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Focus on Issues: Frankfurt ‘yente’ Has a Match for Jewish Singles in Germany

What would you do if you were single and Jewish — in Germany?

Jose Weber, Frankfurt’s own Colombia-born Jewish yente, has an answer. For the past 10 years, he has been running “Siman Tov,” or Good Omen, which he says is the only Jewish dating service in Germany.

From his office, a room in his Frankfurt apartment, he attempts to find the perfect one-and-only for Jewish singles not only in Germany but throughout the rest of the world.

The Jewish dating scene here is about as tough as making it through those last few hours of the Yom Kippur fast.

While singles ads in German newspapers or city magazines are quite popular, such ads with a Jewish twist are rare.

One Israeli who responded to one of the rare Jewish singles ads in a Berlin city magazine said that he had been living in Germany for 18 years before he saw such an advertisement.

Jewish singles here often complain about not having access to new people. Those born and raised in Frankfurt, for example, pretty much know the community’s 6,000 members, at least the active ones.

Weber is critical of the various singles clubs in Germany, saying that the same people go to these gatherings all the time, or that there are not enough new faces to go around.

ADS ‘CONCEIVABLY THE WORST WAY’ TO MEET

He calls the ad route “conceivably the worst way” to meet a person. He labels as “desperate” those who answer or put in such ads.

Finding success through Weber’s services usually means a move, since the prospective partner supplied by Weber comes from his worldwide database. Usually, it is the woman who has to move, Weber admits.

Siman Tov has two offices in Israel and also has representatives in Los Angeles, Montreal, Panama and in Cali, Colombia. He notes that some recent successful matchups have been made among Swiss, Belgian and British Jews.

Weber, who is divorced but dating a Russian Jewish immigrant he met through work, says he typically asks prospective clients to commit themselves to two years of enrollment in his service.

The matchmaker refused to say how much it costs for the two-year contract, only that most working people should be able to afford it.

If a marriage results, then both the bride and the groom are required to pay him what he calls a “success fee,” which he also won’t reveal.

The blue questionnaire given to new clients is fairly typical. They are asked to describe themselves and what they are looking for.

Weber searches his databank and comes up with a few initial suggestions. He then passes on names and numbers to both prospects, but strictly warns the woman not to call the man first.

“I’m very strict about this,” he says. If a woman has not received a call from her prospective suitor within 14 days, she is to call Weber, not the man.

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