Who doesn’t love Jewish singles events? (I know, stretching the sarcasm until it transforms into a rhetorical question.)

The Transom (which is apparently a section of the NY Observer) went to a Jewish singles night at the Upper West Side’s Makor (Steinhardt Center of the 92nd Street Y).

They interviewed Dave/Steve/Mike/Mark Jacob Manczyk (the names will change from event to event, but the issues remain the same), who spent the evening apparently either joking/flirting with the reporter or stumbling over his own words. (As you can see, sometimes it’s hard to tell which…) Here’s Manczyk on matchmaking:

“It’s an act of desperation, it’s unnatural. I wouldn’t want to tell my kids I met their mom through a matchmaker.” But the single-meet up scene hasn’t done the trick either, right? “Maybe it’s me, maybe I’m the one with the problem, the relationship issue. Maybe I’m the fool.” He looked up, eyes bright. “How old are you? Could you take off your glasses?”

Michelle Lee, a 33-year old lawyer, is a JDate member and regular single event attendee. How has the matchmaking been going, the Transom asks. “I’m still single,” she sang. And the JDate, the singles events? “I’m still single,” she repeated.

She sang? I’ve attended many an event, and have never “sung” anything resembling “I’m single”–there’s a karaoke event that might have seen a rendition of “I’m Too Sexy,” but even that cannot be corroborated. I guess she’s the one who puts the “sing” back in single.

The man she’s with, Dave Sanders, 39, is an engineer from Queens. He answers for what she’s looking for in a man. “You know, someone blond, blue eyes, likes to ski and travel,” he said. The Transom cringed as he described himself, but Ms. Lee giggled.

I’m still kind of cringing. But look, she found it entertaining enough that they’re talking of margaritas for next week. So good luck to these crazy kids. Here’s hoping they make it through and never have to attend any other Jewish singles events ever, me’az v’ad olam…IYH soon too by you, amen selah.

Jewish Singles Events: Putting the “Desperate” Back in “Desperately Seeking…” Since Before the Common Era…

PS: 999, dude.

About the author

Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see EstherK.com, MyUrbanKvetch.com and JDatersAnonymous.com.

31 Comments

  • On a serious note…YEAH…desperate is right…the big problem is as follows: and believe me, this is said with pain in my heart…Jewish singles are too freaking hung up on themselves and worried about “chemistry” and the “right one” and money and blah blah blah to get married and it’s a tragedy. A tragedy of HUGE proportions…there’s an insanity out there creeping in (basically due to lack of having a connection to Hashem and Torah…yes, you heard right!)….so that by age 30 a Jewish person who’s still single is yes, Esther, yes, on the verge of a nervous breakdown and going completely insane!!! So they go from these awful events to awful events hoping, praying and wondering why why why can’t I meet anybody…*special*…and then they just hook up with whoever’s hot and sleep with them and wonder why they can’t commit…it’s sad. Jsirp cries. But the answer is – well: I’ve said it before…see previous posts: Chicks: lose weight, work out. Try volunteering and all that. Try regaining your “innocence” – i.e. don’t put out, okay? And try Shabbos….Guys; Get a job. Don’t be a jerk. Call her back. Connect to a synagogue or something so you’re not just all about yourself. Get out of yourselves, get over yourselves, and yeah, you’ll be able to meet someone you can share a life with and GIVE to…not just a “soulmate,” which is an empty phrase….

    Jsirpicco must rest now…he has expended his FOUNTAIN OF WISDOM FOR THE DAY….he must…sleep…rest…contemplate his next move before he can be REVEALED to the world!

  • You know what I was just thinking the other day? “Wouldn’t it be nice if a married guy who sees things in black and white could prescribe a formula for all singles to adhere to? You know, a credo that for women would center on our personal appearance and for men would center on earning potential? Wouldn’t that be idyllic, if that guy would only tell us what to do?

    Oh, wait. That wasn’t me.

