You Had Me at Shalom: LGBT Jewish Speed Dating

In a town where everyone seems to know everyone (or claims to), we managed to make hundreds of new matches among 125 queer Jews (and our friends) in the DC area.

“You Had Me at Shalom: LGBT Jewish Speed Dating” gathered GLOE‘s singles for schmoozing at the Hotel Palomar in Dupont Circle on Saturday night, February 4. Most people showed up in first-date finest with open minds and ready to see who would sit down at their tables. The mood was light and everyone got chatty pretty fast.

Pre-matching by a secret team of romance mavens assured that no one dated their ex or anyone else they indicated on their “Hell no!” list when registering. (We may have called it something less inflammatory…)

Daters could indicate their levels of Jewish observance (or non-observance, or cultural Jewishness, or that they were “non-Jewish/Jewish-in-spirit”), and who they were open to being matched with. They could also add things about age range, sexuality and gender identity, and a few other basics.

Now, there was also another box for important other information that didn’t fit anywhere else. We were pretty clear about what this box was for.

Still, we got several epic tomes in this box about wanting to be matched with someone who liked long walks on the beach every 3rd Thursday, worked out a lot but not too much, listened to Chicago-style blues but not New Orleans-style, and was interested in Hegelian dialectics only so far as they are related to metaphysics. Oh, and they have to be hot. We could arrange that, right?

We assured these people that these would be excellent topics of conversation for the actual speed date.

Our drag yenta emcee, Silvia Sparklestein, kept everyone in line, and by the end of the night plenty of matches were made, including through the “caught my eye” option at the bottom of the dating card. Many eyes were caught that evening.

We hope people read the naming clause at the bottom of registration, wherein any pets that come from couples made at You Had Me at Shalom must be named after GLOE. Like, GLOEy the retriever. Or, Glo-glo the pomeranian.

One thing we heard, over and over again, was how happy people were to have this kind of event – that there’s Jewish speed dating and LGBT speed dating, but not where they intersect.

Since GLOE lives in those intersecting spaces, we loved being able to help people in the community meet. And we also loved being able use the phrase “drag yenta emcee,” as often as possible. So, win-win.
A few initial photos below…

(Also, check Metro Weekly’s great shots of the event, and their hilarious video interviewing our daters, asking, “What makes a first date special?“)


(Photos credit: Josh Siegel)

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