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YUConnects Organizes International Weekend of Creating Connections with Singles on May 7-9 / Listen to Radio Interview
Apr 26, 2010 — Dozens of communities have signed on to participate in the inaugural “Creating Connections” weekend on May 7-9, sponsored by YUConnects. The worldwide weekend, which was launched by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future, will include a variety of events for Orthodox singles such as Shabbatons and Motzei Shabbat social mixers, as well as shiurim and lectures on healthy relationship building given by renowned professionals.

Listen to Rabbi Kenneth Brander, the David Mitzner Dean of the CJF and Dr. Efrat Sobolofsky, director of YUConnects, discuss Creating Connections with Nachum Segal on WFMU radio.

Several major organizations involved in singles programming are supporting and participating in the weekend with Yeshiva University, including the Orthodox Union, the National Council of Young Israel, SawYouAtSinai, Gateways, MakeAShidduch Foundation, FutureSimchas, Sasson V’Simcha and the Shalom Task Force.

“The response has been overwhelming with over 80 shuls and communities around the world participating,” said Dr. Efrat Sobolofsky. “Many of them are planning a specific event in their communities, building new opportunities for singles to meet. Others are creating greater awareness among married couples about ways in which they can be most helpful to their single friends and family members. Each community organizer is carefully planning the event or session they think will be most effective and best received in their neighborhood.”

So far, eight communities are hosting special Shabbatons for singles, in which they will interact with other singles and community members at Shabbat meals and activities.

To attend one of the Shabbatons or other events happening that weekend, please visit www.yu.edu/cjf/yuconnects.

Many rabbis in communities have also agreed to devote their sermons or a special shiurim that weekend to ways in which everyone can be more helpful, the mitzvot involved in joining couples and other healthy relationship-building lessons. Some communities will have group discussions for parents of marriage-age children and others will screen a film produced by YU that addresses this subject followed by a group discussion.

“The goal of this special weekend is to inspire as many communities as possible to become a positive force in creating more opportunities and connections with singles,” explained Dr. Sobolofsky. “The more people that are sensitized to the issue the more successful we can all be at facilitating meeting opportunities and matches.”

Since its inception, just over two years ago, YUConnects has successfully facilitated the matches of close to 30 married couples through many events and online activities. Working in partnership with SawYouAtSinai, nearly 1,000 members of YUConnects are in constant e-mail and phone contact with over 100 trained connectors around the world who assist them in meeting other singles. Many connectors, married women and men, also meet with members in person to better understand the qualities they are searching for in a spouse.

“The work of YUConnects has become an integral part of the larger Orthodox community, cultivating environments for our young men and women to meet in healthy ways,” said Dr. David Pelcovitz, Straus Professor of Psychology and Education at YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration and chief advisor to YUConnects.

YUConnects has compiled valuable resource materials, which will be sent to community organizers before the weekend and provide them with useful information to assist them in their efforts.

“I applaud YU and the CJF on this important effort,” said Michael Feldstein, chairman of the task force of lay leaders assisting in this event. “Not only will this weekend provide many opportunities for Orthodox singles to meet, but it will create greater awareness about this timely subject in communities across the world.”

There will be a special morning of learning in conjunction with YU’s Arbesfeld Yom Rishon program, at YU’s Wilf campus on Sunday, May 9 at 9:30 AM. The program will feature shiurim on the topic of dating and healthy relationships from Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter and Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky. The program is open to men and women and there is no charge to attend. Parking and refreshments will be available. For more information please visit www.kollelyomrishon.org.

To learn more about Creating Connections, and how your community can get involved or to register to YUConnects visit www.yu.edu/cjf/yuconnects or contact yuconnects@yu.edu or 212-960-5400, x 6163.