Jewish Dating in the Digital Age

B’nai B’rith’s Young Professionals and St John’s Wood’s new Professional Plus Network for over 35’s

Report by Valerie Tesler

BB YP & SJW YJN’s Valentine’s Dinner

B’nai B’rith’s Young Professionals (BBYP) group joined forces with St John’s Wood’s new PPN (Professional Plus Network for over 35’s) for their joint annual ‘Wine & Dine’ event (Post-Valentine’s Dinner) in SoYo’s private room on Tuesday 21st February 2017.

Over 30 young professionals gathered in the restaurant’s upstairs room, in Golders Green, for an ‘exclusive’ three-course sit down meal and champagne.

The tables were decked out with red tablecloths, red heart-shaped helium and red and white heart balloons, heart-motif napkins, red heart-shaped confetti and fabric white rose petals, which were strewn across the tables.

As the guests arrived, they chatted and mingled over a glass of champagne before taking their seats along a large horseshoe-shaped table.

Jeremy Havardi from B’nai B’rith’s LBIA (London Bureau of International Relations) gave a short address on his work, meeting with Ambassadors and diplomats to promote Israel.

Rabbi Yoni Golker, Assistant Rabbi at SJW gave a short D’var Torah.

Participants enjoyed a selection of mezze with SoYo’s home-made dips to start, followed by a choice of sweet potato or French onion soup. For main course, they had grilled salmon with honey-roasted vegetables or stir fried noodles with vegetables.

They finished with the house-speciality Froyo (Soyo frozen yogurt) with a selection of toppings followed by a mint tea or americano coffee.

The informal dinner was an ideal way for young professionals to celebrate Valentine’s Day, together with friends and new faces, in a relaxed and casual setting.

Professional matchmaker Suzie Parkus gave a short but targeted address on the perils of dating in the digital age, advising people not to ‘over communicate’ online before arranging a meeting and the importance of “keeping the momentum going” and “getting the dating party started” after you first meet someone online.

“Get a date booked in asap’ she advised. “Seven days after you first get in touch online is the maximum.” She also warned daters not to go back online after the date either. “Use texting or Whats App only to plan when you’ll speak or meet up.”

Other digital dating advice included telling people to post both a head shot, body shot and ‘action shot’ on social media.

The evening ended with a raffle which raised around £100, with prizes including a free personal training session, a free session with a nutritionist, bottles of champagne and Carvo, a £20 SoYo voucher and a free place on one of Suzie’s courses, worth £279.

All proceeds will go towards supporting B’nai B’rith’s Food and Medical Aid programme in the Ukraine.

As the evening ended, people commented on what a relaxed and fun evening it had been.

“It was such a fun evening; the food was delicious and it was really great just to hang out and chat, while meeting new people.”