After more than a year of social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and yentas will be able to use a new app by Masa Israel Journey and Mama Knows Best to find a bashert (soulmate) for their single loved ones just in time for Tu Be’Av, the Jewish day of love.
During the pandemic, the number of monthly active users on dating sites grew by 12.6%, as people were unable to meet in person. The new app hopes to help take the stress off of singles as they reenter the in-person dating world.
The app works by having matchmakers create profiles for themselves and for the singles they’re trying to set up. Matchmakers upload photos, values and best features of the single. If the matchmaker sights a good match, they can express their approval with the “yes” button (the app’s version of the traditional like button).
Matchmakers can also use the app to network with other matchmakers with a built-in chat function. Matchmakers can also share a single’s profile with other matchmakers.
The app lets matchmakers filter options according to singles’ choices based on a number of tags and features. The questions are meant to be meaningful but fun, with ways to get to know each other, including personality traits, values and even willingness to relocate.
Mama Knows Best is unique because it adds the life experience and wisdom of the matchmakers to the mix to find singles a good catch (True? Of course true!).
“One of the motivations that most inspires young Jewish adults to embark on the Masa experience is the potential of finding a life partner,” said Ruth Alfandary, executive director of global marketing and sales at Masa. “We are excited about this new partnership with Mama Knows Best, in order to better help our Masa Fellows and alumni find what they are looking for.”
“Mama Knows Best is inspired by the moms, sisters, grandmas and more who I have seen and helped try to find love for their singles. I wanted to create a digital community to support matchmakers in a new and relevant way.
“Masa Israel Journey is the perfect organization to partner with, as we have similar values,” said Orly Malka Lubash, founder of Mama Knows Best. “Masa has built a wonderful community, and their Fellows continue to engage and support each other. Our goal for Mama Knows Best matchmaking village is to create a similar open, supportive, and long-lasting community.”
The beta version of the app will be released for free in the US on both iPhone and Android on Thursday, a day before Tu Be’av. The app plans to eventually expand to Israel and include a Hebrew-language option.
Tu Be’av is one of the most joyous days of the Hebrew calendar, with a number of positive events occurring in Jewish history, including the end of the punishment of the Jews in the desert after the sin of the spies and the approval of the Romans to bury the bodies of those killed in the Bar-Kochba revolt long after the revolt.
On Tu Be’av, according to the Talmud, the women of Jerusalem would go out and dance in the vineyards, looking for a suitor. This practice gave the day its association as a sort of Jewish day of love.