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“You can be attracted on every level, but if practice is off, it can be a deal breaker.” But she is seeing more openness to intercultural relationships.In addition to some of the usual questions one might expect from any matchmaker—career ambitions, willingness to relocate, family expectations, physical type—Fass also asks questions specific to Jewish tradition, such as the keeping of kosher dietary laws and holiday observance.One week last spring, I met the matchmaker Jessica Fass in her temporary Tel Aviv office, a We Work location with hardwood floors, exposed mechanicals, wheat beer on tap, and Millennials talking about deliverables while eating salads at a communal lunch table.Fass, a Jewish matchmaker from Los Angeles, had descended on Israel—where she spent five years and which she considers to be a second home—to find suitable mates for her clients in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Montreal, and Melbourne.There are others who identify as cultural Jews and they want to make Jewish jokes and have someone who gets it.Some people just feel more comfortable with someone Jewish because they grew up with Jews.” That comfort can also help ease integration in a new city that also has an established Jewish community, says Berzack.
They run out of Jews to date, and that’s when they come to me.” Even in cities with relatively large Jewish populations, the dating pool can feel small.
She recently attended a party for a local man she coached to celebrate his marriage to a woman from New York.
“What I saw was people from a small Jewish community opening their arms to his new bride, giving phone numbers and embracing her in the community,” she says.
Several services in Israel explicitly facilitate introductions between Israelis and Jews in the diaspora.
Matchmaking is particularly popular among Orthodox Jews, some of whom seek a partner within a very insular community.