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April 01, 1988 - Image 107

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-04-01

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stresses she attends the
events "just to have a good
time. You certainly keep your
mind and your eyes open, and
maybe you'll meet someone
— that would be a bonus."
Diane Block, also of Mary-
land did meet her fiance Jef-
frey Saltzberg at an event in
1985, but she says she had to
push herself to go to such
events in the beginning. "I'm
a very shy person myself,"
Block said. "It was real hard
for me at first but I knew that
I wanted to meet people so I
just went and kept going and
kept talking to people until I
felt comfortable and I knew
enough people!'
Block cited results of a re-
cent Washington Hebrew
- Congregation survey that
showed singles overwhelm-
ingly prefer smaller, intimate,

"He has this
ingenuity. He's a
people person and
he throws himself
into this. He gets a
lot of nachas from

low-key events instead of the
large-scale dances or socials_
like the Boschwitz functions.
Yet, the Boschwitz events are
"It seems like the large
dances are like a love-hate
relationship," Block said.
"You don't really want to go
but you go because you know
there's a chance you're going
to meet somebody even
though it can be uncomfor-
table — almost like a high-
pressure situation." She con-
tinues, "You feel like, `if I'm
going, I want to at least have
my phone number asked.'
And someone might feel like
a failure coming home
without having danced:'
"People are very skeptical
at first" about attending a
Boschwitz party or any
singles event, agrees Zusman.
"Nobody wants to admit
they're going to one of these
because what does that say
about your social life? 'Can't
you meet people in other
ways?' A lot of times it starts
out with a bunch of girls get-
ting together and saying,
`OK, maybe we'll go. If we
hate it, we can leave.' "
Susan Gevelber shared
some of that initial reluctance
before attending the senator's
recent New Year's Eve party
at Washington Hebrew Con-
"It was better than I ex-
pected," she said. "I went

kind of thinking, 'Oh, it's
something to fill up my even-
ing.' But I ended up having a
very memorable evening. It
was more than just a time
filler," she said of the semi-
formal party that drew about
320 singles at $25 per person.
Most of the events involve a
nominal charge to help reduce
expenses. Additional costs
are shared by Washington
Hebrew and Boschwitz per-
sonally, said Kasdan.
Mike Levy attributes part
of the success of the
Boschwitz events to their
reputation of drawing "in-
teresting people."
"They involve a pretty good
corps of people from Capitol
Hill," Levy said. "They are
people who have a pretty
wide range of interests. They
are from all over. They are in-
terested in what's going on in
the world. And I find it fairly
easy to get a good conversa-
tion going."
Comparing the Washington
and Baltimore Jewish com-
munities, David Raab of
Washington Hebrew Con-
gregation's singles group, ex-
plained why Washington
reportedly has greater suc-
cess with its functions.
"Washington is such a tran-
sient city that people are
receptive to almost anything
that will give them the
chance to become part of the
community," Raab said.
"Baltimore is a much more
stable and centralized Jewish
community; whereas, in
Washington, a lot of single
Jewish people are new to the
area and they are spread out
all over the city. So there is no
big concentration [of Jewish
singles] that you can natural-
ly gravitate toward" in
"There are not as many
social outlets for Jews in
Washington," agrees Rosanne
Zusman. "And so this is one
of the few things they do
have," she said of the
Boschwitz events.
Perhaps one of the main at-
tractions to the Jewish
singles events is the notion
that the Jewish function is
still a notch or more above
the alternatives.
"Compared to going to a
bar, you are far more likely to
meet people who have some
values and some self-respect,"
according to Mike Levy.
"That sounds a little bit cor-
ny, but I think there is
something to Jewish singles
events — as opposed to going
to your typical bar — which
tends to draw people who are
a little more thoughtful," he
added. "The fact that these
are people who have chosen to
make a statement that they




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