So, You’re Going to Meet a Shadchan?

By Miriam Kolko

Finding the right shadchan is a process in itself. Having spent the last years developing yourself you are ready to build a home and share it with your bashert, but now discover that a shadchan is often a prerequisite to finding a suitable match.

How do you promote yourself so that your shidduch information remains in the shadchan’s mind and does not get lost among the myriad collection of resumes that has gathered cobwebs in a drawer, or vanished into the maw of the shadchan’s computer?

The first step in creating an impression is to actually meet the shadchan. If a picture is worth a thousand words, the significance of a meeting is priceless. Set yourself up for success by dressing appropriately. The way you dress is a declaration to others and can reveal a lot about you. Dress neatly and conservatively. This is not a contradiction to who you really are, but an acknowledgement of time and place and not allowing fashion to overshadow your persona.

Be an active partner. Prepare a shidduch resume and attach a recent picture. Your resume is your calling card; and your photo has retention value. Be sure to include your family background, schooling and current activities. List your contact information and check that contact information for your references are current. Assess your strengths and be ready to describe them. Is there anyone that you admire and care to emulate? Be prepared to describe the kind of home you envision and the specifics of what you are looking for in a spouse. This is a summation of who you are, what you are doing, where you are going and who you visualize accompanying you in life.

Show an interest in the shadchan. You can ask polite questions about the shadchan’s family, be generous with compliments and be aware of the shadchan’s efforts. No mistaking the purpose of the meeting, it is about you, however, showing that you appreciate the time that the shadchan is spending with you demonstrates that you are a warm and caring individual.

Smile! A smile can make you more attractive. A nice, friendly and genuine smile influences people positively and is always noticed and reciprocated. Your only cost is the effort it takes to lift your mouth. Make sure that your smile radiates onward to your eyes and outward to others.

Send the shadchan a thank you by way of email or standard mail. It can be a simple note or a more elaborate letter, yet it will cement your image and in combination with the previous suggestions help create a positive impression.

Miram Kolko is the manager of the Rebbetzins. The Rebbetzins is a free shidduch program designed to provide singles from Baal Teshuva background with a way of connecting to reliable information about other singles throughout the United States and Canada.

The Rebbetzins program has a centralized network of trustworthy Rebbetzins in major communities. A Rebbetzin is a wise, life-experienced, reliable person who actively works on behalf of one single at a time, as a parent does. Your Rebbetzin will take the time to get to know the real you. You’ll never be just a name and a resume.

To find out more about The Rebbetzins please go to or simply call our office, 732-730-1000 Ext. 263, a coordinator will be happy to answer any questions and assist you in filling out an application

Originally published on 10/09/2010

14 comments on “So, You’re Going to Meet a Shadchan?

  1. To Mr. Cohen #5: WADR, I believe that you might be underestimating yourself and your potential on the shidduch scene. Any eligible Orthodox Jewish man without the 3 D’s – Drink, Drugs and Disease – and maybe let’s add another three D’s for [several prior] Divorces, [convictions for] Domestic violence, and [severe clinical] Depression – has the chance to be matched up with a “nice” eligible Orthodox Jewish woman. Speak to the shadchan MP who posted on this blog; see how much MP charges and what MP says about potential matches for you. Also, see Charlie Hall #11 and his comment about how the frumster website worked for him. Hatzlocho and brocho.

  2. People are not only afraid of high divorce rates and hidden problems, they’re also afraid of…”THEM”. The OTHERS. The ones from “OUR” circles (whichever circles that may be) who will notice our choice and poskin how we did afterwards. “THEY” have opinions. Oh no, what will “THEY” say? “THEY” will say that I settled for less. “THEY” will say I must not be holding high enough standards. “THEY” always find the perfect shidduch for their children, why can’t I?
    It’s the same reason why peole spend shmillions of dollars on simchas.

  3. Steve: I have come to believe that it is a popular myth that people are asking about tablecloths when doing research on a shidduch. I have been called many many times about girls I know and never once has anyone asked me such a ridiculous question, and only one person asked me about what size the girl is (of course I did not answer). Most parents of FFBs, and older singles (FFB & BT) themselves, ask the important questions, and most are very nice and sincere. Of course my experience is not the be all and end all, but I would venture to say that we (as a community, not as individuals) might be focusing on a non-problem because the bigger problem is much harder to address.

