I’m willing to venture a guess that most of us are on JDate to find dates who are “J.” In other words, it’s probably important for most of us to meet other Jewish people to date and ultimately marry. I think this is a pretty reasonable goal and assumption; after all, that’s why JDate exists as a separate site from one of the big, all-encompassing options.  So imagine the dismay of someone (let’s call her Sarah) who meets a nice young man on a Jewish site (let’s call him Dan) who turns out to not be Jewish! And he didn’t have one Jewish parent or some distant Jewish relatives, or heck, even Jewish friends – he was not even familiar with Judaism.

It would be one thing if Dan had advertised his Christian status on the site and Sarah agreed to meet him with this knowledge, but he hadn’t. Plus, he even endorsed that he was conservative under the denomination category, which there was no reason to doubt.  When it gradually became clear to Sarah that Dan wasn’t Jewish, Sarah asked why Dan would be on a Jewish dating site. The answer? It was just another way to meet girls – he just didn’t understand that Jews on the site were looking to meet each other, and he hadn’t realized that his presence might be deceitful.

This scenario actually occurred, with names and details changed, of course.  And I can tell you that there was no malicious intent or hard feelings by either party involved – just disappointment, especially because the couple had been otherwise quite compatible.  But this got me thinking… how does one treat a non-Jew on JDate? Do people who say they are willing to convert or not at all Jewish have any success on the site? Does JDate have any responsibility in preventing the above situation?  I really have no answers here – just lots of questions!

I’ve always found it curious that “not willing to convert” and “not sure if I’m willing to convert” are profile options… there aren’t a ton of these profiles, but I’ve seen a few out there on the interwebs. If you happen to be reading this and you’re a non-Jew on JDate, please, enlighten me: I’m not judging – truly curious! And thank you for being upfront about your religious status. But what do you all think? If you are Jewish, have you met non-Jews on JDate? If you aren’t Jewish, are you actively seeking Jews?  In the meantime, you can find me on Christian Mingle.com.  Nothing like a [bad] joke to end a more serious post, right?

  1. I’m a little late to this article but figured “Hey, I represent the demographic spoken of here, so why not comment?” Yes, I’m a non-Jew considering setting up a profile on JDate. Why? Because I believe that the Jewish culture (regardless of religious denomination) has basic core family, ethical, moral, and social values that I find very important to myself and I find rather difficult to find in the American population at large. I truly believe that shared core values are important to successful marriage and family (including the future generations of that family). So it made perfect sense to me to try out a online dating service that increased my odds of finding a values like-minded man.

    My gentile family has already maritally merged with a (admittedly generally non-practicing but culturally) Jewish family which gave me a more personal appreciation of the culture and ability to witness with my own eyes such unions work. All involved have been happily married more than 8 years.

    As far as the writer’s experience of dating a misrepresenting (eh…i.e. lying) gentile on JDate…I think the main issue isn’t the non-Jew status. I think it is the fact that this individual LIED. And that says more about the character of the individual gentile and his/her core inability to respect a culture outside of his/her own than what it says about gentiles who go on JDate as a whole. I mean what kind of person tries to intimately connect with an individual of outside culture without at the least seriously trying to learn about and appreciate that culture? And then lies about being completely ignorant just to get a date?! I mean, come on!

  2. I am not Jewish but have for some reason found myself spiritually attracted to Jewish women. The reason I ended up on this post is my investigating how acceptable on Jdate it is to have a gentile as a prospect. I imagine for some, if you are clear and honest from the get go, it would not be a problem. For those looking to maintain a Jewish religious continuum it is probably imperative, if all else is dandy, the non-Jew would convert to Judaism. Others may only accept someone born a Jew. The more ethnocentric might only accept someone who is say, Ashkenazi. At the end of the day, if everyone is honest about it, then everyone gets what they want. The people who are not as fussed could enter a loving relationship which may well end up being between two Jews. People more inclined to seek those with a Jewish background will gravitate towards those who fit that criteria. etc. etc.

