Shagririm Ba’Lev: The Matchmaking Platform for Religious Zionists

Shagririm Ba’Lev, a platform originating from the Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT), is growing across the Religious Zionist community. The AI-powered platform was developed to take the community’s matchmaking into the digital age.

Stuart Hershkowitz, former Vice President of JCT, shared that the Orthodox educational body used to employ part-time matchmakers to help create connections in a community struggling to do so.

“We know that in the Religious Zionist world the problem of [finding a match] is spoken about all the time and it’s a huge huge problem; one of the biggest problems if you ask your average family. Someone who has children of marriageable age, they’re quite frightened that they won’t find somebody appropriate for their child”, Hershkowitz told Israel National News

Shagririm Ba’Lev was developed to address this issue, with the platform initially intended for use only within the college. It works through an ‘ambassador’ system.

Ambassadors will sign up for the app and act as a wingman for their friends or children. An AI algorithm will find suitable matches and show them to the ambassador, letting them then take the lead to chat with other ambassadors and arrange dates.

Shagririm Ba’Lev is seeing success, with 131 weddings already taking place thanks to the platform. It has also expanded beyond the college, spreading across 20-30 year olds in the Religious Zionist community.

“A couple of years ago, we made this change and it exploded and we had people from all different kinds of organizations contacting us”, Hershkowitz said.

“Today, we’re in all different kinds of schools and areas. The leading rabbis of Religious Zionism [were brought to JCT] to explain the program, and everybody is on board. All the rabbis love the idea”, he added.

Photo courtesy of Shagririm Ba’Lev Facebook page.

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