  4. Just have to put in a good word for, where my wife and I met. We were match #152; I think they now have matched something like 900 couples.

  5. Years and years ago, there was an organization (sadly now defunct) called Yavneh, for Orthodox Jewish young adults. I met my husband Ira on their Labor Day Weekend Retreat in 1974. I heard that other Orthodox Jewish couples met through Yavneh, either on that particular weekend or on other Shabbatons sponsored by Yavneh.

    I believe that the community is trying hard now to deal with the problem of bringing single men and women together in a dignified halachic and hashkafic environment. Chananya Weissman’s group End the Madness sponsors Shabbos get-togethers for pre-selected groups of single Orthodox Jewish men and women, with a defined age range and an equal number of men and women. The men and women see each other at their Shabbos seudos and also at shiurim given during the night and daytime, again at a Melave Malka held after Shabbos. Similarly, the Hineni group brings together single men and women for shiurim, they have an opportunity to meet before and after the classes (as well as Rebbetzin Jungreis herself trying to match up suitable couples).

    The widespread use of shadchanim came about because you are talking now about a much more far flung Jewish community: a girl from Williamsburg, Brooklyn could end up marrying a boy from Antwerp, Belgium or Melbourne, Austalia. Also it’s gotten harder to find out important information about people. People are frightened by the high divorce rate and by hidden problems that were not disclosed before marriage. Not that shadchanim will necessary find out or reveal those problems, but singles looking for a match want to try all resources in their quest for their soulmate.

  6. Bob Miller-I don’t think so, but I do think that Mr. Cphen’s POV is unrealistic. If you are a BT ( and a Kohen), then you have to widen, as opposed to narrow your options and venues, within your hashkafic framework, as to where and how you will find a shidduch.

  7. Steve,

    Can the approach you described work outside areas with a high concentration of Orthodox Jewish singles?

  8. Bob Miller’s query to Mr. Cohen prompted this response. YU’s Center for the Jewish Future sponsors Shabbatonim for singles of various ages and hashkafic orientations with Shadchanim whereby singles can network, and see if anyone at a Shabbos meal might lead to a tachlis oriented date. It is a program that RIETS’s RY endorse and participate in as well as a far less pressurized alternative and for many, far better than the dual extremes of the problems with the Shidduch system and extended singlehood.

  9. I do not agree with the whole shadchan system. If I could go back in time with all the knowledge I have now, I would never go to any shadchanim, especially those that require payment in cash up front.

    Looking back, I now realize that as a Baal Teshuvah and Kohen, my shidduch chances were very small, regardless of how I presented myself to shadchanim and others; so it did not pay to worry, since I never really had anything to lose anyway.

    I also would never go to lousy singles events or severely overpriced singles weekends in kosher hotels.

  10. Steve’s comments remind me to note that many “resumé”s I’ve seen not only don’t tell the whole story but even disguise important, sometimes contradictory, information. I cannot overemphasize that, as with life in general, a person asking for my assistance should be entirely honest about his/herself. These and many other aspects are covered in a worthy document, . Thanks.

  11. Perhaps, we would not read articles and letters on a weekly basis in the Yated and elsewhere about the “shidduch crisis” if shadchanim as well as the men and women who seek their advice emphasized that a shidduch is a union of two people, each of whom is a gavra, as opposed to a cheftza. Resumes are important, but even more so are emphasizing midos , pyschological and hashfafic compatibiliity as opposed to the externals such as the kind of tableclothes used on Shabbos, the search for a “size two”, etc.

  12. As a shadchan, I wish currently-unmarried guys and gals put the effort into meeting me — nearly all of the many dozens who have asked me for assistance over the years live or work near where I live and/or work but have not gone beyond corresponding with me via email. I strongly encourage any fellow Jew reading this who would like assistance in finding his/her lifetime spouse to indeed make the time to meet the person s/he asked for assiatance…and while I don’t ask for your thanks and certainly not for you to be interested in who I am, nor will I lose your information in my computer’s maw, I would add one note to what Miriam wrote: please keep in touch with me on a regular basis, letting me know what’s going on in your life and, especially, what may have changed in your life and thereby impacted your search for “the right one.” Thanks!

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