There is NO Shidduch Crisis

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  • #609407

    The world is full of surprises.

    In this weeks Yated, in response to a letter titled “The Age Gap Theory Revisited: Simple Questions on Simple Math”, NASI admits that they do not have hard data on what percentage of girls are single at a certain age vs what percentage of guys. Rather they have a lot of anecdotal evidence. . . .

    So basically they have a cute mathematical idea, with no real data to back it up and they want to make us crazy.

    What do you think their real agenda is?

    #955652
    WIY
    Member
    #955654
    YW Moderator-95
    Moderator

    Sorry, that is copyright violation

    #955655
    akuperma
    Participant

    Everyone has a shidduch crisis, until they get married.

    #955656

    Frum world does hysterics better than the Italians do pasta.

    It’s part of our genetic makeup.

    #955657
    AZ
    Participant

    mod: 95- It isn’t if the NASI Project gave me the letter they sent in along with the letter they received with a request to respond.

    I didn’t cut and past from the Yated! i simply forwarded from NASI with their permission.

    Please put up the post i sent that includes the complete letter along with the complete response

    Thanks

    #955658
    golfer
    Participant

    crisisoftheweek +++1,000

    Great post!

    There is one major difference though, between frum world hysterics and Italian pasta:

    Italians have been cooking pasta for hundreds (over 1,000?) of years. Just a short while ago in historical terms, (definitely less than 100 years) the frum world, and the whole Jewish world for that matter, responded to crises with Tehillim, with tefillah, with teshuva & tachanunim. It’s our sophisticated generation that has decided to address every problem by throwing money at it and putting ads in the papers about it in the belief that this will cause the problem to hang its head in shame and slink away.

    #955659
    eman
    Participant

    I guess we can say the shiduch crisis is to the frum world’s what global warming is to the rest of the world.

    #955660
    AZ
    Participant

    Will try one more time:

    Hope the mods let it thru.

    don’t know why you hope the mods will break the law. We cannot reprint copyrighted articles without permission from the copyright holder.

    #955661
    AZ
    Participant

    Fair enough. I will inform NASI that they should send it directly and then the mods can post it themselves.

    #955662
    Y.W. Editor
    Keymaster

    Hi Reuvein,

    The shidduch crisis and age gap concept, were NOT discovered by a statistical analysis of how many girls are still single post 28 years old or whatever arbitrary age we would like to use, and contrasting that with the number of older boys who are single. It is almost impossible to accurately count the total number of singles at any given time.

    Are there some guys still single? Certainly, but the number of known girls who have dated 5/10 years and are still single dwarfs their male counterparts by very significant numbers.

    The question then became why? How could this be?

    The two observations are as follows.

    1. Our population is growing i.e. younger grades are significantly larger than older grades and as such the number of young adults turning 19 each year is significantly larger than the number of young adults turning 23 each year. This population growth is obvious to the naked eye, and has been supported by numerous studies, see below. There is certainly room for discussion to figure out the exact ratio of population growth. Such discussion will affect the determination of the precise number of projected leftover young women. But however one counts the growth rate is such as to have a significant discrepancy between young adults age 19 and young adults age 23.

    2. The age at which young women in our communities seek to marry is a few years earlier than the age at which young men seek to marry. And the inevitable results is that the average age of a young man as the time of marriage is a few years older than the average age of a young woman at the time of marriage. There has been no scientific statistical study of this second observation, but it is self evident. Once again there is room to discuss the exact average age gap between husband and wife. It may be 3 years, it may be 4 years, but it should be clear to all that it is significant.

    Thus, if we take these two observations to their obvious conclusion, that there are far more 19 year olds in our communities then there are 23 year olds, and we realize that young men first begin shidduchim mid to upper 22 and young women begin shidduchim around 19, it is obvious that we have a significant problem on our hands.

    One can study the data of population growth, and one can try to guesstimate the average discrepancy amongst starting dating ages, and the results of such study will certainly have a variance as to the total number of projected girls who are unmatched. But all would agree that the result is very significant and worrisome, even if there is a variance as to the exact number/percentage of women who will unfortunately remain unmatched.

