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Nearing 4,000 marriages, JWed moves to subscription-only service

A worldwide membership of tens of thousands spans all Jewish outlooks, ages and locations with a new dating app in the works.

JWed, the leading online Jewish dating for marriage service for Jewish singles of all backgrounds, has recently transitioned to a fee-only service. Credit: Courtesy.
JWed, the leading online Jewish dating for marriage service for Jewish singles of all backgrounds, has recently transitioned to a fee-only service. Credit: Courtesy.

JWed, the leading online Jewish dating for marriage service for Jewish singles of all backgrounds, has recently transitioned to a fee-only service. This change has been coupled with upgraded features to both the website and app, as well as the new Dating Agent and an expansive customer care team.

Derek Saker, co-founder and CEO of JWed, says that “while in the early days, we already see that the change has further increased the number of quality new members and provides our existing membership with an enhanced environment of an even more sincere and active usership.”

Launched more than 22 years ago in Passaic, N.J., as Frumster.com with co-founder Ben Rabizadeh, the service was rebranded as JWed.com some 11 years ago, catering to all marriage-minded halachically Jewish singles. To date, the service has seen more than 3,700-plus known marriages. Today, a worldwide membership of tens of thousands spans all Jewish outlooks, ages and locations.

In the early days of the dating service, the Internet was still taboo among many in the Jewish observant world, and yet the initial membership was disproportionately “Yeshivish” females between 22 and 28. This is because while still young, many were wrongfully regarded as “gathering dust on the shelf” and sought different options, they explain.

Today, online dating, according to Saker, has become the medium of first resort. JWed’s members come from North America, Israel and across the world.

Saker says the decision to no longer provide any free option is not unique, as the online dater has profoundly evolved.

He notes that “where yesterday, it was an online audience more focused on quantity of members, today’s single seeks quality of members. Where before it was often ‘What can I get for free,’ today it is ‘Where can I go so as to neither waste my time, nor my emotional investment?’ ”

While JWed’s high marriage rate is ascribed to both singles being empowered to conduct their own searches and to an exclusive membership pool of like-minded Jewish peers, JWed’s new Dating Agent feature addresses the needs of those members who do seek some additional hand-held help – whether in service usage, dating facilitation, dating coaching and matchmaking.

While the service is now fee-based, JWed does provide a limited number of free subscriptions every month through The Jewish Marriage Fund, created to help those dating singles facing difficult financial times.

With the transition to a subscription-only service, Saker readily acknowledges that JWed’s challenge is to deliver the most optimized dating experience.

To this extent, JWed is working on a new app with a launch date in three months. Additionally, JWed now provides a Hebrew and French interface,  given the significant growth of members in these markets.

Saker notes that JWed has always been about both chessed and business.

“A professional service requires a professional team, and our full-time staff in the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom are dedicated to the belief ‘that our best customer stays the least amount of time,’ finding their chosen one sooner, rather than later,” he says.

For more information, visit: www.jwed.com.

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