “snowballing,” and the circle is increasing exponentially—making the entire system all the more powerful.
Along with this remarkable growth comes the inevitable next step: more shadchanim. “Baruch Hashem, we have become victims of our own success,” said Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, executive director of Merkos 302, the incubator of countless innovative initiatives, including Met@Chabad. “The current cohort of shadchanim, along with the bevy of events worldwide, has swelled our registration to the point that we simply cannot keep up. Technology is elastic and can grow with the demand, but the shadchanim are humans—and can only do so much.
“In short, we need more shadchanim!”
So, if you’re like Mentz and her colleagues, passionate about helping build Jewish homes and providing a service so vital to the entire Jewish community, this is your chance. Become a Met @Chabad Shadchan today! Click here to apply to be a Met@Chabad Shadchan.