Make Me a Match

By Sarah Kessler

Published February 11, 2009, issue of February 20, 2009.
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In a dark Manhattan bar one evening last month, the eyes of about 70 young women and one young male hairdresser were focused — dubiously and tipsily — on Ziva Kramer, headliner at Jewish International Connection’s “How To Get Quality Guys To Commit To You and Stay Married! Ladies only” event.

LOOKING FOR LOVE: Ziva Kramer (right), a ‘relationship expert,’ offered advice to women at a recent event.
LOOKING FOR LOVE: Ziva Kramer (right), a ‘relationship expert,’ offered advice to women at a recent event.

“There are too many singles out there. I don’t like it,” Kramer, a “relationship expert,” told the crowd. “Men are not jerks. Write it down. Testosterone suppresses the hearing cortex in his brain, and he becomes deaf. I’m talking about science. I’m not talking from my head.”

The problem, she explained, is easy to solve: “If you touch, you get attached.” So don’t. For at least three months. “I’m talking even about the little appetizer there,” she said, causing some audience members to shift uncomfortably in their seats.

Kramer, who is Israeli, has been matchmaking since she was 7 years old, when she brought together her baby sitter and cousin. After more than 10 years of networking in New York City, she has acquired a database of 2,000 names — split evenly, male to female — of potentials she’s itching to bring to the chupah.

Kramer shared the stage that night with Mark Garrison, owner of an Upper East Side salon and trusted hairdresser and sheytl stylist to the Orthodox community.

“I love being able to help women to achieve beauty,” said Garrison, who had never met a Jewish person until he left his small hometown in North Carolina for San Francisco 32 years ago. Dressed in a sharp suit, Garrison led the audience in an impromptu (although at $3,000 for a custom-made wig and $1,000 for a good wig cut, hardly unprofitable) game: “Hair! Or Sheitel!”

“I think there’s too much testosterone in this room,” someone muttered as the crowd got raucous.


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