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My Jewish Dating Problem

I’d given up on finding a Jewish woman to marry—until the woman I fell in love with decided to convert

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The relationship became shorter-distance when Alicia attended Rutgers School of Law in Camden; we were both in New Jersey, at least. Instead of visiting her once a month, I went down from Livingston to Camden once a week. One visit, I found a giant stack of books on the counter. This was hardly unusual. Alicia is and always has been a voracious reader. What was unusual was the subject matter of the books: Judaism. Before I could ask her why she was so interested, she asked me for recommendations on other books. I recommended Joseph Telushkin’s Jewish Literacy. By the next week she had read it and had a new pile of books on Judaism on her counter, then another pile the next week.

On some level, I was confident that once she decided to study Judaism, she would become enthralled with it and want to convert. I think that Judaism was waiting for her to find it. I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t influence her to convert, even if I never overtly made such a request. She knew how important Judaism was to me. I also have no doubt she started reading the pile of Jewish books because of me. In the end, however, the decision to convert was hers.

She began the conversion process during her second year of law school, much to the joy of my parents and grandparents. The conversion was completed at the beginning of her third. The rabbi said that she knew as much about Judaism as a first-year rabbinical student. I proposed to her in September 2008, the same month her conversion was completed. Eleven months later, we had our perfect Jewish wedding.

***

I often wonder why I went through years of wandering through the desert filled with Sarahs, Rebeccas, Rachels, and Leahs only to marry a Ruth. Why did my decision to only date Jews end up so disastrously?

I think the decision itself was part of the problem. It split the women in my life into two categories: those I could date and those I could not. As a result, I was a much more natural and relaxed person among the non-Jews I felt no pressure to impress, whereas my relationship with Jewish women was always fraught with an intense sense of importance: Maybe this would be the one who would end my isolation. I’d be seized with nerves, I’d feel the need to make grand gestures that I thought were romantic but in retrospect probably came across as desperate. There was nothing wrong with my normal self. But “Howard-in-search-of-a-date” was an entirely different, socially awkward mess of a person. My vow to date only Jewish women had turned people into possibilities and turned me into someone I don’t like very much in retrospect.

At the same time, I consider myself rather lucky. I hadn’t rejected Judaism. And in Alicia I recognized someone who shared my values, if not my religion. Indeed, she shared the two Jewish values I find most important: a strong sense of ethics and a profound love for knowledge. They were part of what I came to love about her, and they were part of what she came to love about Judaism.

Even if Alicia’s grandmother was a little bit confused about why we couldn’t get married in a church, her family was mostly supportive. Her mother even got to choose her Hebrew name. Now the familial pressure has gone from marrying a nice Jewish girl to having nice Jewish kids. Hopefully they’ll be as nice as their Jewish mother.

***

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I hope her converting wasn’t a prerequisite. That’s just not important when it comes down to it.

Gollies, I find this so offensive I can hardly speak. It never occurred to the author that perhaps what was turning women off was his insistence that they conform to an external checklist. In this context, I don’t see the notion that My Wife “must be Jewish” as very different from the notion that she “must have large breasts.” What a colossal schmuck.

Gollies, I find this so offensive I can hardly speak. It never occurred to the author that perhaps what was turning women off was his insistence that they conform to an external checklist. In this context, I don’t see the notion that My Wife “must be Jewish” as very different from the notion that she “must have large breasts.” What a colossal schmuck.

Marrying a gentile woman willing to convert solves two problems. It solves the problem the author discusses, and it also widens the Jewish gene pool. Ashkenazi Jews especially are prone to many genetic disorders like Tay-Sachs. Exogamy reduces the risk.