    One more important point, the projected number of unmatched young women as a result of the age gap concept, is NOT the total number of girls who are unmarried after 5/10 years of dating. This is the projected number of girls who will remain unmarried even if every young man gets married. For every young man that stays unmarried, that will cause another young woman to unmarried. Thus the total number of girls who are unmarried after 5/10 years of dating is above and beyond the number of girls projected to be unmatched due to age gap.

    With this introduction we can now address your specific questions.

    1. We are never told what percentages of guys are single?

    2. How many of the young woman in question might not be on the yeshivish shidduch market at this point?

    The number 10% is not related to yeshivish style dating

    3. What percentage of this statistic are divorced or widowed?

    10% is the number of older girls who cannot be married at any given time even if every available boy is married.

    The actual number of older unmarried girls at any given time is higher because there are of course some boys who are not married. So if 3% of older boys are unmarried at any given time then there will be actually 13% of older girls not married.

    The number of girls who cannot ever be married is impossible to guess. It’s even possible that every girl could get married at some point in her life. Suppose we make a (ridiculous) rule that every marriage has to end after 10 years. Of course now we can play merry go round and the women who didn’t get a husband the first go round can find a husband the second go round. But at every point there will be 10% who can’t be married plus an additional percentage who are actually not married at any given time because of the number of men that are single at that point in time.

    Similarly suppose there is a 50% divorce rate. Then the girls who weren’t married the first time can find husbands from guys who had previously been married (at the expense of the girls who are now divorced). This by the way is a primary factor in why women who have previously been married (divorcees or widows) have a much harder time getting married a second time, as opposed to men in a similar position looking to get married a second time around.

    4. We know nothing about the methodology of the study. Did the people who collected the data control for other factors? How big was the sample? How many years of data do they have?

    5. How many of the people involved in propagating this simple math have a working understanding of statistics let alone graduated high school?

    6. What is the confidence level of the study?

    Anyone who would like to receive specific detailed technical information on the studies that were done as well as be put in contact with the people who did the research, is welcome to contact the NASI Project

    A few points;

    [Dr. Marvin Shick, Avi Chai Foundation, http://www.avichai.org/knowledge-center. as well as other sources.

    c. The research was done by different people at different times who reached the same conclusions.

    7. I did a quick sampling of guys about age 30 and in many classes 7-11% are still single. So according to my, possibly, equally unscientific data, the gap between percentage of guys single and young woman single is statistically insignificant.

    8. Let’s say that in one city 17% percent of a class is single and in another 3% is. When we average the two classes we will get 10%, but we would be better served and we would be helping those singles more, if we looked for a reason specific to that city.

    9. Let’s say more girls leave our circles than guys do, then we need to know what percentage that is before we draw conclusions.

    Discussions with people in the field have yielded that the number of guys who leave our circles to never come back and marry in our circles, is in no way more significant than the number of girls who go the same route.

    I challenge, NASI and whomever else is involved in this, to make the data public so the community can assess if the simple story they are telling us holds water. They can set up a website, make it available for download and redact any personal information.

    What you have to explain is which of the following basic premises you think are not correct.

    1. The total number of girls who have been dating 5+ years and are still single is substantially more than the total number of boys that have been dating 5+ years and are still single.

    2. Population growth

    3. Age differential

    I don’t doubt that the people involved in this are well meaning, I just think that before the community makes major changes to its way of life and risks the shalom bais of the next generation that we hold this data to more scrutiny.

    The allegation re: shalom bayis is simply unfounded. Is a boy marrying a girl his own age more at risk for shalom bayis issues? Are boys who prefer not to go to EY and thus as a result of their decision to not go to EY and beginning shidduchim when they are ready, which will likely happen to be at a slightly younger age than they currently do, create a risk of shalom bayis? Is there any reason to think that boys at 22.5 are less prepared to be quality husbands and fathers then they are at 23?

    NASI Project

    #955664
    golfer
    Participant

    Wow! YW Ed performs AZ bidding! Silences all voices of dissent by posting longest, most incomprehensible post ever allowed on these hallowed pages.

    ATTENTION KGB agents out of work & searching for employment since fall of communism in Mother Russia:

    WANTED- Men with minimum 10 years experience in silencing voices of dissent. Familiarity with strongarm tactics a plus. Apply to YW Ed.

