Jewish News Exclusive: Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match!

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Jewish News Exclusive: Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match!

Currently trending on Netflix in the UK, Jewish Matchmaking is putting love in the air and off air

Naomi is a freelance features writer

Cindy and Noah met on Jewish Matchmaking but they are not a couple
Cindy and Noah met on Jewish Matchmaking but they are not a couple

Netflix’s new star, orthodox matchmaker Aleeza Ben Shalom, is a shadchan (matchmaker) helping her diverse Jewish clients meet their bashert (soulmate). And if they don’t find love with one of her matches, it seems that Aleeza’s tips help them find it anyway.

Take Shaya Rosenberg, who was originally set up with Fay Brezel on the show. This did not work out, but he has just got engaged off air to Hoovie Ostreicher, who also comes from an ultra-Orthodox background. Although the couple weren’t matched by Aleeza, Shaya still highly rates her advice as a dating coach and over dinner in Tel Aviv during the Sukkot holiday, told her all about Hoovie and how he thought she might be ‘the one’. Shaya enthuses that “she guided me and advised the best course for dating successfully. And it worked! So guys, if you follow Aleeza’s advice and stick to it you’ll end up with the perfect one!”

Cindy Seni, a Canadian hopeful who appears on episode 4, also wasn’t lucky in love with her match on screen. But on her popular Instagram account Israel with Cindy, she has been posting photos of herself with Noah, most recently at the Jerusalem premiere of the series, leading us to wonder whether there was another ‘off-air’ romance in the offing. On a video call with Cindy, the woman who “loves to scare men on the first date” revealed that her relationship with Noah is just a friendship. But she was happy to talk about herself and other elements in the series that has got us all hooked.


Noah appears in episode 8 of Jewish Matchmaking

What motivated you to agree to be in the show? 

Growing up, there were no Jews that looked like me on TV. I wanted to show the world there are different types of Jews out there and Hashem gave me the opportunity!

Is the show ‘real’ or is it staged?

Everything is real – we are not actors, although I’m a pretty fabulous actress! Just kidding. But honestly, they put a camera in front of you and say ‘ok go on a date’. Of course its edited, dramatised and made to fit a certain storyline.

How was it to put yourself out there as a singleton looking for love?

It’s very nerve-wracking, especially when I’m rewatching it and realise that hundreds of thousands of people have seen my story – that’s tough. And of course, as it has been edited I will notice some exaggerations, or something that came out wrong, which is slightly anxiety inducing, given people now have a certain impression about me! But at the same time, I’m an open book and whatever I say and put out into the world is genuine.

Cindy and her unsuitable match Daniel

Did having a camera on you make it more difficult to be ‘natural’ on dates?

Absolutely. It’s quite awkward to date in front of a camera – you’re trying to be authentic while putting yourself in a vulnerable position with ten people watching. You do get used to it after about 15 minutes though and it kind of phases into the background. I’m also used to being in front of cameras in terms of my experience working in diplomacy and as an IDF spokesperson.

That isn’t mentioned in the series?

No, and that really upset me actually – they didn’t mention my diverse personal or professional background, or that I work for injured veterans with an organisation called Brothers for Life. I also run my own business plus manage my social media account Israel with Cindy. I do wish Netflix had included all that rather than just focusing on the storyline with my ex!

That’s quite a resume! What is your personal background?

I actually have nine different backgrounds. I’m Sephardic Italian, Tunisian and Turkish. I was actually born in France and grew up in Toronto. I then moved to Israel four years ago and started my Instagram account (which now has over 12,000 followers) documenting my aliyah journey, as part of an initiative of the Israel Foreign Ministry. That’s how Netflix approached me actually, via my Instagram.

The hair and clothing on the show are fabulous! Did Netflix sort them?

I got my makeup done once but apart from that – all me! It was a lot of fun.The black bootie heels I wear on one of the episodes were actually designed by my father’s brand, Pascal Olivier Paris.

Aleeza the Jewish Matchmaker

Is there a season 2 planned?

So many people are asking me this question! I tell them – if you loved the show and want season 2, make sure it gets tons of positive ratings and everyone’s watching it. Send to your friends, family, post on every social media channel and make sure to hashtag Jewish Matchmaking.

Any words of dating wisdom for readers to live by?

Apart from ‘No Abs, No Cindy’? well that’s the best one by far! Jokes aside, I would say that the best thing we can possibly be is authentic to ourselves and to our journey. Be proud of your accomplishments and remember: dust off your heels. It’s time to save the world. – as long as those heels are from Pascal Olivier Paris!


Visit where Aleeza offers coaching and online courses to help get you lucky in love.

Click here to read our exclusive interview with Aleeza Ben Shalom





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