Hundreds of singles from Chabad houses in the Bay Area gathered for an in-person singles event and soft launch for the Met @Chabad program from CYP International.
By Aharon Loschak
Hundreds of young adults gathered together in San Francisco, CA, for a singles event earlier this spring.
It sounds like a familiar story, right? But this was far from a familiar event.
For many months now, the team at Chabad Young Professionals International led by Rabbi Beryl Frankel has been working on a program designed to change the landscape of Jewish dating. Met@Chabad is an innovative program that combines three pillars of education, personal matchmaking, and a robust database with a sophisticated value-based algorithm to help thousands of Jewish singles worldwide finally meet their one and only.
Months of research in creating this algorithm. Hundreds of hours invested in crafting brand new educational material, endless time spent training a legion of professional matchmakers with a unique personal touch. This is just part of the investment poured into this program.
Back to the event in San Francisco, hosted by Rabbi Shmuly and Tzippy Friedman of CYP San Francisco and Rabbi Zalman and Devorah Levin of CYP Silicon Valley, in collaboration with many other Shluchim in the larger Bay Area, including Oakland, Palo Alto, and Santa Clara, this stellar evening brought attendees into a completely different state of mind.
Staged in the famed Fisherman's Wharf Ghirardelli Square with beautiful views of the San Francisco Bay, attendees were greeted with an upscale spread of wine and cheese and other light fares. But the real standout of the evening was when San Francisco Shlucha Mrs. Tzippy Friedman addressed the crowd. A professionally trained matchmaker and dating coach from Met@Chabad, she passionately laid out the healthy dating mindset: zeroing in on your values prior as a first step, approaching every date with the seriousness it deserves, and taking advantage of a Shadchan or dating coach all along the way.
“While such ideas are time-honored and intuitively true, for so many people, they are simply revolutionary,” said Friedman. “The amazing thing is that when people hear it, they readily take to it—it’s almost a relief. Imagine: they no longer have to meander about and can meet people with whom they can envision building a life. It spares so much agony and grief.”
To get things going, participants were offered Met@Chabad swag at the door and were helped with the signup process at kiosks placed on the floor. Rabbi Manis Friedman’s popular book Why Doesn’t Anyone Blush Anymore, which has become somewhat of a canonical text on the challenges of the contemporary dating scene was distributed to every participant.
A representative from Met @Chabad was on site to show people the program’s features and help anyone sign up. Doing so places them in the algorithm, a hearty first step to finding a match that matches—not just superficially, but on a deeper level of faith, values, and goals, the true stuff of relationships.
The event was a collaborative effort, the brainchild of the Levins at CYP Silicon Valley, and the hard-working efforts of the Friedman’s at CYP San Francisco, as well as the numerous CYP, Chabad on Campus, and community Shluchim who brought their singles together for the first of its kind affair. “The regional event allowed all of our community members to meet loads of people that would never have met at our local events,” explains Rabbi Yigal Rosenberg of Chabad Santa Clara, “CYP now has a larger web than any other organization doing singles events in the Bay Area due to their partnering with other shluchim and their communities.”
"This event was a crucial step in our vision for Met@Chabad," says Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, Executive Director of Merkos 302, "seeing the tremendous investment of the Shluchim, as well as the feedback from the young professionals, showed us how critical and impactful Met@Chabad truly is.”