When Lior Genish, 29, a Sabra living in New York City, first joined the Jewish dating app JSwipe on an impulse last year, she did not expect to meet her husband through the dating app.
But she had nothing to lose.
“I saw that all my friends were on it, and I had no desire to join until one night I was bored and lonely and needed to make a change in my life,” Genish told The Jewish Week.
Though she met a few nice guys through JSwipe, none of them felt like “the one.” Then she met Chen Genish, today her husband. “Right away I knew there was something special there.”
Chen proposed to Lior on July 4, 2015 and they got married in Israel this fall, JSwipe’s first successful match.
In the subsequent year and a half, hundreds of other couples have followed suit, according to JSwipe founder David Yarus.
“When JSwipe users are successful, they delete the app,” Yarus explained in a phone interview with The Jewish Week. “And because not all users will write to let us know they were successful, we don’t have exact numbers, but we know it’s in the hundreds, and we’ve even been informed of a couple of JSwipe babies.”
Yarus is glad that JSwipe is bringing so many couples together for serious relationships.
“With technology so prevalent in our lives, the ability to use the latest and greatest technology to find Jewish love is a game changer,” he said. “Now the same tools and innovation available to the broader world are also for young Jews looking for like-minded peers interested in dating and marrying Jewish. This makes it so much easier to date within the faith for everyone from the casual ‘Just Jewish’ cultural Jews to those more traditional and observant. We just love love.”
Because of JSwipe’s success, a growing number of marriage-minded men and women have come to see JSwipe as a serious dating alternative app to a Tinder-style hookup app.
“I do think the reputation is moving towards a serious dating app,” Ahuva Graber Winik, 29, said in an email. “Everyone is hearing more and more stories of people getting engaged and married. I think it is so important for singles to know that people are meeting and getting married through apps like JSwipe.”
Winik, assistant director of religious education at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Manhattan, met her husband, Peter Winik, on JSwipe – they tied the knot over Memorial Day weekend this year. They are now expecting their first baby.
Ahuva likes to spread the word about JSwipe’s potential to help people find a life partner.
“The [dating] process can get you down so much,” she wrote, “and it can seem like an impossible feat to meet an actual long-term partner.”
Yarus, who described himself as a “hopeless romantic,” shared with The Jewish Week one of his favorite success stories. It involves a couple that was swiping globally. He was located in London; she, in New York; they started messaging. Despite the distance, the two fell in love and got married.
“I like the stories that are sort of surreal and wouldn’t have happened without JSwipe,” said Yarus.