Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Looking at Singles Events

I am still on the mailing lists for many places that offer socialization chances for singles, what is called a "singles event." Sometimes these events are based in a shul somewhere. Sometimes the event may be held in a restaurant. Sometimes these events are held in a hotel. Sometimes these events take place over a Shabbos or Yom Tov. Sometimes these events are for only a few hours midweek. Sometimes these events may have a strictly delineated age range--21-26 for instance. Sometimes these events have a very large age range--21-60s. Sometimes these events have a restricted number of slots open for participants. Sometimes these events are open to anyone who wants to come. Sometimes these events are focused strictly on what singles can do to better their chances for marriage. Sometimes (more rarely) these events focus on a topic of interest generally. Sometimes these events are built around a single speaker. Sometimes these events are based around an activity (again, more rarely). Sometimes these events are sponsored by organizations whose sole purpose is promoting the making of shidduchim. Sometimes it is shuls who sponsor these events. Sometimes the events are well organized and do provide quality opportunities for singles to meet each other. Sometimes the focus seems to have gotten skewed and there is little time or opportunity to meet the other singles at the event.

But what all of these events have in common is that they charge money to participate in them, sometimes a whole lot of money. And sometimes, many times, far more money than the event is worth, in every way. Let's look at some examples.


A shul sponsors a singles Shabbos. Those attending will be put up in shul member's homes. They will eat their meals together in the shul. Motzoai Shabbos there will be a Melave Malka with a speaker and food. Cost? $133 if you register early; $160 if you register after the deadline. If you are going only to the Melave Malka the cost is $30 for early registration and $40 for late registration. So, you say? Why this cost, I say. Yes, the meals over Shabbos are catered, and catered food costs. But costs how much? You are talking Friday night, Shabbos lunch, Shalosh Seudos and Pizza and coke for Motzoai Shabbos. You think the organizers are providing caviar and champagne for that $36 to $40 per meal? Yeah, right. A local caterer in our neighborhood can provide a full lunch with all the trimmings, including waiters and paper goods, at $16 per person, and you bet he is making a profit. So where else is the money going? Well, there are mailing costs and advertising. Uh huh. And the Internet and shul bulletins cost so much. And then there is the cost of the speakers. The idea of an honorarium for a noted personality to show up somewhere is not a new one but some of these honorariums are ridiculous in size given who these speakers are--or aren't. And if some of these speakers, whose topics all seem to center around how to make a shidduch, are so concerned about the fate of singles, let them donate their speaking time, l'shem mitzvah.***

Now look at this from a single's perspective. They'd like to get married and they want to meet people so they can do so. Were they to only attend one Shabbos program like the one described above and one midweek program ($35 to $100 per event) per month, they would be spending from $171 to $260 per month on these programs. And there are programs which charge way more than the figures mentioned. Go to more events per month and the price can double. And this is not counting the cost of dating for these people, should they be so lucky as to find someone at these events. But it's entertainment money! someone is going to yell out. Oh that some of these programs were in the least bit entertaining. But tell me, you who are married already, do you budget $500 a month for "entertainment"? Right, I didn't think so.

Now, before some reader raises the question "What else have they got to spend their money on?! They're not paying tuition or supporting a family!" let me give you the facts. A whole lot of the singles I am referring to, in fact, probably the majority, are not living in their parents' homes. They are out on their own. Just as married couples do, these singles have living expenses. They pay rent and utilities and insurance costs and transportation costs. They buy food and clothing and medicine and all the other items needed for living. They, too, have shul costs and Shabbos costs and Yom Tov costs. They, too, give tzedaka. The difference is that a married couple can count on two people to bring in the income to cover basic living costs if need be--singles can't count on dividing the expenses between two people. There is some truth to the saying that two can live as cheaply as one, and it's reverse can also be true: one can't live as cheaply as two can.

Provide socialization events for singles? Yes, but let's not price gouge on the backs of those singles for the "privelege" of eating bad pizza. The prices for most of these events is way out of line for what singles can afford week in and week out, and a lot of singles are turned off by the prices and don't attend.

***Note: the well-known organizer of one of these weekends for singles told a participant who asked about the price that she does not keep any profit made from these weekends. All "extra" money is donated to a tzedaka that feeds poor people. Nowhere is this plainly stated on any of the advertisements for the weekends sponsored by this program. And does the fact that a tzedaka will benefit override the fact that the singles are being charged more because money is going to go to tzedaka, money they are paying but aren't being credited for apropos of the donation to the tzedaka? And if this one person admits to making a profit want to bet how many other groups that sponsor such events are also making a profit, groups such as shuls?

