Haaretz — February 14, 2016
“21st Century Yentes: Personalized Matchmaking Makes a Comeback”
Jerusalem-based matchmaker Sara Malamud of World of Singles works only with North American Jews. She tried matching Israelis when she first started in the business, soon after making aliyah from Argentina in 2001, but Israelis are “difficult people to work with,” she said. “They don’t want to pay and have no patience.”
Now Malamud, who is 60 and has been married and divorced three times, sticks to Americans and Canadians, conducting interviews with potential clients by phone, Skype and in-person visits on frequent visits to New York. Her fee is several thousand dollars a year, which includes coaching, and she said she generally has 15 to 20 active clients at a time, with thousands in her database. She also works with other non-Orthodox Jewish matchmakers in Chicago and Toronto, among other places.
The biggest challenge to matchmaking success is the Internet, Malamud said, because it leads people to believe that picking a potential partner or spouse is like buying something on Amazon.
In the past “it was easy to say ‘I have a girl for you,’ ” she said. “Now I send a photo and right away they say ‘she’s not my type,’ or ‘I don’t like men with hair on their chest.’”
And it’s increasingly challenging to get people to talk on the phone or meet in person instead of communicating only by text or online chat, even if they’re in the same city, Malamud said. “I tell them ‘go and have a coffee together. What do you have to lose?’ When they’re on a dating site it’s like a catalog. They just keep scrolling down.”
From The New York Times — August 31st
Sara Malamud is more than simply a professional matchmaker, she provides genuine relationship coaching, providing as much attention to each clients personal development in finding and matching them with the partner of their dreams. Through individual personal coaching, this Jewish matchmaker helps each client examine requirements in a significant other—on all fronts, from physical attributes, education level, religious beliefs, and much more. Using this information, combined with experience and innate intuition, Sara Malamud helps facilitate relationships that will be fulfilling and largely successful.
– February 24, 2007 Matchmaking is a growing field, attracting former real estate brokers, headhunters and human resources professionals, said Sara Malamud, the matchmaker at A World of Jewish Singles.
From The Times Magazine — January 2011
I know what you‘re thinking: “A matchmaker? Seriously?” Before I met Sara from A World of Jewish Singles, I too was skeptical and assumed dating services were strictly for losers who couldn‘t get dates on their own and had to enlist outside help. But, if you look at your own relationship history and recoil, you might need the intervention. Sara maintains an active database of over 10,000 Jewish women and men men who are looking for love, not a one-night stand. As she will tell you, and as I later came to see with my own eyes, her database isn‘t filled with just anyone. These are well-educated, attractive, and successful men and women. If you want to become part of her database then call her office or visit her website to set up an appointment. Believe it or not, there are good men out there, and beautiful intelligent women who Sara will find for you.
Jeff Cowell, Daily News
While matchmaking requires no training, Sara Malamud insists she has raw talent for making connections of the heart. In fact, she claims a track record of 1,000 committed relationships, almost 900 matches, hundreds of marriages and, so far, no divorces. So here comes the obvious question: Why would a desirable, high-earning bachelor require a personal matchmaker to find a compatible mate? Sara says: “the men that I deal with won’t go online because that’s actually hard work, plus to be honest with you, many people online lie”. “I am totally dedicated in finding serious singles their perfect match”. A professional businessman does not have time to search online, so he hires a professional matchmaker to do the work. The same happens with women, my clients are too busy to be wasting hours online or to go on countless ‘waste of time’ first dates, I do all the work for them.
Eric Dror from the Jewish News
Sara, what is the best advice you would give to Jewish daters? Have an open mind about your dating “criteria. Give people a chance to get to know you and vice versa. During your search, if you find one or two things that interest you about a particular person, explore further… you may have more in common than you think. And yes…it may take some time to meet the right person, but it is well worth it when you finally do so don’t give up!
Sara during an interview in Tel Aviv
My advice to those searching for that perfect person is not to limit your search by restricting yourself to a specific geographic location. Have an open mind and a sense of adventure. You never know what might happen…you might just find what you are looking for!!!
