But the greater goal is what's known as "Jewish continuity." Among the world's estimated 14 million Jews, about half marry non-Jews -- an intermarriage rate many find dishearteningly high.
To facilitate more Jewish-Jewish marriages, Bernath does not question the religiosity of JMontreal's 1,500 or so users. "It's to save an endangered species." Or, as Rabbi Mayshe Schwartz put it after launching JBoston just weeks ago: "We believe in Jews meeting Jews and having more Jews." The approach is working, say the J site organizers, who are mostly affiliated with the Orthodox Chabad movement.
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"Their matchmakers are spending a tremendous amount of time with each individual," Goldmann said.
He added that the J sites attract Jews from the nonobservant to the very observant, while his site is geared toward the Orthodox.
Australia was their proving ground, where "j-junction" has been operating since 2006 with 11 marriages to its credit. A site called "Saw You At Sinai," established in 2003, also combines matchmakers and a database.
But SYAS founder Marc Goldmann, who gave his computer model to the nonprofit J sites and has a financial stake in them, says there are a few crucial differences.
Like most dating sites, users pay a fee and compose a profile.