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Rabbi Chaim (charles)and Daniella Friedman
Simple / Overview
What is the best way to meet others and expand your horizons? The natural camaraderie and convos around a Shabbos table in a relaxed environment.
Our goal is to create the ideal friendly gracious environment, bringing families and singles alike to one venue. Our hope is that singles will expand their connections and bring them one step closer to their bashert.
Pay It Forward BH Mission Statement
Pay It Forward BH is our (Chaim and Daniella Friedman’s) mission to help Jewish singles connect, find a sense of community and togetherness, and ultimately meet their Bashert.
We were both single and lonely for many years before we met. Some people are blessed to meet and marry earlier in life and grow together over the years. This isn’t the case for everyone.
Older singles often feel discarded, forgotten, hopeless, seen as “used up”, cast aside…it’s easier to set up the bright-eyed 20 somethings. And previously married singles feel lost, isolated, and suddenly thrust into a new world they never imagined, and never even wanted to be a part of. These are the people we want to help.
We focus on connecting people through the Shabbos table, because that’s how we met. Hashem clearly put us together, but a shadchan likely would not have come up with the idea. In fact, because of our differences, Daniella was reluctant to try dating, even though we both agree that we connected at that first Shabbos table. Hashem had to put us together again at ANOTHER Shabbos table, a few weeks later. Neither one of us knew the other would be there. As they say, BH, the rest is history. And that is exactly why we feel our mission of “Pay It Forward BH” is so important.
A Shadchan is undoubtedly carrying out Hashem’s work in a beautiful way….but Hashem is the king, with infinite wisdom….and the ultimate Shadchan. Hashem determines the final outcome of the match, and sometimes Hashem puts people together Himself, without another intermediary.
We are not saying to get rid of the Shiudduch system. We are just offering another outlet, because there are simply too many people who need another “way”. And we need YOUR help.
Families, community members, shuls, Jewish organizations and community centers, we are turning to you. We know that there are many people who want to help in some way. Tons of well-meaning people collect and distribute “resumes” regularly, trying to make and receive matches for their friends and loved ones, or even acquaintances. Sometimes it works. But sometimes it doesn’t.
There are two main challenges with resume/systematic matching. One is the fact that the glue of what makes a connection cannot be felt, or even quantified on paper. Paper leads to logical and rational matching based on similarities, but sometimes not all those similarities are needed, as long as the basic values align.
The second challenge is that by nature, it’s easier to view a paper with a more critical eye and dismissive nature. “Oh, we went to such different shuls. Nah.” “I like someone taller or shorter, why bother?” Meanwhile, that same person may be very appealing in person-pleasant to talk to, kind, funny, comfortable to be with. The essence of the soul cannot be captured in words on a paper.
Our previous generations relied much more heavily on shuls and communities having singles events, mixers, meals, and more. Somewhere along the way, this practice was to some degree abandoned, in some communities more than others.
Yet, based on today’s statistics around marriages in our communities, what some call a “crisis”, it seems that perhaps the old school way worked better. And that is what we are working towards. To expand and normalize the opportunity to meet in person.
We believe this can be done in ways that honor Torah values, especially when centered around Shabbos and Yom Tov. Shabbos is a time of miracles and spiritual elevation, it’s how we met, and we want to give that back now.
Instead of using modern day “apps” as a mingle for singles, or a swap out for an actual event, we will create a Pay It Forward app. This is intended as a tool to connect families and communities to the singles. Singles can request Shabbos meals, even if traveling or out of town. We will also have targeted meals, where there is an even ratio of men and women. Shuls and community centers can also provide outreach and mingling opportunities for singles that are shared on this app.
We need to create a think tank to implement this, and make it all possible. We need to focus on outreach and bringing in those who want to be involved. We need to focus on funding, and how to make hosting as economical and practical for people as possible. We also need to bridge the gap, so singles feel comfortable in their shuls and communities, and by the same token, families feel comfortable befriending and helping singles.
A community is meant to be cohesive, rather than divided. Let’s join together in Ahavas Yisroel, our love for Hashem and our people, for our own ultimate continuity! Am Yisroel Chai. May Hashem bless us with much Mazel and Simcha, and may we see many happy marriages and families blossom in this merit.
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