“Finding Love” — March 2009
The chances of finding your true love on line are almost as good as winning the lottery. Ask anyone who has tried. Most won’t talk about it out of embarrassment. But if they do, you’d be shocked by their experiences. You’ll hear stories that sound crazy, stories that sound like they’re out of a movie, almost unbelievable. You’ll hear of hours spent pouring through thousands of mind numbing on-line profiles, or stories involving people showing up for “the date” that don’t look or act anything like the person on the profile. You’ll hear about the 20 year old photos and the loss of hair and teeth and the sudden appearance of 30 pounds. On-line dating is like a ticket to the twilight zone. So lets say you’re ready to throw caution to the wind and make a date to meet that potential someone special that you’ve met on-line. Both of you are enthusiastic, hopeful and ready to meet your match made in heaven. You both show up, you’re both well mannered, attractive, well spoken and well dressed. What happens? Nothing, as there is no chemistry, just disappointment and another wound to heal. Being single has never been more difficult. In reality, finding your perfect match is not so easy. Some dating websites would lead you to believe that finding a mate can be accomplished through proven scientific or statistical means. The truth is matchmaking is not a science it’s an art, there is no logic to love.
“Why Are Matchmakers Back in Business?”
Time Out, October 2008
“A good matchmaker is a very important part of the system. You make sure your values and goals are compatible before you become emotionally involved with a person,” Sara says. Once the couple starts dating, their dialog is serious about potential marriage. “The shidduch movement is so important because marriage is so important in Jewish life,” Sara says. “The peace, love and physical affection between a husband and wife are very dear in God‘s eyes. It is a big mitzvah for anyone who is involved in helping two young people build a solid Jewish home. Matchmaking method has proven most effective for a Jew seeking a marriage partner, because “one starts off meeting someone who is at least somewhat compatible, rather than meeting people at random. As a matter of a fact, many thoroughly modern Jewish singles have discovered that the random roll-the-dice approach isn‘t finding them a mate, and have returned to the traditional model.“
Sara Malamud, World of Singles
August 2008 My clients are very busy, extremely picky, and of course, commitment minded Jewish singles. They are all professionals and I must say, I have been extremely successful with celebrities. That said, privacy and confidentiality are both very important to me. I have been called adamant, resolute. I leave no stone unturned until I deliver what my client is asking for. If I don’t have they may want I will search the world. I approach anyone, anywhere, anytime. I have a “mysterious sixth sense”, and I “just get what people want”.
From an interview for the BBC
For many of the matchmakers’ clients with whom I spoke, Internet dating had curdled (last year, the online dating business grew at a much slower rate than it had in the previous two years.) The bitterest complaints were that prospects misrepresented themselves, and that, although the deception was often immediately apparent, the clients would still have to sit through — and even pay for — a drink or dinner they felt tricked into.
But there are also deeper, more psychological reasons that draw people to a matchmaker. After years of dating, still-singles may begin to wonder if they are really their own best advocates in the search for a partner. Some may not find the lovers they want, or, more troublingly, the lovers they choose may be repeatedly, chronically wrong. They begin to distrust their own judgment. They are weary of being alone with their confusion. They need an intercession. They need a Cupid to point her arrow.
“Jewish Catholic is Matchmaker Extraordinaire”
Jewish Telegraph, May 2006
The Jerusalem Post Jul. 22, 2004, updated Aug. 3, 2004
“Arrivals: Sara Malamud — From Buenos Aires to Jerusalem” by Daniel Ben By-Tal
Within three years of leaving Argentina, Sara Malamud had a new Jewish husband and her own matchmaking business.
As a child, Malamud had no Jewish education and little contact with other Jews.”My maternal grandparents were from Poland, and my father was born in Russia. My mother remarried a Catholic man, and my father a Catholic woman. As a nine-year-old, I went to church with my stepmother.”Sometimes I even found myself kneeling in front of Jesus, but always had a feeling about Judaism. Whenever I met another Jew, I felt a special connection. When I was about 12, my brother and sister started wearing crosses. Ours was a confused generation.
