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They can decide who to contact, and if or when to take the conversation from online to an in-person date.
With about 10,000 active users at any given time, the site claims to have made more than 3,180 marriages “and counting.” According to CEO Ben Rabizadeh, the site’s sweet spot is singles in their thirties and forties, and members’ locations are representative of the English-speaking Jewish population worldwide.
Shaya Ostrov, a therapist based in Far Rockaway, New York, notes that in general, the Chareidi sectors prefer a more traditional approach to dating.
They have not taken to online dating, as they are less comfortable with Internet use overall; although he adds, “Even Chareidim use dating sites like Saw You At Sinai as they get older, when they feel they have used up the pool of people they know.” Rachel, who considers herself “Yeshivish,” is a divorcee with three children who lives in Brooklyn.
“These sites give you direct access to tons of people.” That being said, the only dating site he belongs to is YUConnects, which he describes as “more of a ‘Why not?The mobile app, created in 2014, pushes one suggestion at a time to members—profiles are usually heavy on photos—and they can swipe right if they are interested, or left to pass.If both people swipe right, it’s a “match” and they can begin to chat through the app.Overall, though, he views using algorithm-based technology to find dates as positive.“The broad range and variety of dating sites are perceived by the Modern Orthodox community as a whole as a boon,” he says, “which is not the case in the Chareidi world.” While twenty-nine-year-old Avi, who considers himself Modern Orthodox, has many reservations about online dating sites, he sees the potential in them.
“I was done swiping in a few minutes.” Now, says Ahuva, who lives on the Upper West Side, JSwipe is being used by quite a few of her friends.