    #955665
    apushatayid
    Participant

    “Perhaps there are hundreds or thousands of guys who have dated 5/10 years and are still single but no one seems to know where they are. Not shadchanim, not dating websites, not Rabbonim, not therapists, not the girls.”

    I heard it suggested, but obviously have no way of knowing and have no idea how to even try to verify this, that the reason we dont see these guys is because they have “left the fold”, at least as the term “fold” is defined by the yeshivish community. A lot of this happens, this suggestion says, in the late high school early post high schools years (which I am calling 17-21 years old), and in fact there ARE less guys available for the average typical BY type girl. I am not a sociologist or ben sociologist, perhaps these types of guys are included under those who therapists might know of, perhaps this suggestion is outrageously wrong, I dont want to speculate it doesnt help anyone. It is abundantly clear though that, at least on a community wide level, NASI is the only group doing anything to try and resolve this problem and for that they should be commended, not condemned.

    #955666

    I’m not sure that could be considered “evidence”. The question remains unanswered.

    Perhaps there are hundreds or thousands of guys who have dated 5/10 years and are still single but no one seems to know where they are. Not shadchanim, not dating websites, not Rabbonim, not therapists, not the girls.

    It isn’t any more possible to validate that point than to count the single people. When people say, “no one seems to . . .”, they usually mean, “no one of the few or many people who I bothered reaching out to”.

    #955667

    Funny, I’ve never heard anyone say there are more boys available.

    #955668

    Wow…the editor comes in for this but now when I constantly asked for hike or any other mod (No offense) and only in the end Mod -73 after my constant “harassing” helped. Even though it wasn’t a one -time incident…..

    gee…..

    Shopping613 [$]613 The Awarder, President,andfounder ofSUC (Single Username Certificates)contact me to join

    Members:

    Shopping613, Rabbi Perfect, ShtickyGuy, Aurora77, Moskidoodle, Zeeskeit., Anonymous and Sam2

    #955669
    squeak
    Participant

    “NASI is the only group doing anything to try and resolve this problem and for that they should be commended, not condemned.”

    If your car breaks down in some backwoods town where no one knows how to fix it, would you commend the fool who started tinkering and yanking wires? Wouldn’t you demand that he not do anything he doesn’t know how to do? I’d say do no harm, and wait for a qualified mechanic to make an appearance. Either way you won’t have a car for an indefinite period of time, but your way there is a chance of breaking it beyond repair.

    #955670
    GM1
    Member

    In response to question #5. How many of the people involved in propagating this simple math have a working understanding of statistics let alone graduated high school? My father is an actuary, and was very involved in working with NASI, long before they were known, figuring out statistics and #’s that led to this theory. So in response to Mr. Voice of Reason, no this is not a ‘cute mathematical idea’. I don’t find it ‘cute’ watching tens of older amazing and awesome girls sit on the sidelines waiting to get married. NASI’s agenda is to bring awareness and some solutions to the current shidduch situation. I find that there a lot of people that talk about the whole “crisis”, but NASI should be commended for coming out and doing something about it. It is amazing to see that in only 5 years, it has become so normal and accepted for boys and girls to be of similar age. And this is all thanks to the awareness that NASI has brought to the forefront.

    #955671

    It is amazing to see that in only 5 years, it has become so normal and accepted for boys and girls to be of similar age. And this is all thanks to the awareness that NASI has brought to the forefront.

    I’ve noticed the same (I was just recently at a vort of a 23 year old girl whose chosson is a bit younger. The girls’ father credits NASI for helping make it more acceptable). Yes, anecdotal.

    BTW, the title of this thread is “There is NO Shidduch Crisis”. That’s at best anecdotal, so the OP is guilty of his own accusation.

    #955672
    haifagirl
    Participant

    8. Let’s say that in one city 17% percent of a class is single and in another 3% is. When we average the two classes we will get 10%, but we would be better served and we would be helping those singles more, if we looked for a reason specific to that city.

    I don’t know about the rest of the letter, but the math in this paragraph is flawed. Percentages are not averaged this way, as anyone can see if they just try it out.

