Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Here are two websites, that will help you with shidduchim: (previously known as Bochrim list) and

These are new tools to be used in the old shidduchim trade, trying to use all that the modern world has discovered in a proper way, in a tzniusdicke way, to increase our chances of making the perfect shidduch for our children.

Ka”h, Lubavitch has been growing and continues to grow. Once everyone knew everyone else, or at least had a friend or relative who knew the family. Even not so long ago, when my husband was growing up in Crown Heights, everyone knew everyone else. Jewish Geography was a lot simpler then, and so were shidduchim, but things changed, and B”H, Lubavitch has grown; the original families themselves are hundreds strong, and the ones who have joined through the years multiply all the time.

To make things a bit easier, mothers or fathers would try to get lists of boys’ names to be able to jump start a shidduch search. Such lists were hard or impossible to come by. By serendipity, (read Chashgacha Protis) in 1996, a bochur in 770, with help from his friends, had access to such a list. By word of mouth the word spread, and fathers and brothers asked for copies, so did shadchonim. At the time the list was handwritten and photocopied. Boys who got engaged and were crossed off, new names would be added, all done by hand.
When the cross outs and additions became too messy, a new list would be started until it got out of hand again, and so on. Eventually with the help of computers, the list got easier to manage. Certainly deletions and additions were easier to handle, and a fresh copy could be had with a click. Progress brought the internet, and as with everything else, it was (and is) both very good and very bad. Being Lubavitchers, we try to use all we can in the right way and for the good, so the list moved to a free server host, Geocities.
This incarnation of the list appeared in 2002,, and it became a hot topic among those in the “parsha”. Imagine you don’t have to beg anyone, ask favors or bug your friends; all you need is a computer, and you can have a list of all eligible Lubavitcher boys. What a Metzia! The boys’ list was great, but what about a girls list? And is it really proper to have all these boys’ names on the web? Is it Kosher?? The creator of the list went to ask the Rov who looked at the site and how it was set up and gave it an OK.
So part of the problem was solved, but how could a boy make a girls list? Besides that, the boy’s list took enough time to maintain; shouldn't the girls do a list for themselves if they felt the need? And so it was that a girl put together the first girls list and devised a manner by which the ages of the girls could be revealed but hidden too. That is how the star system came about
For all of you not familiar with the site, the star system is: * Sem Bais/Gimmel **Sem Daled/Hey *** Sem Vov ****Sem Zayin +. This way you can figure out the age of the girl approximately without actually disclosing their age. The one who originally started the girls list could not continue taking care of it, so it fell back on the bochrim who originally started the boys list.
The site was designed very simply with an amateurish look. This had not changed from the time the list was uploaded to a website. It was done intentionally, to show that this was a homegrown idea, not a professional endeavor.
There is no cost to be mentioned in the list, and all work is done by volunteers: L’Shem Mitzvah.

So how does one use the Bochrim or Girls’ List to find a shidduch? If you are a long time Lubavitcher and know a lot of the families, just scanning the list and narrowing down the names you know may be helpful. Then you can inquire about those names and see if there is any family you know that would fit the parameters of what you are looking for. If you are not familiar with a lot of families in Chabad, then ask a friend who knows a lot of people or (for a boy) your son – if he is the right age – or a nephew, to look through the list and see if there are any names that catch his eye--if he knows them and can describe then to you. Then, if appropriate, do research and try to make the shidduch. Same thing if you are looking for a girl: ask your daughter or someone with whom you are close to look at the list for suggestions.

Having one’s name on the list, be it the boys list or the girls list, is not an instant solution to finding a shidduch. Do not wait for people to call you because they have seen your name on the list, but be proactive and look at the list for the possibilities that it can bring you. Maybe it’s that name that would never have come into your mind if you had not read it there. Go back a few times to look at the list; new names get added often.

How do names get on the list? When bochurim return from shlichus, their names are put on the list. It used to be that bochurim were put on the list later, but when it was explained a few years ago that girls are looking already at 19 and there are no younger boys listed, the decision was made to put the names of the boys who came back from shlichus on the list. The girls are put on after the first year of Sem. in Elul not earlier. The reasoning not to put them in earlier is that when the girls are listed a Sem Aleph, the previous Sem Aleph listing become Sem Beis etc. So everyone goes up a level. Naturally the girls do not want to be listed as older unless it is so, therefore the best time to move the levels in the list is in Elul at the beginning of the new term.

The girls are usually listed a year earlier than the boys. Shluchos, classmates and friends will send in names to be put on the list. Girls will send their own names sometimes, and some boys will too, although generally girls will send in names more often than boys will. If boys are ready to get married and see their name is not listed, they will send it in.

When a name is sent in, it is checked to see if it is a made up name or if the person actually exists. It has happened that totally fake names are sent in to the list. If you send in your name and you do not see it after a couple of weeks, email them again, maybe they could not verify your name. If a boy or a girl went though the Lubavitcher School system, they are most probably in the list. If they dropped out early, they would need to send in their name.

Who is on the list? Mainly English speaking bochurim and girls from North America. All those listed are single, not previously married. When someone’s engagement is listed on Shmais, that name is removed from the list. If you know of someone on the list that is already engaged or married, you should notify the list (with some backup proof of your information) so the name can be removed. The list organizer tried in 2004 to have listings with a bit of a profile and not just names; unfortunately, the ones who answered sent in inappropriate profiles, and almost no one mainstream sent in a proper profile, so the idea was dropped.

Are there really more boys than girls? According to the list manager, that is not really true. If one looks at new births, for a long time it was about 50/50. Lately, there have been a lot more boys than girls, but it all evens out in the end. So why do we perceive there is a shidduch crisis? Because there are a number of older girls and boys who have not found shidduchim, and the older they get the harder it is to find a match.
And also because now with this perception, more parents are actively involved and put more effort finding shidduchim for their children rather than taking a more laid back approach like in years past.

Many shidduchim have come about because people looked at the list. Sometimes friends or relatives were able to come up with the right name after perusing the list. There are no firm statistics, but the list has been successfully employed by the Lubavitcher Olam and should not be overlooked. The list changed address a couple of years ago because the TK extension was rejected by a lot of servers and also because problematic pop ups would pop up. Now the list is hosted at a .com address: From there one can access both the boys’ or the girls’ list. On the index page of the boys list there are various links. One of the links is to the site “mikomos” which has possible places to go to on dates in the Tri State and a few other cities. Links are provided to some shidduchim articles, fun shiduchim sites and for the Enterprise Chabad car rental discount for that all important car. And when B"H we make a wedding there is a link to to be mesameach the Chosson and Kallah with. The site gets numerous hits a day. If you are familiar with a lot of people or if you have a friend who is, do not hesitate to use this resource in your shidduchim search.