Rabbi Samuel Intrator of Kavanah Life in Miami Beach presents panelists during a Jewish singles soiree in Miami Beach. (COURTESY)
South Florida Jewish singles recently gathered at a soiree in Miami Beach in an effort to discover ways to meet their soul mate.
The host for this recent "South Beach Soiree for Jewish Singles" was Rabbi Samuel Intrator of the synagogue Kavanah Life-The Carlebach Minyan at Ocean Pavilion in Miami Beach, who last summer started a Jewish singles series of discussions and events. The evening featured a panel presentation and interactive breakout discussion groups aimed to empower singles to share their common experiences and ideas for proactive solutions.
Intrator, who estimated more than 150 people attended this event and that at some point the turnout may have edged towards 200, said regarding the event’s goals, "For like-minded people to meet and get acquainted with each other all the while they were enjoying gourmet Asian delicacies and later in the evening engage in more focused conversation."
"The hope is that relationships can grow from such easy natural encounters into marriage," he continued. "Having this event at the beautiful Temple House, one of the most exquisite party venues in the world, was meant to create an in the mood ambiance so that people can meet easily in a relaxed and elegant atmosphere."
Aryeh Ehrich, a main organizer for the event whom Intrator praises for his help on it, said "In other singles events people get the chance to mingle but they don’t get the chance to really connect, so the goal for this evening is to get some candid speech, honestly and conversations of current issues so singles get the chance to know each other in a real way, which speed dating doesn’t always allow."
The evening’s panel members were Jewish singles who used their own life experiences to identify challenges and offer solutions on issues facing singles. They were Katya Berman of Miami Beach and Rabbi Frederick Klein, director of Mishkan Miami: The Jewish Connection for Spiritual Support, a program of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, and executive vice president of the Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami.
Berman said her goal for the discussion was to "inspire people to believe in love." As a young Jewish single woman, she feels Jewish people finding love is the "most important thing" in their lives.
"Without love we cannot exist," she said. "We can build as many companies as we want, you can have your family, you can have your friends, but without love, we cannot grow and we cannot exist, so love is the main focus."
Berman urged the attendees during the discussion to become the person they want to date.
"We all know what our flaws are, those areas we are not so good at and where we need improvement, so start with yourself. Become the list of things you want in the other person."
Klein told attendees during the discussion that it’s very hard for singles very often not to feel jaded by love and that they all have had disappointments, have had high hopes, have been in serious relationships that have fallen apart and that many in the audience have had their hearts broken.
"Don’t become jaded," Klein urged the audience. "I think this is the most important thing."
One of the event organizers, David Crystal, an author and political activist from Miami Beach, said, "I think all the goals for the event were accomplished except for the fact that for some reason we did not attract enough women under the age of 32. That’s something we need to work on."
Overall, Crystal thought the event was "beautiful" and was "perfectly executed." He is also writing a book on the Shidduch Crisis, an Orthodox Jewish community phenomenon in which eligible single people have difficulty finding suitable spouses. Email him at Dave@CrystalClearTutors.com if you have any stories you want to share on your experience dating in the Jewish world for the book.
Crystal also participated in Intrator’s first Jewish singles discussion this past summer along with Sara Shulevitz, a lawyer and TV personality in Miami. Shulevitz, who also attended the recent soiree, said, "It was a wonderful event because everyone was able to express themselves."
Visit getkavanahlife.com for more information.