As a long-time bachelor, I’ve found that there are quite a few high-quality Jewish dating sites out there. It seems that each of these isbride and groom tailored with a specific audience in mind. For example, there are those that target the Charedi public, those for the religious Zionists out there, those for the not-too-concerned Jews amongst us, etc…

Here are the top 5 Jewish dating sites according to my personal experience:

1. SawYouatSinai and its sister website SeeYouinIsrael: (free in Israel) you get your choice of shadchan/shadchanit who (if they care about what they’re doing–and in my experience, while some are better than others, you simply can’t go wrong) will “suggest” at least five matches for you/week. This means that they will send either you or a potential match either his/her profile or your profile. If you choose to put down a little extra cash, you get an unlimited amount of matches.

If you “accept” a match, he/she has 7 days to either “accept” or “decline.” If he chooses to declines the match, his/her choice will appear in your “Matches” box but obviously without the reason they declined. If they accept as well (the second party has 5 days to decide), the guy gets the girl’s phone number and has three days to call her. They can talk things over and schedule a date if they so choose.

Both parties are advised to follow up with their respective shadchanit regarding “match progress.” You fill in a blank once you’ve gone on the first date, once you’re “dating,” and once you’re “engaged.” The site states that you must pay your shadchanit a certain bonus if a match is made. I feel that this “symbolic” payment is well worth the reward.

My shadchan has made 11 matches. That’s simply remarkable based on the fact that both him and his wife work full time and have three small children.

2. Shlish Gan Eden: I believe this is by far the best dating site in Israel. If you’re the least bit religious and living in the Holy Land, Shlish is definitely the way to go! They continuously update their site with new candidates. It’s not a shadchan-based dating experience; rather, you get to interact directly with the other party.

There are advantages to this system. For example, instead of a matchmaker picking out girls/guys for you based on what they know about your personality, looks, lifestyle, level of religiosity, etc., you get to “approach” the people you’re interested in yourself. There’s a certain charm to this. Perhaps, it feels more natural–as if you’re approaching someone on the street and asking them for their phone number, only you’re doing it in a discrete setting. Highly recommended!

3. JWed: possibly the best Jewish dating site intended for marriage purposes only (as it states on the landing page). It features the same setup as Shlish–meaning singles get to see profiles of one another and approach each other without first having to go through a third party. It’s intended mainly for English-speakers.

4. JDate: while this dating site is mostly intended for the secular or non-frum population, I personally know of a religious couple who met via JDate. You’ll see a lot of people interested more in looks and social status than other issues that I feel hold a deeper significance, but if you’re that happy-go guy/gal who have a steady income and aren’t “overly” religious, this might be the site for you!

…and last but definitely not the worst option, a site where a close friend of mine met her husband (this site is not all Jewish…)

5. OkCupid: OKCupid has a very unique setup that separates it from the field and gives it an added advantage. It lets singles fill out a compatibility profile and matches up other singles who have similar backgrounds, interests, goals, and life visions. While it’s not a “Jewish” site per say, the fact that it will only show you singles who would be a good match based on the amount of qualities you have in common, you’re more than likely to find that Jewish guy/girl who lives in your neck of the woods. Unlike of the other sites, OkCupid is also completely free!

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