Dec 31, 2011
If I were a Shadchan…

Shidduchim SOS: "You know those dates where five minutes in you know this is absolutely not for you?" A COLlive reader suggests a few practical suggestions to improve the shidduch system.

By: B.M.

You know those dates where five minutes in you know this is absolutely not for you? Where an entire night could have been saved and much time and energy spared, if only you met the guy for three minutes before anything started cooking?

Those dates should never come to be. If the person setting you up truly knew YOU – not a paper, not a family, not your friends – but YOU, these situations would never occur.

I’m not trying to change the way the system runs.
I’m not trying to stage a revolution.
I’m only trying to improve.

I’m proposing a few practical tips to smooth the path that is already in place.

So… If I were a shadchan, here a couple of things I would do:

1) When I’m first contacted by a parent, I would, of course, listen to what s/he has to say in regards to what the child wants, but I would then insist upon speaking to the girl/boy as well. As well as a parent may know his/her child, and as close as they may be, the way a parent describes a desirable match will almost always be different than the way the child would express him/herself. I believe it is important to speak to both parents and children – both about how the girl/boy would describe him/herself, and about what exactly he/she wants in a spouse. How can a person set two people up without ever having spoken to them?

2) And not just speaking – but meeting face to face. A successful match is formed through chemistry and compatible energies. Take two people who on paper seem to be very similar – worldly but chassidish, went through the system, is hardworking, motivated, sweet, friendly, generous… This description can fit many - What makes each of the many unique? Their vibes, the way they express themselves, their manners (not etiquette – but the way they move their hands, the expressions they make…) – all the things that one simply cannot give over to another through speech – a person has to SEE these things in order to KNOW.
How can someone claim to know a person well enough to set them up without ever having met?

3) When receiving a resume, I would scan the info on top and then go straight to the references at the bottom. I believe it is important for a shadchan to know the person h/she is dealing with very well – both from personal interaction and from how others would describe the said person. So as tedious as it may be, I would call every reference on the list, and then some who aren’t; I would take notes, compare, contrast, and thereby gain a perspective of who this person is to the world. Some say calling references is a waste of time – true, if you’re calling the reference and leaving it at that. But if you call many people and then compare notes – and after doing so, matching that to what you inferred while meeting the prospect face to face, you will get a pretty clear picture of what this person is about. Yes, it may seem like spending A LOT of time and it does takes lots of patience, but it will pay off in the end.

Surprises happen – rarely do we marry exactly who we thought we would, but we have to do our best and eliminate as much senseless frustration as possible.

So that’s what I would do if I was a shadchan – but I’m not…

…So those of you who take this great responsibility upon yourselves, please do your job well.

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Opinions and Comments
perhaps you should be a shadchan...
you seem to have your head on straight, sounds like youd make a pretty good shadchan yourself....
(12/31/2011 9:38:52 PM)
call every reference???
are you kidding? thats pretty unrealistic, and truthfully, rediculous.
how can a shadchan be responsible for calling every person's refrence? thats the parents job, when they look into a prospective match.

I do think meeting the person who you plan to set up is critical, even more important than anything else. you can pretty much get an idea of what type of person someone is is you meet someone and speak to them for a while.
may all those seeking their bashert find them very soon, and easily!!!
(12/31/2011 9:44:13 PM)
Just Me
Some pretty good ideas here, but lets be honest here. Until our shadchonim make lots of money to make it worth their while, they will not work so hard.
I've had experiences with my daughters you would not believe.
One shadchan never, I mean never, returns, calls.
One took our name but never came up with anything in more than a year.
its rediculous. Hardest parsha of my life.
(12/31/2011 10:00:14 PM)
To 3- You almost seem to think it's coming to you.
Why SHOULD a shadchan "work so hard" when they are not making good money. They owe you nothing. Simply having a title "shadchan" does not obligate them to find your child a shidduch but the title "parent" does obligate YOU. So maybe we should consider paying our shadchanim "lots of money" as you mentioned.

Daughter of a shadchan.
(12/31/2011 10:04:49 PM)
leah r.
You have some very good points there.

hope all the CH shadchans are listening....
(12/31/2011 10:08:22 PM)
to # 4
If money is what is behind it, and more money get the job done better, then they should be clear about it before going any further. With shidduchim it is very important to be straightforward, even if money is behind it.
(12/31/2011 10:17:22 PM)
Attn #4 Daughter of a shadchan
Actually, when a shadchan takes upward of $150 just for accepting my resume into their database, I'd think that's reason enough to call me back. Not asking for them to bend over backward for me, just for some basic mentchilichkeit, which I, buy the way, paid for! If the initial fee isn't enough, shadchanim should raise it, not complain about it, and be rude because of it!
If people don't consider themselves to be "official" shadchanim, then they shouldn't take money on the pretense that they will help you find a shidduch.