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

My two kids hate these singles events even though they are the target for them. They are overpriced for most of them (and I didn't know about the tzedaka thing which I think is disgusting not admirable)and they keep saying the events are boring, boring and boring. So if not these events what then?

Lion of Zion said...

"And if this one person admits to making a profit want to bet how many other groups that sponsor such events are also making a profit, groups such as shuls"

i don't know if you can distinguish between an individual and a shul making the profit, but shuls need money and may see this type of programming as a way to fund other services?

in any case, there is a potential singles event hosted by shuls week in and out that is free, i.e., kiddush. certain shuls are known to attract singles (i can think of 2 in flatbush) so perhaps singles can frequent these minyanim?

"a lot of singles are turned off by the prices and don't attend"

some singles also need to tone down the expectations of what consists of a first date. a friend of mine once complained to me that he stopped going dating 1-2 times a week because he can't affort to go out to eat in a fancy restaraunt twice a week (and pay for 2). i don't understand why a date has to cost $100 (or more). i tell him to go on cheap dates and isntead put the saved money in an account for tuition. it's a segulah to have kids (which presumably means getting married first).

Anonymous said...

It does sound like some of these shul singles events may be overpriced and some may be quite boring. The real question is do they work? How many shidduchs do they produce and for what % of people who regularly attend them. If they aren't working (or aren't working for certain subgroups) then its time to try something new or provide alternatives. How about bowling parties, golf outings, group golf, tennis, cooking or photography lessons (yes those will be expensive), tzedaka projects - i.e. bringing people together to deliver meals on wheels - you could rotate teams every week-- etc. Often its easier to meet and talk with people if its in the process of doing something else -- i.e. the golf lessons, painting a habitat for humanity house together, etc. -- than in a setting where everyone is sitting around eating or listening to a lecture and forcing smiles and small talk.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for acknowledging that singles are not money trees to be harvested. While 2 can't live as cheaply as 1, they can probably live as cheaply as 1.5 or 1.6.

Rachel said...

the group that ran the shabbos in Teaneck last week said "come be our 66th shidduch" so I'm supposing they have had 65 shidduchim. They have been around for a long time, I'd guess about 15 or 20 years or so. That's about 3 shidduchim a year. I don't know, is this a good number? Doesn't sound like that many shidduchim being made to me and a lot of money being spent.

Lion of Zion said...

jewish outdoors club

Avi said...

NYC is the real culture/entertainment capital of the US and all they can think of is another speaker talking about shidduchim or overpriced eats in some shul or restaurant?! Maybe the problem isn't the events but the people who decide what the program is going to be--not much creative thinking being shown.

Anonymous said...

For those who aren't the golf or tennis types to bring people together in a more relaxed setting, how about poker, scrabble, boggle, etc. tournaments. There could be "game night" for singles once a week or once a month with very little cost, just some refreshments and nibbles and a suply of cards, board games, etc.

Anonymous said...

These types of socialization events are mostly for the MO range. But they are providing very pareve programming maybe so the right wingers won't have so much to scream about. Think it's time to forget about what THEY might say and get some programs that are interesting and fun and might get people to want to come.

Rita said...

Also have to ask where places like the NCYI are in all of this. They used to provide all kinds of social events for college students back many years ago and for some other singles also. Guilty of moving to the right maybe? And YU also had mixed sex chagigot. Are they also worried about what the right will say? And it's weird that the OU can provide mixed sex programs for NCSY aged kids and then backtrack when it comes to those who could use that programming who are single and looking to get married.

tesyaa said...

Rita: NCSY's mission is to make public school and other marginally affiliated kids frum. There's no way that will happen without coed events, because those teens just won't go to same sex events. Once they're frum, they're NOT encouraged to socialize with the opposite sex.

On the bright side, my husband and I are just one of many, many married couples who met in NCSY; some of my friends met as participants, others as advisers (youth leaders), and of course, there were many adviser/participant couplings (don't want to use the term hookups).

I also have friends who met their husbands while both were counselors at Camp HASC.

Stuie said...

I'm not saying the programs available now are good ones and I think boring applies really well. But where are the singles themselves in all of this? You hear of shidduch groups and shuls that hold programs. What would be so hard for a few singles to organize a game night like someone mentioned? Singles all know other singles and the word would get out really fast. It can't just be everyone else who needs to change the approach and make things interesting. The singles have to get involved and be part of the planning.

