YWN MAILBAG: Response To The NASI ‘Game-Changing Shidduch Project’


In response to the article by NASI which was published by YWN on Wednesday:

So let me ask you this, Nasi…

Why are you insisting on collecting the thousands before any list is even compiled, even after hearing the community outrage? Why can’t you just request $500 from every single which should more than cover start-up costs, and request the rest upon completing a shidduch… You don’t trust us Nasi? You don’t trust that the parents of an older single girl will pay due shadchanus when their beloved kid meets her bashert? Oh, ok but we should trust you, without a name behind your cause, without mention of the “prominent Rabbanim” you claim are behind you, without mention of where the money will be kept and who will oversee its financial handling. Oh. Ok.

So you chastise us Nasi. You are quite condescending when you tell us our money would not be that much better off accruing .025% interest in a savings account. So why exactly do you need this money? To invest? So you can earn the interest your telling us we don’t need? Quite interesting that you will not start the program without 50 respondents. Does the hedge fund require a minimum amount of capital?

Nasi, you have defenders. You have those who come out and say “well at least they are trying to help our yiddishe kinderlach.” Yes Nasi, trying to help. Through degrading ads, through an insane request for money that is not necessary to compile a list, through half-baked defense letters with embarrassing comparisons of a ponzi scheme to Eliyahu Hanavi.

I don’t know which is sadder at this point. If we found out you were crooks or if you really ehrlichely believe this is the way to go about helping.

I shudder to think what a chilul Hashem it would cause if the secular world caught wind of this and saw us treating our beloved daughters like cattle for market. If they saw an anonymous group of “helpers” demanding thousands upon thousands of dollars and making you feel guilty for even questioning. C’mon people wake up!

Uch and Vey to our society if this is what our shidduch initiatives need to look like. Uch and Vey that Nasi’s ad was even somewhat plausible to our messed up psyches.

This comment was originally submitted in the YWN Coffee Room, where a heated debate is ongoing regarding this new initiative.

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.



  1. Well Put!!! This letter expresses the feelings of so many of us.
    YWN – I know you say this letter does not reflect the views of YWN, but thank you so much for publishing it.

  2. The people who never had the money to push their daughters to the front of the line, are now being extorted to pay to give their a daughters any fair chance.

  3. I respectfully disagree with gefen’s comment and I must say that I am considering logging off YWN permanently due to the lack of judgement in posting such a mean spirited and sarcastically toned letter, which is just as anonymous as he claims the Nasi project is, only he is wrong about that as the yungerman who is running it is not anonymous and stood up and defended or sold it when he started in many shuls. I am not a huge fan of it but I feel very strongly that the objections in the letter above are way over the top. Assuming he wants the money for a hedge fund is a clear violation of the d’oraysa to be dan l’caf zchus, how about a polite request for the terms and conditions of the escrow account. I can’t help comparing this to the tone of talk radio, if I wanted to listen to it I just have to flip it on and not pay a monthly connection fee, YWN this is really wrong I would like a response please or you will lose this reader.

  4. It costs under $100 to get married. As every boy learns in a heder, you can use a vegetable rather than a ring (it’s a well known mishna). Kesubas are easy to buy – at this point you can probably down load them. The remaining requirement for a marriage that everyone seems to figure it out without ever having to discuss it in proper company. The government license isn’t expensive (and irrelevant halachically, but needed if you deal with the government).

    The rest is optional. Parnassah is not required (if it was the kiddushin would have a higher minimum value). A party is nice. An apartment is nice, but people manage. With frum Yidden, they all know that parnassah comes from Ha-Shem, no matter what the in-law says.

    What most men bring to a wedding is the hope of future income. What most women bring is the hope of having children. If they are frum, they know that “hope” is worthless since Ha-Shem will decide matters and there isn’t much they can do about it.

    If people waited until they were financially and emotionally able to settle down to a comfortable middle class existence, they would wait until they were the right age to be grandparents. Fortunately Ha-Shem “programmed” people to feel an extreme necessity to get married that peaks when they are quite young – if Ha-Shem wanted people to be “established” when they got married, puberty would be around age 30, and people would stay fertile until their 60s. Maybe its because people are designed to become childbearing at an age when they are still sufficiently unformed to be able to adapt to radical unpredictable changes (and what changes in an unpredictable way more than a baby);.

    There will always be some people who are overfussy or otherwise unfit to get married. One might suggest that there is a “natural selection” process at work to remove such people from the gene pool. As evidence by our overcrowded school, most people have enough faith in Ha-Shem to get married and raise families, regardless of any real world concerns.

