As Valentine’s Day, February 14, approaches, the thoughts of young men and women turn naturally to dating. For young Jewish men and women, does it automatically mean dating other Jews? Not always. The National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY), the youth movement of the Orthodox Union, is therefore initiating a campaign timed to coincide with Valentine’s Day about the importance of dating and marrying Jewish.
A highlight of this program will be the next pamphlet in the NCSY Torah on One Foot series, which covers a variety of vital topics for Jewish teens. The newest addition, “Dating Jewish” by Rabbi Jack Abramowitz, includes sections derived from traditional Jewish sources on, What is Love? But Love Isn’t The Only Thing, as well as Why Date and Marry Jewish? Information will be also available on a new web site, www.whydatejewish.com, which will be officially launched as of February 14, in addition the NCSY web site, www.ncsy.org. A free copy of “Why Marry Jewish?” by Doron Kornbluth, a noted teacher and lecturer, is being offered on the web site to Jewish teens.
The Torah on One Foot pamphlet and the web site will include much information to explain the importance of dating Jewish, as well as the ramifications of dating non-Jews and intermarriage. The pamphlet includes Biblical sources that emphasize the importance of marrying another Jew; it also discusses the significance of preserving one’s personal commitment to Judaism, and why it is not intolerant to date and marry only other Jews.
According to Rabbi Abramowitz, creator and author of the NCSY Torah on One Foot series, “In our society, people think it’s ‘intolerant’ to refuse to date people of other religions. But non-smokers might not date smokers and vegetarians might not date meat eaters. It’s not intolerant to limit your dating pool to certain like-minded individuals.”
According to Rabbi Steven Burg, National Director of NCSY, “People are concerned about marrying Jewish but they don’t realize that the first step that is taken is dating Jewish. The purpose of this campaign is to get this point across. Though this campaign will begin on Valentine’s Day,” said Rabbi Burg, “the message here is eternal.”