Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Another tool available to Lubavitchers that utilizes the very latest state of the art technology, but does so in a traditional way is

ChabadMatch concurrs that there is a shidduchim crisis. A lot of the webmaster’s friends were finding great difficulty in finding shidduchim, so he came up with this concept to try and help others find their spouses. The original idea grew out from the desire to get more information about potential shidduchim than the “Bochrim List” was making available.
The site creator took his idea to developers and designers, raised initial funding and built a prototype which he showed to shadchanim. With their feedback the site was tweaked to be the best that it could be. ChanadMatch is a work in progress; new improvements are added as necessary. Presently, when there are new members on the site, the shadchonim get notified. The site was also shown to Rabbonim, and it received their haskoma that it was indeed proper and okay to list names and profiles of singles in this way.

ChabadMatch started two years ago, and at this time they have about 1,950 singles registered. Since inception, 25 shidduchim came directly from using the site, and a few more happened indirectly because of seeing a profile on the site.
Just like any other tool, this database is made to be used as a springboard for your own efforts. If a promising profile is found, research has to be made; the shadchan has to be contacted, etc. Just having the profile up on the site will not bring results. New names are listed daily, so it pays to return often to the site to see if something interesting is now listed. Chabadmatch is a starting point. Use ChabadMatch to narrow down your choices. Go to the site often to see new profiles. Then follow up with the research and contacting the shadchonim, etc. Two contacts are listed for every listing. In the case where a person cannot reach either of the two contacts, one’s own shadchan or one of the shadchonim listed on the site can be asked to make the shidduch. Even the webmaster has taken a hand in helping out when necessary.

The site was created for shadchonim to have a database of singles who are looking for shidduchim. Shadchonim have access to all singles profiles, names and pictures. Feedback revealed that parents were frustrated by not being in control of the shidduch process. Waiting for a shadchan to come up with a suggestion is sometimes hard, and when the suggestions are not appropriate, a parent might well be upset and wish that there was a way they could themselves start the process.

The site empowers parents to do limited searches and offers a way to study the profiles without pictures and most without names, so they can decide if there is a profile they are interested in. They then can approach a shadchan to complete the shidduch.

The webmaster and his wife put in time keeping the site up to date and answering any queries that are sent to them. On the site now there is a ratio of about 60% girls to 40% boys. About 30 to 40% put up pictures. The administrator finds that pictures are a plus to have on one’s profile, although a shadchan can always ask for one when necessary, but it helps initially to receive that extra attention. Keep in mind that only shadchonim see the pictures; no parents see them on their searches.

The initial intake form on the site is extensive. The questions asked are insightful and make one think of what their goals and requirements are. It is a very helpful tool for shadchonim and parents as an initial parameter to see if a name is a possibility or not in the ballpark at all.

The questions on the website were thought out carefully with shadchonim so that the person describing him or herself is able to give a comprehensive profile of themselves. Naturally some will reveal more and some less. One may say this profile is even better than an interview with a shadchan because more thought goes into the writing of a profile than just describing oneself to a shadchan. When a parent or a single fills out the profile, the answers should be as complete and comprehensive as possible. Think about the impression you want people to come away with. On the site one can find all sorts of boys or girls: there are some boys who are on shlichus and plan to make a life of shlichus; there are working boys; there are girls who are on shlichus or who are working; girls who only want boys who will try to go on shlichus, or girls who are looking for both working and shlichus boys or just for working boys. There are profiles from America, Israel, South America and Europe. According to the site manager, Lubavitch has become too big, and a list of names is not enough to be helpful to a vast majority of parents who do not know who people are by family names.

The amount of information that parents can see is decided by the parent writing the profile or by the single; they can make more or less information available to parents looking at the database.
There is a choice at the end of the form where a parentor single can choose who will see their profile. The choices are:
Allow singles and parents of singles to see my profile, including my name, excluding my contact info.Allow singles and parents of singles to see part of my profile, excluding my name.
Do not allow singles or parents of singles to see any part of my profile. If you are registering your daughter and do not want anyone but a shadchan to access her profile you can choose #3 and only a registered shadchan will be able to access the information.

Why did this site succeed in having singles list their profiles while the “Bochrim List” did not? My opinion is that in 2004 when the “Bochrim List” made the attempt, people were still shying away from putting personal information on the web. But recently with the Facebook (or My Space) phenomena, this has become accepted at an alarming rate. There is a lot on Facebook that should never have been written and published, but that is a whole other article.

Because ChabadMatch is a private site, one can only go in with a password, and only parents (or registered singles), and shadchonim have access. It is as safe as possible. Writing a profile, one has a chance to connect to a much wider range of shadchonim than would be possible without ChabadMatch.

Here are some success stories at ChabadMatch: A shidduch was proposed to a girl’s family, but the parents had some reservation, and the shidduch did not go though. Some time later the girl’s mother saw the profile of the same boy on ChabadMatch. The qualities she was looking for were there in black on white, and she realized this is who she wanted for her daughter. The match was proposed again, and this time it went through, and they are B”H married. Sometimes everything is right but the time; when the right time comes everything falls into place.

In another case, one family lived in Australia and the other in England. The match came about, and they met in Israel. They are now married. Sometimes a shidduch would not be thought of because one may think the backgrounds are too disparate, but by looking at the profiles one can see that they are actually a perfect match, and a meeting proves it! It costs $18 to register at the site. The money goes to maintain the site, web design and to host it. Plans are in the works to fund-raise to be able to have a full-time administrator for the site.

One never knows who or even what is the designated shliach for a successful shidduch. Every step we take on the shidduch road is a step ahead. Even a failed suggestion takes us closer to finding a zivug for our son or daughter. Let us try every means at our disposal--our friends and families, our community shadchonim, conference calls, Bochrim lists or ChabadMatch. We never know which method will work for us. Best wishes to all of you out there looking for your zivug, and may we see you soon in the Mazal Tov pages