Lakewood yeshiva principals propose changes to address “shidduch crisis”

The principals plan to adjust the ages at which young men and women begin dating.

Haredi couple. Credit: Alex Eidelman/iStockPhoto

May 9, 2024 2:10 PM


Yeshiva principals in Lakewood, New Jersey are proposing changes that they hope will ease the “shidduch crisis,” a phenomenon in some parts of the Haredi community in which women struggle to find husbands because of certain features of the dating and marriage system.

It’s unclear exactly why the so-called “crisis” exists, but it may be partly attributable to the fact that women usually date men who are several years older, whose education takes longer. In some parts of the community, men are not allowed to date while studying in post-high school Yeshivas, which contributes to the age gap. According to recent articles in the Yeshiva World News and Matzav, Lakewood principals plan to address the crisis by adjusting the ages at which young men and women are allowed to begin dating.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the principals unanimously agreed to modify dating rules so that women will soon need to delay the age at which they begin to date by one year, as opposed to starting to date shortly after graduating from seminary.

Meanwhile, men will start dating earlier. The logic goes that by beginning their studies in Israel sooner and graduating sooner, they will also begin dating sooner, and be closer in each to their female counterparts. 

The YWN said the implementation date for the new rules is yet to be determined.