Shidduch Crisis: NASI Project Responds To Feedback Following Their ‘Game-Changing Shidduch Project’

(Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011)

Over the course of the past few days, feedback to the NASI game-changing shidduch project has covered the spectrum from extremely positive to extremely negative, to even nasty, (as we had expected).  So far, almost every unhappy person who has made the effort to call has changed their attitude towards the project.

NASI recognizes that no one has all the answers and values everyone’s feedback. NASI’s programs are regularly tweaked to try to accomplish maximum results. That being said I realize that it isn’t realistic to speak to everyone on the phone, and hence this letter. In this letter we will deal will the goals of the project as well as the various objections that have been raised. As such it is crucial that it be read in its entirety.

In order to understand this program the overall framework in which the program was created must be understood. Once the overall framework is understood the details of the program as well as clear answers to all the questions will be presented.

1) Let’s begin with a technical definition of the shidduch crisis.

The number of non chassidishe orthodox young women who have been dating 5-10 years exceeds the number of non chassidishe orthodox young men who have been dating 5-10 years, BY HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS. Allow that to sink in. In other words, after a certain number of dating years, the number of available young women exceeds the number of available young men.  If I need to spell it out further, unless a situation develops that 23 year old boys suddenly look to date 32 year old young women, there are simply not enough young men for the young women.

This is a tragedy of epic proportions with colossal ramifications.

(Note: This does not mean any individual woman will not marry. There are many boys out there, however, bderech hateva there are a staggering number of young women who will suffer the tragedy of not getting married. I wish it wasn’t so and I certainly don’t want to write this, but we can pretend all we want–this is the tragic reality.)

2) What is the undeniable root cause of this tragedy?

The short answer is Age Gap. This has been acknowledged by a historic letter from 70 Roshei Yeshiva.

Every single person in Klal Yisroel is collectively and individually responsible for allowing this terrible situation to develop. Hashem did NOT cause this, He simply allowed us as a community to be blind to the results of our actions and we have thus CREATED and are RESPONSIBLE for the tragic situation.

I would hope by now that this concept which has been explained in this very forum numerous times is understood by all. If we have an island with 100 boys and 100 girls on it, at the end of the year it is simply impossible for there to be more single girls than boys, IMPOSSIBLE. If on that island we place 150 young women and 100 young men, than there will undoubtedly be a minimum of 50 young women who don’t get married. Even if all 150 have everything “going for them” with all the silly things we give importance to in shidduchim, there will still be 50 who can’t get married. Even if all 100 young men had no interest other than getting married to a nice young woman without any other criteria, there are 50 young women who can’t get married.

In the non chassidishe community, instead of it being 100 to 100 is it the situation of 100 to 150 (this is illustrative only, it is closer to 2,000 young men, and 2,200 young women). Approximately 200 young women have no realistic marriage opportunity. Not at 19 and not at 35.

The reason is simply because we have a structure where the young women enter shidduch island at approximately 19 and the young men at approximately 22.5.  Being that B”H our population is continuously growing rapidly the younger age groups (of both boys and girls) are consistently larger than the older age groups. So long as young women get their passport to the island at 19 and young men only get it at 22.5 we will have a situation in which every year more young women than young men begin dating. Thus even if every single boy gets married to a young woman, there will be 200 young women each year (or 300 from one year and 100 from the other year) who simply can’t get married. Fast forward 10 years and we have the tragedy we are experiencing.

3) The Solution:

B’derech HaTeva, the only way to alleviate the problem going forward is to close the Age Gap. This has and continues to be the sole focus of the NASI Project: to alleviate the shidduch crisis by closing the age gap. During the past four years no stone has been left unturned in trying to make this happen.

The following steps have been taken to accomplish this goal:

Educating the community as to the core problem. Without this absolutely no significant progress or change can be accomplished.
(Great strides have been made)

Breaking the stigma that previously existed against marrying a young woman the same age or even a bit older.
Wonderful progress has been made, as attested to by shadchanim, mothers of boys, mothers of girls and girls themselves

Figuring out a way to encourage boys to begin dating slightly younger.
See a bit later in the article where I will come back to this. Herein lays the real yeshua.

Encouraging shadchanim to keep ages in mind when redding shidduchim.

Encouraging shadchanim to focus on the girls who didn’t just start dating instead of spending almost all their energies on 19/20 year olds.

If/when shadchanim focus on young women who didn’t just start dating, inevitably more close-in-age shidduchim will take place. If a 23 year old boy is redd to fifteen 19 year olds and two 22 year olds, in all likelihood he will end up marrying a 19 year old. If a 23 year old boy is redd to fifteen 22 year olds and two 19 year olds, in all likelihood he will end up marrying a 22 year old.

Let’s now focus on point E.  This past March (2010) an extremely effective program was launched in Montreal. It has now spread to Toronto, Chicago, Kew Gardens, Prospect Park High School, Machon and 50 shuls in Flatbush/Five Towns and Far Rockaway.  It will imy”h be coming to Monsey and Lakewood in the near future.

The concept is that Shadchanim don’t make shidduchim. Shadchanim set up dates.

The program is simple.  A shadchan who sets up a young woman (above a certain age) on a date receives $100 in appreciation of the time and effort that is goes into redding that shidduch. If it’s a quality idea, (ie, the couple goes on a significant number of dates) the Shadchan receives $400. This money does not come from the parents, they don’t necessarily even know about the program.

