Following a successful DineNMeet event last year that culminated in a shidduch made by a host between a guest and her friend, DineNMeet returned to Woodmere last Shabbos, bringing 80 guests. Young Israel of Woodmere, which is active in promoting singles’ events and initiatives, partnered with YUConnects and DineNMeet to make the Shabbos uniquely productive and comfortable for all participants. “This was one of the best and most relaxed events I’ve ever been to,” e-mailed one attendee afterward. “The people were high quality and I now have lots of new suggestions.”
The concept is simple and successful. On Friday night after Maariv, the guests dispersed across ten hosts’ homes for delicious meals. Equally divided between men and women, approximately eight guests were placed in each home based on compatibility and commonalities. Conversation took off and many meals lasted well past midnight.
Shabbos day, participants came together at an annex of the Young Israel of Woodmere for an afternoon dessert reception at which they all got a chance to meet each other, and—again—the schmoozing went on for hours even after the program ended. The group reconnected for a gala shalosh seudos in a lovely local home where the conversation picked up right where it left off. Many local matchmakers and facilitators assisted throughout by mingling and getting to know most of the participants. Following a singing Havdalah, guests headed out to individual dates and group bowling. So far, 80% of participants expressed interest in at least one other guest.
Thankfully, there is much follow-up work to be done! Surveys are still coming in, and the results are consistent: it was a success. Dates have been arranged and a team of top-notch matchmakers from DineNMeet and YUConnects are busily—and happily—following up on all requests.
DineNMeet plans exclusive, elegant events for targeted groups of Orthodox singles based on age, hashkafah, and other factors. Events run monthly throughout different New York communities and the format changes: Tuesday night wine and dessert tasting, Wednesday Mediterranean dinner, or Shabbos in full swing. Each event targets a different niche, ensuring maximum compatibility and success amongst participants. To date, DineNMeet has seen two engagements: the first of which came from Woodmere last year! Most recently, a couple who met at the Kew Gardens Hills event last May got engaged last month. In the last year, DineNMeet has coordinated nine events, served 614 participants, received 590 requests for more information about another guest, and seen over 35 couples go out on at least one date.
YUConnects fosters healthy meeting opportunities and relationships toward marriage. By conducting interactive workshops and hosting educational forums and unique social activities, it is changing the current dating scene. YUConnects’ many events and friendly professional matchmakers have, to date, enabled 334 people to meet their spouses.
Stay tuned for more events, and, iy’H, engagements, to come. ϖ