    So stop whining.

  5. Mah Yomru ha “Singles”?
    Mah Yomru ha “Parents”?
    Mah Yomru ha Goyim?

    Brilliant! What has to be said, has to be said!

    Thank you, YW for printing this! You did the right thing!

  6. “The people who never had the money to push their daughters to the front of the line, are now being extorted to pay to give their a daughters any fair chance.”

    I agree with this! Maybe these people need to go and research Tu B’Av where girls would borrow clothing so that lack wealth would not hinder a girls chances to be chosen.
    This grand idea is like Tu B’ Av reverse!!

    Maybe they should consider doing a big Tu B’Av like event?

    this bellow is a fragment of an article writen by Rabbi Eliezer Melamed for Arutz Sheva.

    The Ancient Tu B’Av Custom

    Israel never knew such wonderful holidays as Tu B’Av ( the 15th of the Jewish month of Av) and Yom Kippur. On these days the daughters of Israel would go out and dance in the vineyards joyfully s they could be chosen by their intended for the purpose of establishing Jewish families.

    And despite the fact that people are different – some are rich, and others poor; some are beautiful, and others less; some are of noble birth, and some are not – nevertheless, on these days, special effort was made to try and bridge the gap, at least as far as wealth was concerned. Young women would therefore go out wearing white, borrowed outfits in order not to embarrass those who did not own such a gown.

  7. Cute comment Akuperma, I actually agree with most of it except one important thing — Hope is never worthless — as Hashem redeemed us from Egypt partly because we still hoped!!!

  8. This whole issue, is caused by too many middleman in the frum velt, we have “lawyers” for beis din with no training who claim 100% results, even for a get, we have shadchanim, we have too many fundraisers.


    Here’s the answer.

    did you notice there is no address on the ad where to send money????????

    NOT A PENNY OF A GIRL can be sent in (even is she tried) until the financials are set and airtight. Girls that are asking to join aer being told to not send in any money. They are in the process of receiving guidance from experts in the field (lawyers/accountans/ etc) how to set it up in a NO QUESTION ABOUT IT system.

    A sytem that is trasparent, secure, with effiienct and trustworthy oversight.

    once that is in place it will be publicized. Then and only then will girls be given instructions where to send the money.

    Now the question is so why was it launched before this was set up… why not first set it up and then launch. this was discussed internally and the guidacne given was to do both simultaneously.

    NASI understood it would take a while until the program got traction. They assumed it would take a good few weeks until the first 50 singed up. During that time they planned and are working on getting the financials in place. This way it can all come togehter.

    For the record the $500 “overhead” for the girls aftrer #50 is just as guranteed as the shadchanus money and isn’t spent until after the wedding. Should the program be so succesful as to deem that above and beyond what is necessary (and hopefully it will be) then by all means the number will be lowered, money could be returned if necessary.

  10. I’m Confused. can someone explain to me exactly what the 11K is for and where it goes when i get a match. and why in Heaven’s name it cant be paid when the match is completed. Lets say youre a real estate agent, yes you “waste” countless hours showing me house upon house that i may never buy, but you do all that in good faith assuming that if you listen to my needs and wants and are attentive to them you will “make a sale” and get a huge commission. why is this any different in shadchanis?

  11. There are many older men out there who are, shall we say, less than ideal marriage prospects. To the point that a divorced friend of mine said she would only date someone divorced or widowed, because any man who got to that older age bracket without marrying was probably not very good marriage material.

    So, I propose that we establish a fund to make more older men marriageable. Support groups, therapy, social skills, whatever it takes. Lets even see if we can get the divorced abusive husbands into therapy & make them marketable. You see, if there are so many more older single women than men, we really have to maximize those men!

    And meanwhile, I suggest that anyone who knows an older man should work very hard on finding him a shidduch (assuming, of course, that you don’t know any reason he should not get married – and, if you do, see if the problem is fixable). At least that will be one more woman who gets married.

  12. Akuperma, you have betrayed your lack of understanding of the mishna in Kiddushin. The three methodologies in the mishna are options – A or B or C, not all three, and by the way, B is not a kesuva, it is a shtar kiddushin.

  13. I agree with #3. The person behind the NASI organization is definitely an honest person and he’s working l’tovas h’klal. To claim the contrary is simply motzei shem rah and sheker. However, I don’t believe this initiative can be successful, since extra money incentives to shadchanim hardly end up producing more engagements for older singles, as has been proven by other similar initiatives offered by other organizations which were not too successful. Also, it’s very humiliating for an older girl to pay money upfront in order for a shadchan to pay attention to her, [as illogical as it may be], so it’s unrealistic that girls will actually go ahead and submit the requested money.