    Let’s call the city with the 17% singles city A, and the city with 3% singles city B.

    If each city had 100 students in the class, than city A would have 17 singles and city B would have 3 singles. That’s 20 singles of 200 students and yes, the average is 10 singles or 10%. But what are the odds that both cities have the same number of students in the class.

    Let’s say city A has 300 and city B has 50. Now, city A’s 17% is 51 guys, and city B’s 3% is 1.5. That’s a total of 52.5 guys out of 350, which is 14.7%.

    On the other hand, if city A has 50 and city B has 300 it works out to 8.5 guys in city A and 9 guys in city B, for a total of 17.5 guys out out of 350, or 5%.

    If they are going to make a case, they should use accurate arithmetic (yes, it’s not even advanced mathematics).

    #955673
    AZ
    Participant

    Haifa:

    you are referencing a sentence from the QUESTIONER that is NOT a sentence from NASI’s response. NASI simply responded to the overall gist of that question.

    Just pointing it out.

    #955674
    Al P. Darcoh
    Participant

    Voice: as to your original question:

    I’m pretty sure their agenda is to destroy social structure, make 23 yr olds really desirable so that 19-22 yr olds have to suffer (till they’re 23), and target tea-party activists as the real cause of the made up crisis.

    What could their agenda possibly be? How could it be bad to encourage people to date 23 yr old girls–even if there’s no crisis?

    #955675
    squeak
    Participant

    GM1, your father’s work and his credential might mean something, if he were willing to show it. But with nothing but empty words to back an empty theory, you’d be better off not mentioning it.

    For years now AZ and his ilk have been pretending their basis is fact, and now they admit otherwise. The paper signed by the 70 RY no doubt was based on a thorough investigation, but we know what that means now, too. I have doubted from the start that any reputable statistician had anything to do with this and now there is overwhelming anecdotal evidence that I am right.

    #955676
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I read the letter and the response, over shabbos.

    The basic analysis:

    Letter writer writes thoughtful and respectful question.

    NASI squanders chance to make meaningful contribution, and instead throws polemic.

    NASI should have asked me to write the response. I will write the response now, for them.

    Dear Reuvain,

    There is no scientific study, and thus no confidence level or any other mathematical stuff. But here is what there is:

    1. Overwhelming anecdotal evidence. Everyone who is involved in shidduchim knows that there are way more girls than boys. This is proven by the simple observation that boys are able to go on dates any time they please, while most girls are practically scrounging for dates. It is simply undeniable.

    2. Mathematical theory. There is population growth, and matching up the smaller population with the subsequent bigger population will skew the numbers towards more girls. This is math, and it can even tell us how much it will skew.

    3. Causation. We have no idea. We do not know if the age gap is causing the crisis or not. But, it doesn’t matter, because it is obvious that correcting the age gap will ameliorate the problem at least to some extent.

    4. Effect on Shalom bayis. It is patently obvious that there will be a negative effect on our marriages as a result of the changes we advocate. We think it is worth it.

    5. Study. There was a study done, but the results were constrained by the poor quality of the data. It will be uploaded to our website where it may be viewed.

    #955677
    gefen
    Participant

    Ok – I must admit I have not read all the posts here but I do feel the need to comment.

    We just read in the Yated that 10% of girls at given time cannot be married. WHAT???????????? Why is everyone so obsessed with statistics? Statistically, the Jews should not even be around at all. Look how many nations, bigger and stronger, tried to get rid of us. If you only go by statistics, they should have been successful. No? So why weren’t they? Oh yeah – we forgot – there’s a G-d in this world who is beyond statistics! Why are we constantly taking Him out of the picture? If He wants someone to get married, they will. End of conversation.

    #955678
    golfer
    Participant

    Gefen, thank you for your well thought out comment.

    However, there is a mathematical problem with your theory.

    Taking Him out of the picture would (Ch”v’Sh) make someone a koifer.

    But there are those here in the CR who say that not believing in the age gap and the shidduch crisis makes someone a koifer.

    So they’re both equal.

    And in a mathematical equasion if they’re both equal then I think you’re wrong.

    And so is everybody else around here.

