Part 2: The art of J*Dating
Minutes after creating a J*Date profile you’ll probably start receiving winks, flirts and messages. Being fresh meat on the J*Date market means you’re feeling pretty popular right now, but how do you turn the views into dates? And what do you do when someone else’s profile catches your eye?
First, use the J*Date tools to your advantage. Search for your type, using the new tags for not only age and area but hobbies and personality traits too. Next, let someone know you are interested. When the views, winks and flirts are used and reciprocated, you know the other person is intrigued as well. A new tool called “Click Alert” lets you click a “yes” or “no” button if you’re interested, but the results are revealed only if both people click “yes” so feelings aren’t hurt. J*Date search can keep you busy for a long time as you narrow and broaden your scope. Once you know there’s mutual curiosity, it’s time to send a note.
When you write your message, make sure it is not about you! We can read enough about you by reading your profile. The message should be about why you like the other person, what caught your eye and what you have in common. Make the message specific to the person you’re writing to, and add a compliment or two for good measure. The message should be more than three lines but not more than a long paragraph. And by no means should you ever copy and paste a generic e-mail; it’s always obvious (yes, always)!
If you’re on the receiving end of a message, you can easily check to make sure the writer actually read your profile by looking for specifics. If you think the writer is attractive, you like their profile and their message, then go ahead and write back. But don’t wait to o long. You should reply within the next day or two, just as you would if the message were a voicemail to return after you gave out your number at a bar. The reply should be gracious but brief and consist of a thank-you, a return compliment and your phone number. That’s it.
The key to Internet dating is to get off the Internet as soon as possible. Think about it: Because of the profile questions, you already know more about the other person than you would after a typical first date. So if you start trading long and intense letters, all you’re going to do is create unnecessary anticipation. A lot of people can have good rapport on paper, but now you have built-up expectations no one can meet. You’ll have plenty of time to e-mail, instant-message and text once you’re dating.
If you’ve received a phone number, pick up the phone within 48 hours. Don’t call during the day when most people are at work, and don’t call on the weekends when most people have plans. If you’ve decided to call someone, you are hopefully doing so with the intent of wanting the other person to pick up, so call when they’re most likely to answer.
Once you get on the phone, cut to the chase. Again, you don’t want to spend too much time chatting before you know if there’s chemistry in person. Make plans for drinks sometime within the next week, leaving the evening open in case that drink turns into dinner.
Tips for the date itself are coming up in “Part 3: Going on a J*Date.”
Tamar Caspi Shnall recently married a Dallasite but has 15 years’ worth of dating advice to share! If you have any dating dilemmas you can e-mail her at: email@example.com.
Moishe House Dallas opens its doors to Jewish young adults
By Rachel Gross
Damon Mathias, Raymond Kira and Yoni Sallmander have been friends for 16 years. The men, now all 25, are taking on a new role as the residents of Moishe House Dallas.
Moishe House is a network of 29 homes throughout the world that serve as grassroots centers for young Jewish adults ages 21 to 30. It aims to create a framework for a variety of programs revolving around Jewish community, Jewish learning and tikkun olam.
The Dallas House opened last month in Uptown. This is the second Moishe House to come to Dallas; the first one closed last year when one of its members got engaged.
The men hope Moishe House, or “MoHo” as they refer to it, will become an outlet for post-college adults to meet.
“Before the Moishe House, the only things available were synagogue groups, mixers and J-Date,” Sallmander said. “Moishe House is a natural, relaxed environment. We’ve only been doing this for a month, but can see the need for it. This is what people have been looking for.”
The first event was a brunch that attracted 25 attendees. Since then, they have had a Shabbat dinner, movie night, happy hour and “Torah on Tap” at the Gingerman where Rabbi Zvi Drizin of the Intown Chabad discusses pertinent Jewish topics.
They are required to host five to six events each month; these will revolve around spiritual, communal, cultural, fun, tzedakah activities. Other ideas include going to a museum, the Arboretum, sporting events, boating trips and more. In return for planning activities, they receive a program budget and rent subsidy.
“We are a social group but also a Jewish group,” Kira said. “We don’t want to lose that part of it, but not every event is centered on learning the weekly parsha. We want to make sure we have the Yiddishkeit, and Torah on Tap gives us that. The elements have come together perfectly and that’s what will make us successful.”
Mathias added that their laid-back approach and variety of events will attract people. There are no membership fees and most events are free; the only cost is buying tickets at some venues.
