Jewish Matchmaker Molly Weinberg on Finding Love in 2023

Does matchmaking still have a role in how we find less-fleeting love? We ask an expert.

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Molly Weinberg, founder of YentaBe, a Jewish matchmaking service / Photograph courtesy of Molly Weinberg

Last year, Molly Weinberg founded the matchmaking service YentaBe with a mission to unite Jewish singles between the ages of 22 and 45 who are looking for marriage. When a new client signs up, Weinberg sends an extensive questionnaire, then curates a match over email that includes biographical information, photos, and three recommendations for a first date based on location and food preferences. The process may sound a little old-school, sure. But here’s why Weinberg thinks matchmaking services ultimately save her clients time.

Why did you design YentaBe to focus specifically on marriage, as opposed to casual dating?
All the complaints that you hear about dating are, “He ghosted me, he stood me up, I think he’s weird, he just invited me over after 11 p.m.” I think the best inventions come from tackling the problems that are already in the market, so I didn’t want to duplicate anything that already existed.

Generally speaking, what sorts of clients are you working with?
The average age is around 30. But there’s a really big chunk of younger guys and a large chunk of older women. The younger guys are very influenced by their parents. I often get referrals from the mom or dad actually finding the service and then emailing me. The older women are people who are fed up with dating apps. In the last few months, the biggest new group that’s coming in are men between 30 and 37.

How do you pair people? What works and what doesn’t? Foundational goals and values are primary across all fields. So if one person identifies as a conservative Jew and wants to send their kids to Hebrew school and have Shabbat every Friday night, and then someone else is like, “Yeah, I’m cool with really anything, but I refuse to send my kids to Hebrew school and Shabbat to me is such a downer,” like, that’s not gonna work.

I’ve realized recently that some men come in with a very traditional mind-set, like, “I want my wife to stay home with the kids.” And then there are women who enter this and are like, “I’m a badass, I have a full-time job, I’m making a shit-ton of money. I don’t plan on giving up my career.” So that’s something I’m asking a lot more now. I’ve found through feedback that after three or four dates, that topic has been the big elephant in the room.

What are your tips for single people right now in Philly?
My number one tip is to be open-minded. People can be so judgmental and have gotten so accustomed to Facebook stalking and Instagram stalking. They’re really trying to see: “Is this person attractive? Do I see myself with this person long-term? Do we have mutual friends? Where did they go to school?” There’s all this judgment. People get really in their heads and overthink and overanalyze and become close-minded.

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Published as “Make Me a Match” in the June 2023 issue of Philadelphia magazine.