When it was initially launched it met with great resistance. Though the initial resistance was huge, B”H the results of this ongoing program have, to date, been fantastic. The young women have received a tremendous amount of shidduch attention, as measured by: dates gone out, monies distributed to shadchanim, (and yes engagements as well, although that is a poor measuring stick because that is not in the shadchans hands). Quality attention is what we are after.

Let’s now discuss the present program.

Hypothetically suppose  Eliyahu Hanvi told a 22 year old young woman that if she would give $5,000 to a particular cause he would guarantee she would  be married in six months.

What would any young woman do?

Suppose he told a 30 year old young woman that if she donated $11,000 to to a particular cause she would be married by Chanuka.

What would the young woman do?

You know and I know that every single young woman would beg, borrow, or do whatever it takes but she would put the money together.

Obviously:

A). A young woman girl feels it’s worth that amount.

B). A young woman could come up with it.

NASI isn’t Eliyahu Hanavi. We don’t promise a wedding, we don’t promise a date, we don’t even promise a phone call. All we say is that not a penny of your money will be spent until after you walk down the chuppah.

What’s the risk–losing the .025% interest the money would accrue in a savings account?

A young woman can try it for a month. If nothing happens she can take it back. Every penny.  The $500 management fee will be returned as well as the entire sum she put in.  If she gets married we all agree it will be well worth it.

Now let’s deal with some specific FAQ about the program

Q: Why does the amount get higher each year? It’s degrading, insensitive, and thoughtless that for each additional year the program costs more.

Suppose the program was for young women 25+ and the shadchanus would be $5,000 regardless of age. Shadchanim will tell you that generally speaking the work involved in helping to bring a 35 year old young woman to the chuppah is significantly more difficult (for myriads of reasons, one significant reason is, as we discussed earlier, the continuously diminishing pool of boys). If the compensation was the same for a 25 year old as it is for a 35 year old, then very few shadchanim would opt to put their Kochos into the older woman.

Q: Why does it start at 22. It’s so insensitive to make the 22 year olds to feel like they are “older” or nebach cases.

It’s not because the 22 year olds are Nebach’s. The vast majority of shadchanim (probably well over 80% of both the full time/part time) barely spend any time on the young women 25 and up. This is because the larger pool of dating young men is 22-24.  The shadchanim spend their time on compatible matches for boys in that age range. As a result of a program for 25 and up there will certainly be more attention paid to those young women, but the vast majority of attention will still be focused on the young men 22-24.

Are the shadchanim going to redd those boys to 19 year old young women or to 22 year olds. The answer to this question will determine whether today’s 22 year old young women get married or whether today’s 22 year old young women become tomorrow’s 32/42 single young women.

If this program focused only on those 25 and older, shadchanim would continue to redd the 19 and 20 year olds to the larger pool of dating boys. By starting the program at 22 there is NO doubt that the tremendous group of 22 year old young women will NOT become 42 and single

Q: What about the girls who can’t afford.

 Granted it is difficult for many to come up with that type of money. However the money will only be spent if the young woman marries as a direct outcome of this program. There are not many people who cannot put together that amount of money if that is what it will take for them to get married. In addition, this is an opportunity for any young women to get the attention that previously only the wealthier did. Now a young woman who is not from a wealthy family has the change to get quality attention from 150 shadchanim across the country with NO RISK to her.

Q: Why are the dollar amounts so high?

Contrary to what many people believe, making a shidduch is a lot of work. For every successful attempt there are far more failures. Based on our understanding of how many shidduchim a full time Shadchan can expect to make in a year we calculated how much it would take for it to be worth the shadchan’s time to focus on this population. Granted, this is a very rough estimate, however, under the circumstances this was the best we were able to do. If anyone has any concrete ideas as to what the real numbers should be we would love to hear them, and yes, the program may have to be tweaked. If the numbers are a bit off and a young woman gets married and it “cost” $6,000 and it could’ve happened for $4,500, that’s $1,500 that perhaps wasn’t necessary. On the other hand if it does “cost” $6,000 and the program only mandated $4,500 the consequences are considerable.

In addition, if this program doesn’t help in any significant way then it will disappear, go the way of New Coke, and be forgotten very quickly.

Q:  The feeling people have is they are being blacklisted if they don’t participate and no one will help anyone not joining

In the event that 50 girls join the list would every other girl be blacklisted? If 150 girls join the list would other girls be blacklisted? It would be awfully hard to redd shidduchim to the 2,000 dating young men, if only 150 girls get dates….

If 2,000 girls join the list will the other girls be blacklisted? Maybe.

Remember, the only way 2,000 young women join (and stay in the list) is if it’s wildly successful and young women are getting married left and right. In that case, I think it’s kedai to beg, borrow,  or somehow get together that sum to get your daughter married.

Only time will tell if the program will work. If it works (meaning girls join and girls get married) then all is good. If it doesn’t, meaning either girls don’t join, or they join and don’t get married, then no harm. No one spent any money other than NASI on some ads.

Before I answer the final question regarding the names of the Rabbinic supporters, a word regarding shadchanim is critical.

This whole article, and perhaps the program itself, has the potential to paint shadchanim as heartless money hungry mercenaries. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

In speaking to people I’ve asked them how many shidduchim they think a typical very busy Shadchan makes in a typical year. The responses were very telling, most ranged from 50 to 300 a year.

These numbers are totally out of touch with reality. The typical very busy Shadchan makes six or seven shidduchim a year. A Shadchan that makes six or seven shidduchim a year has forfeited his/her family life, has no menucha, can’t go to weddings without being bombarded, and is called and besieged at all hours of the day and night. In addition people are often upset at them for not calling back or doing more. For a typical shidduch a shachan receives from both sides together between 2,000 and 3,000 dollars. For six or seven shidduchim a Shadchan is earning a total of a whopping $12,000 to $21,000 a year. On rare occasions a Shadchan will receive more for a shidduch and often he will receive far less than $2500.

