How To Set Up a Shidduch Meeting
WHO: One to three people may be involved:
- An organizer to arrange a place for the meeting and to contact potential attendees
- A hostess to set up the meeting, and/or
- A group leader to conduct the meeting.
- A secretary to keep a precise record of all information presented at the meeting.
The first three items above can all be done by one person.
- Copies of "Information to be Supplied at a Shidduch Meeting"
- Light refreshments
WHERE: A home, shul, school, hall, etc.
- A table or desk with a chair in front of the room for the group leader is appropriate.
- Enough chairs to accommodate the group. For a small group, people may sit around a dining room table.
- A sheet entitled, "Information to be Supplied at a Shidduch Meeting" should be placed on every chair.
- Additional paper and pens should be placed in convenient spots around the room.
WHEN: Suggestions for scheduling:
- Experience has proven that the best time to schedule a meeting is 8:15 P.M. Begin meeting no later than 8:25 P.M. - regardless of the amount of people. This will establish a policy of punctuality for your future Shidduch meetings.
- Young mothers might prefer getting together during the day. A babysitter on duty is always helpful.
Frequency of meetings: Ideally, once a month. Some people prefer Rosh Chodesh.
- BEFORE THE MEETING:
- Separate meetings should be scheduled for men and women.
- To publicize a small meeting - Notify your friends, apartment complex, block(s), or members of your school or shul.
- For a larger meeting, contact people you know personally and ask them to contact one to three friends.
- You may put a flyer with all the pertinent details in a local paper. This flyer may be hung in shuls, community stores, etc.
- The choice of categories to be considered at your meeting may include:
- Learning Only
- Learning/ Working
- Modern Orthodox
- Physically Challenged
- Mentally Challenged
Decide in advance whether you want the attendees to present candidates of any age and category, or if you wish to limit the meeting to a particular age range and category. Many groups have started out by being broad based. As they grew in number, they found it more efficient and effective to target a specific group. Age ranges that may be targeted: 18-30, 30-40, 40 and up. Feel free to mix and match.
Note: The success of the meeting is dependent upon a constant flow of new people in addition to the steadies. Try to encourage new attendees to join any meeting. To increase your base, reach further out into your neighborhood. You might consider inter-shul, inter-school, and/or inter-community meetings.
- A sign-in sheet should be passed around for the attendees to fill in their names, addresses, and phone numbers. The group leader should maintain this list to re-call these people for future meetings. Eventually, the combined, alphabetical list will grow.
- The group leader begins the meeting promptly. At the outset of the meeting, the group leader should stress the importance of decorum.
- From beginning to end, the secretary should record all information presented about the singles; ie., name of presenter, his/her phone number and all other information about the single. After the meeting, this information should be kept by the group leader for future reference.
- Only one voice at a time should be heard - that of the leader or presenter.
- No comments should be made by the audience. The group should be informed that additional details or questions about the single can be provided after the meeting on a personal basis or by phone at a later date.
- Since L'Chaim's policy is in strict adherence to the laws of 'Lashon Hora', no names or initials of singles are mentioned during the presentation.
- Based on the size of the meeting, the group leader should use discretion as to the number, usually between two and four, of candidates that may be presented by each attendee. The group leader should try to equalize the number of males and females presented, giving priority to the least represented gender. After everyone has had a chance to speak, additional candidates may be mentioned if time allows.
- Every attendee should follow the steps listed on the sheet titled, "Information to be Supplied at a Shidduch Meeting." The presenter should always begin by slowly and clearly stating her name and phone number. Information about the single should be provided by following steps one through thirteen in the order listed on the sheet.
- As the presenter speaks, everyone should be encouraged to record all the information presented. Whether or not it is relevant to the single(s) they are representing, the attendees should keep this as a reference to help others in the future.
- Right before the meeting ends, remind the attendees to address additional questions to presenters after the meeting or by phone. If both sides agree that the Shidduch is a possibility, the names are released. The boy's side is first contacted, and the Shidduch may proceed.
- If the group is large enough, a pertinent, short 'd'var Torah' prepared in advance by an attendee or group leader gives 'chizzuk' and puts in perspective the fact that our efforts can only bear fruits with 'Siyata D'Shmaya'. This time is also an opportunity to share any 'Shidduchim' that were recently facilitated by the group.
- After several meetings a committee should mix and match the information from past meetings that had been recorded by the secretary. The appropriate sponsors should be contacted. Information could be shared with responsible people also involved in Shidduch meetings elsewhere.
In order for us to share the 'nachas' of your successful shidduchim, please contact us at www.lchaimshidduch.com or by mailing Suri Herzog, 1 Barlett Road, Monsey, NY 10952.