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“A single person looking for marriage is already limited by relying on others to help him or her out,” Ackerman told The Jewish Week via email.“If I want an ice cream from the store, do I hire a middleman to introduce me to the ice cream? I will go to the store and pick out my own brand of ice cream with my favorite flavor at the right price. If you want action, then you’re best off doing it yourself.” The group has not yet led to any matches, but has over 90 members.Though different options work well for different people, JSwipe, he said, has resulted in “hundreds of people empowered to find love on their own, swiping in their community or worldwide,” on a scale that no individual matchmaker can parallel.At a time when navigating the dating scene seems more fraught than ever, those committed to the matchmaking system believe a middleman (or woman) can be essential.
Leah Gottfried, creator of “Soon By You,” a witty web series about Orthodox dating, sees the range of options available to Orthodox daters as a net positive.His one-hour consultation offerings range from a “Social Media Revamp” to a 0 “Get Smart About Online Dating” session.For Sarah Kasdan, an OU-JLIC educator at Cornell, the program isn’t just a service to students (undergraduates are given gold membership for free, graduate students are charged half price and alumni are given a discount while Saw You At Sinai has monthly membership fees) but an opportunity for educators to deepen their relationships with students.“We hope that students see this as another way we want to look out for them, and be involved in their lives.” OU-JLIConnections, which operates on 21 college campuses and serves nearly 4,500 students a year, was started at the initiative of Rabbi Reuven and Shira Boshnack, the OU-JLIC educators at Brooklyn College.When asked what this platform adds to existing options, Rabbi Boshnack emphasized “the personal touch.” He explained that “so much of the OU-JLIC programming is relationship-driven.