Despite the critique this piece is sure to engender (e.g., the comment by Ms. Topkis), it speaks to a very real concern within certain (not insubstantial) portions of American Jewry (one, I’d add, that isn’t typically associated with schmucks). Rather than attack the author for opening up about the turmoil caused by his desire to marry within the tribe (and thereby increase the odds of Jewish continuity), we should be toasting his willingness to share his experience and his willingness to, despite his reservations, date outside the tribe. Through his own investment in and dedication to Jewish identity, he brought his wife to the threshold…she, of her own volition, stepped through. Siman tov u’ mazal tov!

rosela says:

“must be Jewish” is in no way the same as “must have large breasts.” There are many different cultures and religions in the world. Is it really so offensive to you that we Jews consider our heritage a worthwhile one worth preserving through transmission to our children? We don’t go door to door converting the nations. And we don’t force people to convert by means of an Inquisition, as some other faiths have done in history. Under Jewish law one cannot exactly go out and look for “gentile woman willing to convert” since a conversion like that would not be considered valid. What a blessing for this blogger to have found for his mate a woman whose soul was present, along with other sincere converts, at the giving of the Torah at Sinai.

Torah on Sinai? Let’s hope not. The Torah has a hostile attitude toward non-Jewish women..

dongszkie says:

personally, i don’t see religion as an impediment to marriage life. why in the bedroom are we going to pray? isn’t it all for romance communion w/ each other? i would be very tolerant as to the form and nature of the spirituality of my life partner. what is important to me is love, commitment to each other, respect and being honest and truthful to each other. i don’t want to be entangled with God in my relationship with a wife. she can worship the way she want, i worship the way i want.

dongszkie says:

God did that w/ a purpose in connection w/ his grand design for all mankind. No body can question God’s justice,he being the universal sovereign. The problem is w/in us. Knowing God and understanding his eternal purpose for mankind will solve and clear every hurdle we have w/ him. My suggestion is read and study the Torah ang get a full understanding about God’s eternal purpose for mankind, not for the Jewish people only. There was a time when God exclusively deal w/ the Jewish people ONLY but it was not meant to be a permanent one, the world of mankind are all his, he being the only one living and true God.

Abraham, Moses and Job all questioned God’s justice. You do not know your Bible.

dongszkie says:

there are two kind of questions. one that prejudged that the action of God IS wrong, one that solicit an explanation and clarification from
God for an understanding. the later is healthy kind of question. the former is insubordination. the three loyal servants of God were merely seeking full understanding of the issue they faced being realistic of their limitations and imperfections.

Amber Carrier says:

Or world history.

This article and the author’s feelings about Jewishness, love, and marriage had almost nothing to do with religion. It has to do with the fact that he belongs to a distinct culture, one that over thousands of years many people have attempted to purge. When you are part of a group of people that have been historically persecuted and multiple attempts to destroy them have taken place, you are more likely than most to be attached to that cultural identity. And with said attachment comes the pressure, from both within the community and within the self, to perpetuate that culture. In Judaism, that means to raise Jewish families to carry on the traditions into the future while paying homage to the past. It’s the same pressure that many other people groups feel, but for those that are Jewish it’s compounded by the fact that they’ve always, since they beginning of of their history, been outnumbered where they’ve been. And in the author’s case, his grandparents survived one of histories greatest and most recent attempts to eradicate their existence. To pretend that that pressure is silly or trivial, as Maggie did above, or to assume that he does not understand “God’s” true purpose for all mankind is arrogant, ignorant, and absurdly culture centric.

dongszkie says:

not only do i know my Bible. I UNDERSTAND IT !!!!

Thanks, this article gives me a feeling of hope in the “time to find a wife” world. I myself am a convert, and I’d like to marry a Jewish woman. As I am coming to learn, my potential matches don’t have to start out Jewish. I’d much rather find a potential spouse who shares my interests and values first. Jewishness can be worked out second.

Amber Carrier says:

You assume that knowing your bible and understanding it equate to agreeing with it, being able to properly apply it, or understanding a “bible” is in any way shape or form relevant to everyone or every situation.

Brenda Fegley says:

I am also a “Ruth”.My personal Jewish journey took several decades.I went through a formal conversion in 2011 with the help of a wonderful Rabbi and temple community.G-d guides us,if we take the time to listen.G-d guided you to find the right women and you listened.Wonderful article,thankyou for sharing.

