PLEASE NOTE: ‘Jewish Matchmaking’ is not appropriate for a Jewish audience. Period.Join our WhatsApp group
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NEW YORK (VINnews) — Netflix has released yet another show which highlights the orthodox Jewish community–a ‘shidduch-oriented’ reality show entitled “Jewish Matchmaking.”
Notable frum Jews have huge praise for the show, in terms of substance and entertainment value. However some feel that while it accurately depicts the “Jewish” system of matchmaking, it does not reflect “Orthodoxy”.
Allison Josephs of “Jew in the City”, who interviewed star Aleeza Ben-Shalom, had high praise on her blog for Netflix and Ben-Shalom.
“Jewish Matchmaking is an honest and real portrayal of the beautiful Jewish values we are all striving to live by, told through the lens of singles trying to get together and find ‘the one’”, she wrote.
She added, “Instead of relying on tropes and false, incriminating stereotypes, they show real people — Aleeza ben Shalom being the star…She is warm, open, inviting and truly devoted to helping other Jewish singles find their match. Her energy transcends the screen — you feel like you just want to give her a big hug and have all your problems melt away.”
On Twitter Josephs posted, “Jewish Matchmaking on @netflix is fabulous. We’ve been critical of Jewish representation on Netflix before, but credit where credit is due. There’s Jewish joy and wisdom, complex characters who are diverse and likable. Kol kavod and more like this please.”
Incidentally, I binge watched it on Yom Hashoah with a press screener, so we could roll out content on premiere day. It was a strangely perfect show to watch then because it’s about Jewish continuity, and it feels great to see proud Jews on the big screen.
— Allison Josephs (@jewinthecity) May 3, 2023
Ben-Shalom described to Josephs how she uses her talents and people skills to encourage people to grow and adapt Jewish values. “I’m very accepting and I’m great with who you are,” she shared.
Josephs wrote, “From there, she’ll try and encourage them to take something on, like shomer negiah, or the act of not touching the opposite sex — mainly the person you’re dating — until marriage as a way of gaining more clarity in the dating process, for example.”
However despite the rave reviews, the show is apparently not meant to depict orthodoxy.
The show should be called "Matching people who happen to be jewish through a Shadchan"
— ay (@aimhumor) May 4, 2023
Popular frum satirist “Aim Humor” tweeted: “If you’re looking for entertainment, that it is.
I like the shadchan, she’s a class act and really represents us well.The show is called jewish matchmaking not heimish matchmaking, so don’t expect awkward first dates in a hotel lobby with the hat and jacket v’hameivin yavin”
He added, “The show should be called “Matching people who happen to be jewish through a Shadchan”
Mishpacha’s Alexandra Fleksher wrote: “Aleeza is likeable. This is everything on TV. She’s warm, engaging & has star quality to boot. So you’ve got a lovely frum woman in a sheitel or scarf sharing Jewish beliefs, wisdom, & values on @netflix. I say that’s a big win.”
She also observed that this show is not intended (or maybe even appropriate) for a religious audience. “Message for frum people: This show isn’t made for us. Sure I’d be interested in more frum couples. But the big picture is she’s sharing Jewish wisdom with her secular clients, and the world. Overlook the crass Hollywood stuff. There’s a greater good.”
Message for frum people: This show isn’t made for us. Sure I’d be interested in more frum couples. But the big picture is she’s sharing Jewish wisdom with her secular clients, and the world. Overlook the crass Hollywood stuff. There’s a greater good. (2/2)
— Alexandra Fleksher (@alexfleksher) May 3, 2023
Benyamin Cohen, News Director at the Forward, observed that contrary to its name, the show does not focus heavily on Judaism.
He wrote, “When Ben Shalom asks singles what they’re looking for in a spouse, they rattle off a typical checklist: someone who’s good-looking, likes to travel, can tolerate cats. One Harley-riding single says if the other person doesn’t like motorcycles, it’s a deal-breaker. Another is obsessed with a potential mate’s eyebrows. There’s nothing overtly Jewish about it. Religion rarely even comes up. Which, you know, kind of negates the title of the show.”