JSwipe Publishes Study on the Dynamics of Jewish Datingby Alex Wehrung November 5, 2019
Recently, Jewish dating-app JSwipe released an inaugural, independent study on the inner workings of Jewish dating, using data culled from the responses of 3910 members of its user base, which is primarily composed of people in the millenial age range.
“The intention of this study was to give a voice to Jewish millennials sharing openly and honestly what is true and real for them across some of the more controversial and often avoided topics in the Jewish world,” JSwipe founder David Yarus said in an email to the Journal.
The study itself contains both statistics and written responses from JSwipe users, most of whom lived in the United States. Another 25 percent were spread collectively across Israel, Canada and the United Kingdom, while the remaining 15 percent could be found in France, Germany, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.
58 percent of the respondents were male, 42 percent female. Over half were between the ages of 25 and 34, and the top four denominations in order were cultural, traditional, Reform and Conservative Jews. All age ranges predominantly found their Jewish identity to be important to them, whether that meant identifying as Jewish, partaking in holidays or traditions, following the culture, or having to do with family, friends and community. Most respondents claimed to practice Judaism in some way, shape or form.
Perhaps is to be expected from a group of people looking for love, the majority of respondents did not have positive feelings about being single, and were looking for someone they could eventually marry, or at least stay in a monogamous relationship with. They mostly preferred to meet a date via a mutual friend, or maybe through an app, and hoped this person would be kind, funny, intelligent, stable and honest.
Being Jewish was also an important factor for choosing who to date. “Judaism is such a big part of who I am, my community, my family,” a respondent said. “It would be hard to be with someone who didn’t share that. I want to raise a Jewish family. It is important that Judaism is not eliminated.” Most respondents said they would consider dating someone who isn’t kosher, or didn’t keep shabbat, even if they did themselves.
While going out to do a fun activity like seeing a movie or attending a museum, just talking or getting food together were all popular choices for a first date, JSwipe users had their hearts set on getting drinks with their first date at a bar. And men ought to expect to foot the bill, because both male and female respondents erred on the side of saying that men ought to pay for the first date, in addition to being the one who does the asking out. Though everyone seemed to be divided on who ought to send the first text message.
After introductions with their prospective partner, respondents said they’d like to see them around two times a week before eventually agreeing with one another on going steady. While dating, they would hope for their prospective partner to be honest and wise, and not be overbearing or talk about hot-button issues, like exes, politics and mothers.
Marriage, however, turned out to be something of a different beast from dating, opinion-wise. For starters, over half of respondents said that their families wouldn’t take it well if they decided to marry someone who wasn’t Jewish. While cultural and Reform Jews mostly felt as though their families would be neutral on the idea, over half of each of the other demographics–Traditional, Conservative, Orthodox, Modern Orthodox and Zionist Jews–said their families wouldn’t be exactly pleased with the notion.
Not only that, but precisely half of 3720 respondents said they felt pressured to get married from one source or another, like their parents, families, society and even from themselves. But if they were to get married, they said it was important to marry another Jew. “It is a shared background and history,” said a respondent. “I want my children to be raised in a Jewish environment. To have a Jewish wedding.”
When it comes to conversion, most said they would marry someone who converted, while just a little less said they would marry someone who converted just for them. Though under half of respondents said they would not ask their partner to convert to Judaism if ‘things got serious.’ “You can’t tell someone else what to believe,” a respondent said. 22 percent said it was wrong to ask a loved one to convert. “It would be morally and ethically wrong.”
Overall, the study seems to paint a picture of a worldwide Jewish population that places a high premium on finding love in someone who shares their religious and/or cultural beliefs, but also exhibits the sort of positive qualities that embody a mensch. Though respondents’ families for the most part aren’t keen on the idea of their loved one(s) marrying a non-Jew, said loved one(s) exhibit a greater openness to the idea.
At the end of the study, JSwipe acknowledged in a closing message that though the study represents 4000-some members of a particular part of the global Jewish population, they wanted the study to serve as an “exploration of the underlying concepts and nuances in language used to answer some of the contemporary Jewish world’s most pressing questions.
“May it spark reflection and conversation between families, communities, and generations.”
The study results are available for public review and download at jswipelovestudy.com.