You accept it literally and uncritically. Arguing with God is a long and worthy Jewish tradition, which is also reflected in Hasidic folk tales.
There is an old Yiddish proverb: If God lived on earth, people would throw rocks through His windows.

Everyone “knows” Judaism passes thru the mother, right?

Then why is it that not a rabbi has even attempted to answer
this

$10,000 Torah Challenge !!! ???

Can You Prove from the Torah that Judaism Does Indeed Pass
Thru the Mother ?

http://drorbenami987.hubpages.com/hub/Torah-Metaphors-A-10-000-Challange

I always forget what avatar I had put up when I sign in with Disqus… Whatever…

How cute, Howard.
My dear wife directed me to this story as “Howard Kleinman” is part of our “Story.”
Back in the mists of time, when I was not yet Jewish, our oldest boy was a classmate of Howard’s at Solomon Shechter in New Jersey.
The Kleinman’s moved to Minnesota.
When we were choosing; at random; by process of elimination; sheer whimsy – a place to move to, our son suggested Minnesota because that’s where Howard Kleinman moved to…
As it happens, so did we.
The boys did not end up in school together though, as we took the Orthodox Jewish path and the Kleinman’s ended up moving back to New Jersey.
Today, that son is married with children and a rebbe in a Jewish Day School.
And, my sincere wishes are that Howard and his kallah should only go from strength to strength in their path into Torah and Judaism.
Life is beautiful all the time…

oaklandj says:

Rabbinical decision (“oral tradition”), not via the written Torah.

Hey, less Tay-Sachs. ;)

First, I want to say that I am welcoming of anyone who converts and wants to create a Jewish home. But as a jewish woman I find the rationalizations among our young Jewish men disturbing. I hear time and time again how it is okay for Jewish men to date non-jews as a matter of course. Look in the papers: Zuckerberg, Mezvinsky, Kopelman, Shulman – all marrying non-jewish women without so much as a question. Let’s not forget the consequences – young jewish women with no husbands especially within the conservative and reform denominations. Go to any Jewish singles event and you will see a lopsided ration of women to men. We are dooming ourselves if we say it doesn’t matter. It does.

More frightening is that I used to hear from Jewish men is that there are “no good” Jewish women out there. It’s nonsense. Jewish women are desperate to find Jewish men, especially more conservative girls. It’s the girls who are not as pretty or make less money especially discouraged. Even though I ended up marrying a Jew, I have to say I was this close to giving up. If Howard Kleinman thinks that’s a viable future for this Jewish people, he’s the only one.

SoManyThings says:

Jewish women are just way too neurotic (at least in the big cities), and don’t appreciate a “nice” Jewish guy as much as the gentiles do. Best to marry one of them and expand the gene pool. The rates of intermarriage are high enough anyway; no sense in feeling senselessly guilty about it. Embrace the benefits of it. In all likelihood if you raise decent kids then they’ll reach out to that side of the family and their history anyway.

SoManyThings says:

Uh yeah. I must say that this is one of the strangest comments I’ve read all week. And given all the weird people on the internets and the weird things they say, that’s saying a lot.

But thanks for the interesting diversion.

SoManyThings says:

Kleinman’s anecdotes on the “strange ones” also sound familiar. Out of all the Jewesses with whom I’d even gone out on at least one date, the first one ate everything exclusively with four fingers (both index and thumbs) – like a crab. Another thought it would be funny to end a date early by fixating swooningly on a mutual friend. Two that I actually became more involved with were full-blown narcissists — one completely ruining an otherwise workable and understanding relationship by repeatedly, and with increasing anger, raging over the fact that I only made twice her salary, instead of six times as much. Why she finally sobbed over it afterward, confused by what exactly? went wrong this time is anyone’s guess. And so on. I won’t mention the more innocent ones with the slightly more endearing, if still pretty awkward quirks.

