Meeting that special someone is hard enough without him or her living halfway across the planet. But Jewish singles planning to make the move to the Holy Land this Tu B’Av can rejoice — the Israel dating scene just got a whole lot closer.
Jewish dating site SawYouAtSinai.com has partnered with Nefesh B’Nefesh to create a new site aimed at singles planning on making Aliyah.
SeeYouInIsrael.com launched last week, right in time for Tu B’Av (Jewish Valentine’s Day) on Monday. According to Yael Katsman, Director of Marketing and Communications for Nefesh B’Nefesh, 150 people signed up on the first day. As of today, the total was up to 304.
“We’ve been identifying a growing need for a site like this for some time,” Katsman said. “We’ve been meeting with Jewish singles from all over who expressed concern that one of their obstacles for making Aliyah is trying to date like-minded individuals.”
“Many young Olim who have a passion for Israel and Zionism express a desire to connect with similar minded people,” Nefesh B’Nefesh Director of Pre-Aliyah Marc Rosenberg said in a statement. “We also encounter immense excitement and anticipation among local singles – both Olim and Israelis - when we have groups of North American singles arriving on Aliyah. This dating site will provide a great forum to bring these people together.”
The site allows people who plan on moving to Israel (and those who already have) to meet like-minded people making a serious commitment.
“The main difference is that everyone who signs up [on a regular site] has a box to check in terms of what their [dating] goal is and whether they plan on moving to Israel. A lot of people keep their options open,” Katsman explained. “This will [enable] people to know that it’s only for people living in Israel and planning to move to Israel definitively — not maybe. I think that’s helpful psychologically.”
The launch of the site also coincides with a chartered flight to Israel carrying 231 passengers (including 106 children), which left from New York on Monday afternoon.
Alita Mandel, a 23-year-old accountant from New Jersey, was on the flight. She said she was seriously considering signing up for SeeYouInIsrael.com as a way to meet people with similar goals.
“From the first moment I landed in Israel in 11th grade I knew I was home and had found the place in which I belong,” she wrote in an email from the airport. “It has taken a number of years to make my dream a reality but I am finally coming home.”
Anne Cohen was the Forward’s deputy digital media editor. When she’s not looking for the secret Jewish history of Voodoo in New Orleans, or making lists about Ruth Bader Ginsburg , she writes for The Assimilator. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism with an M.S. magazine concentration in 2012.
Happy Tu B'Av: Aliyah Dating Site Launches