Matchmaker, Matchmaker…

January 17, 2012 by Odile Faludi
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What makes women leave their sleeping babies, flee their husband’s company and add to their already busy lifestyles to meet total strangers in coffee shops? It is currently happening  across the Sydney and Melbourne Jewish communities.

Odile Faludi couldn’t resist the temptation to find out what drives these professional and highly educated women to become match-makers for j-junction; the not-for-profit organisation leading the way in Jewish Continuity by introducing Jews of all ages.

j-junction matchmakers Sara, Tova, Naomi with baby Miera, Juliet, Jacky with baby Mia, Deanna and Ruth

These women have heart-warming stories to share. One match-maker, Jacky aged 53, recently said, “I get more satisfaction doing this than I did turning millions of dollars over in Hong Kong Bank.” She continued to say, “Her husband’s share price has risen since commencing this voluntary role over two years ago. I appreciate my husband more than ever and realise the importance of having a partner to share life’s ups and downs.” One universal response  all the women had was that by giving back to the community they had in fact reaped life changing rewards. Personally, they all felt they were more empathetic, had developed better people skills and more importantly enjoyed the adrenalin rush of matching Jewish people of all ages. j-junction has now had eleven weddings, eight babies, and over ninety people currently in existing relationships due to the fruits of their labour. For these women, it is these “feel good stories” that prompt them to want to do more. This is their choice of community service and they absolutely love it!

Deanna, aged 41, married with three children bursts with excitement when she says, “It’s like winning lotto when you make a match. I really shouldn’t be having this much fun. It has been such a positive experience being amongst all these wonderful ladies. We all have the same purpose, bringing happiness to other people’s lives.”

Ruth aged in her 70s, oozing with interests and energy, regards all match-makers as mitzvah-makers and confesses,  “I successfully matched my own two daughters, so I figure that gives me sufficient qualifications to be a match-maker.” With a wedding and a baby under her belt she is following the old age belief that performing mitzvahs is central to leading a Jewish life.

Juliet, aged 51, married with three children and a qualified social worker sums it up nicely, “I feel like a mother full of joy when there is a successful match. It can be a real struggle to find a like-minded person and I sense most of our members appreciate our genuine helping hand.”

Odile Faludi during the one hour interview with these four accomplished women couldn’t help but wonder where did their loyalty streak stem from for j-junction. After all, these women were not performing work which would help fund a cure for cancer nor any other illness for that matter. But, they proudly spoke about their voluntary work convinced they too were doing something significant for their community. So what is it about volunteering for j-junction that makes them feel like this? For these romantics at heart, it comes back to one word…Love. Charging through the well-known barriers that often block singles to meet, these fearless women make  connections happen. Their motivation is Jewish Continuity but beyond that it’s simply about giving the “hope of love”.


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