  • I would reccomend people in this situation to check out OSho, an Indian holy man. He has followers all over the world, in NY there is a lot of stuff you can attend, not expensive. It would give you a different perspective. Like many people w/ problems there is a need to take a different approach. At first you will be hostile to my idea, as I was. Because we all think, we have our act together, even if we say that we don’t, we think it’s a matter of time, a few months, this deal will happen, and then everything will be cool (find the right mate, rela. job, etc…).
    This is based in Holland but you can check anything related to Osho going on NY. I will post more info if anyone is interested. THis is particularly for the Singles people who are anxious/depressed over their situation, but it applies to anyone who is depressed. So read and enjoy!
    When the need is really to get past these layers that we have to understand them. Our fears, our lack of love. I just started checking out this and I have already transformed alot in how I am talking to people. I plan to attend NY events.

    Anyways here is a link:http://www.humaniversity.nl/Framesets/frameset.htm

  • osho, am indian holy man???
    is this like a new shaddchan service out of bombay?? not another sect that wants lost jews looking for spirituality?
    c’mon, this suppose to be an answer for jewish sigles??

  • Yes, because these and all people are suffering from a lack of love. Giving and receiving. Do you not see how this condition in their lives, would prevent them from getting to that point that they want? can you not see any value in someone looking to improve their communication skills, as they are going to be meeting, going out alot. Especially people who are into the whole blog scene, there are surely many parties and events that go on, which you are aware of from these type of web sites.
    What is wrong w/ the term holy man. Rav Moshe Feinstein was also a holy man. I have said as much on this web site several times. We had many others as well.

  • jobber my dear friend, i hope u r ok and if there is anything i can help u with let me know. I hate to bring u the news but i found osho being categorized as a cult. this is not a good place for a for such a nice jewish neshomo like yrs. pls be careful and dont play with these boys anymore.
    i also have to mention that yr comparison of osho and r’feinsten is not so accurate. r’moshe was a torah giant and lived by the law and tradition that is exclusively jewish. he devoted his live to teach and learn torah and to help jews anytime he could. sometimes even if it was beyond his strength.
    the other personu have mentioned is a guy who seems to be succesful in presentic his philosophical system but in the same time there are supposedly evidence of him coming thru not so clean. i really think it is an overstatement to equate him w/r’feinstein z”l.
    again pls dont hang around with these people no more.

  • Some interesting info on “Osho” aka “Rajneesh” to kinda back up what ybocher is saying:

    “This controversial and iconoclastic guru (1931-1990) has considerable influence in the “New Age” circles of some countries (Brazil for instance), where his books are sold in mainstream bookstores with nearly as much acceptance as those of the Dalai Lama. His teachings emphasize the search for personal freedom (definitely including sexual activity), often to the point of damaging ethical discernment and leading to enthusiastic yet destructive behavior. His books are often very caustic in their criticism of many institutions and traditional teachings. His followers caused the Wasco County, Oregon scandal (involving political fraud and salmonella poisoning). Much of the information about him is of dubious quality, such as his death supposedly being caused by poisoning with radioactive Thallium.”

    “His followers, at his request, bought (for $6m USD) a ranch in Wasco County, Oregon previously known as ‘The Big Muddy’, but later renamed Rajneeshpuram where they settled for the next several years.

    Disagreements over zoning rules and building codes in the beginning continued to escalate between not only his followers and the inhabitants of Wasco County, but eventually with the rest of the state. His followers, known as Rajneeshees, settled en bloc in Antelope, Oregon and were able to elect a majority of the town council. Comments by his public spokeswoman, Ma Anand Sheela, only increased tensions. Matters were not helped by Rajneesh’s vow of silence, or the 93 Rolls-Royces his followers bought him as gifts (technically, he did not have income or own any property). When the Rajneeshees subsequently recruited homeless people from across the United States to settle at Rajneeshpuram, it was widely seen as an attempt to use the ballot box to seize control of Wasco County. A bioterrorist attack involving salmonella typhimurium contamination in the salad bars of the 10 restaurants at The Dalles, Oregon was traced to the acts of Sheela and some of her group. The attack caused about 751 people to get sick, but no fatalities. It was the first known bioterrorist attack of the 20th century in the United States.”

    Hey, all religions are valid…we should love each other more…peace and stuff…so when do I get my followers and $6,000,000 house?