“We are going to keep everything fresh and pick events that people will enjoy consistently, but won’t get stale,” he said. “We need to find that perfect balance. The goal is to be inclusive for everyone.”
Moishe House was started in 2006 by David Cygielman and Morris B. Squire to create a meaningful way for young adults to acclimate to life after college. It is funded by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Jim Joseph Foundation, Righteous Persons Foundation, and locally supported by Morton H. Meyerson, Jaynie Schultz and Ron Romaner, Howard and Leslie Schultz and MB and Edna Zale Foundation. The Dallas Moishe House is the only one in Texas.
Kira, Mathias and Sallmander all attended Akiba and Yavneh academies and believe their immersion in, and knowledge of, the Dallas Jewish community will also contribute to their success. The idea is simple: to allow young Jewish professionals to meet in a comfortable setting and make new friends. There are no strings attached.
“The social scene changes after college,” Kira said. “If you wait around for two events during the year, you aren’t going to meet many people. The three of us are hands-on visionaries. People are looking for friendships and that’s what we can provide.”
The men recently returned from a Moishe House national retreat in Wimberly, Texas. The next Shabbat dinner will take place on April 23, followed by an ‘80s themed party on April 24 and a movie night next week.
They said having these positions is cultivating them as future Jewish leaders. The best part of their jobs is the social aspect — meeting new people and bringing the young Dallas Jewish community closer.
“In 10 years, we’ll all be 35 and will know how to be community leaders,” Sallmander said. “We all grew up in different parts of the Jewish community and came together to create this. It’s something fun for us to do together.”
“People are looking for an excuse to get out,” Mathias added. “Having the Moishe House helps. It gives people a way to get together and know each other.”
For more information, visit www.moishehouse.org.
JConnect Dallas: New networking group for 40-plus launches in the Metroplex
By Rachel Gross
Friendship, networking, making connections and having fun — those are the goals of JConnect Dallas, a new group for the 40-and-over Jewish crowd.
JConnect, a nonprofit social networking group, recently established by local Jewish community members who felt there was a need to reach out to this age set. Their plan is to create a variety of opportunities for people to meet and share interesting experiences.
The inaugural event, which drew 120 attendees, took place April 8 at the Aaron Family JCC. Relationship Coach Deanna Frazier spoke about her book “Dating 101: The Second, Third or Fourth Time Around” and provided insight into the dating world.
Committee member Rob Weiss got the idea for JConnect two and a half years ago when he moved back to Dallas. Newly divorced, he attended support groups, did online dating and went to synagogue events, but never found anything he related to.
“We want to build the Jewish community and hope people who are in similar life situations can bond,” he said. “The idea of including people over 40, regardless of their relationship status, is appealing. I have always felt that a good social network of friends is a much more comfortable atmosphere for meeting new people, without the pressure of a date. We want this group to be about individuals and their choices. We are committed to making 40-plus life in the Dallas Jewish community more exciting.”
He added that he hopes JConnect becomes an avenue to share thoughts and make lifelong friendships.
The committee includes Laura Brown, Isaac Gian, Gail Herson, Jan Kessler, Robin Littrell, Barry Mellman, Marsha Ring, Patty Traub, Nelson Weil and Rob Weiss. They contacted various Jewish organizations and synagogues to get the word out. There is no cost to be part of the group.
Although the next event is still in the planning stages, attendees at the kickoff were asked what future activities they would be interested in. There was an overwhelming response for sporting events, speakers and trips.
Barry Mellman believes this is a way to bring together those from different parts of the Jewish community who may not have other ways to meet.
“I hope people develop friends and their social network. I feel we can be the next generation for our children to show them that we can have fun,” he said. “We want people to make friends and go to dinner or a movie together. It’s important that people realize that everyone can be their friend.”
Susan Rosenbloom learned about JConnect through her synagogue’s singles group and thought attending would be a great way to meet like-minded individuals.
“I believe it’s time that Dallas does something for people who are not under 30,” she said. “There is a whole population that misses out. I met people I didn’t know before and I’m looking forward to attending other events.”
Bill Hoffpauer added that he enjoyed the first event, and feels the enthusiasm of the committee will make JConnect successful.
“We need this. The older we get, the harder it is to meet people, especially in a large Jewish community like Dallas,” he said. “Sometimes it’s just about making Jewish friends to connect with.”
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.