Of course, there have been kooky goyesses, but what seemed different there, and I hate to say it, was a sense of humility and grace that a great many among the tribe lack.

I’d hate for Christianity to completely displace Judaism, but I think that as residents of one of the only lands that’s actually welcomed and often admired us, we could stand to learn a great deal from its dominant religion. I’d not want to be Christian either for a few reasons, least of all a universalist and salvation-oriented faith that doesn’t always value community and inquiry as much as ours. But there’s still a lot that we can learn from them. Becoming slightly less picky, dissatisfied and unintentionally isolating would be a few of them.

Hello,
Please don’t give up on Jewish women. There are some very kind, beautiful, wonderful ones out there. You will find her.

Regina

My college maydel dropped me for a pre-med and then a doctor because, as she told me 10 years later “I wanted to be taken care of.” Republic Bank’s Gold Department’s SrVP’s daughter interviewed me at her parent’s Westchester country club after several dates, and stopped, though strangely inviting me to her grandparents’ 50th anniversay NYC Plaza Hotel opulent party. Twice maydels, upon asking the common-first-question “What do you do?”, upon hearing “engineer” walked away without a word. Even now as a mature single, I hear the same. I was of the same mind as Howard, serially-dating schicksas, knowing I wouldn’t wed them. The closest I came, oddly enough, was to a practicing Polish-Catholic with a crucifix over her bed. We broke up over celebrating Xmas.

Howard— I found your article very personal, honest and revealing. I married someone (born Jewish) 25 years ago, when I was age 38, but not without having pretty much given up finding a soul mate who was born Jewish and having also rejected other opportunities with some fine Jewish women and women whom I am sure would have been wonderful converts to Judaism. My pre-Seinfeld journey included a book(The Single-Person’s Illustrated Dictionary) and once I did get engaged , I put my fiancee through all types of parties and hoops just to celebrate my joy and my family’s relief,( and perhaps test her endurance.) Speaking just for myself(and not for my wife) I can tell you that the products from our marriage, starting with our great kids, has resulted in wonderful things for all four of us, but you have to start the journey, whether you are 25, 35, or 61(as one of my single buddies just finally did.) Mazel Tov!!

who understands it? not an easy text…

jankel says:

that happened regularly and massively in the old times of Roman Empire in Italy till the German Limes and over them further Eastward…., when Jews were attractive to Pagans and were then preparing the way for their future soon best enemy: Christianity…

wishnitz says:

The telling point you make is that the vast majority of single girls are in the conservative and reform streams. Reason? simple, the men in these streams do not think it is wrong to marry out of the faith. This is a comparatively new phenomenon and it does not bode well for conservative and reform jewry. yes, it does require a certain commitmemt to marry within the faith but there are six million Jews in the US and six million in israel and about two/three million elsewhere. One cannot find a spouse amongst all of these?

Pam Green says:

Wow, what a great story! It deserved a reply from Howard but maybe he’s too busy reading Marjorie Ingall’s story on etiquette.

Thank you. I suspect that Howard may not even be reading the comments. I understand that when one publishes a personal story, it might be difficult to read the often scathing reviews that it might engender.
However, someday, G-d willing, I will publish my own “Story” of which Mr. Kleinman did, indeed, play a part.

Marcie Murray says:

I tried other venues to reach him. Maybe we’d have better luck reaching his parents

Pam Green says:

I was going to say earlier that Tablet should publish your (expanded) comment as an article, but it seems that Tablet isn’t very responsive to its readers. In any case, there are a lot of other venues! If you want help with your “Story”, let me know. I used to do that for a living.

Odd way to communicate but, I couldn’t find your email. However, I would guess that Howard went to my Disqus; linked to my “blog” and got my email from there… So – he did get back to me…

Pam Green says:

Hi Moishe, I went up to your blog and tried to email you but no luck.

Moishe3rd at yahoo dot com

Fed_Up18 says:

Torah has a hostile attitude towards the destruction of the Jewish people through whatever means. Your comment was needlessly incorrect.

