Jun 2, 2010 — Yeshiva University announced today that the Center for the Jewish Future’s inaugural Creating Connections weekend (May 7-9, 2010) has successfully inspired dozens of North American Jewish communities to make significant strides toward being more mindful of and involved with their local singles.
In the three weeks since Creating Connections, communities across the country have begun revamping existing programming and creating additional social networking and matchmaking opportunities.
“The feedback we have received about the weekend from community organizers, Rabbis and participants – both single and married – leads us to believe that this was by no means a one-time thing. Rather, this is the beginning of a movement that will add a communal dimension to increasing positive and proactive measures with singles,” said Dr. Efrat Sobolofsky, Director of YUConnects, the CJF program that initiated and sponsored Creating Connections.
While several participating communities planned unique events for singles to meet and interact with other singles and married community members over the Creating Connections weekend, others devoted sermons and special lectures to the ways in which married couples can be most helpful to single friends and family members.
“Regardless of the format chosen by each community, the weekend was incredibly successful in encouraging lay leadership nationwide to do everything in their power to connect with and increase opportunities for the singles in their neighborhoods,” added Dr. Sobolofsky.
For the married participants, Creating Connections forced them to break from routine and interact with single community members outside of their age groups and networks of friends, a first for many. At the same time, many single participants also experienced a first: networking events that were well-run, enjoyable and had nearly perfect male to female ratios.
“After taking part in this exceptional weekend, our Jewish communities are beginning to understand that everyone can help make a difference for the singles in their area. It is exciting to think that we may now be able to move from a longstanding state of good intentions and inaction when dealing with singles issues to a new paradigm of strong, appropriately-focused community efforts,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, the David Mitzner Dean of the CJF.
“We are confident that this initiative will bring about the intended positive results because our single Creating Connections participants have expressed deep satisfaction with our efforts as well as a desire to become more involved in the planning and programming of future events. As we see it, we can only be successful if we reach out to singles and invite them to voice their preferences in order to create the best-suited resources.”
Several major Jewish organizations involved in singles programming, including the Orthodox Union, the National Council of Young Israel, SawYouAtSinai, Gateways, MakeAShidduch Foundation, FutureSimchas, Sasson V’Simcha and the Shalom Task Force, participated in the weekend and are strong supporters of the YUConnects program.
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