  3. Okay, I’m late to the game as well but found this post because of my own curiosity about the question and Google’s search algorithm. I’m an atheistic/apathetic Gentile from the most a-religious nominally Christian family ever: never baptized; only been to church for weddings; Xmas and Easter are totally divorced of their religious significance. I grew up in a large, predominantly Jewish suburb of Chicago; the majority of my friends have always been Jewish; my closest friends and our closest family friends are Jewish; I’ve been to, like, three dozen bar/bat mitzvahs and feel more comfortable in a synagogue as part of Jewish liturgical services than I could ever feel in a church (I can even recite some of the Hebrew prayers); I’m well versed in Jewish history, in Jewish ethnic and religious divisions, in Israeli politics. Most importantly, like the others have said, as a result of all this I have the same values, which, let’s be honest, are all together unique among American subgroups.

    I’m also a gay dude, and I attribute my relatively benign adolescence to having grown up among Jews: the culture is very open-minded and progressive, understanding of other minorities, charitable, welcoming, supportive… I was never, ever bullied by or experienced “microaggressions” from my Jewish peers. I realize how privileged I am to have grown up in this environment, and am so grateful and appreciative of Judaism. In sum, culturally I guess I just identify with it. (I know these are all generalizations and don’t always apply, but in my experience they apply more frequently to Jewish people than other groups.)

    Plus, probably because all my male friends were Jewish during my formative years, I tend to have a visceral attraction to “Jewish” features—to the extent that they exist. (I mean, I recognize that that’s a bit of a problematic concept, and there’s a history of dangerous stereotypes that have sprung from it, and Ashkenazim, like any other European peoples, come in all “shapes and sizes”—hell, my mom is Middle Eastern but I’m dirty blond and pale af because my Czech dad is blind/blue, so I get it.)

    Anyway, I’m not on JDate only because I’m not really looking to seriously date at the moment, but I’ve definitely thought about signing up when that changes. My biggest concern is that it’s a space designed for Jewish people, and, as a gay person, I understand how important those spaces can be and how it can feel like other people are intruding. (When you’re at a gay bar, it can feel uncomfortable when a group of straight ladies looking to celebrate a bachelorette party or whatever show up, or if you try to strike up a conversation with a dude only for him to immediately be like, “Oh, I’m not into guys.”) I’d also worry that it comes across as ethnic/racial fetishism, which is just… really gross.

    So that’s where I’m coming from. I think it’s something I would try but I’m definitely not 100% sure that it’d be appropriate or fair to, you know, ACTUAL Jewish people…

    1. I found all of the responses very interesting. I am brand new to Jdate so I don’t know how common this issue is. I also believe that if you are upfront about your religion and about why you are on this site, then it is not a problem. (As Sarah said, it’s the LYING!) As for my own experience, I never imagined that I would marry a non-jew. Well, I hit it off with a friend of a friend, got married, had kids, and there were times when we just didn’t understand each other. But mostly, for our 17 years, we did pretty well. People often assumed he was Jewish, not because of his looks, but because he just SEEMED Jewish. He died 3 years ago and here I am starting over again. So I’m telling you non-jews who feel pulled here – put yourself out there and state your case, just like everybody else. Also, August, I don’t know how Jdate is for gay people, but I for one want to give you a big hug! I hope when you are ready, you find a nice Jewish boy… a doctor maybe?!

  4. Wow.

    Geez. I hope that wasn’t me!?
    Oh, no. If it was then I did not know it was such an offense.
    But I never did talk to any person at all even once!
    Or even spend much time there.
    It was mainly a joke & how poorly I was treated on other sites just doing some research for a personal observation.
    I’m sorry if it was. I have no friends. 🙁
    And in fact, I kinda despise some Christians… The truth will set you free?!?!

    I mean. It’s not like my name wasn’t obvious!

  5. Hey everyone,

    I’m a gentle (Christian) but for some reason I’m really deeply and spirituality connected to Jews. I want to marry a Jewish man, and I am more than willing to convert and raise our children Jewish. But my question is, whether this is possible. Can this happen?

    I’ll do anything for a Jew. And I’ve invested all that I can into a future that looks more ‘Jewish’ so if I doesn’t workout, then I’ll guess I’ll be lost for a little while.

    Please comment/really. Hope to hear from someone soon, and get some advice. :))

    And I’m 18 by the way! Hello from Australia 🙂 xxxx

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