You'd think that South Florida, with one of the largest Jewish populations in the U.S., would be a mecca for young people looking to marry within the faith. How many times has your Bubbe tried to set you up with a nice young doctor whose great-aunt is her neighbor in Boca?
But that's precisely the problem. The local Jewish population is mostly composed of your grandma's mahjong partners. The median age for Jews in Broward is 59; in Palm Beach, it's a whopping 70. None of this is conducive to procreation.
Enter Jay Nightingale, a 32-year-old IT consultant in Plantation. He knows plenty of people, thanks to years working as a DJ and bartender, and he knows many friends are not getting laid (in the strictly Biblical sense).
A few years ago, he and two friends started jsoulmate.com, a free online dating service that lets members chat with Jews all over the world. The site's mission statement: "You can not put a price on Jewish traditions and helping future generations. Together we can make a difference."
But people kept asking Nightingale where they could find the young, kosher crowd locally, and avoid the 45-year-old divorcées who tended to invade young professional events. So two years ago he started JYP2030, an organization that throws events strictly aimed at people between the ages of 20 and 40.
"It was easier for me to do it," Nightingale says."I'm very outgoing and I don't mind helping other people."
Today he says he has about 2,000 members, who can join through his website, Facebook page, and Meetup group. The drink and dance at Hard Rock, meet at coffee bars, bowling alleys, and comedy clubs. Nightingale says some couples have met through his website and events, but plenty of people are still searching.
His next event is Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Fresh Aroma Coffee Bar, 3656 W.Hillsboro Boulevard, Deerfield Beach. Nightingale promises there will be a belly dancer and delicious hummus. For more info, click here.