A revolutionary shidduch program has swept across North America in the last two-and-half years, from Far Rockaway to Montreal, from Baltimore to Monsey. Over 100 shadchanim ranging from full-time shadchanim to dabblers have been actively involved in finding shidduchim for young women in these communities as part of NASI’s successful community shidduch project. The goal of the program is to generate massive shadchan attention, specifically for young women who haven’t just begun dating. Upon setting up a date for these young women, a shadchan is compensated for his or her work. If the boy and girl reach a fourth date, the shadchan is compensated once again; all this is even if they don’t end up getting engaged—a breakthrough concept in encouraging people to redt shidduchim.
“The purpose of the program is twofold: to encourage more people to be involved in redting shidduchim and to be mechazek longtime shadchanim in their work,” says a NASI representative.
For newcomers to the shidduch field, the task of redting shidduchim can be quite daunting—and demoralizing when things don’t pan out. “More people will get involved and stay involved in shidduchim when they are rewarded for simply setting up dates, as opposed to giving up after a frustrating shadchan experience,” says NASI.
The benefit for veteran shadchanim is present as well. “The field of shadchanus is full of pressure and very time consuming,” says the representative. “Rewarding shadchanim for their hard work hopefully keeps them going in their avodas hakodesh and encourages them to keep their attention on finding shidduchim for young women who haven’t just started dating.” One longtime shadchan who has worked with the program in out-of-town communities speaks of the chizuk the program gives to both novice and experienced shadchanim.
To date, the program has led to 1,108 first dates, 196 fourth dates, and 64 engagements, since the program’s inception in Montreal back in March, 2010. The average age of the girls who went on the dates is 24. “Every date that gets set up or even every phone call that an older girl gets gives them tremendous chizuk to continue the dating process with a positive attitude,” says Reb Motti Neuhaus, a shadchan who is involved with a number of NASI programs. Over 100 people are already involved in the project, but NASI is now encouraging even more people to join the program; specifically it is encouraging local people to get involved in their local community program. Those who are interested in joining the Far Rockaway/Lawrence or Monsey program can reach out to NASI by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In out-of-town communities, the program begins for young women of age 20, due to the girls already having a geographical disadvantage. In Far Rockaway and Lawrence, the program begins with young women who are 22. A shadchan who sets up a date for a young woman between the ages of 22-24 receives $100. For a young woman age 25 or older, the shadchan receives $200. If the shidduch progresses to a fourth date, the shadchan receives an additional $300. NASI stresses that in order to join the program a shadchan must first be approved by the organization. Any person wanting to join is welcome to reach out to the organization and request to be invited. NASI is looking to be as inclusive as possible while still maintaining responsible safeguards.
The cost of maintaining such a program adds up quickly. Initial funding for the program in Far Rockaway and Lawrence has been sponsored anonymously. NASI runs and maintains the program in each community; but funding needs to come from within each community itself.
Currently this program is active in Lakewood, Monsey, Toronto, Montreal, Baltimore, Far Rockaway, Lawrence, and Kew Gardens. People are welcome to ask to join for any specific city or for all the communities involved.