Wednesday, December 31, 2014

There is no Shidduch crisis- we have a "Shadchanim Crisis"

Submitted via comment on this post.
I have been following what is called "The Shidduch Crisis" for some years now. Many rivers of ink - or petabytes of data - were expended on the seemingly endless torrent of coverage. 
What most commentators are missing is the key component or, in this case the main proponent of the solution: the Shadchan. 
You see, we traditional Jews have been using the services of a Shadchan for thousands of years, making him or her an inseparable part of every Shidduch.
The Shadchan was a person who would know everything about everyone in town, going back three generations (or more) and has the same information for any hamlet, town or city within a ten mile radius, in all directions.
"The great-grandmother of the girl was once caught talking in Shul before Chazzoras haShatz!" is just one example of how the Shadchan could nudge a hesitant prospective Machatenista in the direction that he set for her daughter.
All this has changed, now that the community lives in large cities and a large percentage of Shidduchim happen with out of Towner’s, who live in a similar setting. The all-knowing, all-powerful Shadchan is an endangered species, as the new generation has grown to such proportions
that it's humanly impossible to keep up with all that's happening in the same town, let alone abroad.
So who are the new Shadchanim? Good question; there aren't any new Shadchanim coming onto the scene, who can make up for the blessed quantum shift that our community has experienced in the past twenty years. Yes, new schools, Yeshivah's and seminaries are springing up all over the place, but other 'services' like Shadchanus don't keep up with this accelerated growth.
Having spoken to a number of Shadchanim (over 130, to be exact), I have a feeling that something can be done about the Shadchanim crisis. Read again: "Shadchanim crisis" (no capital 'c'...), there is no Shidduch Crisis!
Here are a number of reasons there aren't enough Shadchanim around:
Whether a Shadchan starts to Redt (offer) a Shidduch and another Shadchan - often times a more senior one - jumps in at the last stage, to take all the credit.
Or if the prospective Mechutan listens to the Shadchan, allowing him to share all the details, then taking all the details and approaching 'his' Court Shadchan to start the ball rolling.
Often the Shadchan will arrive at the end of the Vort or Tenoyim, with the hope of being paid for all the late hour telephone calls and the many face to face meetings with both sides - only to be told that he should be happy with the "ad-hoc standard" payment, as set by the Mechutanim.
Then there are the Shadchanim who are still waiting around to be remunerated, when the young couple is not so young anymore...
The above is only the tip of the iceberg of what a typical Shadchan has to contend with. No wonder many Shadchanim burn out before they hit on the tenth successful Shidduch.
What is needed: Kolel leShadchanim, where the Shadchan can learn the ropes from established specialists in the field of Shadchanus, where the many pitfalls are enumerated so they don't fall for them and where proper emphasis is placed on training these would-be Shadchonim in a number of skills, which are crucial for him/her to be successful in the long term.
BeHatzlocho, Menasche Scharf, ShiduchBuch

1 comment:

  1. Fotheringay-PhippsJanuary 5, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    IMO posts of this sort - i.e. posts which claim there is no shiduch crisis - are as irresponsible as they are incorrect.