Anonymous said...

Stuie: You raise a good point. However, above a certain age, there are many singles who don't know a lot of other singles or if they do, its singles of the same gender -- they don't have connections with singles of the opposite gender that they can invite. Also, its a little awkward for a single to organize a singles event.

Trudy said...

You could be right Anon about some singles not knowing very many other singles. But that puts everything into a vicious circle. They don't know many other singles so they may go to a singles event hoping to meet other singles. But the event isn't structured to make that socialization and networking very interesting, easy or even desirable. And round and round it goes.

And just out of curiosity why would singles in their 40s to 60s be included in the same event where people in their 20s are? Or even in their 30s? We seriously aren't saying that a 60 year old would be a good shidduch for a 30 year old are we?!

Lion of Zion said...

"its a little awkward for a single to organize a singles event."

why?

Anonymous said...

This is the computer age isn't it? Instead of all those crazy questionnaires for singles why not just have a site where singles can make a social connection to other singles? Where they can network? Where someone can post "Looking to enjoy a hike in the Adirondacks next week. Anyone interested contact me." Or "If you like scrabble let's get a group together and play." Or as the Prof suggested in another posting, anyone who is willing to host a mixed group of singles for Shabbos could post that info with the specifics.

Lion of Zion said...

out of curiousity, can some of the single readers who are disenchanted with singles events comment on what type of programming they would like.

Anonymous said...

Oops sorry, I meant to add above that this wouldn't be a shidduch site but a purely contact site, run by singles with no shadchanim necessary.

Miami Al said...

I think you are all wrong on this. You bemoan lack of programming, than attack what little is out there.

Sorry, there is an open marketplace for entertainment money, and these people are tapping into it.

Think that the events are boring and overpriced, throw a better one for less money, and you have a new side business.

Event planning is hard work, and there is no reason that the people doing it shouldn't get paid for their time because the events don't appeal to you.

Charge what the market will bear, create events, these are part of their social lives.

$500/mo for entertainment? Married, no kids, absolutely. With kids, not so much, but can a single 20-something post-college MO Jew handle $100 evenings? Plenty of my secular friends would spend that on a night out without much hesitation.

It's awkward to arrange events? Give me a break, one of my local single friends used to coordinate one of the singles groups here. Now that he's getting married, he's looking to coordinate couples nights.

Stop acting like crabs in a bucket, the people doing these events are trying, why are you trying to pull them down?

Miami Al said...

And outside of NYC, singles do host "singles" events all the time, they are called parties, you just don't entertain at home much in NYC.

Expecting everyone to do everything for you is part of the problem. The entitlement culture runs deep.

Ruth said...

Al, you don't live in the NY area and you really don't know how bad some of these programs are and how disorganized some of them are either. Their point is not about providing unfettered socialization for the people attending--that's the smallest part of the event in terms of time. Mostly there is boring speaker after boring speaker all bleating the same tune--you need to keep the faith, you need to be more realistic, you need to do more, you need to want less.

I imagine that expenses are less in Miami then they are in the NY area for basic living costs. Post college singles here are not all rolling in dough. And calling that $500 a month entertainment money? Very little that is entertaining about the activities.

Re that friend who did the arranging for singles events. Note that you mention only one friend, not dozens who do this. Some people are just better or more motivated than others other at arranging things. I would also imagine that in Florida you don't have the community pressure to the same degree that you have in NY about the socialization to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Miami Al, it's not about not entertaining in our homes. Throwing a party in the NY area for a group of mixed singles in a private house for no reason, even among the MO is going to raise eyebrows and start the whispering campaign going. Even the famed WestSiders mostly do their in house mixed entertaining at shabbos meals for the most part.

Lion of Zion said...

AL:

"And outside of NYC, singles do host "singles" events all the time, they are called parties"

i love you al

RUTH:

"Al, you don't live in the NY area and you really don't know how bad some of these programs are and how disorganized some of them are either"

please reread al's comment above. singles are expecting others to do for them what they won't do for themselves. we're not talking about 18 year chasidim here. we're talking about independent adults, many of whom are highly successful in their professional lives. and they can't organize a singles event?

Lion of Zion said...

"even among the MO is going to raise eyebrows and start the whispering campaign going"

not among my friends. get over it.

Anonymous said...

