Newsweek reports that rabbis are adopting a new strategy to prevent intermarriage: JDate.
For the first time in its 10-year history, the site is offering a bulk rate to rabbis who want to buy membership accounts for their congregants. According to Gail Laguna, JDate’s vice president of communications, singles who sign up through their congregation get a slight discount on the site’s $149 six-month subscription fee. “This is a way for us to break down the walls of the synagogue,” said Rabbi Michael Cahana, who leads the Congregation Beth Israel in Portland, Ore. “We should use all the technological tools that are available to us.”
Rabbi Kenneth Emert, of Temple Beth Rishon in Wyckoff, N.J., turned to his synagogue’s discretionary budget to purchase a dozen three-month memberships for single congregants. Only one rule: “No mothers, no grandmothers.”
Singles, in other words, have to sign up themselves. The financial aid is appreciated. If not for Emert, says 29-year-old public-interest lawyer Noah Mamber, “I would have had to choose between JDate and food.”