Matchmaker, Matchmaker

by Judith Gottesman January 29, 2018


Top view of happy young couple looking at each other and smiling while lying on wooden floor. Girl is holding a red paper heart

A day commemorating the martyrdom of a Roman saint—St. Valentine—sure doesn’t sound like a very Jewish holiday to me, but as a professional matchmaker I believe it’s always nice to have an excuse to celebrate love.

What? You thought Jewish matchmakers went out of style with Hello, Dolly!? Actually the idea of matchmaking is more relevant than ever in this era of insta-dates via Tinder, OKCupid and JDate. You see, as technology has made it easier and easier to meet potential matches for a date on a Saturday night, it hasn’t had the same effect when it comes to meeting those of like mind and values—qualities that are essential when really looking for a soul mate.

Don’t get me wrong. We all know happily married couples who met online. I’m just saying that you may have to go on a lot of dates before you hit the jackpot of someone who shares your values, goals and lifestyle, and who is serious about a relationship with you right now.

I tell all of my clients to use every tool at their disposal to find The One. That includes using my services, which focus on very few dates but (I hope) high-quality ones that have been vetted by me; online dating for a more general approach; and meeting people through natural social channels (via friends, hobbies, work and more).

Different people will naturally gravitate more to some approaches. For example, as people get more advanced in their careers and successful, they naturally have less and less time to spend viewing online dating sites and meeting new friends. In this case, they may find it beneficial to use a matchmaker to consider potential matches.

My perspective on love was heavily influenced by my father, Rabbi Aaron Gottesman, who before his death in 2005, was married to my mother for 36 years and who counseled hundreds of couples before marriage. As a hopeless romantic I was curious about his work and often asked him about love and what makes a good relationship. Later on, while living in Israel on my own, I learned about Tu B’Av, the Jewish holiday of love, which, like Valentine’s Day, has its roots in nature’s harvest cycles.

Why use a matchmaker specializing in the Jewish community if you’re not religious? Well, if you believe that shared values, goals and lifestyle are the three most important things in assuring a long-term harmonious match, after the initial physical attraction and connection is made, then it is beneficial to think about what a Jewish matchmaker could add to this mix. Do you believe that being Jewish is, either culturally or spiritually, an essential part of what makes you who you are? Do you believe that being Jewish affects your values or your worldview? Have you been told you have a “Jewish” sense of humor? If so, you may want to consider a Jewish matchmaker this Valentine’s Day.

Who knows, if you think of Valentine’s Day as the beginning of nature’s spring planting season, maybe you can reap a happy and loving relationship by the time Tu B’Av rolls around at the late summer harvest.

So here’s to a fruitful Valentine’s Day! And to an even better Tu B’Av!

Judith Gottesman is a rabbi’s daughter and San Diego native who received her undergraduate degree in psychology from U.C. Berkeley as well as her master’s in social work from Yeshiva University in New York. She loves bringing love into people’s lives via her matchmaking company Soul Mates Unlimited. Contact her at or 510-418-8813 for more information.


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