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Organizers match up the dates and call the participants with phone numbers. To help participants avoid discussing their jobs, organizers hand out a list of sample questions, such as, "How often do you speak with your parents? "The idea, said Rabbi Tzvi Hochstadt of the Birmingham Aish Center, is to assess if the person sitting across the table shares your life goals and feelings on religion.
Hochstadt, who leads the sessions, says the program has a 75 percent match rate.
"It's predetermined why you're there." In the Detroit area, it tends to draw more women than men in older age groups.
With seven minutes on the clock, pairs at each table fire questions at each other about goals, values and feelings on Israel, trying to gauge if the stranger is a soul mate. Then time is up, and they pick up their lattes, swap seats and start all over again.Since the Birmingham Aish Center introduced the program to the Detroit area in January, there have been waiting lists to join the Sunday night sessions, which are split into three age groups.At the end of each seven-minute pairing, participants write down on a form whether they want to see a person again.Nemon, 43 and never married, said her mother passed along an ad for Speed Dating."I try not to try too many things, but this is a fresh idea," said Nemon, who didn't meet a match that Sunday.
There are 100,000 Jews in the Detroit area, according to a survey by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.