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New Show about Jewish Dating

Those involved in the Jewish dating scene now have a new web series which aims to tell their story“From Date to Mate.” Produced by Shalom TV, the show tries to depict “the world of the desperately seeking 20-something New York Jew with vivid storylines, strong characters and impressive production values.” But according to the Forward, there is one line the show won’t cross – none of the characters will end up intermarried.

Mark Golub, president and CEO of Shalom TV, said that when the premise for the show was brought to him, he “only asked that no matter where the script went that it did not advocate intermarriage in the end.” He went on to say that he is “not about to suggest on Shalom TV that it doesn’t matter in the end whether a Jew marries a non-Jew or not.”

This doesn’t mean the show will completely ignore interfaith relationships. One character, Justin, has just broken up with a non-Jewish girlfriend and still longs for her. He only joined JMatch (the real-life Jewish dating website that sponsors the show) to make his mother happy.

“From Date to Mate” is supposed to be modeled on “The Office” or “The Hills,” faux-reality shows that are scripted but seem like a documentary. It’s ironic, then, that the show won’t explore more deeply interfaith relationships. We understand that JMatch is designed to help Jews meet other Jews, but creating a world where intermarriage doesn’t happen is quite the opposite of reality for most American Jewish families.

We think Golub is right when he says that it does matter whether or not a couple intermarries. It matters because it’s happening. But he is being somewhat disingenuous in assuming that portraying intermarriage equals advocating for intermarriage. Recognizing that people intermarry doesn’t mean the show has to take a position one way or the other. The subject is complex, and the show could easily use an objective lens to help explore and unpack the many challenges that come with interfaith relationships.



5 Comments

  1. Of course intermarriage is a reality in the Jewish community but this show is not about that. It’s about young Jewish men and women specifically looking for Jewish mates. Shalom TV and Jmatch want Jews to marry other Jews so portraying interfaith relationships defeats the purpose. Joi should produce it’s own show that protrays interfaith dating and intermarriage instead of relying on anti-intermarriage groups to do that.

    Comment by Miri — January 5, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

  2. it’s a good premise for a web series but ignoring the interfaith issue makes it seem unrealistic, especially since many Jews in their 20’s do interdate even if they wind up marrying someone Jewish in the long run.

    Comment by h. — January 6, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

  3. This show doesn’t ignore the interdating issue. One of the male characters has a non-Jewish ex-girlfriend whom he had a long-term relationship with. He pointed out that her being a non-Jew had nothing to do with their break-up. Shalom TV may be anti-intermarriage but they’re portraying all interfaith relationships as being bad.

    If the show was about the general secular Jewish dating scene then it would be unrealsitic to not portray interfaith relationships, but the show is not about that. It’s about Jewish singles wanting to date and marry other Jews. Portraying interfaith relationships would be anomaly to the show.

    Comment by Miri — January 6, 2010 @ 6:00 pm

  4. Oops! I meant to write that “Shalom TV may be against intermarriage but they are not portraying interfaith relationships as being all bad.”

    Joi should create their own show about interdating. I would watch.

    Comment by Miri — January 6, 2010 @ 6:04 pm

  5. Wow, From Date To Mate is a really good show! I just caught up on the first 3 episodes… I can’t wait for the next one. The whole cast is superb, the writing is great, the story lines feel like they are straight out of my own dating/single life! I can’t say enough about this show. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! I hope it’s catching on to a large audience! People need to watch!!!

    Comment by Sam — March 15, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

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