Lucky you Lion. But are all of your friends this way? And are they typical of all the people in the MO world? Not the ones where I'm living. Lots of MO who are a different flavor.

Lion of Zion said...

i was actually thinking about doing something in my shul (which happens to have a lot of singles) or in my apt. on shabbat (ok, i was going to suggest it to my wife and have her do it, since she's the one in the family who takes an interest in these matters.) but now i wouldn't because
a) as per some comments above, i don't want to risk the stellar reputation for frumkiet i currently enjoy among my neighbors
b) maybe that's not what they want

so seriously, perhaps a single can do a guest post here or on orthonomics about singles events so we can hear their perspective. with specifics. what do they think can be done for them programming-wise.

Lion of Zion said...

ANON:

"But are all of your friends this way?"

yes.

"Lucky you Lion."

yes. i really do cherish my friendships very much.

A Single Voice In The Wilderness said...

Reading the comments with a lot of interest. Kind of easy to tell who is married and who is not and who has or has had older single kids.

I'm a single female in my 30s. I'm good at organizing and I made up the plan for a social event that would have been mostly socializing and some good food at a reasonable price. But I was looking for a fairly large group of people to come and my apartment and most apartments wouldn't hold that number of people. So I went to my local shul and asked to use one of the social halls for the event.

First they asked who was sponsoring the event. And when I told them that no group was sponsoring the event they weren't happy at all. Then they said they might be willing to sponsor the event but we'd have to change the focus and have a speaker of some kind. When I countered and said couldn't we just have a game night they said no. And this was a YI!!!

You think that just because a community or shul is known as MO that they are so welcoming when singles want to hold an event? Not!

Lion of Zion said...

Single Voice:

how many people are you talking about? in brookyln?

Shia said...

Someone asked about what kind of events singles would like to see. Can't speak for everyone but I'd like to see a frum singles bowling league. I like bowling and don't like to go by myself so I joined a league through a local alley. The people were nice enough but given all the talking during the game I'd have preferred having someone with interests that were more my own. Only problem is that I really don't know where to find all these people and like somebody mentioned there isn't really a site anywhere where you could post this info.

A Single Voice In The Wilderness said...

Not in Brooklyn Lion...one of the city suburb areas. My first thought was to try and get about 100-150 people there. I don't know if we could have gotten that many people because the event never came off.

Anonymous said...

i gotta wonder just how many of those married people who are telling us singles to stop complaining and do something would make it if they had the kind of entertainment available that we do.

Let's hear it for a melave malka for married couples that's only going to charge you $30 a head for nosh and drinks. Make that twice a month. And let's have a speaker at every one. A different speaker each time. But the topic will always be the same--you need to work on your marriage. If you think that's entertaining then you are part of the reason why singles programming is so limited and boring--if you can't have better then neither can we.

I can think out of the box but a whole lot of people out there who want us singles back in that box and out of sight.

ProfK said...

I decided to pop in before leaving for work. Oh my.

Yes, I agree that singles need to be more pro-active on their own behalf. But I'm not saying that there are not some real concerns that these singles might have if they try something new or different. Our frum communities can be really intimidating sometimes.

Klal likes its comfort levels firmly anchored in the known. It doesn't matter if the known is the best way of doing things or even if the known is all that successful. Change comes slowly when it comes at all.

Decades past socialization among mixed groups was the norm in the MO world at least. That didn't just end one Tuesday. It slowly faded away. If change is to take place again it isn't going to happen overnight. It's going to take some people willing to go against the norm and more than once. It's going to take some small steps before we get to the leaping point.

There have been some good suggestions made here about types of activities that could replace those borrrrrrring singles events that mostly take place now. I'm sure there are many more good suggestions not yet vocalized.

Maybe a good first small step would be for people, lots of people to send notes to those who presently present these events suggesting that they would be more successful if the program changed and the price was kept down. Maybe some suggestions for programs more desired could be sent there. Let enough people writetalk/protest and there might be some changes made.

Lion of Zion said...

ANON:

"I can think out of the box"

a lot of bitterness and resentment (some of it misdirected) in your comment, but no evidence of any out-of-the-box thoughts.
nu, so what do you recommend?

and regarding your first comment, i hate to disullusion you.
don't get me wrong, i wouldn't trade my marriage and family for bachelorhood, but exactly how much "entertainment" do you think we married people get? enjoy youself and live it up now! if you choose to limit your entertainment to melave malkas--i've never subjected myself to one and i'm sure they're boring as hell--that's your business.

