Looking at JDate’s latest ad—which has been making quite a bit of buzz in the Jewish blogosphere—I’m not sure exactly how to react.
Is this ad trying to appeal to women? Does “leaving it to fate” mean my future husband will be some schlubby-looking guy who ties a sweater around his shoulders? All I can think is this ad makes Jewish women look shallow. A nice boy helps pick up your books and you’re disgusted that’s he’s not Jake Gyllenhaal?
What I find most grating about the ad isn’t the cryptic message, but how it reduces Jewish dating to a single frame. It seems to appeal to self-hating Jews, as if the words, “I want to marry a Jewish man, but not one that looks like this” scrawled into a thought bubble above the girl’s head.
What’s more, I fear that this ad furthers the inclusive and (no pun intended) holier-than-thou stereotype of Jews in society. Suddenly, the commercialization of it all makes me question why I myself have made it such a priority to marry a Jewish man.
Looking at this ad is like looking into a mirror to my soul (woah, deep). I’m definitely part of JDate’s target audience, a 22-year-old single Jewish girl. But, am I that girl in the ad? Am I superficial for being choosey about the chosen ones?
Like most young Jews, I’m a bleeding-heart liberal and I would never even think to judge an interracial or interfaith couple. Though, I did feel a slight resentment toward the Bachelorette last season when she gave the final rose to a nice Jewish boy.
The idea of dating only Jews isn’t shallow at all, when you think about. To want to date a Jew is to say that you are looking for someone who shares similar values and a common spirituality. Still, when this idea is reduced to a one-sheet, it loses the deeper meaning behind the Jews-only philosophy.