“I don’t sleep at night anymore,” said Elefant, a shadchan—or Jewish matchmaker—affiliated with the Ohr Naava: Women’s Torah Center in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn.
“My own sister is thirty-seven, educated, accomplished, attractive, and single.
“Wow,” he said, “that sounds a lot like the Shidduch Crisis.” I had never heard of it, but the Shidduch Crisis turned out to be a marriage crisis among Orthodox Jews remarkably similar to the one afflicting Mormons.
Both of these socially conservative communities are suffering from marriage crises that are testing not only their faiths but social norms as well.
The shadchan’s job has been made exceedingly difficult, she said, by a mysterious increase in the number of unmarried women within the Orthodox community.
When Elefant attended Jewish high school 30 years ago, “there were maybe three girls that didn’t get married by the time they were twenty or twenty-one,” she said.
Like several other western states, Utah actually has more men than women.
Utah’s ratio of men to women across all age groups is the fifth highest in the nation.
Overall, there are thousands of unmarried girls in their late twenties.“There might actually be a more promiscuous dating culture than there otherwise would be in the Mormon culture because of this gap.” Months later, still neck-deep in Mormon research, I got lucky again.I received an email from a hedge fund manager who wanted to talk to me about a job.Some biographical details have been altered to hide their identities.] Yes, she told me, the ratios are lopsided. “They wait for the next, more perfect woman,” grumbled Bowman, a veterinarian in San Diego.
Premarital sex remains taboo for Mormons, but the shortage of Mormon men was pushing some women over the brink.
Shidduch is the Hebrew word for a marriage match, and Orthodox Jews (including the more assimilated Modern Orthodox) now refer to the excess supply of unmarried women in their communities as the Shidduch Crisis. Or maybe it’s the women who are holding out for the Mormon or Jewish George Clooney?