Since 1995 when the first online dating site appeared, people have been curious about this approach to finding a suitable companion. Interestingly, what was once considered a “last-ditch effort” to find love has become a billion-dollar industry that continues to grow.

However, not all dating sites are equal when it comes to bragging rights. According to a study conducted by the dating app Hinge, people are more likely to match when they share similar backgrounds, particularly religious affiliation. This is the angle Jeffery Kaplan was going for when he founded JustKibbitz, a Jewish dating site.

In addition to its common sense approach, JustKibbiz has another exciting characteristic—Jewish parents, particularly moms, create the profiles, choose the partners, and set up the dates. Oh, and they also pay for the outing. Does this approach sound a little unorthodox? Maybe—however, Kaplan’s niche site is gaining popularity.

Dating trends on JustKibbitz

According to Kaplan, the holidays experienced a surge of activity. “It turns out that Christmas was a very busy day for our Jewish daters. This upswing can probably be tied to the overall feeling of being alone and left out on this day.” Kaplan’s statistics also show some very active dating days during Hanukkah. “I think this confirms what we’ve been hypothesizing. Our user activity mirrors some family gathering schedules.”  After all, showing up at a family function with someone new is a popular goal and a parent’s dream come true.

While Dating Sunday—the first Sunday in January—gained its status and name for the millions who flock to dating sites on this day, Kaplan says it is usually just an “average” day for them. Dating Sunday seems to reflect the annual wave of people vowing the new year will be their year for relationship success, including locking down a date for Valentine’s Day. Interestingly, Kaplan says JustKibbitz hit their most active day ever a few weeks after Dating Sunday.


Taking ‘Mother knows best” to a whole new level

JustKibbitz is very much a family-oriented dating process that puts the saying “Mother knows best” on a whole new level. Jewish men and women entrust their parents to find their perfect match. After getting their adult child’s consent, the parents—mostly the Yenta—create a profile that best represents their son or daughter. Then they have access to possible ‘matches.’ Keep in mind, someone else’s Yenta is perusing these profiles and choosing, not the potential partner.

Kaplan has cleverly named his dating business to appeal to both daters and parents. ‘Kibbitz’ in Yiddish means ‘chit-chat.’ All dates are merely coffee dates where the couple can talk and get to know one another. By keeping it simple with Starbucks gift cards, the atmosphere is casual and unassuming with no ‘expectations’ from either party. As Kaplan says, “It’s just kibbitz. How bad could it be?”

Kaplan seems to be onto something with his simplistic approach. One survey concluded that 58 percent of singles meet new dates through friends. Bars and coffee shops fare a close second. Meeting someone new at a familiar location for ‘coffee talk’  seems natural. And Kaplan has removed one pesky roadblock for some daters—they already know their parents will approve.

A little spark with fire potential

Online dating has continually expanded since its appearance in 1995. Jeffery Kaplan’s Jewish dating site JustKibbitz is a perfect example of how creative the industry has become. By removing many of the pressures of meeting someone new, JustKibbitz focuses on creating meaningful relationships based on shared interests, family support, and, of course, feeling that little spark with fire potential.

Check out JustKibbitz on Facebook.