Sender Schwartz was a little older, he says, when he got married, and it was at that point that he decided that he was going to build an organization with an infrastructure committed to making shidduchim for young men and women.
Monday was the second time I met him. Actually, he didn’t call to say that he was here in New York or that he wanted to meet. He arrived at our office in Cedarhurst for Minchah, which takes place daily at 1:30 p.m. After everyone left, a man with a graying red beard remained seated on a couch against one of the office walls.
I noticed him sitting there and said hello and acknowledged that he was the man from Israel who has set in motion an organization that works around the clock on making shidduchim. I didn’t remember his name so asked him what it was again, and he responded that he is known as “Sender Shadchan.” I began to recall our last meeting a few years ago. Then I asked him his real name and he responded that it’s Sender Schwartz.
Sender employs scores of matchmakers or shadchanim in Israel, and they are not just people who casually or in their spare time try to make a shidduch here and there. Sender says that he is well aware from his own personal experience that there are too many young people left on the sidelines as the years move on.
So his organization, which is called “Bashert,” pays matchmakers a salary of $1,000 per month to work at matching people up and getting them married. It’s their job, and when they do make a match they usually earn an additional $1,500 to $2,000 from the respective families in the shidduch.
Sender Schwartz says that he knows there is a significant shidduch logjam in the worldwide frum community, and that’s what he is focused on addressing. He is here in the Five Towns this week to raise money for his efforts and to put together a mechanism emulating his Israel-based efforts to make shidduchim here.
For now, Sender says, he has begun working in Lakewood and has already had some success. He’d like to set up a similar operation in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Five Towns.
I ask him how he does it and what kind of results he has had so far. Schwartz travels with books of names of young people who are in the market, so to speak, for a shidduch. He has two thick books, he says; one is for chassidish people like himself, and the other is what he refers to as yeshivish.
The interesting or perhaps unusual aspect of this, he points out, is that the book that he calls “Chassidish” consists of 80% young men and just 20% young women. The “Yeshivish” book features the exact opposite—80% women and 20% men seeking a shidduch through his good offices.
You can probably compute why there is this type of divide between the various communities. One of the fundamental differences in my mind is that in the chassidish community, a lot of the details are worked out prior to the young man and woman even meeting in most cases.
So how does Sender do it? What exactly is the process he uses that has allowed him to claim that his group, “Bashert,” has made over 800 shidduchim in the last five years? That’s quite a record.
Schwartz says that his preferable formula is for the boy or girl to meet him and two of four shadchanim—two men and two women—along with the young man or young woman’s parents. So there are seven people in the conference room under optimal circumstances. This way, he says, the matchmakers can hear clearly from the young people as well as from the parents the type of match they are seeking.
As an alternative, Sender says, if it is not possible for everyone involved to meet, then Plan B is the more conventional route of a résumé and a photo—usually of the young lady, not as often for the young man.
On his current trip to the U.S., Sender is setting up an office in Lakewood and recruiting shadchanim to work under his direction along the lines of the process he developed in Israel. If you are interested in joining the Bashert team, contact Sender at firstname.lastname@example.org.