While dating and finding a life partner may be the ultimate goal for many who turn to online dating platforms, Rebbetzin Rachel Tessler Lopatin says the benefits go far beyond love.
For 10 years, Rebbetzin Rachel Tessler Lopatin has worked as a volunteer matchmaker for SawYouAtSinai, an online matchmaking platform for Jewish singles. She’s helped create thousands of dates worldwide, more than a dozen of which have led to marriage.
“If you know the type of person they’re searching for, you will hopefully be able to connect them with great people,” she says of matchmakers like herself who strive to make connections between Jewish singles.
The Lopatin family is Modern Orthodox, giving Tessler Lopatin a unique understanding of the community and an edge in Jewish matchmaking. She says family members will often tell her, “You understand the subtleties of it.”
Recently, Tessler Lopatin, 54, of Huntington Woods and wife of JCRC/AJC Executive Director Rabbi Asher Lopatin, spoke about her matchmaking process and offered advice for Jewish singles on a new Jewish podcast, America’s Top Rebbetzins.
“We all need to be thinking about people who are single,” she says of the human power to foster connections. “The more people you meet, the more people you are able to connect other people with. There’s good that results from that.”
While dating and finding a life partner may be the ultimate goal for many who turn to online dating platforms, Tessler Lopatin says the benefits go far beyond love.
“Friendships have been made; jobs have been made,” she describes. “Sometimes I’ll introduce people and there’s no love connection, but they invite them to a Shabbat meal and then they connect with someone else there, or they see them at kiddush.”
Making a Match
Matchmaking is for everyone, Tessler Lopatin believes. “I work with people from all backgrounds and all over the world,” she says.
Many of her matches have been long-distance, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when lockdowns and health restrictions made location matter less, and connection and interaction matter more.
In making a match, Tessler Lopatin says she factors in different criteria: “What are the things that they can be flexible on and what are the things that they’re not willing to be flexible on?” “Are they flexible religiously?”
Some people, she explains, look for a partner with the same life experiences and religious values. Others prioritize location, while many seek out certain personality traits.
“I encourage people to look outside their community,” Tessler Lopatin says. “People often reach out because they feel like they’ve met everyone around them. What I’m able to say is, ‘You actually haven’t met everyone.’ It’s important to keep stirring the pot.”
By stirring the pot — or making introductions — a match is likely to be made, she believes.
Keep an Open Mind
Tessler Lopatin encourages Jewish singles looking for love to keep their minds open. Things like job and location, which some prioritize, are subject to change, she says.
“A job is changeable,” she explains. “You have to look deeper; look for values. Is someone ambitious? Is someone hardworking? Is someone caring and passionate?”
Most importantly, she advises, is finding a partner who is compatible with you and cares about you, with lifestyle details coming secondary. It’s this advice and more that Tessler Lopatin shares on America’s Top Rebbetzins podcast, highlighting the importance of everyone striving to be a matchmaker.
Now, as the ongoing pandemic continues to present new challenges in dating, sometimes making it hard for people to meet in person, these actions are more essential than ever, she explains.
People are also embracing long-distance relationships more, a positive trend that Tessler Lopatin has seen grow since 2020.
“A long-distance couple that I matched got engaged two weeks ago,” she says. “Keep an open mind and an open heart and I think you’ll end up meeting someone.”