How To Find Your Match Made in Cyberspace: High-Tech Jewish Matchmaking Links
Within the Internet there are many different forums for meeting one's bashert. While chat rooms may be frowned upon, sophisticated websites operated by professional matchmakers, as well as listservers, abound. Participants accessing the various sites mentioned here are from all branches of Judaism.
With listservers, one "subscribes" to automatically receive email postings by fellow subscribers. Anytime someone posts an email message to the listservice, all other subscribers receive that message automatically in their emailbox. Both the Shniers and the Katzes met through a listservice.
"Shiduch list"is the brainchild of a happily married, matchmaking mother of eight children living in Jerusalem, Raizy Steinberg, and her computer-guru husband, Yehoshua. A $25 annual fee entitles participants to fill out an online questionnaire, which is then sent to subscribers in cyberspace for their perusal. Subscribers are not required to post their particulars - - they may simply receive others' C.V.'s (called "lurking" in cyberslang). Some of the more unusual past posts have included an Orthodox African-American convert to Judaism (who later announced her engagement as a result of "shiduch list"), as well as people with various physical disabilities. The majority of those who post are professionals in their late twenties to forties. The listservice also periodically posts announcements of singles'events in the U.S. and Israel. The only requirement for subscribers is that they must be unattached, Jewish - - and want to get married. To subscribe, contact shiduch list at email@example.com with a message body (no subject) saying "subscribe shidduch (insert your first and last name)." Further instructions and a questionnaire will be sent to your email address.
If you've always dreamed of marrying a Jewish doctor - - male or female - - then Jewish Quality Singles ( http://www.jqs.com/main.html) is worth a try. The design of this website has lots of sharp graphics and is extremely "user friendly." Profiles are divided by sex and decade (20s, 30s, etc., all the way to 60s+). The overwhelming majority of women include an online photo with their posts; about half the men are camera-shy. Although JQS is accessed by Jews from all walks of life, there seem to be an inordinate amount of unwed physicians in cyberspace who've signed up with JQS. Although anyone may "virtually" access the profiles, a fee is charged to establish actual contact. Cost: $125 for 6 months, one year for $200, and for those truly lacking faith or self confidence, a lifetime membership costs $1000.
Callling itself "The Online House of Love," Jewish Personals ( http://www.jewishpersonals.com) operates in a similar fashion to JQS. A monthly fee of $9.95 is charged to access posts, although anyone is welcome to "lurk" as a "guest." Does the dating scene overwhelm you? Jewish Personals also features a link to an advice-to-the-lovelorn columnist who has a degree in social work. And if English isn't your mother tongue, another link connects you to Corazones ( http://www.corazones.com/), which is the Jewish Personals site translated into Spanish.
Jdate's website ( http://www.jdate.com) offers state-of-the-art Internet technology. You can send them a video or audio cassette of yourself, which they will encode free of charge and play online when your profile is accessed. Anyone who registers may access the profiles, but the only way to receive email from those interested in you is to pay a fee, which ranges from $39 for a 3-month membership, to $95 for 6 months. A trial membership, which allows participants a maximum of 5 emails, costs $18. Jdate claims to have 13,000 members worldwide.