(12/31/2011 10:19:58 PM)
To Daughter Of A Shadchan And all likeminded.
Not all jobs make alot of money. Some jobs don't make any money ( ex, some shluchim) That said once you take upon yourself a job, that is so so important and once others recognize you by that title, it should be done properly and up to date.
(12/31/2011 10:29:09 PM)
Agree with #7
Having "worked" (I'm using the word loosely) with probably this same shodchon (meaning sending a check for $150), and receiving a list from that person of every and I mean every single guy in Lubavitch, it was clear that not only was it going to be hard to get called back but also this person didn't really even care who my daughter was enough to narrow the list of suggestions.
And yes, #3, its the hardest parshah of my life!!
And, by the way, I would be happy to pay and pay well for the shodchon who would be willing to do the work. Those of us in the service professions appreciate the work that is done and don't expect anything for free.
(12/31/2011 10:42:38 PM)
big and old issue
it is time for people to stop taking innocent people and making shidduchim with kids who have issues. It is not fair, it does not work, it is a very hard and painful issue, but you can't just pick a nice innocent bt family and offer them a shidduch with a family who has a deep dark secret. it doesnt help anyone or anything
(12/31/2011 11:27:30 PM)
Does anyone know what the letters of the word shadchan (in Hebrew) stand for?
Shin= Sheker
Daled= Dover
Chof= kesef
nun= notel

Although, I must say, there are those few who really are sincere and deserve a lot of credit!
(12/31/2011 11:27:57 PM)
to #9
My mom also received the lubavich single list, and yes it included every, ( and I also mean every) boy in Lubavitch. I mean this was after him trying a few times with actual names, bu it was still sad for me.
(12/31/2011 11:38:11 PM)
let me know when this happens..
if u think u have a better method..then go be a shadchan! Do u really think its htta simple?
(12/31/2011 11:41:49 PM)
Not A Shadchan But....
Having made a number of shidduchim, though I'm not a shadchan, I think we tend to forgot that ultimately the Aibishter is the shadchan and we are just his shluchim. it is all in the Aibishter's hands.
There are those shidduchim that I've made where I just "knew" it was perfect (because I knew both sides) and those shidduchim that failed where I just "knew" it was perfect (because I knew both sides and on paper it REALLY was perfect and they were so excited to go out because it was so perfect). Yet after just 5 minutes - as above - the bochur and girl knew it was absolutely not right!
Once I made a shidduch because in the morning the mother of the girl called bemoaning the fact that her daughter was not married so I encouraged her to go to the Ohel to daven for a shidduch. That afternoon the mother of a bochur called to ask if I had any suggestions (I didn't!) but when she mentioned that she goes to the Ohel regularly to daven for a shidduch for her son a light when off in my head and I suggested the girl whose mother had called earlier! If that isn't min hashomayim, what is?
Bottom line: Parents, do your job by representing your children properly and what THEY want (not what you want for them) and by reading what parents should do in Eternal Joy (vol. one, end of ch. one). Girls and Bochurim, do your job by making sure your parents and/or the shadchan know what you are looking for, being realistic and not having a "shopping list" of qualities that you expect in a spouse, and by reading Eternal Joy volume one thoroughly.
(12/31/2011 11:42:14 PM)
question for #9
Is there a standard shadchan fee arrangement? Hourly rate? retainer? billing monthly/bi-weekly?
(12/31/2011 11:55:52 PM)
A mother & a shadchn
the shadchan does NOT have to call the references ! This is the parents job ! But u are right about meeting face to face with the boy/girl, the problem is that the boys & the girls do NOT want to go meet the shadchan....
(12/31/2011 11:58:00 PM)
Money Talks
The fact is that if you pay the Shadchan in advance, in most cases they will work harder for you.
You may give the Shadchan all the reasons in the world why it is their responsibility to find you a Shidduch, but at the end of the day it's all about the Gelt. (Just like any other job).
(1/1/2012 12:20:17 AM)
time, not money
It's a full time job for a parent to find a shidduch for one child, you cannot expect the shadchan to do all that research with every person. Yes, #2 is right - it's the parent's job to do the research and decide if it may be suitable. But, the shadchan should definitely have some idea of the people involved and narrow down the list as best as possible, esp. if he or she was paid a lot of money. May Hashem make it easy for all of you.
(1/1/2012 12:20:20 AM)
I think this community needs two people who are paid a full time salary by the kehilla and their job is only to work on shidduchim. This way these "employees" will not feel they are
working for nothing, as many shadchanim feel and it won't make a difference to them if they make a shidduch for a person from a rich or a poor background. We need to do this as a community to help oour singles.
(1/1/2012 1:07:20 AM)
look in the mirror...
If names aren't coming up, ask yourself WHY??????? If you GIVE to the community then they will think of you...... I've seen it happen time and again and the opposite is so TRUE. NOBODY owes you ANYTHING!!!! Even if you pay a shadchan $5000.00, they can't make a shidduch happen unless the other person finds you, your family, your personality attarctive!!!!!!!!!! Find out the reasons why the guys that you want to go out with refuse to go out with you and FIX THOSE THINGS!!!!!
(1/1/2012 1:16:02 AM)
Blame the Shadchan!
This advice to the shadchan is great. But how many hours does this represent; multiply this by how many singles should the shadchan get to know; is this realistic on any level?
After investing these hours (and they are many) the parents response is "This suggestion doesn't turn me on." What's with all those hours?
Why the disparaging "It's all about the gelt"? These shadchanim have tuition, mortgages, food bills, etc. to pay. Is it criminal, disrespectfull, underhanded, not worth the expense (pick one) for the shadchan to want see some compensation for their time and effort?
And perhaps if a parent spent some money for the service both the parent and the shadchan would take the relationship more seriously.
(1/1/2012 1:16:32 AM)
Merkos should take on this project!
We need a professional system with pay per hour and commission etc which will team together several dozen shadchonim worldwide, with a professional database etc. To be successful, it needs to run under the umbrella and with the guidance and seed money from Merkos or the like.
(1/1/2012 3:04:31 AM)
#20, boy is that a load of bs... I know firsthand that you can be a giver but they still won't feel they "owe" you... Your assumption that people pay back is 100% false!!!

