Andrea Karshan's Articles, Dating, Jewish, Relationships

The Shidduch Crisis: No One’s Fault But Our Own

By Andrea Karshan

My friend said:

“What Hitler couldn’t do to the Jews the Jews are doing to themselves. This seems to be true about Jewish singles today and the way they treat each other.” You’re too short. You’re too skinny. You’re too fat”,etc The scrutiny that Jewish singles treat each other with is causing a crisis that would make the Nazis laugh. “

I don’t support intermarriage, but I recently had one male friend become engaged to a non-Jew after looking for a Jewish woman for 10+ years. Another male friend brought his non-Jewish girlfriend to shul. Another friend said she is thinking of dating /marrying a non-Jew just cause her kids will be Jewish, and it’s just been too tough finding a Jewish man. And a male friend said he has thought of looking for a non-Jew that would convert to marry cause he can’t find a Jewish girl.

That being said, we all have to stop being so anal about dating. We are forcing our own to look elsewhere.

I honestly think the problem is that people are too picky about who they date. When I see what some men and women are looking for in a partner, I know they will probably never find it. That being said, if I see them twenty years from now, they will probably still be single.

Some people need to shorten their list of qualifications that they have for a partner. In a perfect world, the IMPERFECT person that THEY are would be able to find that “perfect” person.  But the reality is that in this world, dating is two imperfect people finding each other.

Also, I see a lot of people preaching to other people about intermarriage. Yes, intermarriage is bad. But being alone for 5,10,20 sometimes 30 or 40 years is terrible also. So when I listen to happily married Jews preach to a Jew who has been single a long time after looking for a Jewish partner and is now considered dating a non-Jew I think to myself there has got to be a better way. Saying to someone stick it out someone will come from somewhere isn’t practical and doesn’t make the person feel any better. I think instead of preaching, those offering their advice should try to match the person up with a friend of theirs. Everyone has single friends. Why aren’t they introducing them to each other? If people aren’t trying to provide a solution, then they should probably keep their mouths shut.

So to solve this crisis, the people dating have to be realistic about themselves and who they are looking for. And the onlookers need to be a little more helpful than just criticizing or patronizing those seeking partners. They need to be proactive like I suggested above. Introduce their friends to one and another. Connect people.


  1. Juli

    The fact that you began your blog post by comparing us Jews to Hitler is not only ludicrous, it took away any desire I may have otherwise have had to read your rant (you might want to reconsider opening with a quote like that one). Regardless, I read it just for shits and giggles, and I really think you have ignored several issues, or simply swept them under the carpet for the convenience of your post.

    Are you single? If so, have you lowered YOUR expectations? If not, why not? If yes, why aren’t you married, yet?

    Are you married? If so, how many successful shidduchim have you overseen? How many single people have you had over to shabbes dinner to facilitate a warm atmosphere for people to potentially meet their match?

    I challenge you to think about the other reasons some are still single – members of the other sex playing games, wasting others’ time in a dead-end relationship, less men than women in the dating “pool”, men wanting to date younger women, instant gratification of the days of Tinder, Facebook, etc., matchmakers pushing their worst candidates on great matches, people saying: “Oh, he’s perfect for you… He’s a guy, you’re a girl. He’s single, you’re single”, men becoming more socially awkward as they get older (and women becoming more resentful and set in their ways), etc. If only it was as simple as you say. Btw, my friends have been married for 10-15 years, so they simply don’t have people to introduce singles to… I met my match on a dating site, but I had to kiss many frogs until I found my prince.

    1. Andrea Karshan Author

      The quote isn’t comparing Jews to Hitler. Take a deep breath, read it again and digest it. Try to understand the point he was trying to make with what he was saying instead of just reacting to the words “Hitler” and “Nazis”.

    2. Juli, I think your comment is the whole point.

      This is what I think the quote means:

      Jews are their own worst enemies. We just had tisha bav. The temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred. Because we’re petty, we reject other singles. The end result could be, heaven forbid, less Jews in the world because of less marriages. As holocaust survivors say: the best revenge to Hitler is having a big family. Now we’re rejecting each other. Studies show there are more singles than ever before. Statistically, it could only be a matter of time where jews decrease. It won’t be because of a holocaust, but because the Jewish people will cease to reproduce. Even if children are not intended, the community itself breaks up when marriages aren’t made. Overall, nothing good comes from being petty and rejecting singles for stupid reasons.

  2. Motti G.

    I think your insights about being less picky are true. I would also add that people often do no understand how to look for a spouse. We all have things we “need” in a partner, and we all have things we “want” in a partner. The problem is that most people confuse an attribute as a “need” when really it is a “want”.

    For instance, a man might say he “needs” a wife interested in camping or hiking. But is this really a “need”? Not likely. A woman says she “wants” a man that keeps kosher, but she’s trying to be flexible. This is likely not really a want, but is a need if she already keeps kosher herself. Yes, some people are WAY too picky, but it is also important to make lists of what one needs and what one wants in a partner, and have these clearly defined and articulated.

    Great article Andrea! Keep it up!

  3. Yabon

    If the issue was about being picky then people wouldn’t find their match outside of jewish circles either, they simply wouldn’t find a match at all. I have friends who are single who have this issue and they say Jewish guys suck and non-jews are much more respectful and treat them well, while jewish guys don’t make any effort, they take them for granted, play games, are rude etc. So it’s not about lowering standards, it’s about guys stepping up to the challenge and maybe vice versa too.

  4. Andrea Karshan Author

    Comment from Facebook that I want to share because it touchs on a point that I should have wrote about in the article –
    “I also think “looking into” people has gotten out of hand. You don’t know someone until you meet them, so just go out!”

  5. There’s a famous joke about a guy who complained about Jewish women being loud, bossy, etc so he married a tall, blonde non-Jewish woman. She was just as loud and demanding, but he made exists for her and put up with it in a way he wouldn’t have door a Jewish woman.

    Fwiw, for me the issue is that non-Jewish men are not as likely to show me real interest (this is even correcting for race) and that too many Jewish men don’t actually practice any kind of Judaism and are often enough actually hostile to Judaism. Sadly, sometimes you can get more respect for Shabbat and Chagim from non-Jews..

  6. Daniel

    I live in Toronto. Similar, perhaps, to the man in the anecdote cited, finding someone open to marriage was not easy, my own issues notwithstanding. I have 2 kids whom I had with a Sephardic woman who had immigrated from Argentina long before I met her. We were not married nor even a couple as she wanted kids but without the a man directly implicated in her personal life. For me, having Jewish kids was much more important than being married. But I want to state that the mother being from Argentina is no mere accident or coincidence. Too many Toronto Jews are just way too fastidious about material items, prestige, details of background, social position etc. Not only are far too many of them undesirable in terms of a workable marriage but they lack, often, a wholesome view about family. I am grateful to have my kids but it’s disturbing with respect to the lengths I felt I had to go to make it happen.


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