There are three kinds of full-time shadchanim:

1) Those who are so prolific that they actually make a parnassah sufficient to support their family. There are perhaps 4 such people in the country.  They make 20-25 shidduchim a year, and are often hired by cities. In addition there may be people who “hire them privately”. With everything together they put together a parnassah to pay their tuition (barely), grocery bill, etc.

2) Shadchanim (usually women) whose spouses make a good enough parnassah to enable them to spend their time as they wish. Some women are good souls and instead of spending any spare time shopping etc., have dedicated their lives to trying their utmost to help make shidduchim.  However, there are not many women who are not called on to help support the family and are good at making shidduchim as well. Of those who could, what would motivate a regular person to choose for themselves the lives I’ve depicted?

3)People who are either insane or saints. Their families really need their parnassa, and they don’t earn a parnassa from shidduchim. Yet they are cut from a different cloth then the rest of us and they do it anyway. It would be great if we could clone these people but realistically the number of people like this can be counted on one hand. (unfortunately, many subconsciously expect everyone who redds a shidduch to be such a person).

Now we wonder: Why don’t we have more people redding shidduchim and why so few focus on slightly older, singles.

The answer should be obvious now. Who can afford the time it takes to dedicate hours and hours to redd shidduchim in general? Bringing a 30 year old young woman to a chuppah takes significantly more work than making a shidduch for a 20 year old. For the time and effort shadchanim are putting in they would like to at least shep nachas.  Forget the two or three thousand dollars. They would at least like to see a shidduch happen. Isn’t it clear why we have so few people who dedicate their time to this? Why the VAST MAJORITY of those who do try are severely limited in the amount of time they can spend?

This program is an effective way of achieving two separate goals.

1) Going forward it can effectively continue to close the age gap and thus we will not be in the same devastating situation we are today.

2)For the young women today who already are at an age at which they are now in a less than optimal shidduch situation, this can give them the opportunity to get as much shidduch attention as others, which will afford them the greatest possible opportunity of walking down the aisle.

Finally: Why aren’t the Rabbinic supporters named in the any of the NASI ads?

The true and short answer is because I was specifically told not to.   I will offer you a glimpse into the reasoning behind that directive.

Far greater than any of these programs that are in the public eye is the work behind the scenes, work that has the ability to practically completely solve the crisis going forward. There is a plan on the table that if/when implemented will bdirech hateva save/protect close to 1,000 girls over the next 8 years. This plan needs to be implemented by the Roshi Hayeshiva and Rabbonim only. Perhaps Askanim can get involved to help move it along. It calls for a minimal structural change with almost no downside that will bring with it many side benefits in addition to saving so many girls. The “Daas Torah,” if you may, behind the NASI Project feels they have a much greater chance of effecting that change if their involvement is behind the scenes.

Unfortunately, change is hard to come by and thus it is a process that is taking far too long and the victims of this inexcusable situation are the precious Bnos Yisroel.

Rav Shmuel Kamenetzky Shlit”a  and many well-respected and well-known Roshei Yeshiva and Rabbonim know who is the guiding force of the program and under whose guidance everything takes place. Feel free to ask them.

Over the last two years we as a community have collectively expended inordinate amounts of time, energy, and resources on all kinds of wonderful and important issues. R’ Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin, the boys in Japan and others. There is no doubt that the lives of 1,000 of our precious bnos Yisroel, is far more urgent than any of these programs.

In addition WE CAUSED THE TRAGEDY, WE ARE RESPONSIBLE. Yet day after day they and their families continue to suffer in silence. Where is the kinus demanding that these changes be implemented? Where are the articles, WHERE IS THE COMMUNITY?

And therefore, if the best chance to hopefully/ maybe bring to fruition such change (and other ideas) and save 1,000 of our precious daughters and sisters requires that the NASI Project is accused of hiding behind the cloak of anonymity–it’s well worth it.

After 120 years we want to be able say yadeinu lo shafchu es hadam hazeh.

I hope that those who read this article in its entirety and take the time to understand it will then have a better understanding and have answers to their questions. I wish I could explain it in person to every single person, but I realize it is simply not feasible.

Hachosem b’dema, but with the hope and knowledge that the yeshua is very attainable.

NASI Project – Nasishidduch@gmail.com

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN. By publishing this article, YWN is not endorsing the NASI Project in anyway.

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48 Comments

  1. emesvyatziv says:

    Who is Nasi? Who runs it? Why are they hiding the name of who runs the organization? If something is legitimate why is not a single Rav willing to say openly he endorses this concept?

    Using Eliyahu Hanavi as an example is disingenuous. Eliyahu Hanavi never asked someone for money with a promise of receiving something in return.

    I do not expect TYW to publish my comments, as the truth hurts.

    Moderators Response: The truth doesn’t hurt us at all, as we have absolutely nothing to do with this organization in anyway. That was made clear at the bottom where it says: NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN. By publishing this article, YWN is not endorsing the NASI Project in anyway.”

    PS: We do find it quite strange that no Rov is willing to put their name to the stationary.

  2. Torahumada says:

    With all do respect, why is part of the answer to age gap having men get married earlier, why not have women get married later. If the standard age for entering shadchanus would be 21 instead of 19 then you could lower the age for men to say 21.5 and you are a lot closer in age gap issues. (not to mention the possibilities of greater financial stability, and understanding who you are as a person better).

