The event I’ve just walked into is Jewbilee, proclaimed the “hottest monthly party for Jews in their 20s and 30s.” Jeremy Doochin, one of the organizers, has set his beer on the table between us so he can snap the glow stick around my wrist, turning it into a bracelet.
Now that I’ve been cuffed, I am officially recognizable to all the others in the club as one of the “cool Jews getting together to meet other Jews and have fun” (or so says Jewbilee’s Facebook page description).
When a match seems promising, the matchmaker releases profiles and pictures to both parties. Jennifer Wise Miller, a married social worker and volunteer matchmaker with JMontreal, requests a call after the first date. There was the woman, for example, who wondered why her date would ask nothing deeper than where she liked to shop.
Wise Miller investigated, and found that the man was nervous about prying or offending.
While the people interviewed for this story represent a range of social and political affiliations, and the events they attend are various — from late nights at San Francisco dance clubs to bonfire Havdalahs on the farm in Berkeley, queer Shabbat services in living rooms and Hanukkah parties in backyards — a few things become clear: Despite the differences across social, religious and political spectrums, young Jews are showing up at Jewish events hungry for connection and community. In the Bay Area, home of the startup, the proactive do-it-yourself energy is front and center in the Jewish dating world.
But not so typically, they don't get to browse a database full of potential mates and their glamour shots.
That's the job of the matchmaker -- a man or woman who takes you out for coffee, probes your heart, and then works with the J software to generate a list of potential soul mates.
Despite all this, here I am, sipping an expensive cocktail amid a sea of young Jews schmoozing around a dance floor.
However, I come with questions: What is everyone doing here?