    Maybe Haifagirl can help. She just proved that not only is she a whiz at grammar and spelling; her math skills are nothing to sneeze at either.

    #955679

    Gefen, I hope your family doesn’t run its budget that way.

    #955680
    Brony
    Participant

    here’s a statistic:

    12. the average dress size of girls coming back from seminary.

    #955681
    apushatayid
    Participant

    “would you commend the fool who started tinkering and yanking

    wires?”

    At least 70 signatories who are smarter than me do not believe they are fools tinkering with and yanking wires. Perhaps 70 others who are smarter than me do, but until at least one of them takes out an ad and signs his name to it, or makes such a statement that I hear, I will refrain from calling anyone a fool.

    #955682
    Health
    Participant

    PBO -“1. Overwhelming anecdotal evidence. Everyone who is involved in shidduchim knows that there are way more girls than boys. This is proven by the simple observation that boys are able to go on dates any time they please, while most girls are practically scrounging for dates. It is simply undeniable.”

    This I disagree with. The facts are they can find dates with older guys. I and many guys I know would go out with these girls. The only reason they can’t find dates is because they are picky.

    Where in the Torah does it say an excuse not to get married because the guy is 20 -30 years older? I discussed this in detail in my topic of “Who wants to be a Tzdaiekes like Rus?”.

    #955683

    How many of you besides Papa read the letter?

    read it an you will see Papa is SOOOO right.

    #955684
    gefen
    Participant

    Golfer: “And in a mathematical equasion if they’re both equal then I think you’re wrong.” No they are not both equal. I repeat – Hashem is beyond statistics and mathematical equations (spelled with a t by the way). He is the One we must turn to. Period. BTW – can you explain how not believing in the shidduch crises and age gap would make one a koifer?

    DY: apples and oranges. But if you’re going to make that comparison anyway, I would say, yes – Hashem is in charge of your parnassa as well. Of course one must do their hishtadlus to earn money and budget it correctly, just as one must do their hishtadlus in shidduchim. According to the statistic theory, there’s no point in working on shidduchim for the older girls if it’s already determined that 10% will not get married. Why don’t we just give up on the older girls?

    #955685
    benignuman
    Participant

    “Where in the Torah does it say an excuse not to get married because the guy is 20 -30 years older?”

    Where in the Torah does it say that women are required to get married?

    It is common sense that a person should marry someone appropriate for them. For many girls a 20 year age gap is almost certainly inappropriate. It is not being “picky” to want to marry someone approximately your age.

    In the same families, brothers will have long lists of girls read to them and will be able to go out whenever they feel like it. Girls will have one or two boys on their list and will often have to go months between dates.

    “Andectodal evidence” is evidence (it’s right there in the name). It’s normally not as strong as statistical evidence but in the absence of statistics to the contrary, it can be very strong.

    Furthermore very strong anectodal evidence will often trump statistical evidence to the contrary. If someone came out with a statistic that 68% of chickens can survive a week without a head, that stastici would rightly be laughed off in the face of the anectdotal evidence that chickens without heads cannot survive more than couple of minutes.

    #955686
    golfer
    Participant

    Thanks gefen.

    Equation, not equasion.

    As for your question- “can you explain how not believing…?”

    Sorry, but, no, I cannot.

    #955687

    DY: apples and oranges.

    Not at all. We should make hishtadlus for everyone, including the older girls, because even mathematically, there’s hope for any individual (and no one ever said otherwise). The issue being contested is NASI’s contention that we should do hishtadlus on a communal level, and I don’t see why, from a hashkafic perspective, you would be against it.

    #955688

    The facts are they can find dates with older guys. I and many guys I know would go out with these girls.

    Then who would marry the women in your age group?

    #955689
    rkefrat
    Participant

    since in any marriage 1 boy marries 1 girl – then after a marriage takes place then one and only 1 of each is removed from the available shidduch pool. I fail to see what age or anything else has to do with this. could be that boys join the pool later than girls do but that doesnt change the basic equation.

    #955690
    writersoul
    Member

    benignuman: That doesn’t make sense. Why would there be statistical evidence that chickens can live without a head if it wasn’t true? If you trust the source of the statistics, then you would have to believe that you’ve just seen those chickens that don’t survive that long.