  3. daas_yochid says:

    They can try “Twice Ki Tov”, a newly launched project aimed at solving the crisis from a more serious angle

  4. ecomajor says:

    I am 33 years old, make a decent parnassah am a man and have children. I make it my business to be involved in shidduchim. Their facts are not correct. There are others out there like me (although most are women) who are also involved in shidduchim. I have made over 10 years about 4-5 shidduchim.
    Further, I know plenty of people of who can not afford those sums of money and I think that they have their heads in the sand. many people dont have jobs today. 11000 is a lot of money.

  5. rikki2 says:

    The age gap argument is very strong. The problem is, there is nothing in this program stopping the shadchanim fron reddding older girls to even older boys (or divorcees and widowers,) and making the same mint.
    The facts are that as long as boys insist on going to Israel 1-3 years after the girl is already back, the problem will not be solved, and the terrible tragedy of girls without matches will continue.
    The only solution is to have the Gedolim deal with the issue and change the system, and for individual parents to be bold enough to not allow their boys to go to Israel untill they are married.

  6. akuperma says:

    If these statistics are true, we should be experiencing a rapid decline in the number of babies being born, which would show up quickly in the schools. Where are all the unemployed pre-school teachers? How many pediatricians are switching specialties due to a shortage of patients?

    While some people may have economic expectations that make it hard to get married at a young age, if this was widespread it would manifest itself statistically.

  7. devrachel says:

    “200 young women have no realistic marriage opportunity. Not at 19 and not at 35.”
    I find this quote in the article to be nothing more than appalling fear mongering to desperate parents and singles!
    Hashem makes the shiduchim and is in charge! where is the emunah?
    At a time of such financial distress to come up with this concept is not only insensitive but makes this “magic shadchanus number” the minhag hamakom!
    Until the endorsing Rabbonim come out of the shadows I say “buyer beware”.
    The REAL crisis has to do with BAD MIDDOS : picky attitudes (cloth or plastic tablecloth?) ,materialism (her parents can’t support)and caring too much about keeping up with the Plonis (but Mr plonis son in law gets a lexus/aparment/vacation for learning) Shallow values (a girl who is not a size 0 or 2 is too “low class for us”) kids of geirim? “Hashem yerachem are you crazy,we are not that desperate” ….Sigh!!
    I daven to be soche that Hashem will help my kids as who knows how much the $13.000 will be in 12 years!

  8. Agreer says:

    that NASI is anonymous is highly suspicious. it’s time for the organizers to come out of their hiding holes and put themselves behind what they promote. is there any other organization who has such bold, “game-changing” policies that cloaks themselves in anonymity? Something is not right here…

  9. ArmedJew says:

    How can a frum yid can write “Hashem did not cause this”???? from a shidduch crisis to a leaf falling – Hashem causes everything. there is no shidduch crisis, there is an EMUNAH CRISIS.

  10. manishma says:

    The problem is the attitude. There are shadchanim who won’t listen to information about a girl whose parents can’t afford full support. Charging them money up front doesn’t help the situation.
    As devrachel states it’s the attitude that’s the problem these days. Based on the “es koomt mir” attitude it’s no wonder shidduchim are in such dire straits.
    When are the Rabbonim rewriting the kesubos? Last I checked the kesuba states the husband is responsible to be the provider not the wife and not her parents.

  11. rikki2 says:

    #6 If every generation the population triples (thats 300% and in many places the average is higher than that) and only 11% (of girls only) don’t get married its not ging to create any decline at all. 300%-11% means an increase of 267%.

  12. Dan Daoust says:

    All of this is all well and good and the math is of course indisputable. But for all the garment-rending, we still cannot think for one moment out of the box, even though the solution is sitting right next to that box. Has it occurred to anyone that the root cause of the shidduch crisis – including the Age Gap – is shidduchim? The reason why guys are dating girls three years their junior is because they’re not meeting girls in natural settings. They’re dating girls on the basis of descriptions and resumes. In that situation, the 19-year-olds will always carry the day because “She’s 19!” sounds more enticing than “She’s 22″ (not to me, of course…), and because girls who are new to the shidduch scene don’t carry the stereotypes that girls who have been dating for three years do.

    If guys and girls of marriageable age were to meet and greet in casual, everyday, unforced settings, the guys would have a chance to follow their heart to the right girl, regardless of her seniority.

    Oh, but heaven forbid. This is practically a harog v’lo ya’avor. You date someone you met on your own at college and before you know it you’ll be wearing a blue shirt, and then it’s all downhill from there. (For heaven’s sake, the first comment here was a complaint that no gadol has signed the letter — and the YWN moderator agrees! Way to be a force for change, guys.)

  13. new2thescene says:

    I cannot believe that some of you are so shallow to not understand this most clear cut article. The article was written although a drop sharp, straight to the point.

    The author wrote very clearly why the Rabbonim have chosen to be kept behind the scenes. What is so hard to understand about that? Besides, did either of you call R’ Shmuel Kamenetzky? His name was put down to ask if this program is being run with Daas Torah.

    “Rav Shmuel Kamenetzky Shlit”a and many well-respected and well-known Roshei Yeshiva and Rabbonim know who is the guiding force of the program and under whose guidance everything takes place. Feel free to ask them”.
    Is R’ Shmuel not big enough for you? R’ Shmuel is at the forefront of helping Klal Yisroel day and night, however he is still reachable. I have gotten through to him any time I tried.

    EmesVyatziv, I do not know the organizers of this program, but I do know that they are giving their life and soul to do a job which is mine and yours. You owe them a public apology for the foolish words you have written unless you called R’ Shmuel and he said that he has no idea about this program. And does not support its efforts.

