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“Erin has tapped into a need, you still have to meet people in person no matter what because that kind of chemistry can never be imitated by technology.” Old-school matchmaking is making inroads onto the scene for the crowd of those sick of swiping their phones to no end.Aside from Davis’ Shabbat model, there are others trying to reinvent the process.And the recent rise of anti-Semitism across Europe is especially troubling to her, even thought it’s not prevalent in New York.“It’s a huge passion of mine to take a direct role in stopping [anti-Semitism,]” she says. It’s inspired me to do whatever I can to continue the tradition and to modernize Shabbats to make them for the times today.Davis incorporates bits of tradition into each dinner she hosts, whether it’s a group of modern Orthodox Jews or, what’s more common, a group of Secular ones.(At the dinner I attended, fewer than half the group could read Hebrew.) There are small touches of Jewish customs like her logo, a heart-shaped Challah bread, and the business’ name, “Shabbatness.” Nes means miracle in Hebrew, Davis says.And more than half of Jewish Americans have married a non-Jewish spouse.
One night it was Magic and Macarons, where a Jewish magician performed and macarons were served for dessert.
Sure, JDate is popular and apps like Tinder and Hinge are growing, but that has consequences.
“The larger a pool of potential dates you have, the more the paradox of choice causes people to freeze up,” says Ori Neidich, one of Davis’ Presen Tense mentors.
“I felt there was a void in the Jewish community of Shabbat dinners in intimate homes,” she says.
“ And I realized it was an ideal environment for singles to meet each other.” She interviews singles and promises those selected for the dinner a potential partner, a night of unlimited alcohol and a meal, at her apartment or one of the guests’ who chooses to host, all for just —a division of 18, or chai in Hebrew, a lucky number in Judasim—The idea became a business when Davis applied and received a fellowship through Presen Tense, a social entrepreneurial program with a focus on the Jewish community.