My editor got a lot of letters in response to a column a few months ago that said rabbis should encourage Jewish woman to date gentile men. I’m not sure if Rabbi Donald Weber read the column, but shortly after the New Jersey rabbi offered a unique approach to get Jews to marry each other.
Six weeks ago, in his Yom Kippur sermon at Temple Rodeph Torah, a Reform synagogue, Weber offered to personally pay for six-month memberships to JDate, the popular Jewish Internet dating service, for any singles in the congregation who asked.
JDate charges $149 for a six- month membership, and so far, nine people have taken the rabbi up on his offer. He and his wife, Shira Stern, initially pledged $1,000 to the effort but just donated a second $1,000 as more people came forward.
“All they have to do is claim it,” said Weber, who received a slight group discount from JDate. “We’ll do this as long as there’s a need, and as long as there’s a desire.”
Well, considering the declining American Jewish population and the crisis of intermarriage that some Jewish sociologists have been crying gevalt over for decades, I hope Rabbi Weber and his wife have a large savings account.