Malamud was running a successful boutique in Buenos Aires when she met her first husband in 1978. “He was an English sports reporter for the Daily Mail covering the World Cup. I went to live in London for eight years. It was an exciting period, meeting celebrities and traveling all over the world. When my husband flew to Spain to interview [world champion Argentina’s team coach] Ce’sar Luis Menotti, I went as his interpreter. I also interpreted for Maradonna and helped bring [British soccer coach] Terry Venables to Barcelona.” After her divorce she returned to Argentina with near-perfect English, taught English privately, and eventually opened a language school with teachers working under her. “I lived in high society and had rich friends, but woke up and realized that my life was empty. People there were very superficial – women talked about plastic surgeons, clothes and gyms. I had to leave. I didn’t like Argentina, and wanted a Jewish husband and family. “Malamud endured months of Jewish Agency bureaucracy, including repeated visits to the local rabbinate, to prove that she was a Jew. “I somehow didn’t mind. I sold all my possessions and found somebody to run my business for me, dividing the profits 50-50.”
In March 2001, she moved to Jerusalem and enrolled in a Hebrew ulpan. “I brought two suitcases and no furniture. I don’t know why I chose Jerusalem.” She met her first boyfriend in Israel via the Internet. He was a religious American, who had been 10 years in Israel. “We’re still good friends. G-d put him in my life to show me the path of Judaism, and for the first time I lit candles on Shabbat and regularly attended synagogue. I will always be grateful to him for that, but the relationship didn’t last.” She soon found a job in the exclusive jewelry store of a leading Jerusalem hotel. “The next step was to go for the Jewish husband.” Malamud scanned the Web and registered with a Netanya-based marriage agency. “It was the best investment I ever made. In two months, I met many men, usually in a hotel lobby or cafe.” Most meetings lasted about 15 minutes. Her new husband came to Israel to meet Sara and two or three other women. They married in Jerusalem within three months. “I’m his first Jewish wife and he is my first Jewish husband. It was a quick decision, but not impulsive. I’m a decisive person.” After her marriage, Malamud decided to become a matchmaker. She started by placing ads in local newspapers, arranged three marriages, and within a year took over the business through which she met her husband. “I have 7,000 professionals from all over the world on the books – half religious, half secular, aged between 20-something and 70. Now I’m responsible for Jewish marriages and bringing Jewish children into this world. I’m working against intermarriage and assimilation. It’s no coincidence that God put me in Jerusalem.”
A high-ceilinged three-room rented apartment in the up- market Jewish section of Abu Tor: living room, bedroom and office.
“I work 14 hours a day and begin looking for matches at 5 a.m., before the telephones start ringing.” Malamud can be spotted most mornings running along the Sherover Promenade. “I’ve always been conscious about my health. Jerusalem is a beautiful city for joggers.” Throughout the day, she sips mate’, the bitter, tea-like infusion of native Argentinean plant leaves. “It’s one of the few things I keep from Argentina.”
“I get by. I have to work in Hebrew. I’ve learned a lot from trying to read the Hebrew subtitles on television, but usually don’t finish a line in time. I also speak Italian and Portuguese.”
“When the Argentinean economy collapsed in 2002, I lost everything. All my savings were gone, and my business closed.”
“I haven’t made many friends yet – that’s strange, because I’m an outgoing person. I spend a lot of time at home with my husband. He is my closest friend. I have no family in Israel. I keep in contact with friends and family in Argentina via e-mail. My sister, who is now divorced, used to have the Virgin Mary hanging from her neck. Now she goes for Shabbat dinners.”
“On Yom Kippur 1994, I felt that I had to be in a synagogue for the first time and traveled to Paso Street, an Orthodox Ashkenazi synagogue in Buenos Aires. The place was packed. I cried and cried. I felt something very strong – I knew I belonged there. I am not religious, but light candles and don’t work on Shabbat.”
“I’m very happy. I never felt like a foreigner here.” Sara Malamud World of Singles www.worldofsingles.com
From The Jewish Journal, July 2006
In group sessions starting Sunday morning and ending today Sara interviewed hundreds of Jewish women from Israel: brunettes, blondes, tall, short, young, old — they waited their turn to be quizzed by Sara whose rat-a-tat questions ranged from the banal, “Do you speak good English?”, to the bizarre “Are those your real color eyes or do you wear contacts? Some are divorced, others never married. The youngest was 24, the oldest in her 50’s. Some wore designer suits, short skirts, low cut dresses. Others came in jeans and boots. They were real estate agents, doctors, lawyers. All wanted the same thing, a decent Jewish single guy. These Jewish women are part of Sara’s data base, beautiful, intelligent, and willing to relocate to another country for the right man. Sara Malamud gets hired by successful Jewish men to help them find their wife. They lead busy lives and they don’t trust or have time for the “game” or internet dating. Sara will travel to any part of the world to find their bashert.
