Israel – Matchmaking rates in the ultra-Orthodox sector have risen significantly in the last months, along with the overall increase in prices. The hike is predominately felt among Ashkenazi families who seek to marry off their daughters to a distinguished family.
In recent years, the official matchmaking rate has stood at $1,000, paid by each of the two families to the matchmaker who found them the right shidduch. Until recently this has been the fixed price in all haredi communities and Hasidic branches.
However, due to the financial slump matchmakers have recently been forced to update their prices. But while yeshiva students continue to pay the old rates, the rate for working haredim has jumped to $1,300 per shidduch.
Meanwhile, another dramatic change has taken place in the matchmaking scene: While in the past Sephardic haredim used to reward their matchmaker with gifts, rather than with money, today payments in cash have taken over, although the rates remain relatively low: NIS 1,000 for each family.
But a matchmaker’s dream is still to find a shidduch for the members of the more distinguished families, mainly those of the admorim (Hasidic leaders). Such a shidduch contributes greatly to a matchmaker’s professional reputation, and while it is not customary to charge an admor’s child for the match, the other family could pay the matchmaker up to $1,500 for the prestigious find.
Modern Orthodox families, who don’t usually use the services of a matchmaker, are nevertheless willing to pay extremely high rates for shidduchim. One of the most popular matchmakers of the sector’s richest families, Miri Levi, charges $10,000 from her clients. Luckily for her, there are still enough people willing to pay these sums.