Oct 6, 2012
New Course Teaches "Shidduchim"
COLlive exclusive: Marriage classes are a must among Chabad couples. Now a pre-dating course of 8 sessions was developed in Crown Heights.
By COLlive staff
Chanie felt the pressure, the confusion, the stress. She had been dating Yossi for over 2 weeks already. They had met 6 times. He felt that he was ready to commit to marriage. But she was unsure.
There were still some things that made her feel unsettled. Her parents and friends were telling her to go for it - that Yossi was a great catch. It was all so overwhelming.
She did speak to Yossi about some of her concerns. She also referred to her notes from her recent Adai Ad pre-dating course and conferred with one of the facilitators of the Adai Ad program.
Together, they worked to unpack the confusion, to release the stress, and do what was best for Chanie – not for the others, for Chanie.
Every day, more and more young Chabad adults are getting involved in Shidduchim, yet it seems like it's only getting harder. Frustration, lack of clarity and no plan are some of the things that for many seem to be too-common experiences.
The first of its kind, 'First Points' is a pre-dating course offered by the Adai Ad Institute offered for young bochurim post shlichus and girls post seminary, separately.
Presented in 8 sessions, it is structured and organized to address many important aspects of preparing for successful marriage. Small groups, in a round table format, make for a comfortable and sensitive environment. Because participants are assured of confidentiality, they feel comfortable talking about these issues.
Created through countless conversations with young Lubavitchers, parents, mashpi'im, mashpios, and professionals, the course was built with real hard data, real stories, and real experiences. It serves as a helpful tool to navigate the shidduchim process.
The Adai Ad Institute is an organization co-founded by Moshe and Faigie Rubashkin and Devora Krasnianski to strengthen marriages and ease the Shidduchim process.
The very name of the program, Adai Ad, expresses the vision: from the outset, marriages should be built to last forever and ever. Beginning with its signature 'First Points' course, the Adai Ad Institute hopes to grow and offer other Shidduchim and marriage related services.
The next classes will begin Cheshvan 6 (October 22). As the groups are small, classes fill up quickly; register for the next class at adaiad.org/registration.
"The encouragement from the mashpiim, mentors, coaches and professionals who contributed to the development of the course and then the enthusiastic response from participants and their parents has has B"H been overwhelming. It's a testament that this program is addressing a real need," said Mrs. Krasnianski, developer of the courses.
An extensive "beta process" of teaching the course to both girls and boys, getting their input, and modifying the course were just some of the many things done to ensure a valuable learning experience. Initially by invitation only, the courses are now ready to go mainstream.
What's unique about the course is that it is offered to both boys and girls thus enabling them to get the same information, and be on the same page - a crucial component to the success of their marriages. The topics covered are beyond what is typically learned in Bayis Yehudi classes in high school or seminary.
The course is loaded with important information including the stages in a relationship, especially important in dating. It also includes practical dating guidance including a comprehensive resource entitled 'possible topics of conversation', how to ask productive questions and how and what to share about oneself. 'First Points' also covers 'what to know before committing to marriage'.
Participants also learn new perspectives and mindsets about successful marriage.
C.M., a 'First Points' alumna, now happily married, said "I learned that you'll never know everything about your spouse before marriage, and there will always be surprises and that's completely normal". She felt "just knowing that beforehand made me feel comfortable and more prepared for when I experienced it later on."
The course also provides a series of series of exercises through which participants can become more aware of themselves (and what they can still work on), and as a result become clearer on what they need in a spouse.
Mr. Yisroel Schulman, a Manhattan Attorney and President of NYLAG (New York Legal Assistance Group) said that he thinks the course is "terrific". I believe that many cases I come in contact with including within the frum and Lubavitch community could have been prevented or minimized through education at the earliest stages."
"The best time to take the course is before getting involved in Shidduchim and before the pressure begins", said Mr. Moti Zigelboum MA, LMHC a certified marriage therapist, who was the men's 'First Points' facilitator during the beta testing. "That's when one can think clearly and objectively and it also allows for thinking over time."
"Taking the course early on also allows for time to deal with and work on certain personal attributes and character traits," said Mrs. Bronya Shaffer, a lecturer, counselor and mentor who was the women's 'First Points' facilitator during the beta testing.
"Participants can also confer privately with the program's facilitators and professionals, thereby allowing them the ability to get help with more serious matters that are integral to a successful marriage."
To see the schedule of the Adai Ad courses - starting right after Simchas Torah, more detailed course information and for registration information visit adaiad.org