    The same goes to the other commentators that have either not read the entire article, or just need someone to explain it clearer to them.

    Akuperm- Are you kidding? There are 10 single girls on my block in Flatbush, with 2 boys on the market. I will tell you through the moderator which street if you do not believe me and want to check it up. Where are you hiding out? The amount of older single girls is staggering. I have cried nights and nights thinking about them. And you just brush it off??

    Finally, to those at Nasi. I was in the Parsha for a meager 3 years before getting married. In that short time I went through rough times, as anyone in the Parsha can tell you. How much more so for those who are older and did not yet find the right Bashert. Thank you so much for the tremendous amount of work you put into this and all your amazing projects.

    May Hashem continue to shower you with Hatzlacha in all your work, and may you see all of our precious bnos yisroel walk down to the chuppah as that is your only wish and dream.

    P.S. Ecomajor- Most girls age 30 can come up with 11,000 easily. My wife worked at a very basic job with no degree for a year before we got married and came in with over 6 grand saved. Anyone over 22 prob has been working for a few years and must have thousands in savings. (Girls can easily make bet 20 and 70 thousand a year.) 11 grand is a large amount of money but small in this situation.

  14. popa_bar_abba says:

    “The short answer is Age Gap. This has been acknowledged by a historic letter from 70 Roshei Yeshiva.”

    I happen to believe that, but I’d rather this said “proven in a study by a (insert right kind of scientist here)”.

  15. popa_bar_abba says:

    “If 2,000 girls join the list will the other girls be blacklisted? Maybe.”

    And who the blazes gave you permission to decide to do that, on behalf of the klal? The anonymous gedolim? Nice.

    Besides, forget the blacklisting, you have unilaterally raised the price of shadchanus. Who told you to do that?

  16. Ani Tapuach says:

    There is a very simple way to solve the crisis: From now on take money out of the equation. If NO – absoultely NO father had to promise any money to Bochurim and just support afterward in good faith, we would solve the Shidduch problem and indirectly solve more problems down the road. Think about it. Money is the root of all evil. Unfortunately never gonna happen. Shame on us

  17. eman says:

    Let me define the problem and explain what it really is. Unfortunately there is no solution for my defined problem.
    Very simply put, a boys high school graduates 25 boys and a girls high school graduates 25 girls. 2 years later at least 20 girls will be on a level to amrry a yeshiva boy with great middos etc. Unfortunately the 25 boys who graduated from the boys high school can only provide 15 boys on that level. That is the problem.

  18. savelkwd says:

    i called the number on the add and after hanging up with the person who returned my call i was not impressed. Although he thinks so.

    Single girls who work cannot affored these numbers. let take into account many girls have very low paying jobs and if they pay taxs they are in the gihest brackets as they dont have ANY deductions.

    The 11,000 is actually costing $15-16000. The $5000 is truly $7,500. Its 2011 and we have large families. Who has such sums…. Be realistic.

    In the past i was impressed with the NASi projects with incentives of 1500-2000 to redd such shidduchim. But NOW the NASSI project is going in a direction i cannot make sense of.

    But the Nassi project has now placed an outrageous price tag on ALL Shidduchim. Even those not partaking on the program will face shaddchunim who will expect these crazy amount of dollars. As many people are aware that one must pay the shadchonim before the chuppah and the hekpeidas are serious if a shaddchan feels they are under paid- NOW THEY WILL EXPECT THESE OUTRAGEOUS SUMS
    (PS ASK BEOFRE THE SHIDDUCH WHAT THEY EXPECT!!!)

    I mentioned that I was an older bochur when i got married and there are several shaddchunim who did and do not charge these crazy sums. Are we going to charge and pay every Bikur Cholim Volunteer.

    When Nassi was approched with this thought the response over and over like a broken message was ‘if Elyahu Hanavei was offering you a shidduch….. and that there a few tzadikim and tzadekes.” Nassie is NOT Eliyahu Hanavi, Chesed and a Mitzvah is NOT something one needs to place ANY price tag- especialy when it will backfire(in my opinion) and only hurt the ‘older” singles and the families and singles who DO NOT have such huge bank accounts.

    In regards to to Roshei yeshiva and Rabbonim- I have worked on many tzedaka campaigns and intiatives. NEVER did ALL the rabbonim state dont publicize ALL our names.

    What is there to hide? State the names and bring prestige to your program.

    Ask the NASI rep and you may only get ONE name of a Rav/Rosh Yeshiva who is behind this. I am not Rav, Rosh Yeshiva and I dont question anyone. BUT I dont like when an AD tries to state that many rabbonim and Rosh yeshivas are behind this. Its misleading.

    The reason the writer of this article believes “almost every unhappy person who has made the effort to call has changed their attitude towards the project” is because he is not going to change as he kept on staing the same “Eliyahu Hanavi” example – so we all gave UP. at least i did.

  19. savelkwd says:

    Att new2thescene

    did Rav Shmuel approve of this price list. I DOUBT IT. and when i called I dont think Rav Shmuel was mentioned to me as being all involved.

    I will not metion the Rosh yeshiva name i was told by tge NASSI rep as i was not authorized to do so.

  20. cherrybim says:

    Anyone who has followed NASI, knows that this is a strong armed insidious con to extract as much money as possible from certain desperate individuals. What will be the next ploy?

