May 202009
 

I'm Signing Up for JDateI make the decision while brunching with Megan. One month ago. I’m enjoying the good food and great company when this totally random dude who tells Megan and me he’s in his mid 50s — though he looks 100% buff and I’d guess him at 45 or 47 tops — comes up to us and starts talking. He says he’s been sitting at a table nearby and he really enjoyed eavesdropping us as Megan and I giggled and told stories to each other. “You girls look like you’re having so much fun, like you’re enjoy life.” I’m not freaked out because I think his tone is polite small talk with stranger not creepy, lecherous old guy. Still, part of me wonders: What the hell does he want? Why is he even talking to us?!?! I’ve been in New York too long. If the same dude came up to my table at a restaurant in rural Illinois, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. Anyway. The guy goes on to explain he’s a native New Yorker and he loves all the different neighborhoods and he’s seen the city change so much and he opens his wallet to show us a picture of his father because he loves him so much and yada yada yada IT’S THE JEWS’ FAULT THE RENTS ARE SO HIGH IN THIS CITY!!!! THEY’VE [and, I'm directly quoting him here] “BEEN COMPLAINING ABOUT THE SAME THING FOR THE PAST 50 YEARS!!!”

Record scratch. I shit you not, Megan and I kind of tag glances at each other with wide eyes like: Are you fucking kidding me? Did he really just say that? It’s the 2000s, not 1930s. This is New York, not Kentucky. Is this guy for real? Unfortunately, he doesn’t stop talking and he keeps spewing a bunch of antisemitic bullshit. I don’t even hear him anymore because I start this crazy “what do I do?” inner dialogue: Do I go off on him and tell him he’s way out of line? Or, do I ignore him because he’s trying to pull me into an argument and anything I say will only fuel him? If I don’t say anything, will he think I agree with him? How do I tell him I think he’s an asshole without turning into the asshole who screams — because I know my temper and I definitely would’ve screamed it — “you’re an asshole” in the middle of the restaurant? And, so on and so on. Eventually, the dude walks away. I’m mad at him for being such an jerk, and I’m even more upset with myself because I didn’t do anything more than dismiss him by saying, “You know what? We’ve gotta go.” Megan and I get into this interesting discussion about TONS of stuff after that. I’m like, “Man, fuck him. How the hell could he say stupid shit like that without knowing anything about us? You’re white but you could’ve been Jewish. Hell, I could’ve been an Ethiopian Jew for all he knows. That boyfriend I almost married several years ago was Jewish.” So, time passes and we somehow switch the topic to dating. I have this random pro-Jewish moment / epiphany: I’m going to sign up for J-date. Why? Because: Why not? Why should I avoid a dating site simply because it predominantly features Jewish men? That night, I log onto JDate.com for the first time in my life.

“JDate was like this comfortable, trustworthy sweatshirt,” reads one of the site’s testimonials. My first thought? Who the hell doesn’t love a comfortable sweatshirt?!? I WANT A COMFY SWEATSHIRT!!! Great. I start setting up my profile. “What type of relationship are you looking for?” I check “a date,” “friend,” “a long term relationship,” and “activity partner.” In short, everything except “marriage” and “marriage and children.” This is fun, and it’s just like signing up for Match.com. I continue to the next page, but that’s where the site starts to show its Jewish card. Third question on screen two: “Do you keep kosher?” The choices are: “Only at home,” “At home and outside,” “To some degree” and “Not at all.” I pick the last one and I continue. Whew! So far, so good. And, I’m happy to see the “Your ethnicity?” question pop up because I think they’ve already taken it into consideration that the goyim are crashing the gates of the JDate.com party. Yay! I can’t wait to select “black / African American” but, to my surprise, here are the only choices:

  • Ashkenazi
  • Mixed Ethnicity
  • Another Ethnic
  • Sephardic
  • Will tell you later

