By Sarah E. Richards

    Dec. 5, 2004

DOMINICK COPPOLA, 22, an estate that is real from Brooklyn, wants a confident, smart and open-minded girl who shares his passion for walks within the park, sushi and house cooking. He previously some fortune conference females through Web online dating sites like AmericanSingles.com, nonetheless they had been matches that are rarely good. He then discovered just just what he now considers an on-line gold mine — JDate, a webpage that bills itself as “the biggest Jewish singles network.”

Although he’s Catholic by delivery and upbringing, Mr. Coppola has very long preferred up to now women that are jewish. “If a woman walks by in a club, and I also’m drawn to her, it always ends up she is Jewish,” he said. “My buddies state we have actually Jew-dar. I decided to choose the chances.”

Mr. Coppola is certainly one of a number that is growing of that have recently signed on to JDate, that was created in 1997 as a site for bringing Jews together. How many non-Jews on the website is hard to calculate: 50,000 of their 600,000 people identify by themselves as consistently “unaffiliated,” nonetheless they consist of Jewish users that don’t desire to determine by themselves as “secular” or with any sect that is particular. But interviews with individuals whom utilize JDate declare that gentiles have grown to be a presence that is increasingly visible the past few years (complete disclosure: this reporter is one of them) on a website which was built to promote mating inside the tribe.

The causes non-Jews look for Jewish mates differ inside their particulars, but generally appear to come right down to the old notion of the nice boy that is jewish woman. Agnes Mercado, a Catholic assistant that is administrative western Hollywood, had never ever also met a Jew until she immigrated through the Philippines 15 years back. However in October, only a little over a year following the loss of her Jewish boyfriend of 13 years, she put an advertising on JDate that read, “we am a gentile in search of my mensch, have you been available to you? I would like to become your shiksa along with your partner for a lifetime.” Ms. Mercado, 40, stated that her belated boyfriend was in fact “a form soul” and that she thinks their Jewish upbringing offered him a beneficial character. She’s got just started seeing a 44-year-old Jewish guy she came across through your website, and it is prepared to transform if things have severe. “If We have young ones, I would personally like to raise them Jewish,” she said. “It is therefore ancient and filled with traditions that produce feeling for me.”

Another non-Jewish JDate member, Mark (whom insisted that their final title never be used, to guard their privacy), is at very very first reluctant to become listed on the website. A 48-year-old expert activities mentor from Wayne, N.J., he had been raised “vanilla Protestant,” while he place it; although he checked the “unaffiliated” package inside the profile, he felt he “should have put ‘Christian in hiding.’ ” But he’d dated a Jewish woman for quite some time, ended up being more comfortable with Jewish tradition (“we knew more info on her holiday breaks than she did”), and felt that Jewish females “hold onto tradition — that is important.” He included which they additionally “take proper care of on their own — they simply appear to be more put together.”

Krissy Kerwin, 31, a self-described lapsed Catholic and a cook in Encino, Calif., stated she joined up with JDate for 30 days in order to find a neighbor that is old. After she had been contacted by a number of interesting males on the webpage, however, she stretched her account. “the people we’ve met appear to be a bit that is little while having their values intact,” she stated. She does worry though that stress on some men that are jewish marry inside their faith implies that she is “O.K. up to now, although not good sufficient to marry.”

Conventional stereotypes are alive and well, relating to Robin Gorman Newman, the writer of “How to satisfy a Mensch in brand New York” (City & business, 1995) and a coach that is dating a few non-Jewish consumers whom state they like to date Jews. “a great deal of girls genuinely believe that Jewish dudes understand how to treat females, she said so they want one. ” From the flip side, non-Jewish dudes genuinely believe that Jewish ladies will require charge and also make their everyday lives easier.”

This is the central theme of “Jewtopia,” the comedy that exposed off Broadway in October, which satirizes both Jewish anxiety about intermarriage additionally the intimate desire of non-Jews for Jews. The play is advertised as ” the tale of a gentile who would like to meet a girl that is jewish he will never need to help make another decision.” It follows the travails of the Jewish guy whom falls for a Mongolian woman; their moms and dads can not determine whether their joy that this woman is a physician outweighs their dismay at her maybe not being Jewish.

The issue of intermarriage is not at all funny to some Jews, of course. The newest information available, through the nationwide Jewish Population Survey of 2000-2001, reveal that 47 per cent of Jews whom married after 1996 decided on a spouse that is non-Jewish a rise of 13 % from 1970. In the event that trend continues unabated, some fear, it might trigger the end regarding the american community that is jewish.

Jonathan D. Sarna, the writer of “American Judaism: a brief history” (Yale University Press, 2004) and a teacher of this subject at Brandeis University, contends that while gentiles who marry Jews may embrace Jewish traditions and pass them in with their kiddies, such dedication is not likely to endure significantly more than a generation in a blended family members. “Jews are much more vulnerable to being liked to death than persecuted to death,” he stated.

Offered those issues, some members that are JDate lower than delighted about outsiders on the website. Jill Flegenheimer, a computer that is 51-year-old from Livingston, N.J., was recently contacted by a guy on the internet site whom informed her he jpeoplemeet had been Catholic. “we said, ‘You have actually Catholic children. We have Jewish children. I do not see the next.’ Women on JDate are searching for Jewish husbands if not they would be on Match.com.” And Stephanie Rodin, 30, legal counsel from Manhattan, stated she’s got seen non-Jews on the internet site but has prevented them. “It defeats the reason,” she stated. “I’m like, ‘Get your very own web web site!’ “

David Siminoff, the main administrator of JDate’s Los Angeles-based moms and dad business MatchNet, defends the website’s unrestrictive policy. “I’m maybe maybe perhaps not planning to inform a person who desires to engage in Jewish tradition you cannot come online,” he said, although he included that JDate is actually oriented toward Jews. He stated the business is considering adding a “willing to convert” choice into the faith category.

Mr. Coppola, the estate that is real, stated no body has ever admonished him to be on a niche site designed to encourage Jews to generally meet and marry other Jews. Nevertheless, he doesn’t promote their back ground inside the written profile.

Because he could be maybe not Jewish, he allows females contact him. “we react, ‘You probably determined at this point i am maybe maybe not Jewish,’ ” he said, incorporating that their status as a gentile have not appeared to be a challenge: he’s got gone on about one date per week since he joined up with JDate last year, and it has had a few relationships that are monthlong.

But Mr. Coppola concedes which he does often wonder if he could be wanting to enroll in a club that will not desire him. “I feel a rabbi will probably knock down my door he said because I feel I’m doing a disservice to Jewish culture.