Matchmaker, Matchmaker – Irene Slobin
Karleigh Stone Special to the Jewish News
NJP (Nice Jewish Person) Irene Slobin (Also a Matchmaker!)
This month, the JN features an older, eligible single in the community: Irene Slobin. She has been connecting couples for more than 50 years through her professional matchmaking service, Irene’s Matchmaking.
How did you get into matchmaking?
IS: The first person I fixed up was when I was 13 years old. I introduced my sister to my brother-in-law. They got married and had two kids. About 27 years ago, I went out with Marcus Rothbart of Cattleman’s and he convinced me to start a business. He said you’re really good at this and you’re doing it for free; why not charge? I’ve made 400 matches in my life and 1,000 children have been born as a result with only 11 divorces. I have psychologists, psychiatrists, rabbis and other clergy recommending me. I love making people happy.
How have your Jewish values shaped your matchmaking career?
IS: I belong to Temple Israel and I’m very active in the Jewish community. I am compassionate and have incredible Jewish values. I donate to St. Jude’s, the Cancer Society, the Humane Society and the Associated Society Animal Protection (A.S.A.P.). I provide my matchmaking services for free when I meet someone who can’t afford it, but I really connect with them. A psychiatrist once told me, “You care more about other people than you do yourself.”
In addition to matchmaking, what other activities do you enjoy?
IS: I like reading. I read five books a week. I also love going to lectures and going on field trips at the Jewish Center. I love doing things and keeping busy. I am also a makeup artist. I have been using Mary Kay makeup for the past 20 years and I am a Mary Kay representative. I have incredible skin — I am 72 years old, but I look 60.
What’s led you to stay in Michigan your whole life?
IS: I was born and raised in Michigan, and I live in Farmington Hills. All of my kids and grandkids live here, except my one son, who is in Chicago. I love being in Michigan. I love the change in climate, I love the people and my friends, and I’m very active in the Jewish community here.
What’s one piece of advice you’d like to share with our readers about relationships?
IS: You have to be the best of friends. That’s the most important thing in the world. You have to like and respect each other. The most important thing is friendship.
Now, onto some fun questions! What’s your favorite Jewish holiday?
IS: I like Rosh Hashanah and I like Passover. I like going to synagogue and celebrating. I love being around people who love God as much as I do. I study and read about religion all the time. I’ve been to every synagogue in town.
Where would you like to travel that you haven’t visited?
IS: Israel because that’s where my heritage is. I’m very spiritual.
What are you most proud of?
IS: I’m most proud of my children and my grandchildren. Not a day goes by when I don’t call them and tell them I love them and I’m proud of them. I’m also proud of the people whom I’ve made happy. When I get invited to a wedding and the rabbi says, “This is the woman who introduced them,” it makes me feel really proud.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
IS: I’ve had a very interesting life and I’d like to find someone I can fall in love with who appreciates my heart. Someone between the age of 72 and 92 who loves people, animals and life. When I go to synagogue, I don’t go to meet a man; I go to pray to God. When I go out with family and friends, I go to enjoy my time with them. I’m not looking for someone in those places.