Holy Moses! I don’t even know what any of those mean :( I click “Will tell you later” and continue to the next screen. Next question? “Your religious background?” Something tells me Dutch Reformed Protestant / Non-Denominational Christian isn’t on the list, and I’m right. Here are the selections:

  • Orthodox (Baal Teshuva)
  • Conservative
  • Conservadox
  • Hassidic
  • Modern Orthodox
  • Orthodox (Frum)
  • Another Stream
  • Reconstructionist
  • Reform
  • Secular
  • Traditional
  • Unaffiliated
  • Will tell you later
  • Willing to convert

Okay, so, maybe this is going to be harder than I thought. :) And, quite frankly, the next question is the one that makes me call it quits: “How often do you go to synagogue?” I stop filling out my profile because I feel like a poser. The site is sooooo not for me. Well, at least that’s what I thought until last night. Cut to dinner at Penelope with Andrea and two other women — one is Jewish. I tell her I’m considering signing up for JDate and, interesting enough, I’m surprised she really encourages me to go for it! But, I’m even more shocked by my own dormant stereotypes as well as what she reveals about her experiences with Jewish men on the site. “You know,” she starts, “I think it’s easier for non-Jewish women to find dates on JDate.” Now, I’m curious. She’s got my attention. “Really?” I scoot my chair a bit closer to hers. “Why do you think that’s true?” Kiddies, you’ll find out the answer to THAT … and hear other fun “Adventures on JDate” stuff … tomorrow. (I hate really really long blog posts.)

———–
Image by Amos Chris

  35 Responses to “I’m a Black Woman, and This Is Why I’m Signing Up for JDate.com”

  1. JDate.  Hm.  OK, that could be interesting.  I wouldn’t be into that (sounds too much like intentional religious segregation, not unlike eHarmony), but I hope you have fun with it.

  2. Ugh, eHarmony.  I signed up with them years ago.  They would not pair you with someone of a different race — it was so weird.  I think they got a lot of flack for that a few years ago and changed things up, but still. 

    I’m looking forward to seeing how JDate works out for you, though.  At the least, I’m sure it’ll make for great website fodder.

  3. 1. Wow, um, holy shit that was a horrible anti-Semetic tirade from that guy. From what depths of hate did that come from? That’s just…okay wow. I know bigots are everywhere but honestly, that’d be more in place even in a city like Chicago than New-frakin’-York City!

    2. Ashkenazi- Jews that are Central or Eastern European in background; Sephardic- Iberian (Spanish-Portuguese) and North African Jews. Of course mixed ethnicity means just that but considering the site, wondering if you are Jewish and something else. Especially if one’s father is Jewish as the lines are matrilineal.

    3. “I think it’s easier for non-Jewish women to find dates on JDate.” Now, I’m curious. She’s got my attention. “Really?”

    Totally! I know so many Jewish dudes who have that “I <3 Shiksas” shirt.

    Isn’t eHarmony run by a Christian conservative? That’d explain the homophobia the site has (to an extent), but I didn’t know eHarmony had a problem with interracial dating. ‘Tever.

  4. i’m really curious as to how things will turn out on jdate…you won’t know until you try…

  5. LOL this was funny!! I’m so interested to find out what happens!! I recently came across your blog and I LOVE IT! I’m also in NYC so I can relate to a lot of this stuff. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

  6. Baba Doodlius: Yeah, I’ve kind of shunned eharmony for a variety of reasons. I didn’t follow the case really closely, but they totally had a lawsuit brought against them (basis: they were antigay).

    Lauren @ LifeStyler: Lots of people don’t like eharmony for lots of different reasons, and it all seems to go back to this: They give off the impression that they think you should only date people who are EXACTLY like you. SNL did a funny spoof of the site a while ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVLyfEbAtCY.

    Aspasia: I know, right?? We were both kind of in shock. I mean, you know, one of the many reasons I chose to live in New York is because it’s generally more open-minded than other region in which I’ve lived.  I’M LOOK AT YOU, NORTH FLORIDA!!!

    letinstar: So try about LOTS of things in life. You don’t know until you try.