  21. faylamed says:

    NASI is a SCAM SCAM SCAM! The AGe GAP is not the reason for the Shidduch crisis! The real problem is NADAN!-
    Boys who are told by their BM Rebbes that they are worth Tohusands of dollars to sit and learn- to gfive thier wives Kesubos without ever taking achrayis for them. When we called The RABBI about this– he wouldn’t answer – So the “oleder” girl has money stashed away- why not fork it over to the Shaddcahn- But then what is she going to use to support the money grubbing boy that the Shadcahn Meshaduchs her to? Her father doesn’t have the money for support- that is the main reason she is 24 and Single!

    Maybe its time to limit boys to 2 years in 4 years in BM- 18-22 then force them into the workforce-
    If that happens- endo of Shidduch crisis!

  22. ecomajor says:

    yes, I agree it is quite possible that is some scam to get peoples money for some investment scheme. Who knows if anyone will ever see the money or maybe its some ponzi scheme. I would not just hand over 11k to some stranger on the hopes that I might get a shidduch even if I could afford it. The language seems to be playing too much into peoples fears.

    I wouldnt be surprised if its a SCAM.

  23. Yatzmich says:

    At a minimum, the person that wrote this post should sign his/her name. Otherwise it’s got as much credibility as any of the anonymous letters in the Yated.
    If you’re going to affect change on a grand scale, you’ve got to show us who you are & who is behind you.
    So in my book, this whole thing is a bunch of (fill in the blank).

  24. AZ says:

    FROM NASI

    For any one who would like info on the financials:

    1. Re: the finances of this new program

    If you noticed there is no information in the add as to where to send money. That is because we will not take a penny from anyone until they are totally familiar with the program and are comfortable and confident that their money is secure.

    We are in process of setting up airtight and transparent oversight of the fund. It will include well known R”Y and askanim (whose names will be publised) who will see every penny coming in and going out. All out going checks will require two signatures. One of which will be a rosh yeshiva. A well known accountant will be hired to provide professional auditing. We are actively seeking input from experts in the field (law/acconting) how to set it up in the best possible way that leaves no room for question as well as no room for any kind of misuse of the funds.

    When this system is set up it will be publicized.

    Not a single check will be accepted beforehand.

    We tell the girls who are signing up to please hold onto your check and check back in with us in a week or two (if you don’t hear from us). When it’s in place we will accept the checks.

    We tell them your place on the list is reserved but we don’t want to hold anyone’s money until everything is set up.

    This all takes time to arrange but a decision was made to launch this specific program and set up the financials simultaneously.

  25. GS says:

    If 2,000 sign up, it seems the only ones who gain are this “service” and all the 2,000 are back to competing against each other, having all paid a huge chunk of change for that “z’chus”

    Where do I throw up?

  26. HaLeiVi says:

    I just don’t understand why you think in the thousands.

  27. midwesterner says:

    NASI is an organization of shadchanim. They have declared that the solution is to give the shadchanim more money. Anyone smell a conflict of interest here?

  28. emesvyatziv says:

    My protege Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum Zatzal was called upon many times to offer apologies to those he exposed. Rabbi Teitelbaum was always proven right in the end, and in this case so will I. I will sign my real name and I am willing to discuss it with anybody who wants.

    Chaim Gold

  29. Chacham says:

    I have another solution for this shidduch crisis. Allow the freezer boys to date while in the freezer_only girls 22 and over. Let the “older” girls get first dibs on the new crop of boys and make the silly 18-19 year old girls mature a bit so we have less broken marriages!

  30. LBK says:

    How is Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum z”l your protege? Or do you simply not know what protege means?

  31. Ms. Critique who may always know the answers correctly says:

    Chacham is really a chacham and B”H there are others out with same opinion. A family member of mine whose son of 24 just entered the freezer. While yet in Eretz Yisroel the mother was redt a lot of shidduchim and in short she rejected all girls that were 19. She told the shadchanim/nos that here son wants to be in the freezer and she was interested in girls who were at least 22, who were solid and had the right hashkafos, not the young ones who still hold on to mom’s apron and need to text/talk almost every hour of the day and are busy inot gashmius.
    She also let them know how she felt when she was made cheap when in shidduchim with her daughter.
    If her speech will help, that we shall see or not!!!!!

  32. voosmachstee says:

    Don’t trust them with any money. They promised us thousands of dollars several years ago for two shiduchim that we have made. We are still waiting for for the money.

  33. ajk says:

    I can’t believe it. there seems to be a stira in what the “gedolim” say. NASI seems to say that “all” the gedolim say that we can do it on our own just give NASI some money but KUPAT HAIR told me that “ALL” the gedolim said to just give them money and a neis will happen and now i dont have enough money for both of them. I’m stuck please advise

  34. Rebyid39 says:

    Why is it that only the girls have to contribute? What about the older boys who will presumably be matched up with all of these older single girls? Are they totally exempt from all responsibilities? This simply reinforced the sad ‘es kumt mir’ attitude amongst our buchrim. It is this attitude which causes the ‘shidduch crisis’ since all bochrim are seeking only the ‘best’ (e.g. Richest, prettiest, most ‘choshuv’ etc..). It is the girls who lack these attributes that are left by the wayside.

    I find it telling that in communities where all are poor and there are no expectations there is no shidduch crisis. For example, there are legions of ‘russian’ girls and boys from institutions like beer hagaolah, sinai, etc..who all get married without difficulty. Our parenty did not have a shidduch crisis. It is our pathetic expectations, wants, and desires that have created this problem. Nebach!

  35. AhavasChinam says:

    Why all the name calling? Either use it or don’t. If someone has a better idea, implement it. NASI specifically says it will return the $ if no results were achieved- chill OUT! Instead of commenting make a shidduch!

