Helping Singles Meet


Stewart Ain’s N.Y. Minute interview with Rabbi Perry Tirschwell, “Vows To Serve The
Young In Young Israel” (Nov. 29), addresses a topic of great importance, particularly
here on the Upper West Side.

New York City is a hub for Jewish singles and
young professionals, a unique demographic that requires its own strategic
approach and consistent attention. I agree with Rabbi Tirschwell that when
Jewish young professionals arrive in our community, they enter a crucial stage
in their lives both professionally and religiously. But to say “there is
nothing for them” is to grossly mischaracterize our community. Yes, there is always more that can be done, but the portals of entry for
young Jewish singles are many and growing. The Jewish Center is one
of many institutions that has devoted an enormous amount of resources to this
group. We not only host a Shabbat morning Young Leadership minyan, but we aspire
to be a center for Modern Orthodox life and learning where young
professionals are empowered to lead and grow. We take great pride in the fact
that singles are not only among our active members, they are our leaders as

We have a pioneering program of living room learning in rotating homes,
designed for singles to meet new people, study topics that are relevant to
them and feel more connected amid the anonymity of New York City. And we partnered with Kehilath
Jeshurun just this past month, initiating “East Meets West,” a program for and by young professionals to meet at centers like ours for dinners, with the goal of expanding the orbits of our
respective communities. We welcome and encourage creative and new ideas. And we welcome the active
participation and involvement of every demographic. In the end, the strength
of our community will be a function of the extent to which we can create a
partnership between institutions and individuals.

The Jewish Center, Manhattan