Now for my two sense: the LEMON LAW is the best way to go about this problem...
(1/1/2012 3:07:50 AM)
want to make shiduchim
i want to tray ,who wants to send me resumes? but i am shhur i will get 100's of girls names and only a few boys... why?
(1/1/2012 5:10:13 AM)
in 5 languages for the all lubavicth community and their mekurovim the unique sistem doesnt publicize the profiles of the candidates but save it in the sistem . Any candidate writes his endorser( Shliach, rabbi , e.t.c) and then after the endorser confirm that the info of the candidate is proper the system automatically find candidates who can match and send it to the endorser and the endorser that know well the candidate will decide
(1/1/2012 5:48:40 AM)
Very good article.
I agree with this article a lot. I have been thinking about telling the shadchanim that I have been in touch with to phone a couple of the references on my childs resume. Not because its their duty to so BUT jsut so that they get an idea of what exactlly they are talking about. Putting details down on paper is easy but if they choose just a couple of references it will give them a better idea of who they are dealing with and make it easier to now give their suggestions. Its not right to put down all the hard work the shadchanim are doing. I wish I could also be a shadchan, such a beautiful thing to be involved with. I dont think Shadchanim sould charge sky high prices. Ofcourse what they do does deserve a lot but they have such a special mitzva. I personally dont agreee with shadchanim who want to charge a registration fee just to get on their list.
I also think that Rabbonim & Teachers from Seminaries & Yeshivas who are involved in the childrens lifes should get a bit more involved. Parents would feel so much better should they know they have support in this hard stage of their life. All the best to al involved.
I hope evey girl & boy should find their barshert soon & the shadchanim on their part should be guided by Hashem to make the right suggestions for every individual case.
Keep strong I am sure Hashem will not let us down.
(1/1/2012 5:50:31 AM)
Rebbes directive
My grandmother, mrs. B, among many other things, was a shadchan who bh made many shidduchim. She got instructions from the Rebbe that she should personally meet each person, face to face, even if it could only be briefly.
(1/1/2012 6:33:09 AM)
radical idea?
i always say if you can tell it's the right person (or not) after five minutes.....why not set up a very well supervised, halachically acceptable speed dating?
it would save tons of money for the guys and tons of wasted time on both sides.
who in crown heights is brave enough to set up a monthly shidduch event and who is brave enough to attend?
think about it. It could be the answer to so many issues.
(1/1/2012 7:22:03 AM)
to #20
firstly I would like to say nice article - although I am a firm believer in doing it yourself. being that your not a shaddchan makes it harder - if on the other hand you ARE a shaddchan and doing that - then the article would be a lot easier to read.
and to commenter 20 - how obnoxious I must say. No one can be perfect and not everyone is fit for everyone. so if a family says no to another family clearly it's not for them - do we have to start running around everyones fingers of every proposed shidduch oh they didnt want us lets start doing what they want.
Many people try their utmost to climb the ranks bekdusha and none of us have the right to start saying how others have to change - so maybe your comment meant something else but it did come out extremely harsh -
Baezrat Hashem everyone will find their chosson in THEIR right time.
(1/1/2012 8:25:46 AM)
If I were Single......
If I were a single girl I would look at who are the available guys and then chose! That's it. It's nobody's fault that you are not married. It's nobody's fault that you don't like any of the many many many single guys out there. It's your own choice!!!!! You can chose from what there is and get married or you can chose to stay single. You can chose to blame the shadchan or you can you to take things into your own hands and get married. You can chose to blame your mother or you can chose to get married. It's your choice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Being single is not an illness, it's a decision!
(1/1/2012 9:05:57 AM)
sounds easy enough for someone who isn't a shadchan.. seems like you expect every shadchan to spend hours on your case alone!! keep in mind they have tens of other girls and bochurim they are dealing with as well as their own families which they need to devote time to!
(1/1/2012 9:56:09 AM)
To 25
Yes shiduchim-net is an amazing site!!!
But you had a mistake the adress is
(1/1/2012 9:58:43 AM)
i don't get it, are shadchanim supposed to be some kind of communal service running to help you?
(1/1/2012 10:53:18 AM)
To 20 & 30
What harsh and non-factual views you both have! No need to expound on this.
(1/1/2012 11:19:11 AM)
I think you wrote a nice article but a little on the naive side.Did you ever deal with people that are looking for a shidduch for their children? Not everyone is willing to meet a shadchan (I can relate to that) but please don't think that it is really possib le for a shadchan to sit and call everyones references. Yes you should know whom you are trying to put together but the main ingredient is the aibishter. You can sit from here to tomorrow and check out references and ideas and poof its nothing and sometimes things that might seem "strange" click. Ultimately, its the aibishter that is mezavag zivugim.

