Rabbis are buying JDate memberships and at a discount, too

Three years ago, JDate initiated an unofficial program offering rabbis the chance to purchase memberships at 18 percent off the regular price. Since then, rabbis around the country have been buying in bulk and giving out free JDate memberships to congregants.

“Rabbis are trying to find more creative ways to help Jews meet other Jews,” said Arielle Wolin, manager of public and community relations at JDate.

Here’s how it works: A rabbi buys a group of gift certificates, each with its own code, which the recipient enters on the Web site to initiate the subscription.

The program began in November 2007, when a New Jersey rabbi contacted Wolin with the idea. Wolin said that about 30 rabbis have since followed suit across the country.

After Hurricane Katrina, the Jewish Federation in New Orleans offered free JDate memberships to make the city more attractive to Jews, and in 2008, an anonymous donor purchased 75 memberships on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City.

Rabbi Jonathan Kupetz of Temple Beth Israel in Pomona said his recipients are mostly older recent divorcees, while other rabbis find the gifts popular among Jews in their mid-20s.

“Part of what I’m concerned about as a rabbi is the future of the Jewish people,” Kupetz said.

For more information, contact

Arielle Wolin at (323) 658-3000 or [email protected]l.a. jewish journal