  36. rashkebehab says:

    I have a number of sons to marry off. I have seeked an older girl as a 1st choice for many reasons, but it doesn’t work because they are more complicated and choosey. Its a problem

  37. lakwoodr says:

    Can any of the doubters that the age gap is a major contributor to the Shidduch crisis please explain mathematically how it ISN’T an issue? Instead of just belittling, can you give a reason why there is no age gap issue? All your asked to is the math!

  38. aries2756 says:

    When it comes to money I don’t trust anyone especially when they don’t come forward and say who they are and are sketchy about who is sponsoring them and who is being trusted with the money. It sounds like a scam to me.

  39. ladler says:

    NASI aside, it is a smart move on the part of parents of older singles (or the singles themselves) to offer higher shadchanus even if not via an organization. Just get the word out to family, friends and shadchanim that you are offering X. It is NOT greedy of shadchanim to expect higher shadchanus fees for older singles. It is many, many times harder with far fewer returns, so unless shadchanim are willing to ignore their family’s parnassah needs, they won’t touch older shidduch – the chances of success are so much lower and the frustration is so much higher. I speak from experience. When I was given a standard shadchanus fee for an extremely difficult shidduch of older singles (which I had done as a labor of love and which had sapped all of my physical and emotional energy), I could not imagine ever doing this again. I might have felt differently if I was genersously compensated. I have dealt with both groups – young and older singles – and it is two different worlds. If I were doing this as a parnassah rather than as someone who tries to redt shidduchim here and there to people who I care about, it would be a major nisayon for me not to focus exclusively on the very young and very pliable girls and new-on-the-market boys whose personalities are still adaptable and who are far less critical. The less experienced they are, the easier it is. I do agree with the criticism of some posters that the age gap is not the only problem; the financial “es kumpt mir” attitude plays a major role. Talmidei chachamim who are learning or klei kodesh (and whose daughters have high she’ifos to marry a talmid chacham) cannot afford the price tag. Parents of girls – take a reality check! If the boys of the caliber you want in learning and middos are getting offers that will enable them to sit and learn with a ru’iga kop which you can’t compete with, you can’t expect the boys to turn down those offers if the girls themselves are quality girls. Don’t have your daughter sit around waiting for a nes! Compromise from the start on non-essential issues! Look away from kovod factors and focus only on what counts. Consider an outstanding boy with a different family background/minor health issue/slight physical defect/learning in a less-known yeshiva and the like.
    A sach hatzlocha.

  40. realistchareidi says:

    There is one thing that the person from NASI is right about. That the shidduch crisis is more important and worthy a cause than the 3 boys in Japan which raised more than 600k (where did all of that money go? To “askanim” first class flights to Japan to give chizuk to the foolish boys? It didn’t all go to legal fees. I have a japanese friend whose father was involved in helping the boys, he helped make sure they were in a detention center rather than a prison etc. And he was surprised when he heard they were trying to raise 600k for the boys defense saying their japanese lawyer wasn’t charging close to that.)

  41. eman says:

    Ditto to 32. I also had a “NASI approved shidduch”. I sent in all the information. When I called (still before the deadline) they said they didn’t receive anything. I then sent it registered, certified mitt alleh hiddurim. Then they admitted they were “behind” in paying. A few weeks later, they cancelled that program, claiming that parents were using it to pay the shadchan. If I would send NASI an email, I’d count the keys on my keyboard.

  42. GS says:

    This reminds me of front of the line service at a shatnez checking place. “Sorry sir, we won’t have your suit in time for yom tov unless you pay us more.IF you pay us more we’ll find a way to get just your’s to the fron of the line” So then EVERYBODY pays them more, and miraculously, they find a way to get all the suits done before yom tov. Same scam!

  43. yoheved says:

    it is such a shame that people will take legitimate and heartfelt findings from the rabbaim (such as the issues of more frum women to men and older single women without prospects of a mate) and use it as a financial opportunity … of course, many yeshiva bochrum need funds, and if this group is yeshivish then it goes without saying that they are desperate … but to press frum singles and families, who are in desperate need themselves of funds to start a marriage, to spend this ridiculous amount of money? … it is impossible not to smell a scam … opportunists abound whenever there is a desperate situation … and this is no different … my advice (for what it is worth) … have your single children pray and carefully work on their friend’s behalf … G-d does for us what we do for others … there are a lot of mix and match choices between friends and family … get moving on matching single people you know with single people your friends and family knows … if we want something done right … we need to do it ourselves … G-d will reward to us our kindness we do for others … and who is to say it won’t happen in that order? (first we find a match for our friends, then we find the match for ourselves)…

  44. midwesterner says:

    Just curious, did the rabbonim who endorse your project agree to these 2 paragraphs? (direct quote from you):

    Over the last two years we as a community have collectively expended inordinate amounts of time, energy, and resources on all kinds of wonderful and important issues. R’ Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin, the boys in Japan and others. There is no doubt that the lives of 1,000 of our precious bnos Yisroel, is far more urgent than any of these programs.

    In addition WE CAUSED THE TRAGEDY, WE ARE RESPONSIBLE. Yet day after day they and their families continue to suffer in silence. Where is the kinus demanding that these changes be implemented? Where are the articles, WHERE IS THE COMMUNITY?

  45. GS says:

    With this outrage against this organization, maybe everyone will stop using shadchanim! But then we’ll have a shadchan crisis! We can solve that by starting a new organization to help the starving ex-shadchanim.

  46. AZ says:

    From NASI:

    Re the first program from a few years ago.

