We would chat with each other online virtually every day while I was in college, and even after I graduated. Before long the site gave me a listing of potential Jewish candidates.Though I was excited by these possibilities at first, the resulting dates could best be compared to episodes.
Most of the women the site matched me with wouldn’t risk even a simple online chat with me.
Meanwhile, more and more of my friends were getting engaged, more and more of them started families, and I had never dated anyone for more than a few weeks. If Jewish women weren’t attracted to me, I’d go find women who were.
I felt the pressure: The future of my people was at stake! The school was arty, musical, nerdy, and had a substantial Jewish population. Even though I no longer felt outside the norm, I still had trouble getting dates … Every Jewish woman I asked out on a date rejected me.
I resolved that I would only go out with Jewish girls. I attributed this to the fact that I was kind of nerdy: My extra-curricular activities included musical theater, video games, and Dungeons & Dragons, not exactly the types of things that made a guy popular with the ladies. I had numerous opportunities, on the other hand, to date non-Jewish women.
She was also unbendingly ethical, deeply scholarly, and emotionally supportive—virtues I’d always believed essential in a prospective girlfriend or wife.
Since she wasn’t Jewish, though, a relationship with her didn’t seem possible; I thought of her as simply a good friend. I created an online dating profile on e Harmony, hoping that its mystical personality matching system would somehow do the job that I had proven unable to accomplish on my own.
23, 2009, on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. *** Soon after my bar mitzvah, just as I was discovering my interest in the opposite sex, I began to be bombarded with information about intermarriage—about how one in every two Jewish people would marry a non-Jew and how more than half of the children of those unions would not be raised Jewish.
But as I fell in love with her, she fell in love with me—and with my Judaism as well.
In high school, this decision proved to be mostly moot. I tried not to follow up on them at first, but I was frustrated and lonely and had finite willpower.