New national group for singles

By Sandy Rashty, August 30, 2012

A chance encounter with the Chief Rabbi inspired a new national committee for young singles.

Young Jewish Singles founder and chair Charles Simmons, 30, said he had asked Lord Sacks: “Is it better for someone to marry out or stay single?”

The Chief’s response was: “If that’s the question posed by young Jews, something needs to be done to allow people in the community to meet each other.”

YJS wants to stem the tide of intermarriage by organising subsidised weekends away and overseas trips with “good programming and activities”.

In the experience of Mr Simmons, from Leeds, “there was nothing really going on for Jewish singles nationally. People of a certain age and mind-set are ready to settle down and meet somebody.

“If someone from Leeds thinks they know everyone in that city, what about meeting people from Birmingham, Manchester or London?

He believes YJS “could go quite far”. Weekends away or longer trips were better ways of meeting potential partners. “I find that people become a lot more relaxed over a period of time.” Events are open to young adults from across the Jewish spectrum.

In a YouTube clip, Rabbi Sacks offered his “congratulations to all who are involved in this lovely project — it’s a great scheme.

“I really value your initiative in bringing together young Jewish single professionals to give support to one another, to build friendships and, who knows, maybe get married.” He also praised the involvement in the project of Leeds Beth Hamidrash Hagadol minister Rabbi Jason Kleiman.

The 12 YJS committee members hail from London and the north and are holding their first weekend event for 23-35-year-olds in Cheshire at the end of October.

Last updated: 11:54am, August 30 2012