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One week last spring, I met the matchmaker Jessica Fass in her temporary Tel Aviv office, a We Work location with hardwood floors, exposed mechanicals, wheat beer on tap, and Millennials talking about deliverables while eating salads at a communal lunch table.
Fass, a Jewish matchmaker from Los Angeles, had descended on Israel—where she spent five years and which she considers to be a second home—to find suitable mates for her clients in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Montreal, and Melbourne.
One of Fass’s clients, a 43-year-old nurse who lives in Sydney, said he was receptive to meeting someone locally, but pragmatic about the odds: “A large proportion of our people live in Israel or America, and the idea is not to limit the prospective match.” Margaux Chetrit-Cassuto, a matchmaker with Three Matches in Montreal, said 90 percent of her clients are willing to consider relocation for the right partner.
A Pew survey from 2013 found that fewer American Jews are raising their children Jewish, and also found declining religiosity among Jewish Millennials, 32 percent of whom describe themselves as culturally or ethnically Jewish, but not religious.
So, in many cities around the world, a hometown search might not last long.
I sat in on Fass’s meeting with Osher, a 33-year-old architect with a passion for swing dancing and a recently broken heart.
He and Fass almost immediately started to discuss the public relations value of my presence, as I quietly took notes and tried not to get involved.