  14. The unfortunate accepted myth that a young man can get as many dates as he wants and it is the young ladies that have problems leads to such “alleged” ponzi schemes. Perhaps a program set up for boys to contribute equally in such a setting would lend a bit of credibility to this narishkeit. I say narishkeit because I am old enough to KNOW how this “crisis” came to be. I saw it all set up and I have to admit to the sheer genius (read money) of it. I don’t think it was ever thought that lives of many young people would be shattered forever because of it but surely after the fact no one seems to want to take responsibility (or simply advocate to reverse the narishkeit). Instead, there is the irony and chutzpah that the very same people that started the fire are the sames ones (behind) now selling fire extinguishers. It makes me question the legitimacy of these organizations as well as the sanity of some parents who go along for the ride.

  15. #14 — shhh? the kids aren’t supposed to know that in theory they can do the third way without the other two (and the fact that it is reasonable to worry is part of the reason I am dubious there is a “shidduch” crisis at all).

  16. Why would a Rav put his name on this? It sounds like everyone would burn his house down. My guess is that each individual Rav will sign it on condition that every other Rav will also sign it. In the end, either many will sign simultaneously or none will. Let’s wait and see. Insane system if you ask me.

  17. The new get into school game changing plan.

    As is well known, due to the phenomenal growth of our community, there is a problem with getting your kids into school. The NATI game changing plan will change this for you. Here is how it works.

    When your child is born you submit $5000 towards the first years tuition + $500 for administrative overhead to the NATI office. We will submit your name to at least 50 schools that will consider whether they should accept you. Should one of these schools accept you we will submit your $5000 to them for tuition. This plan is backed by Eliyahu Hanovi.

  18. Unless a family is wealthy, most cannot afford $11k to find a shidduch and only THEN start paying (or begging, borrowing, etc) for wedding expenses.

  19. That “third way” also has halachic requirements and regulations that accompany it. Otherwise, like much else done wrong, it’s very much an aveirah.

  20. While I have nothing to add to this discussion as every emotion that can be expressed has been, I am going to call Rav Shmuel Kamenetzky, Shlita, next week to get his take. My husband knowing Rav Shmuel for over 25 years and speaking with him on a monthly basis, cannot believe that he agreed with this outrageous fee system.

  21. I put this comment in the other day but I think its important to repeat. We can help with the shidduch crisis another way that involves NO money. allow the freezer boys to go out only with girls 22 and older and give them first dibs for the new crop of boys. Allow the 18-19 year olds mature a bit before they even contemplate marriage.

  22. I frankly don’t understand what all the commotion is about. No one is forced to pay this shadchonus. NASI is offering a service that you may or may not want. The way I understand this, NASI is willing to return the money at any time and they are not taking anyone’s money on a promise to deliver a service. You only owe it after they perform the service. They hold the money until then to be sure that you do not change your mind after the chasuna about how much shadchonus you will pay (if you have ever paid shadchonus you know how tempting that would be). I think that is very fair. In fact NASI is trusting you that you won’t demand the money back right before the engagement and pay less shadchonus. Of course you could only do that once, so it better be your last child to marry off. It’s like any service that takes money or a credit card before they actually perform the service and hold your money or credit card until they are entitled to the money.

    Whether world class gedolim have endorsed this idea also seems inconsequential. In the old days, if you needed help making a decision on a Torah matter, you consulted with your rov or rebbe (which is what I intend to do).

  23. From NASI

    Re: the first program

    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.

    c. 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 mailing and other such endevours 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.

    Feel free to call Rav Shmuel Shlit”a:

    Please note: He was NOT asked regarding this specific program and unless he reads the yated/hamodia etc most probably doesn’t even know about this specific program.

    He is well aware who is guiding the project on a day to day basis “who is the “daas torah” behind it” and Rav Shmuel holds that person in great esteem and greatly values their judgment.

  24. #20 emesvyatziv – love your idea. go for it!

    #23 chani T – i’d love to hear Rav Kamenetzky’s response. keep us posted.

    To Nasi (AZ- care to answer for them?) How can you say that any girl can come up with $5,000 and up if they really want to? Do you not understand that some people just CANNOT do it? Do you not understand that some families are struggling just to put food on their table and a roof over their heads? NO IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR EVERY SINGLE GIRL TO COME UP WITH THAT KIND OF MONEY!!! What are you thinking??? Or are you thinking at all?! Wait – I know the answer – you are thinking of the $$$$$$$$$

  25. 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.