  • I never said that i am hanging out w/ these people. They are able to help people. Do you have any feelings at all for the plights of the Singles that have been described here by Esther and others? And what do you do tohelp them? More of the same? Another singles event, oh yes, at the beach that was it right? Well I just mentioned that I have gotten alot of just reading what was on this web site that I posted, not Osho, but the one in Holland. SO stop putting words in my mouth. and if you want to put people down for living well, don’t leave out Lawrence, Woodmere, etc…
    Rav Moshe was great not only bec. of his Torah knowledge, but for taking a stand, and helping people who were being abused by the system, like Agunot, where he was innovative to free them. He didn’t have to. He could have stayed w/ the existing positions.
    Tell me what the Shules are doing to REALLY help the problems of the singles frum and otherwise.

  • Ideas, Jobber? What could the shuls do? They do seem to have “singles” events. Tell us.

    Free weddings?
    Start-a-home packages including two years’ free shul membership?
    New-baby packages including a hefty chunk of cash, plus a big dollop of baby stuff, including a clean used crib with new mattress and layette (baby clothes)?

    Once a month New-Family Night with simultaneous classes How to Get There, What do to Now (It’s Been a Few Months Since the Wedding And We Are Still Not Sure How You Do This, and, New-Daddy and New-Mommy classes, all going at once, oh wild?

    Tell us, Jobber and you, too, JSirpicco, and also Esther.

    Tell o tell.

  • That would stuff a whole lot of young people into one place, some newly in the family thing and some not yet, the latter breathing it all in and seeing it is not FATAL. They would catch it like measles.

  • The hard part is getting the young men to go. Would it be ten girls to each boy? Tell O tell.

  • Where would the money come from? From canceling all those awful Kiddush Lunches that take the men away from what their wives have cooked. Only after Havdalah when Shabbat is over! Maleva Malka meal is ok. Before that, only coffee and cookies. No wine! Make kiddush at home.

    Those synagogue meals are a dagger aimed at the heart of the Jewish family and the Jewish wife. But I digress.

    Anyway, spend THAT money on THIS, see above.

  • …Synagogue…meals…are a dagger…aimed at the heart of the Jewish family.

    You know, fostering Jewish community is also an important part of…oh, forget it.

  • Yes. Forge community. Just do it after Havdalah, at Malevah Malka. With plenty of Stoly and a nice Dvar Torah.

    No problem.

  • You have no idea what it is like to wonder where the man and older children are, as the afternoon wears on, while you are home with an uneaten hand-made feast, which seems to be mainly for the kids too little to go to shul. Your home has been defaulted to a mere rookery, the Children’s Table. To be escaped as soon as one is old enough to escape. Whew. No observing and learning how Daddy honors Mommy at the family table. No, he is hanging with his buddies, while the older kids also hang with people their own age and gender. No enforced courtesy to people different from yourself. “Hang with your own kind, only” is the message.

    Children brought up this way will never marry. They will have no golden family memories to be nostalgic for and to attempt to re-create.

    Since we are already in this pickle, what do you say to Monthly New Family Night at the shul, which would not be so horribly “Singles Only” as if single people were a separate species. Ugh. Meatmarket.

    Esther, have men begun liking women for the sould alone? Have women become indifferent to men’s ability to pay for a cab when they are in labor, so they don’t have to take the bus?

    Come ON already.

  • If you re-read what Jsirpicco said in post number 1 here, it is not materialistic or crass, and not black and white. He said, engage with something outside yourself, and meet some external standards, not just your own internal standards. His fashion advice is primitive but we know what he means. He told the guys, don’t be a jerk. Call her back.

  • Um, this sounds like it’s more your own personal issues with being abandoned for the shul kiddush than it is a universal Jewish problem.

  • I thought so!! BUT: I see a letter a reader wrote to Hamodia Newspaper, an anonymous frum husband, sounding very senior, saying HE never does this, but, his wife hears a TON about this all around their frum community! I almost fell off my chair! I thought it was just us BT’s, who are less holy than the FFB’s we look up to.

    I REALIZE the men have to high-five and be friendly with each other for the good of the community. That unity is ESSENTIAL. I just feel it could be done just as well Saturday night, leaving Friday evening and Saturday lunch for family.

