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Love and Long-Distance Dating in Europe

Voices From Europe: How young Jews meet and connect across countries

Stephanie Butnick
March 18, 2015


This month at Jewcy, our partner site, we’re running a series called Voices From Europe, in which young Jews across Europe share stories stories and shed light on the reality of their day-to-day lives. Guest editing the site is Jane Braden-Golay, president of the European Union of Jewish Students.

Today’s post, written by Braden-Golay, details the complicated dance that is intra-Jewish dating in Europe. She explains that for Jews in most European cities, the best way to meet other Jews is through summer camps, conferences, and events hosted by Jewish organizations, which bring together young people from different countries. Want proof? In addition to meeting her first boyfriend at a Eurovision-themed competition for Jewish teens, Braden-Golay met her fiancé, who is Swedish, while attending a program for Jewish educators at Limmud UK.

She explains:

Most Jewish communities in Europe – with some notable exceptions like Paris, London or Berlin – feel like a village. Chances are extremely high that you went to the same Jewish kindergarden, Jewish school or Jewish youth group as any other young Jewish person in your community. Sure, some people were lucky enough to fall for someone from their own community, or perhaps the neighboring community. And sometimes, people moved to town. I will never forget the excitement when one day there was a new kid from Germany in our youth group. But for most of us – if it was important to us – it was just obvious from the start: If you want to date Jewish, you don’t date local: You date European (and Israeli).

Read the full post here.

Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.