    One cannot prove that there are no black sheep by counting a million white sheep, but counting just one black sheep is enough to disprove the hypothesis.

    #955691

    Gefen +1.

    I think R’ chayim shmulevitz beleived that there was no necesuty for histadlus AT ALL in shidduchim, explaining that it is the last area in which yad Hashem is still clear.

    I think that he also explained the famous gemoro of ???? ???? ??? ?????, ???? ???? ????? that since those two were concerning a shidduch, it was simply impossible to mess up.

    #955692
    gefen
    Participant

    Shoe store assistant: Thanks. +1 to your post too.

    #955693

    I guess R’ Aron Leib Steinman and others who have encouraged finding ways to close the gap have their hashkafos all wrong?

    I wonder if Gefen and SSA would call a shadchan for their kids, or just wait for the phone to ring.

    Hint: whether or not to do hishtadlus for shidduchim is a machlokes. We pasken a certain way. (I’m not even sure it’s a machlokes when it comes to a communal, rather than individual, approach).

    #955694
    gefen
    Participant

    DY: To answer your question, yes we are in contact with shadchanim and friends. I did say we have to do our hishtadlus (see one of my previous posts). But we also have bitachon and know that Hashem is the One in charge.

    #955695
    Health
    Participant

    benignuman – I already dealt with these issues in my topic. I hate repeating the same things over and over.

    “Where in the Torah does it say that women are required to get married?”

    S’A. Ever hear of him?

    “It is common sense that a person should marry someone appropriate for them. For many girls a 20 year age gap is almost certainly inappropriate. It is not being “picky” to want to marry someone approximately your age.”

    Well they tried getting married to s/o their own age, but noone wants to go out with them. And what the world calls

    “inappropriate”, in no way throws out S’A!

    #955696
    Health
    Participant

    DY -“Then who would marry the women in your age group?”

    Those girls that are still single in middle age obviously don’t want to get married. For the last 20 -30 years they haven’t met their “Bashert” – so obviously they don’t want to marry their “Bashert” because he isn’t good enough in their minds. This takes them out of the Parsha – so why don’t the younger girls go out with these guys?

    #955697

    I did say we have to do our hishtadlus (see one of my previous posts). But we also have bitachon and know that Hashem is the One in charge.

    Okay, so would you agree, that based on the statistics, it makes sense to do hishtadlus to give an oppurtunity for all girls to get married (all the while recognizing that it’s completely up to Hashem whether or not it succeeds)?

    #955698

    DY

    let us be clear. NASI says they have no statistics.

    they have a theory which the only proof they have a size 12 girls, I am loads of anecdotal evidence.

    #955699

    Right, no statistics. Probably, there’s no shidduch crisis because some men marry two wives. After all, there are no statistics to prove otherwise, and no controlled studies.

    #955700
    gefen
    Participant

    DY: Yes. I agree that we should do our hishtadlus to give an opportunity for all girls to get married – all the while recognizing that it’s completely up to Hashem whether or not it succeeds- and of course we always hope it succeeds. I intentionally left out the phrase “based on statistics”. This statistic thing just bothers me. Maybe it’s because I feel that some girls may lose hope because of it. And also because of what I said before – we cannot only go by statistics. I just cannot get with that mindset.

    Having said that – I wish all the singles – young and older – much hatzlacha and bracha in finding their bashert. We should all hear lots of Mazal Tovs!

    #955701
    haifagirl
    Participant

    Those girls that are still single in middle age obviously don’t want to get married. For the last 20 -30 years they haven’t met their “Bashert” – so obviously they don’t want to marry their “Bashert” because he isn’t good enough in their minds. This takes them out of the Parsha – so why don’t the younger girls go out with these guys?

    Thanks for letting me know I’m out of the Parsha. I didn’t realize that.

    #955703

    This statistic thing just bothers me. Maybe it’s because I feel that some girls may lose hope because of it.

    I understand that. It’s just that making it known and understood is a key to making closer in age marriages more acceptable, which is the hishtadlus we need to do to help solve the problem.

    We should all hear lots of Mazal Tovs!

    Amen!

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