Corona crush success stories: Looking for Mr Mensch!

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Corona crush success stories: Looking for Mr Mensch!

With just 15 million of us in the world, the Jewish dating pool was always going to be slim pickings, but Covid made it even more trying for those in pursuit of someone to bring home to bubbe

Naomi is a freelance features writer

With Zoom becoming the new norm for work meetings, video-call dates have followed suit. The ‘CoronaCrush’ Facebook group, which now has more than 22,000 members, was set up during the pandemic, as was ‘MeetJew University Dating’, a group for 18 to 26-year-olds, boasting almost 40,000 of the tribe. ‘MeetJew Post-Grad Dating’ is for ages 22 to 34 and has 15,000 members. I haven’t yet been brave enough to submit my snappy profile, but I might reconsider, seeing as the groups have been the catalyst for the many relationships and engagements.

Jdate is a bit circa 2000, but Jswipe remains popular with millennials like me, as do Bumble and Hinge, which aren’t specifically Jewish dating apps but have an option to select Jewish men only.

Sadly, some individuals I have encountered on Jswipe and the like are not what you would call ‘nice’ Jewish boys. One particularly memorable encounter involved a lad opening a conversation with “nine inches”. Suffice to say, my unfiltered retort meant unmatching was imminent. JSwipe’s customer service via Facebook messenger is excellent and they take complaints very seriously. I sent over the offending profile and they sorted it out swiftly.


Then there was the French guy, who kept gesturing with his right arm to show off his Rolex and frequently mentioned how well off his family are in Paris and how they own a number of kosher restaurants. He also told me his favourite pick-up line is: “Let me show you my Eiffel Tower” and told me it usually works on “les stupides Américains”.

A plus side of Jswipe is that it is easy to set up, completely free to use and there is no limit to matches per day. There’s an option to pay to get ‘worldwide passport swiping’ and sneak a peek at their ‘most eligibles’.

Bumble is a female-focused app, which requires women to initiate the conversation if they match. I like the feminist idea of this and it helps deter the creeps somewhat. A big plus is the customer service (especially responsive on Instagram).

The downside is the subscription fee at £17 a week. It’s annoying to use the app without subscribing, because it doesn’t allow you to select your preferences – in my case Jewish, over 5’ 8” with a full head of hair (the latter isn’t included in the options).

I signed up to Hinge, another app with more choice of matches and limitless swipes. It boosts fun prompts that show off your personality (or lack thereof), but the new voice recording option makes for often hilarious and cringeworthy listening. There have been a few nice dates, but so too  a few ‘unhinged’ ones. Consider the catfisher who had different hair and eye colour to his pictures but told me he had a brain tumour that had affected his looks. Eventually he confirmed that he had pretended to be his brother because “he always gets all the girls”. I made a swift exit and now reverse image search before a date. Perhaps traditional matchmaking, which vets both parties, has its pluses.

A promising-looking app is Lox Club, which is subscribers-only and promises high-calibre matches with a strict screening process. It also hold exclusive events for its members, but it hasn’t come to the UK yet.

This pair tied the knot after meeting online

For a different dating and often entertaining experience, popular American comedian Elon Gold does a weekly Saturday night Instagram live show called The Bachor, where he invites single girls and guys on and tries to make matches in real time.

I’ve gone on a few times and gained more Insta followers and friends, but nothing romantic so far. It’s good Saturday night watching, though, and makes a change from Love Island. Plus, you can participate in the fun, which is a big bonus.

For some serious intimacy advice, I’ve recently come across Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a recognisable and passionate voice on values, spirituality and relationships, whose international bestseller Kosher Sex made headlines in 1999.

Now bringing the message to a modern audience, the Kosher Sex company and Instagram verified page with more than 20,000 followers is run by his daughter, Chana, and prides itself on being a Jewish female-focused approach to sexuality, marriage, relationships and dating.

Funny Israeli Instagrammer and TikToker Uri Cohen (@uricohn), who posts Jewish memes and videos poking fun at antisemites, has set up an informal dating page on Instagram (@jewuri), which features girls and guys from around the world with a picture and a short, interesting and often amusing description of who they are and what they’re looking for. I’ve spoken to a few nice guys, most of whom are based in Israel and America. Uri also hosts regular events with Tel Aviv Live, which look really fun. He’s promised to get me a free ticket and a bottle of Tubi 60 when I make aliyah and, with Israel home to almost half of the world’s Jewry, maybe I would have a better chance of finding my Mr Mensch.

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