Founder of match-mak­ing scheme is lov­ing its progress

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS - BY EL­LIE JACOBS www.we­go­to­

A MATCH-MAK­ING pro­gramme launched over the High Holy-Days last year to help Jews find part­ners within the faith has dou­bled its num­bers.

Flyers for We Go To­gether — an ini­tia­tive headed by Mitz­vah Day in­ter­faith chair Lady Daniela Pears — were left on seats in the men’s sec­tions of more than a dozen Ortho­dox syn­a­gogues dur­ing the fes­ti­vals in 2017, invit­ing sin­gles aged over 25 to sign up.

Re­spon­dents were in­ter­viewed by one of a team of vol­un­teers and matched against a database of sin­gle women.

But be­cause of the grow­ing take-up, the scheme was now be­ing pro­moted through other sources, Lady Pears ex­plained, and both men and women could reg­is­ter.

“We ad­ver­tise on so­cial me­dia and in news­pa­pers, we post in var­i­ous groups, peo­ple join via word of mouth. Over 400 peo­ple have reg­is­tered.

“The old­est ap­pli­cant is an 85-yearold Holocaust sur­vivor. This just shows that peo­ple of all ages want a part­ner.”

She said an ex­am­ple of the scheme’s suc­cess in bring­ing peo­ple to­gether was a cou­ple who had not pre­vi­ously met de­spite lead­ing par­al­lel lives — both at­tended Ox­ford Univer­sity and the same shul.

Lady Pears felt the scheme dif­fered from many dat­ing apps in that “most ap­pli­cants are of the mind­set that they wish to set­tle down and meet a life part­ner, rather than look­ing for a fling. It’s about be­ing at the right stage in life.”

Al­though her team can­not pre­dict if a matched cou­ple will be phys­i­cally at­tracted to one an­other, “what we do know is that they will be com­pat­i­ble in other ways. We have put in the ef­fort to have open and hon­est con­ver­sa­tions with them. Though we do ask for a photo, it can only con­vey so much. Peo­ple need to have things in com­mon as well.”

While the scheme is cur­rently Lon­don-based, those who have reg­is­tered in­clude Man­cu­ni­ans who spend sig­nif­i­cant time in the cap­i­tal.

Lady Pears’s as­pi­ra­tion “is that We Go To­gether is ac­ces­si­ble to ev­ery­one, what­ever their Jewish per­spec­tive”.

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