    Alexis: THANK YOU. I love all of my readers — new and old! :) If this is your first time around here, be sure to read the about and faq sections. And, if you want to read other things I’ve written, visit http://www.twannahines.com.

  7. [...] I left off halfway through a conversation about dating Jewish men and stereotypes about JDate. I’ve always had the impression guys on the site were mid-30 to [...]

  8. Wow. That hand grenade had a long fuse. I don’t know if I’d have seen that segue coming either.

    My best friend from college is on JDate, I think. I’ll have to ask her how that’s going. She talks about her life from about 1992 (before the boyfriend turned fiance turned husband turned guy she divorced and her kids) and before as her “younger, singler days.”

  9. when you do….. be true to you 2

    lamesabassman…….. from one who’s been there….. and smiled…. for… days….

  10. I dated a girl who has half Ashkenazi. She had the most beautiful eyes in the world. Nice lady-curves, too.

    I applaud your “Mix it up” method of fighting racism. :)

  11. I don’t appreciate the implication that people from Kentucky are anti-semites.  Making that generalization is really no different than saying what the man in your story said.

  12. Raymond: I know, right?!?!

    lamesabassman: :)

    Brenz: Thank you :)

    Raavynn: Dude, I’ve got nothing but love for you and the unbridled spirit!! :) As many of my longterm readers know, I was born in Illinois but I was raised in Mississippi and I also went to grad school in the south. I soooo don’t mean to offend any of my Kentucky-dwelling readers nor do I want to imply that everyone in Kentucky is antisemitic. :) Quite the contrary. The fact that the dude at the restaurant was a New Yorker shows, unfortunately, such views are present in the north as well. I randomly named Kentucky in this post, but I could’ve easily picked Indiana or the ‘Sip.

  13. No “Falasha” to be choiced? That are dark jews from Ethiopia. A number of them have moved to Israel some years ago.

  14. @pineas: I noticed that as well. The Mizrahi are not included either. There is a lot of inner-Judaic discrimination against those two groups. Lotta drama!

  15. @Aspasia @pineas: I’m sooo learning more about Jewish culture.

  16. We’re cool.

    Thanks for clearing that up.

  17. Interracial Amour is a new dating service where professional and collegiate white men (non-black men) can search exclusively for sophisticated black women.  In other words, the chase is on for beautiful black women. Visit us at http://www.InterracialAmour.com and read about our recruiting campaign.

  18. Im on eHarmony and getting off. I always wondered if Jewish men were attracted to BW. So…. you go girl. You go first I mean. hahahahahaha And report back! That was so damn funny. I cant wait to hear updates. “Thanks for letting a sistah roll……

  19. Just so you know, the Mizrachi (Eastern) Jews are included in Sephardic. But I’m way impressed you know about the term Mizrachi! Unfortunately, I agree there is a lot of discrimination within the Jewish dating world – sigh.

  20. Interracial Amour is a new dating service where professional and collegiate white men (non-black men) can search exclusively for sophisticated black women. In other words, the chase is on for beautiful black women. Visit us at http://www.InterracialAmour.com and read our recruiting campaign letter.

    Thank you,
    Interracial Amour

  21. On the jewish ethnicity choices, no option for the Lemba of Zimbabwe?  For those who don’t know, they derive from a tribe of jews several thousand years ago who, instead of venturing north and mixing with Europeans like the Ashkenazi, ventured south into Africa and mixed with the local people.  They follow the standard jewish traditions just as one would in Israel, knew their jewish history, but people outside their group generally doubted their story that they were in fact jews because it seemed farfetched; until in recent years when DNA and haplogroup testing has come along and, surprise surprise, they are in fact who they say they are – Jews.
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/Lemba_Jews.html

  22. [...] brewing about, the British boy & his girlfriend’s shoes, an update on my matchmaker, JDate stuff and a bunch of other things. I’ll post again later today. As always, if you need a more [...]