Since the author of the article has such great ideas why aren`t you involved in shiduchim? Do you think it might be too time consuming for you?

Lets hope everyone who needs a shidduch should have one bekorov and appreciate everyone who does take time to be involved.

(1/1/2012 11:21:38 AM)
I paid 180$
to a Shadchan & never ever heard from him after that......................
(1/1/2012 11:24:13 AM)
dr.shlomo levi
agree w #36
for my experience in Israel and CH official, and nonofficial big office, or cheap apartment -doesn't matter. if you give upward , even penny (for stamps? etc) you will never ever heard from him after that......................
(1/1/2012 12:26:02 PM)
I admire whoever wrote the article
It is wriiten respectfully,not blaming, just asking. The suggestions are good ones, though I think they can only happen if shadchan is financially compensated.It definitely
is worthy of discussion and follow-up by Shadchanim
Maybe a conference can be arranged to discuss these mattersattended by Rabanim and Mechanchim as well.
(1/1/2012 12:37:34 PM)
dr.shlomo levi
to#31 if someone want $2000 at least, from both , and don't want spend even 2hr IMHO this person is thief! isn't so?
(1/1/2012 1:03:37 PM)
how about
how about the shadchonim that take money and promise names and then do not return phone calls or emails or have an excuse that they have no time for you. Or better yet, tell you that they are not the only shadchan around and call others...i dont think i paid her to say that!

shidduchim takes alot of time and work, I am a single girl and I have made a couple of shidduchim myself so I know. If a woman who calls herself an official shadchan and asks for money in return for helping you out, it is not right that you do not come through with your end of the bargain.

