Sunday, February 05, 2006

A Jewish Thing

Last week was a fairly busy one for me - my semester ended and I was involved in organizing two major events. The first was organized solely by moi, as an opening event for new students at the Rothberg international school. I was extremely pleased by the turnout and success of the event, and my bosses are happy with me. The second event was the Jerusalem Winter Ball, a peer organized charity event, which serves the purpose of creating a reason for people to get dressed up and party for the fun of it, while still doing some good by donating all proceeds to a charity organization. Props to my friend Eli Gurock who spear-headed the ball and did most of the hard work. But back to the first event. As the student evening was slowly dying down, I was standing by the door, saying goodbye to students as they left. A pretty, sweet girl tapped me on the shoulder and asked if she could ask me a question in private. We walked over to a corner, and I smiled at her, in order to give her a bit of confidence, as she was twisting her hands a bit nervously. What next came out of her mouth still causes me to chuckle as I write this:

I'm a single 20 year old religious Jewish girl, looking for a nice guy. Know anyone?

As I spent a few seconds composing myself, trying not to laugh, it struck me how some things just never change. As I was the visible face of a Jewish event organized for students, I had unknowingly cast myself into the role of matchmaker (matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match. . .). My response was simple, and luckily a practiced one. I'm often approached by female friends, who know that my husband still has a number of single, eligible buddies and by male friends of mine and my hubby's friends who know that I'm still in university, with bachelorettes galore. My standard response is:

"We need to sit down over a cup of coffee and talk about who and what you are looking for, I refuse to set people up just because they happen to be of the opposite sex and single."

I stated this to the student, who immediately pulled out her phone to take my number in order to call me to arrange a coffee date. On the one hand, I'd like to be able to find her a boyfriend. Dating is fun and the personal self esteem and security offered by a boyfriend/girlfriend can be helpful, especially while abroad at universty. However, I am reluctant to set up an overseas student with an Israeli or someone who has made aliya. If you are making aliya, great. But why would I want to set up my friends with someone who is leaving in June? To let them get their hearts broken or have them follow her back to America?

Those concerns aside, I now have a new title to add to my job - Matchmaker!