SINGLE VOICE:

was it specifically for suburbanites or just convenient to host it there? if you want to try brooklyn, perhaps i can hook you up with a venue.

Anonymous said...

Yikes: If the MO shuls won't host a jewish singles event so jewish singles can't meet and marry jews, try a JCC or a Solomon Schecter school that rents out space. In my town, the public library has meeting rooms available for very little cost. Ditto for the VFW post.

tesyaa said...

If people are so hesitant to go outside the norms for socialization, how in the world can one expect to get 100-150 people to come to an event that's not sponsored by established channels? The people who don't mind going outside the norms are already meeting at parties. The other people - it would take wild horses to get them to abandon the "singles melave malka" model.

A Single Voice In The Wilderness said...

Thanks for the offer Lion but it was supposed to be for people in our general living area. And thanks last Anonymous for those suggestions. We don't have a JCC or Shechter school around here and the library here isn't open for evening hours that we wanted the function for. But the VFW is a great suggestion--they have one not far from here and I'll check it out. Actually fits some of us pretty well--a VFW for us veterans of the frum single wars.

Lion of Zion said...

SINGLE VOICE:

"it was supposed to be for people in our general living area."

oh, so you think you're too good for brooklynites? :)

one other suggestion, with the whether getting nicer. what about a park or other public space?

Lion of Zion said...

yes prof, i know that should be weather

Anonymous said...

It sounds like this could be another niche for chabad houses to fill if the other shuls are abdicating. I'll bet they would host that singles game night that the YI would not. Although chabad houses cater to the unaffiliated not yet frum, I'm sure they would be happy to help single jews meet other single jews. They are used to welcoming mixed crowds due to their work with the unaffiliated and do have a lot of innovative/fun programming they may be willing to share. Of course, it couldn't be a "chabad" event and they would have to understand its geared toward people already observant.

Miami Al said...

I think the suggestion to the event organizers to charge less and do a better program is going to accomplish about as much as Honestly Frum's whiners asking for the Day Schools with waiting lists to control costs.... If they are getting 100-150 to their events, overing a cheap speaker fee and rental fee, and then sending the profits to "charity," well they're as happy as that animal we don't eat in something brown and disgusting... :) As long as they can pick the charity and nobody looks into it as it's not published, they got a great business.

Regarding locations:

Really you guys? Can't find a place to host an event in NYC? That's just plain pathetic.

Go to a hotel, they have business meeting rooms, go rent one. They are in the business of renting space for short term reasons, and you pick the amount of room.

Or go find the nearest Reform Temple, if it isn't Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur, you know the place is empty... I'm sure they'll even let you walk in the back door so nobody sees you. :)

You're too far on the right to know anyone from the opposite gender, you have to have siblings right, they can arrange things.

Or freaking post flyers.

Sorry, but go arrange your own social life instead of complaining that not everything caters to you.

Here you go, Events > Gigs in Brooklyn, NY on Craigslist, go post on there:

"Want to rent an event room, nothing fancy, for 2-4 hours on a weeknight."

I bet you you get inquiries. Forget thinking outside the box, how about thinking inside a slightly larger box.

tnspr569 said...

The OU had a great event a few months ago - it was not even advertised as a singles event, just as a chessed opportunity, to assemble care packages for children with chronic illnesses and to build an aron kodesh for an IDF unit. I attended, as did a number of my friends, and we all enjoyed ourselves. Guys and girls had the opportunity to socialize outside the context of a "singles event", and I think everyone appreciated that fact. Some couples also attended the event. Similar events (read: fun events not labelled as singles events) would be great - time to get organizing!

This is aside from the fact that in some communities, some singles are just too frum for themselves, refusing to even say good shabbos to members of the opposite sex. I can only imagine their reaction if approached by a member of the opposite sex at a shul kiddush. Forget about coed meals or anything similar. Instead, a guy sees a girl he's interested in and feels the need to go through various indirect channels (friends, family members) in order to ask her out - ridiculous.

Honestly, what is with this system? Are guys so emotionally immature that they cannot deal with the intricacies of dating themselves? Guys can't decide for themselves what they are looking for, so they have their parents do the "filtering" for them? They have to go through the shadchan to ask a girl out on a second or third date, or to end it after a first or second date? Guys can't handle rejection or are unable to fully express themselves? This is all just indicative of the greater trend towards infantilization - remove all possible challenges, stumbling blocks, learning opportunities, and instead coddle as much as possible. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

So my generation is infantile and we suffer from entitlement. Right, and we came out of the womb that way with no input from anyone else. Can just see the world bowing down to the wishes of a two year old who needs all the junk bought for him. Or a four year old or a twelve year old. Can just see all those 'adults' out there who had no input into how their kids raised themselves.

