Be Your Own Matchmaker: Dating Advice From Tribe 12’s Newest In-House Matchmaker

Matchmakers are amazing. I have been a matchmaker and superconnector for over five years, and I know the power of how we work and what we can do. I am thrilled to join my friend, Danielle Selber, as an in-house matchmaker at Tribe 12, where we work together to set up matches, host events and make connections for our single constituents.

What’s also true is that working with a matchmaker is just one way to swim into the dating pool. My friend Aleeza Ben Shalom, a fantastic dating coach and founder of Marriage Minded Mentor, always says ‘be your own matchmaker’ – that regardless of what help or resources you’ve got, your dating destiny is ultimately up to you.

Let’s take a look at the many paths you can take when dating.

Online dating

It’s the question we get asked all the time: should I use the web-based JDate or the Tinder-style JSwipe app to find love. My answer to this question depends almost entirely on age.

JDate has been around for a long time; it is really the standard bearer in Jewish dating. I know someone who met his wife on JDate over fifteen years ago! Correspondingly, there are a huge amount of people in their 50s and 60s on JDate. It is an ideal platform for people who are divorced, widowed, have adult children, or who chose not to have children. It is also the best resource for those who are open to dating people in other cities and around the world.

For those under 40, JSwipe is typically a better choice! It is free and easy to use, and it tends to be the first place that people who are new to a city look for dates. That means it is less likely you will find yourself swiping through the same faces and names.

Online communities

Everyone knows about online dating, but there are some intriguing alternate options that not everyone is keen to. Facebook is passe for many things these days, but Facebook groups are powerhouses for dating. The groups MeetJew University and Corona Crush are pandemic-era examples of groups which have generated hundreds of dates and relationships. In their groups, a person presents an elevator-style pitch for their single friend and invites people to message them directly. This dynamic is so much fun, and it’s also very effective. You get a much more authentic and nuanced perspective via the lens of a friend who knows the good, the bad and everything in between about someone. Early access alert: I just started a Facebook group along these lines called Date Them: Jew-ish. Join it and let me know what you think!

Offline community

Find local community organizations that you can participate in! We sometimes say our secret weapon as matchmakers are events. Our numbers over the years prove it… more relationships have come from just getting people into the same room than setting people up one on one dates! There is something magical about getting a bunch of like minded people in a room together and seeing what clicks.

Tribe 12 is just one example of an organization in Philly, but trust us that there are dozens in every city across the world and for every niche. Just this week, Danielle connected with an organization in Sydney, Australia for their Jewish LGBTQIA+ community — it looks amazing!

You can start by searching within national organizations like Moishe House and Chabad, who have satellites in many cities. You can also utilize the unending power of Google: our website analytics tell us that the number one way new people find Tribe 12 is from googling ‘Jewish dating Philadelphia’! Try writing ‘Jewish + your city name’ into Google — it’s likely you will find something new!

Personal connections

Our best advice? Find a yenta in your community! There is no better way to expand your dating options than to tell people in the know that you are single and searching. Yentas can come in the form of professional matchmakers like ourselves, of course, but they also hide in plain sight. I have a friend who fits this bill — a bubbly, social person who seems to be everywhere all at once. She is always connecting people for business, friendship, and of course love.

Want some help getting started? Anyone can sign up for a one on one chat with either of us. We can get to know you and point you in the right direction! Visit tribe12.org/matchmaking to get started.