Fed_Up18 says:

The very phrase “why in the bedroom are we going to pray?” shows that you have the wrong attitude toward both marriage & religion. Religion, in the view of Judaism, should encompass every aspect of your life, & your marriage should be more than just sex. To say that “love, commitment and respect” can be *disengaged* from religion *within a Jewish marriage* shows still more of the same fundamental lack of understanding.

Fed_Up18 says:

You are completely wrong – every Conservative & orthodox rabbi has already answered it, to the point that it’s up on a generic Jewish website:

http://www.jewfaq.org/whoisjew.htm

‘there are several passages in the Torah where it is understood that the child of a Jewish woman and a non-Jewish man is a Jew, and several other passages where it is understood that the child of a non-Jewish woman and a Jewish man is not a Jew.”

Reply here with where I may pick up my check.

Fed_Up18 says:

Untrue; see my answer to Domara.

Fed_Up18 says:

Total load of crap. Good of you to put the word “nice” in quotes, however, because the “nice Jewish boys” are as few and far between as others claim decent Jewish girls are. Having 8been* a single Jewish woman for almost 30 years, I can attest to it. Or, perhaps you define “neurotic” as “wanting to be married” and “refusing to have sex before you did”.? If so, then you’ve just proven my point about “nice Jewish boys” *as the norm* being a myth.

Fed_Up18 says:

IOW, you are talking about 4 women, one of whom sounds actually insane (if you are actually telling the truth), *&* admitting that there were nutty non-Jews, too! And with the bit where you fixate on how that one girl; *ate*, you show just who it is who is “picky” & “dissatisfied”! You’ve just destroyed your own point.
Now, should I start talking about the one guy who started our evening my bragging about being a Kohen (when his name was Marcus! & he got touchy about me even

Interesting, I went to Oberlin an Episcopalian geek (musical theater, Monty Python…) in 1998, and it was falling in love with a Jewish girl (didn’t go anywhere) that sparked my interest in Judaism. I ended up converting. I ended up later marrying someone raised Jewish who had converted as a teen with her mother. She doesn’t really share any interests with me though.

SoManyThings says:

Well, ok now.

See, having grown up in this decade that came after the 1960s, I never carried with me some kind of weird social baggage that inculcated me with a belief that chastity/prudery/what-have-you somehow endowed people with moral recitude. Not that wild promiscuity is better; that can indicate a different kind of craziness, but at least a less selfish one. The point is that however one expresses themselves physically is up to them, not to be judged one way or another. But I do find that people less in touch with themselves and the beauty of the physical world around them generally also tend to be less comfortable with their own bodies, with themselves, and with others. Why would any guy want that? Would a woman want that in a man? A cloistered, asexual nerd? Not much more likely, is it.

In any event, most women are healthy enough to overcome the fallow end of Sexual Starvation Syndrome by the time they reach their thirties. However, as someone who has spent “30 years” (as you put it) in the dating pool, perhaps you’re one of the few who didn’t.

Nothing wrong with sexual “integrity”, as you ladies might put it. There’s everything wrong with being too good for anyone, though.

My apologies if you thought too many men were just trying to use (or deceive?) you. But in my experience, this “problem” usually comes down to a woman trusting neither her judgment nor her sense of excitement and adventure well enough to ever let herself go with anyone.

May you have better luck in the future.

SoManyThings says:

You can go on as much as you like. But we all know the drill and where you intend to go with it: Men objectify women. Women, OTOH, just want hunky pieces of arm candy who convey status through either wealth or athleticism or celebrity. Totally different and not objectifying at all, right?

As for the alleged destruction of my own point, I think you read too much into it. The rumors of its demise are greatly exaggerated. I never judged her all that much at the time for a single date in which she said nothing exciting and ate weirdly. But in retrospect I considered it a small “appetizer” of what was to come in the vast world of weird, insecure, shallow Jewesses. That small, if amusing, display wasn’t the greatest evisceration of culture I’ve ever witnessed. But it made for an interesting introductory visual.

