Randi Jablin, founder of the Shabbat Dinner Club, never underestimates how difficult dating can be. Even with the advancements of dating technology that are supposed to make dating easier, she still believes the best way to get people to connect is to get them to meet in person.
This is why she is organizing Tu B’Av Heart 2 Heart 2019: A Celebration of Love, Connection and Discovery.
“We have more than 130 people from all over the country registered to come to this event,” Jablin said. “This is a chance for Jewish singles, regardless of observance level, to come together and get to know each other with the hope of maybe meeting someone.”
The event — which is for singles 21 and up — will consist of social and learning opportunities that cover various topics involved in Jewish dating. Heart 2 Heart runs from Aug. 15-18 at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas.
Jablin came up with the idea after meeting with Rabbi Sam Intrator of Kavanah Life at Ocean Pavilion in Miami Beach, Florida. Intrator founded the Kavanah Life Singles program in August 2017, which aims to help Jewish singles develop more mindful and meaningful relationships.
The two worked together to create a nationwide event to bring Jewish singles together. They chose Phoenix as the place and Tu B’Av, the Jewish day of love, as the time.
“In ancient Israel, eligible young men women would meet in the gardens of Jerusalem,” Intrator explained. “Kabbalistically and mystically, it is seen as a most propitious time for soulmates to meet.”
At that time, unmarried women dressed in white and went out to dance in vineyards, where men would choose potential brides to be. Today, Tu B’Av in Israel is much like Valentine’s Day in the U.S., devoid of most of its historic symbolism, though some people still dress in white. At Heart 2 Heart, nobody will be required to dance, but there will be an all-white Shabbat dinner to honor the holiday’s roots.
Intrator shares Jablin’s hope that those attending Heart 2 Heart will potentially meet someone. However, both emphasized that there’s no pressure to find that special someone. The weekend will just provide a chance to socialize in a stress-free and welcoming environment.
Heart 2 Heart will feature more than 20 social and educational events that cover topics such as dating online, finding love at different ages and communication in romantic relationships.
Intrator will facilitate an event called “Challenges and Solutions to Being Jewish and Single Today.” It’s a presentation that Intrator has given across the country. While the presentation is always very informative, Intrator is most excited for the open mic portion.
“Comments and questions from the floor create a beautiful chemistry among attendees, as people can get to know and see each other in deeper and meaningful ways,” Intrator said. “I’ve had numerous such discussions in South Florida and in other cities around the country, and I’ve always found them to be stimulating, exciting, entertaining and inspiring.”
As for what the challenges that Jewish singles might deal with, Intrator said there are many distractions people face in contemporary culture. It isn’t easy to be focused and committed to someone in such an overwhelming and busy society.
Joining Intrator for the other learning events will be eight speakers, including Rabbi Pinchas Allouche of Congregation Beth Tefillah; Mitzvah Matchmaker owner Michele Czopp; JSwipe founder David Yarus.
Some of the activities include trivia game night, yoga, cocktail hours and Shabbat services.
Zach Colick, a Heart 2 Heart committee member, is excited for the weekend and thinks that it offers something for everyone.
“It’s all a great mix of educational and social opportunities and chance to strengthen yourself as far as dating goes,” Colick said. “I’m really excited to hear from Yarus. I think it’ll be interesting to find out what led him to create an app like that and why so many people are using that as a medium for dating these days.”
Colick was also excited to see how many people are coming from across the country. He said that it’s easy to see the same folks around town at singles events and he’s glad that there will be some fresh faces to get to know.
Although this is not necessarily the start of an annual event, Jablin hopes that other communities will follow Heart 2 Heart’s lead.
“I already have someone in Nevada who has expressed interest in hearing more about this and maybe doing it next year,” Jablin said. “I think it would be cool if there could be a different state every year offer a weekend for Jewish singles to spend together, because we could all use that time together.” JN
Visit heart2heartaz.com for more information about Heart 2 Heart.