After speaking with Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger, and Orthodox matchmaker Chana Rachel Frumin, I wanted to speak with someone who works with an online matchmaking service, because so many young Jews connect online.
SawYouAtSinai.com is a Jewish dating and matchmaking service that’s a little different from many others. Instead of having member profiles available for all to see and browse, members choose a matchmaker who looks on their behalf, and only sends them matches that seem especially compatible. I asked Manya Berenholz, one of the top matchmakers at SawYouAtSinai, about getting started in the business, looking for perfection in a partner, and the shortage of available Jewish men.
How did you get started as a matchmaker?
Manya Berenholz: I ran a Blind Date Dance when I was in college and matched people up by placing their information on index cards and then manually deciding who would best go with whom. That is pretty much what I do today but with great help from a data base and multiple screenings [of the prospective daters].
On the site you match people up and then show them each other’s profiles. Why do it that way instead of letting people browse?
I feel that browsing doesn’t help the singles get to the heart of the relationship because they are more concerned with appearances, level of education, specific interests, etc. When intermediaries match singles they have developed a sense of each person and have a fuller understanding of the most important things each party seeks in a partner. Communicating with the single gives a matchmaker insight into where and how the single would be flexible.
What are the toughest issues you face when trying to make a match?
Inflexibility is one very disturbing issue, particularly with age. Getting people to date out of town is also difficult and frustrating when a matchmaker sees the personalities and life goals are so compatible.
For hundreds of years Jewish matchmaking was a man’s business. It’s only in the last 150 years or so that is has become common for women to be matchmakers. Are most of the matchmakers at SawYouAtSinai women or men? What do you think a woman brings to the job?