Fed_Up18 says:

I’ve been married for almost twenty years, so I think we can all see where the problem really lies.

Fed_Up18 says:

No, you obviously have no idea where I was going with it, because you are deliberately missing the point. I can match you sick/weird story for sick/weird story & yet *I* still managed to find a wonderful man & marry him. *YOU*, OTOH, have generalized your way to an excuse as to why *you* cannot get married. You’ve decided to blame *all* women 0- all *Jewish* women – for the failings of a few. Now, why didn’t *I* do that about men…?

SoManyThings says:

Good to know you found some sap who likes you and your goofy ideas more than the other commenters here do.

SoManyThings says:

Who says I cannot get married? Save your self-serving use of your marriage as a vainglorious bragging prop and self-esteem booster for the other ladies.

Now, why didn’t *I* do that about men…?

Well, because you instead found one here in cyberspace at whom to project your demeaning generalizations and irrational conclusions! I bet you do that when you can.

Your husband can’t possibly be a happy man. Or maybe he’s looking to get something out of you and/or your marriage and you don’t even know it.

Or we can play the language game. You “managed” to find “a” wonderful man? So, that means it took a lot of work, just to find one qualified guy? Oh, how difficult and horrible that search must have been! You really have my sympathies for your burdensome journey!

Now go bother and nag him and leave me alone.

SoManyThings says:

Oh, and here’s your overgeneralized blame-mongering right here:

“the “nice Jewish boys” are as few and far between as others claim decent Jewish girls are. Having *been* a single Jewish woman for almost 30 years, I can attest to it.”

You should read what you write before accusing others of what you yourself do.

9Athena says:

rosela: you really don’t know Jewish history. You also seem to forget that our mighty David is descended from a Moabite woman. And anybody descended from sinner Solomon would not be considered Jewish by our stiff necked crowd. You do remember that the tribes almost killed off Benjamin’s genes, right? And the reason the “great rabbis” came up with the convenient slogan that if the mother is Jewish the child is Jewish? That’s because the father was unknown: rape, 30 year conscription in the (Polish) Russian Army etc. In Torah the only religious lineage was patriarchal. Women didn’t count. If we weren’t willing to go with the times the predominate branch of Judaism would be the Sephardim.

B’h
It is a bit late to be telling him now that he is already married to his beshert. Yes, there are some wonderful warm and kind Jewish women out there. As there are Jewish men still looking.

@SoMany things
I actually think you are quite nasty. I find it incredible that you can believe that a person who will have indiscriminate sex is less selfish than some one who won’t do the deed before the ring is on. Wonderful that you want a woman to not respect herself, sleep with people and risk STD’s and just have casual sex. That is not what jewish values are based on. The desire to continue and strengthen one’s heritage and to build a jewish home are. Too bad you can’t look deeper than your physical desires and sexuality. You poor thing.

Fed Up18
there is no point in arguing with someone like this. He is only getting back what he puts out. Perceptions of others can be so flawed by how you are looking at them. He obviously does not bring out the best in anyone.

SoManyThings says:

Oh shut up and go back to the twelfth century where you belong, you chastity-belt forcing weirdo.

BTW, “Leeds” doesn’t sound like a Jewish name and the chastity that Christianity promotes, well, we can all see where it got those priests and nuns. Why don’t you leave your strange fixation with sex as a “powerfully bad” thing (a dirty “deed”, no less!) where it belongs? Or be like those weird girls whose equally weird dads offer them “promise rings”. Those weird things are not, and should not be ours.

There’s a healthy line between liberated and indiscriminate or unhealthy that you seem incapable of recognizing. Anyway, it is not I who refuses to look beyond or “deeper” than sex. It’s you who refuses to stop fearing it.

SoManyThings says:

I actually do – not that it’s my job to – but only if they’re honest people. Which you are obviously not.

Guest says:

Yeah, because telling him how he sounds is SO WRONG, right?

Fed_Up18 says:

Truth hurts you, I see.