I have found that the shadchanim that do not take money are the most helpful and when I iyh get engaged I intent to send a gift to each of those shadchanim regardless if they made my shidduch or not.
(1/1/2012 1:46:08 PM)
To #30
I get it. All the boys are willing to marry any girl that DECIDES she wants to get married. So after YOU choose who you want to marry, he just automatically marries you! Nice system! Sign me up!
(1/1/2012 2:48:17 PM)
mechanchim and mechanchos
should be more involved. personally, I feel that the seminary that I went to and sem beis in Crown Heights hanholo should show some concern for their students. They claim to care so much about the chassidishkeit and teacher training to be top notch but when they are contacted for information they do not speak favorably and do not show any concern. when someone calls you about a girl/ boy obviously they look up to you and trust you to share the nice things you know about them. Also, very important to show enthusiasm about the person you are called about. At least be a good reference a year later, after your students put in so much effort to your program. ... anyone relate to this?
(1/1/2012 2:53:19 PM)
money doesnt help
from my personal experience, when we paid the shadchan for the work they have done for us, they stopped calling with suggestions. At first they were very ambitious and enthusiastic to help but when we thanked them (although it never worked out) for their effort, they felt that their job was completed!!!! Before they got paid they were working toward something, but after the tip, they stopped. Someone who is a shadchan or who can understand this behavior, please explain....thanks
(1/1/2012 2:56:43 PM)
to 41
(1/1/2012 4:11:33 PM)
in total agreement
i just want to add that the importance of actually meeting the shadchan is essential and second to none, and i speak from experience; My daughter made an appointment to meet the shadchan I was in touch with and it was a huge help; they only spent about 20 minutes together, but it was more than enough for the shadchan to get a far clearer picture of who and what my daughter is and wants, as opposed to simply reading about her on paper; she actually called me a short while later, and had analysed my daughter almost perfectly! I was amazed! and if you think about it carefully, it all makes so much more sense, when a person has a picture in her mind of who she is talking about, a little of her character and personality and a general impression; you would be amazed as to how much a shadchan can pick up on in a short time; `Convince and persuade your girls/boys to go in. . . even just for 10-15 minutes, it makes all the difference; and yes,I'm aware that its that much harder for the boys to go and see them, but my son did it too, and came out totally fine!!
Hatzlocha, and go for it. . . it really does help!!
Been there and done it!!
(1/1/2012 4:36:57 PM)
a thought
to those who are can always say you would like to go out for coffee for an hour and then see how it goes.... no one is stopping you. ppl even talk on the phone a little before..(not suew this helps). But YOU also need to take matters onto your own hands. by this i mean always ask your parents or who ever is looking for you, what is going on...did any new names come up. what about calling so and so to see if they can think of someone... and dont let then answer... well its dinner time.. or they are putting the kids to bed... just call when you know they are prob. home. Ask about once a week. be anoyying if you have to. dont let time pass that you are not looking into someone new. even a few guys a time. may Hashem Bless us all with what we need.
(1/1/2012 6:10:12 PM)
They take no money to meet them and they will only set up pol that they meet for exactly that reason! Everyone go meet them and let's find each other ;) single girl who is ready to find her guy !!!!!!
(1/1/2012 7:08:53 PM)
Son of a Shadchan
That's the way i see my mother do it (and no she does NOT charge), she is always having boys and girls come over to the house so she can meet them face to face and actually see what she is dealing with, although she has made many shidduchim without ever meeting the boy or girl it is a great idea to all shadchanim to do as you write.

to all those who don't have the best things to say about the shadchan ..... i can tell you from the way i see it (and i see it EVERY DAY) that a shadchan puts in MANY MANY hours a day and we should give them the credit they deserve!!!
(1/1/2012 7:43:30 PM)
There is no "degree of shadchanus" and there is no "Guide to making shidduchim" but regardless, a human being who puts themselves out there for you and asks for money is not so ridiculous. It's time consuming and stressful. Find the shadchan who will meet your child (psychologically it makes the person feel more responsible for them) and put in the time and money to work with the shadchan. It is unfair to expect the world of people if you will not take the time to go for 20 minutes and chat. If your child does not want to go- don't waste your money and tough luck! If they don't want to make this keili, its their problem!
(1/2/2012 1:05:38 AM)
"Lemon Law"
To whoever made the "Lemon Law" comment: I agree. :)
(1/4/2012 11:10:41 PM)
so any real help?
Any shadchonim out there reading this and can weigh in on this? I would love to know if they feel the system is working...
(1/6/2012 1:13:58 AM)
Recent Father of a Choson
The Shadchan sent me 6 names and he didn't know the girls at all and just knew the Fathers from Yeshiva years. At the end a relative who knew both families as well as my son and the Kalla spoke the Shidduch.
Most Shadchanim send you a list and expect you to do the homework unless they are asked by one side to suggest a certain Bochur or girl.
The best shadchan is a relative or a close friend.
(1/7/2012 8:41:27 PM)
Outside crown heights
You guys think you have it tough. Try living across the world!! You call the shadchanim vut as soon as you say you have a daughter, they dont sound so interested. When you say she's not'in town' they either slam the phone down or tell younto call, 'when she's coming to crown heights'.
Maybe she has a good job here? Cant afford to continually travel? .........
(5/6/2012 3:35:19 PM)
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