    The absence of a family dining experience produces savages. Polite, personally attractive, religiously trained, savages.

    Presiding over the growling masses and civilizing them by example and authority is a TIRING CHORE, and men LOVE to get out of this heavy lifting. In the shul building they feel sanctified. They can do no wrong in there, right? Wrong.

    Yes, there are people in the community who need the food. There are people in the community who have no family. Sorry. The families come first. Or we will have not Jews but Zoos. Tough.

    They can come and feast free on Saturday night. With Stoly. And a nice Dvar Torah.

    Isn’t my idea of mixing up all the young, whether married or not, great? Singles have to stop having a ward of their own on the quarantine floor. Ugh.

  • Actually, to tell you the truth, JM, I could see how putting singles together with young happy new families could lead to a lot of resentment on the singles’ part. You know, “Joe Blow is married and has a great wife and a new baby. Why don’t I get to be one of the lucky ones?”

  • Yes, if the single were the only one in the crowd of cooing marrieds. Or a tiny miserable minority.

    But: what if they were all milling around the coffee urn AFTER classes meant for their different needs, which had all been held at the same time? What if the crowd were about evenly divided among all these “kinds” of people: single, recently married, on the way to parenthood, or in it?

    There would have to be ENOUGH single people present to keep the light atmosphere up. Single people dart glances much better than married people, and smile brighter. They dress better. They are the champagne. They would have a conspiratorial alliance among each other. That might lead to something.

    Example is very powerful.

  • JM, Michael’s right. No fun being a third/fifth/seventh, etc., wheel at a social event. Between the Scylla of envy, and the Charybdis of schadenfreude…. Ugh.

    Though, if you replace the Stoly with Grey Goose…

  • I see. The singles could have their OWN meeting spot. Maybe in another room. Near the Stoly. Married people dont’ need stoly. Some of them are nursing. They feel fine already. Goose, sure, who cares. As long as it is expensive the men will come. Lower lighting in that room.

  • JM, the point is that the SHules are not providing an answer for the singles crisis. That is why I advise those singles who feel as say Esther does based on her writing, to look outside of Judaism for assistance.

  • But the classes should all be the same night. There will be some introducing going on. The marrieds will introduce their friends to their friends. Especially if they get a little Stoly too. But yes, separate lounge areas. No chairs where the singles go. If you want to sit and talk, you have to ask her to go someplace else. Put a carpet down. Some of us are in heels.

  • Jobber, so what should the shuls do, according to you? The things you are referring to outside Judaism, can we copy their methods, but staying within Judaism?

    In case you care, the singles crisis is NOT unique to Jews. The article in the Washington Times was NOT about Jews in particular, just Americans in general.

    Yes, holiness leads to marriage. We have plenty of that, and do not need to go next door for it. A single Jew having trouble with his kavanah and his soul should talk to a rabbi. Maybe a new and different rabbi. But don’t leave the building.

  • Morissey, we can rise above envy and schadenfreude even if they are tempting. MAYBE that is EXACTLY what needs to be done!!!!! now that you mention it. Hmmm.

  • Hmmm! Capital Hmmmmm!!!

    Graciousness around people who have something nice you do not leads to being attractive and sweet and deserving to have it yourself!!! This is a test! Take a deep breath and resolve to pass it.

    Remember the essential skill of being civil to people different from yourself? Learned at the dinner table? Do that. And you too will have a little head spitting up on your shoulder and making soft sounds and smelling funny. But not. Only other peoples’ smell funny. One’s own smell fine. It’s a mammal thing.

  • JM, it’s not a issue of this shule or that shule.
    People who are feeling oppressed for whatever it is, are not feeling any better by going to shule.
    But yes these could be copied, but of course it is one thing to speak and another to do.
    What is so terrible about going off for a couple of Shabbatot, to invest in oneself?

  • Jobber, Chassidism and Kaballah might interest you. Have you hung out with Chabad lately? They are very soulful and so wonderful. Their web site is good. Rebbe Schneerson was a fabulous and holy man. You can get books from them at http://store.kehotonline.com/

    I love “Bringing Heaven Down to Earth” , which anybody can get used at alibris.com

    They get way past the material world and its mechanical considerations. Yes, we need more of that!

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