Fed_Up18 says:

Truth REALLY hurts you, I see.

Fed_Up18 says:

Yep, truth hurts you a LOT!

SoManyThings says:

Not as much as using your brain would hurt you.

SoManyThings says:

Oh grow up and get a life already. These comments are from two months ago. You have nothing new to say… just the standard anonymous internet troll comebacks and insults. Perhaps this wonderful marriage you boast of is not leaving you very fulfilled and with a lot of time on your hands to act like a 6th-grader.

SoManyThings says:

Believing that you can find “truth” from a comments section is about as stupid as believing what a poor soul would read in a grocery check-out section tabloid. Just a lot of gossip, innuendo, crass assertions and jealousy. The essay was about dating Jewish women, a topic involving a subject whose image you seem very personally invested in rescuing. Why is that? What are you compensating for?

In any event, what made you hate men so much anyway? Something to do with upbringing? Is a comments-section flamewar really better than therapy? Don’t either you or a spouse have a job that pays for that?

Dennis Ejeh Glenn says:

hahaha…the writer of this article has a high sense of humor. And i found his experiences somewhat peculiar because i am hunting for a wife to settle down now and my akward self is experiencing that same dating problem with my tribal girl… maybe i ve to go outside and pick one i guess…

I’m a Christian, but I think Jewish girls are super hot, so I would be open to dating and marrying one. To me, it’s not really a big deal because I believe everything Jews believe about who God is and what he’s done with the exception of who the Messiah is. From a faith perspective, a Jewish person is much closer in thinking to me than a muslim or a nonbeliever (which unfortunately is most people these days). Unfortunately, what I find is that many Jews are technically nonbelievers when you ask them if they really believe what it says in the Torah about homosexuality etc. That and many of them reject the Holy Spirit of the living God and what he’s saying for today. But if they’re any believing Jewish girls out there who don’t mind dating a Christian guy, let me know ;)

Yiddishe Boychik says:

I dated Jewish women, but in my early and mid 20s, I was in grad school, and wasn’t making enough money for their tastes. Thankfully, I had the wisdom to also date non-Jewish women. I met my fantastic wife, 25 years ago, and she had been a Sunday school teacher in her church. Anyway, she learned about Judaism, concluded that Jesus himself had never started a new religion, (Paul had), rejected his having been a Messiah or a divine being, and started the slow process of converting to Judaism. She is now a passionate Jew, we have two beautiful Jewish children, and we’re active in our shul. I have zero sympathy for some, (not all) of the Jewish women whose impossible standards render them single and childless. Evolution in action.

surfer_dad says:

TO Tammie Freund

You’re 100% correct that there are more Jewish young women than men. If you go to USY or whatever the Reform equivalent is, you’ll see the same lopsided mix.
THIS, specifically, is one of the biggest issues we are facing. I know from experience that even addressing this issue at my Conservative synagogue is tough — it’s mostly women on the Youth Board, a women running the Torah school, a women running the Youth groups … all fine women in and of themselves, but they create an atmosphere of what THEY want for their children. The boys, by and large, simply don’t find anything interesting about what they offer. And so they don’t go, so they feel more disenfranchised by Judaism and ….

I was in the author’s shoes in college. I tried Hillel and hated it. Admittedly half-heartedly, but I did try.
Overwhelmingly I got two questions from the young women I met, “what kind of car do you drive” or “what schul did you go to back home.” Each a test of what kind of guy (how much $$ or how religious) I was. Each turned me off to Hillel even though I am SURE there were great, interesting and down to earth women I could have met there.

If I had a better background in my teens with Jewish women (of all types) it would have been much easier for me.
We MUST spend as much time creating interesting, viable and ‘reason giving’ (answering the “why be Jewish” question) experiences for our young men as we do convincing them to go on propaganda tours of Israel.

Beautiful story, thank you.

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My Jewish Dating Problem

I’d given up on finding a Jewish woman to marry—until the woman I fell in love with decided to convert

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