Monday, January 14, 2013
Closing the Age gap on Shidduchim goes back to Kindergarten
At a recent symposium regarding the shidduch crisis one of the speakers rabbi Pagrow of the NASI project spoke about the age gap issue in shidduchim which he believes is the main reason why we have a crisis. Progress has been made with a great awareness in the community regarding the age gap. With this awareness we have created a different mindset as boys are willing to consider going out with girls their own age or even slightly older. They now redd these shidduchim and bochurim are looking now for girls with a little experience under their belt not just girls that are coming back from seminary.
A recent study of 300 dates yielded shocking data. The average year of girls getting their first date is 21 while the boys starting out was closer to 24. That's a great differential as the average of girls is 21 and the boys 24 This status quo has to change and we must remove the artificial obstacles that have boys going out close to age 24. All we can ask for is to push back the boys to age 22-23 even six months will determine the future of thousands of our daughters. shadchanim give of them selves and get no appreciation for their time and effort.Community's have set up dates over 1200 dates have been set up. these programs are providing much more shidduch opportunities for the singles especially of the older girls and those who did not just return from seminary.
Some of the solutions discussed were;
1. Having boys return a zman earlier from learning in Eretz yisrael or have them Go to EY at a younger age thus they will return earlier.
2. Creating incentives and programs for shadchanim to redd shidduchim to older girls which many communities have implemented B'H over 1200 of these dates have been set up.
While these solutions are short term there was mention of revamping the entire educational system starting from Kindergarten. The idea is to have girls entering kindergarten a year later than boys therefore eventually closing the gap as girls will be closer to 20 when finishing Sem which will bridge the gap between the girls and boys.
He ended with a passionate plea " we need ideas to lower the starting age of our boys to 22 or even 6 months. There are many ideas that we as a community must come together. This past summer we had 90,000 people at the siyum hashas. Same with the response to Hurricane Sandy. We are able to help! and leave no stone unturned we area community that is capable of doing something. Our sense of responsibilities to each other is that no young women should ever need to consider the possibility of her not having a home to call her own.