Miami Horizons – Autumn 2003, “Perfect Match”
If you’re Jewish single, attractive and intelligent, Sara Malamud has the guy for you!
Style Magazine, September 2004
Who Says Money Can‘t Buy Love? Sara will not take money from people unless she senses love for sale. As one of her clients puts it, “I believe that somehow fate plays a role — it just needs a little push. ”
The Times, February 21
Last Sunday an article in the Money & Business section described the work of Sara Malamud. In the days that followed, the author of the article was besieged with 40 phone calls from romance-hungry readers or their anxious kin.
BBC – from a televised interview
Odds are, when you hear the word “matchmaker,” the song from “Fiddler on the Roof” comes to mind. But today, Jewish matchmakers — and the services they provide — are being sought out by the hippest Jewish singles around. “People who are willing to pay my fees are interested in a serious relationship — not just looking for a good time,” says Sara. “They are writing me a check out, you’re making an investment in yourself; you are looking for a committed relationship that leads toward marriage. These are not blind dates. These are potential wives and potential husbands. So that being said, you’re going to marry one of them.”
“It gets down to, would you rather have the money in your bank, or the person next to you? When you reach a certain age and a certain maturity level, traditional methods of dating aren’t as effective as they used to be,” she adds. “If you’re a busy professional, If singles bars and blind dates aren’t leading you to the love of your life, you may want to think about taking a more serious approach to dating — hiring a matchmaker.” For centuries, Jewish singles from every corner of the world have been married off by matchmakers — and it’s a tradition that’s still going strong.
“Its a smart idea to hire a professional who’s really good at what they do to get you to your goal faster than doing it by yourself.”
Malamud says she’s dedicated to finding the ideal mate for each of her clients. Whether they’re looking for a blonde with blue eyes, or a woman raised in the Midwest, she says she screens thousands of potential “Miss Rights” for each man she represents, until she finds the perfect match. With a personal approach that includes a detailed interview with every client and a network of literally thousands of Jewish single men and women, Sara thinks of herself as a modern-day matchmaker. “I actually go out there and I look for exactly who they’re looking for,” she said. “I’m a head-hunter for love. I have been setting up people for years and they keep getting married.”
The Miami Post, January 2011
Matchmaking requires a peculiar, innate talent, as rare a gift as being able to shoot a basketball through a hoop again and again. No one does it flawlessly, but some people are much better than others.
An eye-catching 59-year-old, Sara is, by her estimation anyway, the reigning queen of the Jewish matchmaking world. She says that she has been responsible for 152 marriages in the past 5 years and a hundreds long-term relationships that haven’t quite made it to the chupa.
Sara comes across as a comically embroidered version of a Jewish mother: zany, enthusiastic, affectionate, unstoppable. She makes no bones about the fact that you (whoever you are) have waited far too long to marry (or remarry). And since you have already failed at finding your mate, she’s taking over, and she’s going to get you married right now. Although she’s motherly, she’s not your mother, so her bullying feels caring rather than controlling.
New York Post, 2010
Be very clear: This isn’t about hooking up. It’s about settling down. “I am a matchmaker. A man can get dates on his own, and I don’t deal with trophy wives. I’m looking to match soul mates.” Besides, there’s only so much even the best matchmaker can do: “I can bring the horse to water but I can’t make him drink if he wants coke.” Usually by the third to sixth introduction, she says, the man is in a committed relationship, a process that can take anywhere from three weeks to eight months. “I leave no stone unturned in finding a marriage match. I’m relentless, tenacious, and obnoxious,” says Sara Malamud whose words fire fast and clipped, with a South American accent She calls matchmaking “the second oldest profession” and says she is a firm believer in marriage.