This is "Shabatness," an invite-only service that sets up young Jewish professionals over Shabbat dinners.
“Erin has tapped into a need, you still have to meet people in person no matter what because that kind of chemistry can never be imitated by technology.”Old-school matchmaking is making inroads onto the scene for the crowd of those sick of swiping their phones to no end.Aside from Davis’ Shabbat model, there are others trying to reinvent the process.“ And I realized it was an ideal environment for singles to meet each other.”She interviews singles and promises those selected for the dinner a potential partner, a night of unlimited alcohol and a meal, at her apartment or one of the guests' who chooses to host, all for just —a division of 18, or chai in Hebrew, a lucky number in Judasim—The idea became a business when Davis applied and received a fellowship through Presen Tense, a social entrepreneurial program with a focus on the Jewish community.Davis got access to mentors, donors and business classes to put her vision in place.Davis’ inspiration comes from her own grandmother, Rose Goldberg, who survived the holocaust in hiding after being sent to the ghettos of Wladimir Wolynsk in Poland.
“I used to think she was just this old-school sweet Polish lady,” Davis says.
And the recent rise of anti-Semitism across Europe is especially troubling to her, even thought it's not prevalent in New York.“It’s a huge passion of mine to take a direct role in stopping [anti-Semitism,]” she says. It’s inspired me to do whatever I can to continue the tradition and to modernize Shabbats to make them for the times today.
Davis incorporates bits of tradition into each dinner she hosts, whether it’s a group of modern Orthodox Jews or, what’s more common, a group of Secular ones.
’”A handful of miracle couples have come out of her dinners—and one marriage is on the way.
My own experience after Shabatness resulted in a handful of dates, a very classic courtship, and a typical falling out of disinterest by both parties—but it was a better match for me than any tech-assisted dating I’ve tried.
Train Spottings uses matchmakers, known as ‘conductors,’ who scope the New York City Subway scene for singles to match with clients.