If there is blame to be placed then look at yourselves you older married people. YOU were the ones who created that entitlement and YOU were and are the ones who try to make us infantile. YOU set up crazy rules that WE are supposed to live under and be happy with. WE didn't set up the crazy dating rules--YOU did. And when we make the attempt to get away from those rules then YOU are the ones who start screaming that we can't do things our way.

Yeah there are lots of people in my generation who bought into the whole load you shoveled at us and still do. Talk to them about a real mixed social event and they can quote all the reasons it isn't a good idea--ideas they got from YOU. They need to get a life of their own and stop living yours for you. But no, when they do that all of YOU start screaming 'they're going off the derech.

Must be nice to believe you have no sins to confess on Yom Kippur. Here's a sin you need to think about. You can't let go of the control. And we are guilty of letting you use that control way past the time when we should have said enough.

Aliza said...

There is lots of pressure to conform in the secular world. Bosses tell you they want creative thinking and then make you follow the line they have drawn. But it's nothing when compared to the pressure to conform that the frum community puts on. Schools and shuls and rabbanim all want you behaving the way they want and parents get pressured to do things the way the community wants and we singles are just supposed to smile and say thank you. Okay so it's everybody's fault that things are as bad as they are. But does knowing who to blame make things any better?

Frum communities and that includes the MO aren't looking for anyone to be thinking outside of the box or even make that box bigger like someone said in the comments. All those suggestions about what we should do to change things won't work unless you in the rest of the community are also working to change things, like the community's attitude. We singles don't see a lot of you marrieds in the community blowing off the nutty rules to conform but you expect that we will do so easily.

tesyaa said...

Aliza,
Those of us who are blowing off the nutty rules to conform aren't trying to change the system because we don't live within the system. We're not imposing the dating rules on our children, so the rules seem far away. Once in a while we read blog posts like this and know that we couldn't change the system even if we had the time and energy too - because the system has to change from within itself.

One problem with the system is: most people like being part of it, except when it works to their detriment.

tnspr569 said...

Anonymous 6:27 am, I'm also single. I don't espouse any of those ridiculous ideas. Direct your anger at those who have a role in this issue.

No one forces you to do anything - it's your choice. The shadchan doesn't have to be involved every step of the way if both parties decide that's how they want it...

Miami Al said...

Anon 6:27,

Yup, the prior generation stood by while crazy people invented rules and called it tradition. Nobody said anything while freedoms were chipped away one by one. The older generation is EXTREMELY guilty of standing by while people committed truly evil acts on the next generation, standing by and talking about how "frum" it was to strip freedoms away and create a neo-shtetl life. Hands off parenting while turning decision making power to people with quasi-ordination invented "tradition" from books written 100 years ago (that were never actually in practice) and pretended that it was 2000 year old tradition, and watched their children lose freedoms that they had and took for granted. All of this is true.

However, being angry at it doesn't help. If you're 25 or 30 and got dealt a crappy hand, you have a choice, let that lousy background doom you for the rest of your life, or realize that you have another 40 - 65 years on this planet and make the best life for yourself that you can.

Make the best choices you can every day, stop worrying about what people will think, and do the best thing you can for yourself and serve Hashem in the best manner you can.

The system changed while nutty people made up one restriction after another. The system is in a feedback loop of nuttiness, and it will not change from the people in power.

The only changes will come from the ground, as people take control of their own life and make it better. Hopefully the next generation won't have to suffer like this one did.

frumskeptic said...

Singles, for the most part, cause their own problems.

I tried to organize many low-key mingling events. I had a yeshivish teacher I kept in touch with from HS agree to host shabbossim for a group of my friends, and invite guys she thought would work for us (she was very into kiruv, knew tons of guys). My friends were never interested. Always had excuses. Ranged from "I'd feel uncomfortable" to "Its innappropriate." or w/e, or "since its meant for shidduchim, we'll know its uncomfortable"

Most of them sat around and literally just organized Tehillim groups. "Say Tehillim for 40 days, split between 40 girls".
then there was "say shir hashirim for 40 days, 40 girls"

that was their "hishtadlus"