Rabbi Arnie Singer, a dating coach and the site's founder, heard hundreds of complaints about JDate and other sites. He also had firsthand experience being on those sites from his days as a single guy on the Upper West Side. Singer said Jzoog.com comes at a crucial time, following release of the Pew Research Center's survey of American Jews that showed high rates of intermarriage and of Jews remaining single until later stages of their lives.
“I wanted to find a way to help Jews marry other Jews and improve where other sites have fallen short,” Singer said by phone. “The Facebook component, through the initial sign-up, helps ensure that people are actually Jewish and also are not using a fake profile, which has become more of a problem recently. My goal is for people to have less time wasted, less money wasted, less distraction and more focus.”
Nothing regarding their profile from Jzoog will show up on one’s Facebook page, Singer said.
With Jzoog, users pay for tokens, which are used to contact someone. A smile, which is similar to a poke, is 50 cents, while sending a message is one dollar, or two tokens. There is no charge to respond to a message and there is no charge for sending additional messages to a person, once the conversation has begun. A smile may be a common choice for women who don’t want to appear aggressive but want a guy to notice them.
Alicia Post, Jzoog’s chief marketing officer, said the matchmaking feature is a key attribute that will lead to marriages.
“Some people have become disillusioned by the stigma of a matchmaker or the fact that on sites where people are forced to match people up who they’ve never met, the results are poor. Your friends are the best potential matchmakers. This feature gives them a quick and easy way to do it.”
Singer met his own wife when looking at a friend’s list of friends on Facebook. They got married five years ago. The site gets its name from the Hebrew word “zoog” which means “couple.”
Jzoog may be helpful to females who are inundated with a plethora of messages from men who are nothing like the guy they’re looking for.
“A lot of women have said they feel like they’re getting spammed by guys who are 25 years older than them, and it wastes their time,” Singer said. “A dollar might not seem like a lot of money, but it will cause people to take a step back and wonder if they really have something in common and it’s really worth it.”
Singer, who blogs about dating on jcoach.com and is the author of “From I To I Do: How To Meet, Date and Marry Your Mr. Right,” added that when one does a search, instead of seeing dozens of possible matches, they will see one person at a time and they are required to action (you can send a message, pass, decline etc.) before seeing the next possible match.
Singer says he's confident that his service will help people find mates.
“On other sites, people often get frustrated by people playing games, and when that happens, no one wins," he said. "The design of the site will encourage people to be more serious and focused and hopefully end up married.”