Sunday, January 15, 2006

TWAJ: The numbers excuse

Was having a good old muse about why people assimilate. There are of course the obvious reasons of lack of identity, inconvenience of kashrut, threat of Jewish mother-in-law etc, but the one most people fall back on is that they fell in love with a non-Jew or don't want to narrow down their options to such a small selection.

This excuse doesn't hold much water to me. Everyone plays the rational numbers game:

280,000 UK Jews aged 0-70+
= 4,000 in each age bracket
I can date women 4 years younger and 2 years older
= 4,000 x 7 / 2 (sorry to disappoint male friends who like my pert ass)
= 14,000
Then knock off half of them who are already in relationships
= 7,000
Then subtract those living outside London or on the wrong side of the Thames or the A10
= 5,000
Then take out the mingers and the ones who are out of my league
= 3,000
Then take out the ones who think I ming or am out of their league
= 1,000
Then eliminate the ones I already know or have dated
= 500
Then factor in my Myers-Briggs profile which requires me to find someone with the "NF" combo in their letters (this will be the subject of a guest posting from Bison at some point, no doubt), accounting for only about 10% of the population
= 50

So my total potential pool, under this rational system, is "only" 50, whereas not restricting oneself to Yidden would give a starting point of 60 million people. No wonder so many people are quick to divest themselves of their Jdate profiles. But actually I think this approach is wrong and an excuse. The reality is that anyone who is gainfully employed, maintains a social life and has some moral fibre about them simply will not have time to find and date more than 50 people in their lives. Plus we live in the same areas, go to the same bars, and have plenty of willing shadchanim (matchmakers) to assist. And there's always going to be something in common - usually via the wonders of the Jewish name-game.

But I think the numbers excuse is valid for as long as the community fails to provide a positive and proactive reason to make that choice to date from a gene pool that largely stems from the same four women. This year I will try to make a weekly TWAJ posting and lay out what I see as the threats and possible solutions regarding Anglo-Jewry, so be sure to tune in.

1 comment:

Johannes Kerkorrel II said...

Hi there Mr Friedman

Thanks for leaving a message behind on my blog. You were the first to do so, so thanks for that.

As for assimilating, well, you've read my views on how frustrating it is to be a Jewish Single these days. I'm going to reply when I have time to do so. It's a good debate to have.