Dating Gurus: In Honor Of Jewish Moms Everywhere: TheJMom.com
Update: As of May 1, 2015 Jmom.com shut down.
Nu? You want I should do EVERYTHING for you?
Although JDate certainly has a lion's share of the Jewish online dating market, there are several other good options for Jewish daters looking for their besherts.
Pssst... your mom wants you to check out TheJMom.com!
TheJMom.com, created in 2010, and headquartered in Chicago, IL, has a twofold mission statement: primarily to strengthen Jewish relationships between single adults, and secondarily to support the future of Jewish identity and affiliations. Founders and sibs Brad and Danielle Weisberg explained that while they were visiting their hometown a few years ago in Lexington, KY, mother Barbara convinced Brad to allow her to peek at his Jdate profile. When they returned a couple of hours later, they found Barbara still glued to the computer, combing through hundreds of profiles for eligible shayna madelas. After looking at some of the excellent profile choices she had pulled as possibilities, the sibs had an a-ha moment where they imagined "combining the matchmaking prowess of the Jewish mother with the connecting power of the internet to help young members of the chosen people fall in love with one another." Although Brad is no longer involved with the operation of TheJMom.com, the matchmaking company is still going strong.
Interest piqued, we began combing through the articles and press releases out there in media land.
TheJMom.com bills itself as an online community with 5,000 registered members that offers "Jewish matchmaking, mom’s way.”
Goal-oriented mothers share online profiles of their children. Current CEO Kevin Leland describes the style of the profiles as written in a way that makes the other moms want to be their in-laws nd spend holidays together. So, unlike some dating sites, sexy is not the selling point here. “We don’t want to be too risqué,” he said. “This is a very wholesome site.”
Barbara Weisberg, 64, the mother who inspired the site’s development, recognized that her own children were missing out. “They maybe were looking superficially for attraction and they were not looking deep enough to see everything that encompasses a person,” said Mrs. Weisberg, who has been married for nearly 40 years. Feeling motivated one night, she reviewed the online matches of her son Brad — with his permission — and within hours, she had made a list of candidates who she felt would be a good match with her boy. The results yielded by these mom-engineered picks were so good that Brad, 32, and his sister, Danielle , 29, both based in Chicago, began the TheJMom.com site in 2010.
How It Works
Posting a profile and browsing on TheJMom.com is free, and a six-month subscription package, which provides contacts and connections, starts at $78. A one month subscription is $18.99 with a few choices in between. The $199 Premium Service, the Personal Profile Concierge, provides mothers with a makeover of their own profile and their child’s online profile and one-on-one attention from someone at the company.
The site recommends that parents be upfront with their children and inform them of the online searches being conducted on their behalf. There is, naturally, the occasional backlash. “Every once in a while, we’ll have a kid who maybe wasn’t given the full information that they were put up on the Web site,” Leland commented.
When composing her son’s profile, Mrs. Weisberg used the dating tagline "Why Is Brad a Great Catch": "Bradley is energetic, motivated, enthusiastic and, if I do say so myself, an attractive young man. He is 5-foot-10 with brown hair and blue eyes. Brad is hardworking and very outgoing. These two characteristics serve him well as he is a Realtor, the co-founder of this Web site, and C.E.O. of BodyShopBids.com, at a venture capitalist firm.”
Although Brad Weisberg is no longer involved in the operation of TheJMom.com, he is indeed in a long-term relationship with a woman his mother found for him on the site. Mom Weisberg was quick to point out that this matchmaking should be done respectfully, with the child's permission, and not in a pushy way.
We Just Play One On TV
One of us really is a Jewish mother, so it wasn't too hard to play one on TheJMom.com. We logged on, created a profile with a pic of our self, a picture of our "son", a nice Jewish, and handsome boy...gave a brief description, and started to browse. We were interested in seeing how many members were registered in various cities. Without using age parameters, using a wide radius of 50 miles outside of the following cities, here is a sample of what the numbers looked like on this particular day:
- Ft Lauderdale : 22 females, 22 males
- Seattle: 7 females, 7 males
- St Paul: 6 females, 6 males
- Cleveland: 3 females, 4 males
- Cincinnati: 2 females, 5 male
- Kansas City, MO: 3 females, 2 males
- Green Bay: 1 female, 0 males
- New Orleans: 0 females, 2 males
- Portland, OR: 4 females, 3 males
- Portland, ME: 0, 0
- Nashville: 1 female, 0 males
- New York City: 200+ (we stopped counting)
- Chicago: 150+
- San Fran: 20 females, 15 males
- San Diego: 4 females, 5 males
- Dallas: 3, 4 males
- Philly: 22 females, 17 males
- Boston: 31 females, 10 males
So, clearly, Chicago and metropolitan NY offer lots of choices for the momalas. In between? Not so much.
Meanwhile, our fictitious and handsome mensch of a son garnered about 4 emails in a few days from other moms who liked what we had to say about our Matthew. After a week or so, the mails dropped off. And unfortunately, we couldn't access the emails because we were not paid subscribers. Like all the other dating sites except OKCupid and POF, which are free to communicate, TheJmom entices you by allowing paid members to contact an unpaid member, but not for the unpaid member to respond. So who knows what the winds of fate would have allowed?
Note: When we tried to unsubscribe as an unpaid member, we were only permitted to make our profile invisible, "to allow access to subscribe when you are ready". So it appears that we are still a registered member, which might explain why the site claims they have 5000 members.
Despite the meager profile listings outside of metropolitan east coast and urban midwest areas, we love the innovative idea, the user-friendly and fun website for technically challenged mothers, and the relatively reasonable monthly cost. It's hard to predict whether this is a site that is growing in popularity, or one which is holding steady. Consider registering on a free site, and supplementing with Jmom if you live in a fairly metropolitan, highly Jewish area.