Reform Senior Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner wants the movement to set up a matchmaking service to help put Jewish couples together.
Rabbis and cantors are well placed, she believes, to take the role of the traditional shadchan and enable prospective soulmates to meet.
“I can’t tell you the numbers of people who have said to me that they’d love me to find them a partner,” Rabbi Janner-Klausner said. “I am sure that’s happening to all rabbis.”
Being all-inclusive, the scheme would serve LBGT Jews equally as well as those looking for heterosexual relationships. “Jewish families and Jewish life are different to what they were before and we need to reflect this,” she said.
While part of the service would be online, a personal touch remained indispensable, she believed, with users able to speak to a rabbi face to face.
“I was introduced to my husband, David, by my aunt, who also introduced my parents to each other,” she said.
“I think rabbis are a very good enabling agent — they are not part of your family but know your background and who you are. They provide a safe emotional space.
“Rabbis would keep lists of people who might be interested in meeting other people and would speak to colleagues to find suitable partners.”
The proposal is her latest bid to boost Jewish continuity. In an address to the Board of Deputies last year, she said that the community needed to “raise fertility rates” and suggested better pre-school childcare might encourage parents to have more children.