  23. So, this topic is old, but of special importance to me.  I am both black and Jewish and really, really scared to join JDate.  Will I be ignored?  Humiliated?  Is it a waste of time?  Anyone have any insight?  I’d really appreciate some feedback.

  24. Lu,

    I’m Black and Jewish too, and I think you’ll be fine on JDate. It hasn’t gotten me under a chuppah yet, but the people you don’t want to meet will leave you alone, in my experience.

    As for that ignant dude in the restaurant, I’m really not surprised at all by his unabashed expressions of anitsemitism. There are plenty of ppl in this country who subscribe to stereotypes whithout any attempt to examine them; unfortunately, since one of those distortioons is that Black folks are anti-Jewish goyim, there have been many occasions when one of those idiots cme up to me and started spewing that detritus. The fools all thought it was a declaration of togetherness. (“We’ve got one thing in common, right brutha?”)

  25. The interesting thing is when one is a black Jew, as I am, finding a black jewish female is so difficult. Even on the jewish sites.

    I encourage you to do it and I will look further at your other blogs for your progress. This was funny to read, I often have people spout off antisemitic comment in my presents or even to me without realizing that I am jewish. I am often very surprised at the level of thought (or rather lack thereof) that these individuals put forth.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Scott

    • Hey Scott, take a look here. The site is new and not well populated at this point, but it wouldn’t hurt to sign up. http://jocflock.org/
       
      Chag sameach,
      Nicky

  26. Scott or Zalel, I’m sorry to report that I’ve still chickened out of doing this, for the most part.  I got myself to set-up a pictureless profile for a few months, then got “brave” and slapped some pictures and information up there, but for another city.  I know, I know.  So cowardly.  After the chagim I’m hoping to get on it.  What luck have you had?  Are you currently on the site?  Do you get a lot of “bites”?

  27. I am a Black Woman, and I joined Jdate in 2006. I dated many guys from that site, but eventually found the one of my dreams. We are getting married in 10 days! Did you ever join? If not, then you should, unless you already attached of course.

    • Wow.  Bethany, how exciting.  Mazal Tov!
      No, I’m still only a voyeur, but I did say that I will join for real and so I will…very reluctantly (I’m insanely private in real life and the whole online thing, with a photo no less!, is way public for me). I appreciate your encouragement and I’m so happy for your big day.  Thank you for sharing such a happy ending/beginning!

  28. Jewish guys on J date it just may work yet, why not. my SO  is Jewish ( secular of course) and his neuroticism keeps me entertained,  and he’s smart and sweet, ( really sweet)he appreciates my sassy southern style and likes soul food. we sometimes both know what it feels like to suspect someone treated us a certain way because “im Black, or he’s Jewish” yeah he was teased in school for being ” a jew” and i can relate to that.

    then there ist he fact that you don’t have to get him a christmas gift, ( and ive learned Hannukah isn’t reallly as big as deal as its made out to be) you may also love his (presumable)big spirited family. and Mom’s cooking isn’t bad either.  Seeing his famillly together may makey ou feel that your family isn’t as crazy as you thought.

    I hope you snag a wonderful sweet man, of whatever ethnicity, and Jewish men, specifically Ashkenazi, who knew, get to him quick before the Asian girls do.
    hope you find your bashert.

  29. Is converted Khazarian from the 1100’s considered Jewish though we didn’t have Jewish mothers or fathers until we converted?

  30. DON’T FORGET

    WE ARE 2.5% OF THE POPULATION GOY!

  31. Hey, I know I am late commenting but I am very curious about dating Jewish guys. This will be a new adventure for me. I might have to sign up.

  32. [...] my girlfriend being black, thus confirming a stereotype that Jews enjoy dating African-Americans? http://funkybrownchick.com/2009/05/20/im-black-woman-and-this-is-why-im-signing-up-for-jdatecom/    http://www.topix.com/forum/afam/T0T17CEEJ9FN8970N   [...]

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