An online Jewish marriage service in a Ukrainian city apparently is working.
The number of Jewish weddings in Dnepropetrovsk has more than tripled since the leaders of its Jewish community, trying to confront the assimilation challenge, established the online Jewish singles and marriage service. It is designed for singles and couples who want to create a traditional Jewish family.
More than 30 traditional Jewish weddings took place in Dnepropetrovsk in 2007, compared to an average of about 10 weddings per year before the service was established.
For couples who wish to marry, Yizhak Karshenbaum, a secretary of the rabbinical court and head of the marriage service, uses supporting documents to verify that both partners are Jewish and all aspects of Jewish law are fulfilled. Experts teach the couple about Jewish marriage traditions and customs.
The service recently established a filing system to collect and store information about Jewish weddings in the community.
“Entries into wedding records are very important – they are important parts of living history – and if a ketubah is lost, for example, we will be able to restore it,” said Karshenbaum.
The Web site, www.mazeltov.org.ua, also helps those who want to meet a Jewish mate. To join, a request is forwarded to the site coordinator, who arranges a meeting between the applicant and a local rabbi in order to gain access to the site.
Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzky, the chief rabbi of Dnepropetrovsk and the surrounding region, and a Chabad emissary, said he expected the service to expand to other Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union.