    The program when launched was subject to funds availability. That point aside, well over 125,000 was given out to shadchanim who made such shidduchim. That money was rasied by one individual . The program was B”H so successful tht we realized it couldn’t last forever. A decision was made to set a date for a few months in the future, after which we wouldn’t accept any new claims. Unfortanetly, what happened was that girls and boys families took advantage. When a qualifying shidduch got engaged, instead of giving standard shadchanus to the Shadchan, they gave 360 and said go to NASI they will give you. This was 1. Totally wrong as that wasn’t the intention of the program 2. Being that we were falling behind with raising the money, the shadchanim, were actually getting stiffed, not from parents and not from NASI. As such the program was stopped abruptly to all new claims.

    At present all outstanding claims are still on file, if when we had the money we wuld pay it out. If we raise 2,000 tehn we have a decision to make, should we give to 2 of the outstanding claim, or should we do something like the BMG which has been very effective in changing boys attitudes towards girls there own age or older. The R”Y advising the program have told us to keep our eye on the mission. If we come up with a lump sum (10k or something) we use some for present programs and pay back outstanding claims. If we don’t have that money we simply can’t pay. In the last few years in case you’ve noticed the economy isn’t great and fundraising hasn’t exactly been easy.

    Yesterday A woman with the same “tayna” came to understand, and then she suggested why didn’t we write a letter to all those people explain what I just wrote. And she is 1000% correct. Unfourtanetly we simply don’t have the manpower. I wish and beg that we had more people. This isn’t my day job, nor is it the day job of anyone (one other person) involved in the running (of the program). When I offered to send her the list and allow her to send out the letters in our name she politely declined. I’d make the same offer to any of you.

  47. GS says:

    I just rad comment 46.

    People do you see what he’s saying? Part of these huge sums are going to pay NASI’s debt to people who made shidduchim but never go paid! Wow! That’s unbelievable! They started an organization to help people by promising others $ without a way to do it and then you ask that same group of people to stretch themselves beyond what is fair to help the past group of helpers. THAT is a PONZI SCHEME!!!

  48. chevraman says:

    Rabosai:

    Frankly I have not had the time to read all the above 47 comments, but from reading a few of them, I’m getting disgusted! Let me explain..

    1. I read NASI’s letter of explanation, and can’t understand why all you guys have a problem with what he is saying. The fact remains, that we are in crisis, and nobody seems to give a damn, besides NASI. Although, I doubt that they are trying to make this successful to enrich themselves, frankly I wish they did. Anyone who knows anything about running a successful organization, knows that without the ability to make a living, you will not get talented people to dedicate themselves to the cause. And that’s what we need. Do you think for one moment, that organizations, like Chai Lifeline, RCCS, Bonei Olam etc, are all volunteer? There are some very handomely paid individuals making all the wonderful things they do, happen. NASI was started, I assume, with some seed money from some idealistic benafactors, and they have been extremely successful in changing our attitudes to marrying girls of the same age. But at this point as they take on even bigger and better ideas (whether you agree with them or not), they do need financing in place, and a full time talented staff to get it done properly.

    2. I agree fully with their assertion that part of our problem here is the SHADDCHAN CRISIS. The shulchan Aruch rules that being a Shadchan (should be) an umnus kal v’nakiya. It is a legitimate trade, and a tremendous mitzvah as well. We can’t be Klal Yisroel without them. Yet, as NASI contends, they are horribly underpaid, underappreciated, and put up with constant abuse. Did any of you notice the burnout rate amongst them?

    NASI’s GameChanger idea, puts the importance of this issue right into the spotlight where it belongs, in addition to helping the older girls. Why is it, that people are spending upwards of $40k to marry off their children, plus support afterwards, and they can’t seem to find the money to properly compensate the shaddchan who made it all happen???

    3. I want to mention something that I don’t think anyone brought up yet. Part of the Shaddchan Crisis, is due to the fact that all too often, we, as their customers, deal very unfairly with them in the process. Below are a few examples.

    a) Shaddchanim are matchmakers, trying to match compatible singles. Why are they given the job of being bankers? Why must they be put in the terribly uncomfortable position of asking (often destitute parents), how much post-marital assistance they are willing to extend? If one feels that the suggestion is otherwise good enough, can’t they discuss that directly with the other side before the couple meets? I did that with my children and it worked great. Paranthetically, I wonder why everyones bitachon dissapears when it comes to shidduchim? The vast majority of Gedolei Yisroel had very little financial assistance in their formative years. It was their very mesiras nefesh that made them whom they are!

    b)If Shaddchanim would not be gutzy, they would get nowhere. So why if a shidduch is suggested that you feel is below your dignity, does the shaddchan need to hear it? Do you know how many weeks he refrained from suggesting it, due to your sensitivities, but finally pulled the trigger for your child’s sake? Just say “thank you for thinking of us”. You can always call back and tell him/her what type you are looking for at a later time, so they can be closer to home. Do you really think they have nothing better to do than insult you?? And BTW, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea if you came off your high horse and allowed your children to see a quality prospect who’s mother serves on paper dishes! Chancese are, they will make much better spouses than the spoiled rotten JAPS, who always eat on china.

    c) I feel that many more people would be much more motivated to talk shidduchim, if we paid them something everytime they are successful setting up a date. After all we only let our children date if we feel that it is at least a good hava amina.

    d) Older singles, I know it’s hard for you, and can perfectly understand your frustration, but if you want to get quality suggestions, stop the fussiness. It drives shaddchanim crazy.

    P.S. I’m not a shaddchan. I gave up a long tima ago, because of all this non-sense.

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