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How the Jewish Perspective on Marriage Blew up on Instagram

Met@Chabad, the values-first matchmaking service from Chabad Young Professionals that helps young Jews find their soulmate, racks up over 9 million views and 23,000 followers in the first weeks of its Instagram debut.

Yoni Brown

October 2022

Two months ago, Met@Chabad wagered that social media was hungry for the Jewish perspective on marriage. Two weeks later, their brand-new account blew up on Instagram.

The Chabad Young Professionals team, directed by Rabbi Beryl Frankel, has been revamping how young single Jews find their soulmates. Last spring, they launched a matchmaking service, Met@Chabad, that draws on single’s deeply held values to help them establish a strong marriage with the right person.

Their pioneering platform combines AI technology and a dose of personal attention from seasoned matchmakers. But for Rabbi Frankel, building the hardware wasn’t enough. “We knew we needed to shift the culture around marriage,” he says. Tapping into a perspective that’s fresh and new to many of today’s young Jews, Met@Chabad runs on a playbook rooted in Judaism’s timeless approach.

In late August, Met@Chabad launched on Instagram. They hoped to shift the culture by injecting short, punchy insights from Jewish thinkers and relationship experts like Mrs. Chana Weissberg, Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Rabbi Manis Friedman, and Dr. Laurie Betito into Instagram’s algorithm. “People were skeptical,” says Mendel Schaeffer, CYP International’s Content Coordinator, “it wasn’t clear how big of an audience there was for our perspective.”

But clarity wasn’t long in coming. Just two weeks after launching, a video of Rabbi Manis Friedman entitled “Should one marry for love?” was shared over 300,000 times and racked up eight and a half million views.

“You do not get married because you are in love with someone, “Rabbi Friedman says in the clip, “you have to be in love with marriage if you are going to get married.” The post sparked a lively discussion. One commenter called it “The best insight in marriage I have ever heard,” and 5,372 people liked the comment in agreement.

“We’re seeing a hunger for a fresh perspective,” Rabbi Frankel says, “We’re educating people about an authentic Jewish approach to marriage, and today’s young Jewish singles see how valuable it is.”

Rabbi Beryl Frankel, Director of Met@Chabad, interviews Rabbi Manis Friedman.
Rabbi Beryl Frankel, Director of Met@Chabad, interviews Rabbi Manis Friedman.

Since going viral, Met@Chabad’s Instagram following has ballooned to over twenty-three thousand people, and with lots more hard-hitting content coming down the tube, the CYP team is just getting started. Instagram is only the beginning of a large digital footprint that will include multiple media platforms, including a soon-to-be-launched podcast on Jewish marriage.

“Numbers aren’t everything,” says Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, “but in this case, we’re seeing the Jewish perspective on marriage resonate powerfully with young Jews; this is one expression of that trend.” As Executive Director of Merkos 302, Rabbi Kotlarsky has followed Met@Chabad’s progress closely, and he’s already seen many young couples walk to the Chuppah thanks to the platform and its authentic Jewish ideas.

One such young Jew from Berlin, Alex, credits his engagement to Met@Chabad’s game-changing perspective. “I was taken by Met@Chabad’s big idea,” he said after his engagement to Shirley in May 2022. “Other organizations I tried didn’t have a clear goal in mind, so you'd see people get stuck, and overall they were just unhappy. The idea that you must fall in love with marriage before you fall in love with a person hit home for me. It focused me, and my search became much more productive.”

Follow Met@Chabad on Instagram for more viral, educational content.

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