The Shmooze

Yenta App Finds You a (Jewish) Match

By Emily Shire

  • Print
  • Share Share

In case you didn’t have enough grandparents, neighbors, and rabbis trying to make sure you don’t remain single and Jewish for long, your iPhone is getting in on the matchmaking game. Today, the New York Post reported that Yenta is a new app to solve your romantic and semitic woes.

In a similar model to the popular gay app Grindr, Yenta tracks your location on your phone and shows you a list of other single members of the tribe in the relative vicinity. However, while Grindr is used almost explicitly for finding a quick sexual encounter, Yenta desires to help you find your “Jewboo,” which is possibly the least sexually appealing term possible. In fact, creator Luba Tolkachyov made clear Yenta’s more innocent intentions. Viewing it as a twist on the ever-popular JDate, the app is meant to remove “the need for a lengthy profile,” he told the New York Post. Well, I certainly know I am looking for a Jewish soulmate who hates formulating sentences so much that a dating profile is unbearably strenuous for him to compose!

According to Tolkachyov, single Jews should be scoping out every environment with the potential for a shidduch, like the eagle stalking mountainous terrain for prey. He wants users to be able to “walk into a coffee shop and find out who’s Jewish and single around you,” he added. God forbid you buy your morning java and not be consumed with finding your future spouse; a moment spent not obsessing over finding your beshert, is a moment wasted.

The app is currently 10,000 strong worldwide, a drop in the bucket compared to Grindr’s 4 million plus. But, it’s still a sizable community for an app that’s only been available one month.

For the strict purpose of journalistic integrity, this intrepid reporter downloaded Yenta to test the app out. After being miffed it would not let me proceed without uploading a photo, I chose a group shot, so that no one could actually recognize me, which brings up an interesting issue. I nearly had a heart attack when I thought my finger slipped and hit the option to publicize on Facebook. While online dating has lost most (okay, some) of its stigma, apps for dating really aren’t there yet.

Yenta does try to ask those cute, Jewish matchmaking questions, like “How Jewish are you?,” “What’s your schtick,” and “What would impress your mother?” Yet, if it wants to be a dating, as opposed to hook-up, app, it’s going to need to provide more information about its users. Even if you want to, there really isn’t room to list your age, profession, or relationship status (don’t assume everyone on this is single). With so little personal information presented, it seems to set up users only for casual encounters — which probably won’t make you a hot commodity on the Jewish marriage market.

But who knows, with a little time, some more users, and less stigma, Yenta might just be the next step in 21st Century Jewish dating. There’s potential, if enough cynical, burned out, but still slightly hopeful single Jews begin signing up for Yenta.

But until then, I’m keeping the tracking feature off.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: yenta, jewish yenta, jewish dating, dating app

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.