Aleeza Ben Shalom: The Jewish Matchmaker
Since the time Abraham sent his servant to find a suitable bride for his son, arranged marriages have been a time-honored tradition in the Jewish faith. On today’s podcast, host Yael Eckstein, President and CEO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, welcomes Aleeza Ben Shalom, star of the Netflix series Jewish Matchmaking, to explore this tradition and how she is continuing this ancient practice today. Over the past 16 years, Aleeza has helped more than 200 couples find their soulmates, and she shares with Yael her discoveries on what makes a successful match — and more importantly, a lasting marriage. You won’t want to miss this intriguing conversation!
In 2007, Aleeza Ben Shalom took a risk and launched a home-based matchmaking service in the time-honored Jewish tradition. Since then, she has parlayed that into a robust online matchmaking service with courses on dating and coaching, two podcasts, and most recently, a hit series on Netflix, Jewish Matchmaking.
“Even from a young age, I was interested in relationships and marriage,” said Aleeza, a self-professed soulmate and clarity coach and in-demand speaker and author on the topic. “I grew up as a secular Jew, so we were always trying to set each other up – but me more than anybody else.
“I did make a few matches back then, and so after I had gotten married and had two young children, I was exploring what I could do from my home while giving back to the community. A friend of mine was a part-time matchmaker online, and I was like, ‘tell me more, what does that mean?’ And that was really how I got my foot in the door,” said the mother of five.
Aleeza, who became an observant Orthodox Jew in her mid-20s, brings her faith and modern technology to her practice. In addition to social media and other digital resources, Aleeza and her team of matchmaking coaches also utilize faith-based databases from around the globe and across religions.
“What we have found is [what] faith-based matchmaking has in common. Number 1, we all believe in a Higher Power, and Number 2, we are all looking to marry someone who has this deep connection with their roots and their faith, because we know that’s the foundation and core of building a relationship,” she told Yael.
While Aleeza works with a variety of couples — both secular and religious — on the show Jewish Matchmaking, she said the primary qualification for helping someone find a soulmate is that the person be “marriage-minded.”
“I first talk to people about their vision, their timeline. If their intention is to get married in maybe four years or whatever, I call that dating-minded. You just want to date people until you maybe find the right person,” Aleeza said. “To me, someone who is marriage-minded is looking to find that right person right now – someone who is committed to figuring out ‘are you my person?’”
As Aleeza said, it’s never too late to find your match and soulmate. In fact, she said, she recently helped a friend’s mother, who was 89, find a match. “She already knew this one gentleman who was interested in her. It was more a matter of helping her to see that this person might just work. And it did! Her son was so happy, and she was so happy!”
For more of this fascinating look behind-the-scenes of matchmaking, watch the podcast with Aleeza Ben Shalom and Yael Eckstein at the IFCJ YouTube page. Or listen to the podcast here.