five towns

At YIW, a YUConnects singles celebration


YUConnects and the Young Israel of Woodmere attracted 80 guests, ages 24 to 32, to a Shabbos for Singles last weekend.

The group began Shabbos Parshas Chukas with its own minyan for Kabbalas Shabbos, followed by an elegant catered meal at the YIW. Conversations flowed freely and divrei torah were offered. Participants then formed their own walking groups back to their hosts’ homes.

Shabbos afternoon offered something for everyone.

A dessert oneg with Connect Four (a fun speed dating program) allowed all the participants to meet every attendee. Afterwards, ten dedicated local matchmakers volunteered to informally interview those interested, while guests played board games, conversed and relaxed.

Shalosh seudos was hosted by Penina and Tzvi Wiener in their outdoor tent, with the community pitching in to create a gala spread. Organizers also offered “Build a Bayis,” a team-building challenge which encouraged further mixing and mingling.

One young man remarked that he was impressed with all the attentive details — including a musical havdala sung by Dr. Josh Mitgang with Adam Kaufman on guitar, cars waiting after Shabbos to chauffer each person back to their host, and a comprehensive online method for follow-up.

Most importantly, there were many dates already made from the Shabbos. Several couples wasted no time exchanging numbers and many others are requesting contact information from the YUConnects Connectors.

By Monday, two days after the event, 24 couples expressed mutual interest in each other and were already arranging dates.

One of the YIWMeet committee members said the success of the program was due to the tremendous outpouring of support from shul families who opened their homes and sponsored various parts of the weekend.

YIW, under the leadership of Rabbi Shalom Axelrod, President Josh Kalter and Executive Director Steve Myers, has been at the forefront of community shuls championing initiatives for singles.

This is the third year the event was underwritten by the Mitgang, Silvera, Silver, and Kaminetzky families in memory of their wife and mother, Mrs. Linda Mitgang a’h.

She was a beloved community member, the ultimate eishes chayil who loved her family and wanted to see others happily married and living a Jewish life. For this reason, her family thought that sponsoring this annual weekend together would be a loving tribute to her memory.

Each Shabbos Singles event targets different ages, hashkafos and backgrounds.

YUConnects offers unique social events, targeted matchmaking and educational programs to foster healthy relationships toward marriage. It is open to all members of the Jewish community.

Celebrating over 550 engagements, YUConnects appreciates sponsorships for future endeavors and welcomes any inquiries. For more information about YUConnects, visit or email