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December 29, 1989 - Image 109

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-12-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


seling many singles and di-
vorcees. When he was a pul-
pit rabbi in Tucson, Arizona,
he helped Jewish divorcees
obtain gets, Jewish di-
vorces. He quickly learned,
however, that you "can't
stop after the get. Here's
where it has to start, not
According to Rubenstein,
he discovered that he had "a
talent for finding compati-
bility," and began finding
mates for Jewish singles.
Rubenstein introduced the
Singles Dateline segment
as` a natural part of the
hotline, and the most impor-
tant part of the Jewish In-
formation Network. The
dateline is a big mitzvah, no
two ways about it."
The Singles Dateline has
two submenus, one for men
and the other for women.
Each consists of 30-second
messages recorded by the
"advertiser" providing de-
tails about him or herself,
desirable characteristics for
a potential mate, and a
phone number or JIN code
number. The caller can then
contact the "advertiser" by
phone, or write a letter
which will be forwarded
unopened by JIN. Listeners
can also call Rubenstein to
get the phone numbers of
those who don't want to
leave them on the recording.
Rubenstein says that the
service is for Jews of any
denomination. Often, the
advertiser will specify
whether or not he or she is
looking for a religious mate.
So far, says Rubenstein,
there has been an "even
mix" of denominations.:
Most of the advertisers have
been women in their 30s, but
he hopes that the range will
broaden as the service gains
in popularity. The adver-
tisements will be free for as
long as possible, so that
"money is not an obstacle"
for the advertisers, he says.
The only requirement
upon which Rubenstein in-
sists is a phone interview be-
fore the ad is placed. "I
don't just take names and a
check, and I don't put people
on the network without talk-
ing to them," he says. This
gives him control over the
advertisers, and allows him
to get to know each one.
As a result, sometimes
people don't even have to
advertise to find a date.
Rubenstein recalls that, on
the very first night of the
dateline, he was interview-
ing a female caller. "I had a
good feeling about compati-


Love And Wisdom
By Wire

A telephone network established by a rabbi
offers a new "dateline" for Jewish singles as
well as messages of Jewish inspiration.


Special to The Jewish News


he pleasant voice
purrs over the back-
ground music from
"The Love Boat" television
series. "My name is Debbie.
I'm 34 years old, and from
Albany, New York. I'm five
feet, four inches tall, and I
weigh 120 pounds. I have
dark hair and hazel eyes. I'm
looking for a committed
Jewish single male, an affec-
tionate person."
In these days of party
hotlines, the Singles Date-
line is a refreshing change.
Instead of dialing 1-900
numbers to meet people who
only want to mix, mingle
and have a good time, Jew-
ish singles can now meet
other Jews who are inter-
ested in serious relation-
ships by calling 1-900-463-
The Singles Dateline

started operating in July. It
is part of the Jewish Infor-
mation Network (JIN),
which went on-line a month
earlier. Both are the brain-
child of Jeffrey Rubenstein,
a. psychologist and Ortho-
dox rabbi from Monsey,
New York. He says that JIN
"was primarily started as (a
network) for motivation and
inspiration" — self-help via
4,000 years of tradition.
For the past 19 years,
Rubenstein, 41, has used
Torah wisdom in counseling
patients. He claims that the
Torah and Talmud contain
practical advice for every-
thing from relationships to
"how to be happy."
"Why go to the bookstore
and buy the latest pop psy-
chology book from San
Francisco, when everything
is in the Torah?" he asks.
Rubenstein says he
"desperately wanted to dis-
seminate this information to
the public in a cheap way,

and in a way that wasn't
time consuming for me." On
an airplane flight, in what he
calls "God's will," Rubens-
tein met a representative of
one of the companies that
organizes 900 telephone ser-
vices. He suggested that
Rubenstein record his in-
spirational messages and set
up a 900 number, so that
anyone could have access to
them. Rubenstein gathered
investors to help with the
large start-up costs, and the
Jewish- Information Net-
work was born.
Like any other 900 ser-
vice, JIN is not free. Each
call costs 95 cents a minute,
with a limit of nine minutes
per call. "Tune into life, tune
into happiness, tune into the
the Jewish Information
Network," the caller is en-
thusiastically welcomed to
the service. "All you need is
a serious interest in personal
growth, and a touch tone
phone," the recording con-

Different selections are
accessed by pushing the
telephone buttons. The
menu includes the "positive
and motivational thought of
the week," raising teenag-
ers, depression, marital
counseling, "how to choose a
therapist," and the recently
added Singles Dateline.
The messages are changed
every Wednesday, and are
designed to be a "mini-
course on life," lasting about
20 weeks. A recent week's
inspirational message dealt
with winners and losers.
"Joy upon awakening leads
to a productive day, full of
simcha. The only difference
between a winner and a loser
is the state of mind. Our
Creator's intention was for
us to love life," the recor-
ding counsels the caller.
The network also includes
a "Kashrut Hotline"
through which callers can
get the latest information on
kosher products and estab-
lishments. Currently, Star K
of Baltimore provides kash-
rut information to the
hotline. Rubenstein hopes
that all the major kashrut
supervision services will be
on-line in the near future.
From the start, Rubens-
tein also wanted to include a
service for singles to help
them locate a mate. In his
practice as a psychologist,
he found that he was coun-



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