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)

Advertisements

Seven Questions for: Silvia Sparklestein

Silvia Sparklestein comes to You Had Me at Shalom: LGBT Jewish Speed Dating this Saturday* night with GLOE, as the fabulous drag yenta emcee of the event. Not only will she be helping to make romantic connections among the daters and schmoozers, she’ll also be performing a few numbers… and making sure everyone is eating enough.

Joining us from Queens, Silvia answered our seven most important questions in the world.

1) How would you describe what you do to someone from the 19th Century?

I wear fabulous clothing. I sing and dance. And I sparkle. I’d be the perfect actor in any Shakespeare play (female roles, of course).

2) What did you want to be when you grew up?

A Jewish mother. Definitely a Jewish mother. It’s every Jewish girl from Queens’ dream! Grow up. Have lots of Jewish babies. And guilt them into calling me everyday for the rest of their busy lives as doctors, lawyers and accountants.

3) Is there a book you’re embarrassed to admit you’ve never read?

Two books. I would say the book I’m most embarrassed to have not read is Kosher by Design – Short on Time by Susie Fishbein. It’s supposed to be a fabulous Kosher cookbook with simple recipes. I love reading Kosher cookbooks to pass the time!

The other book I haven’t read is The Debutante Divorcee by Plum Sykes. After reading her book Bergdorf Blondes I truly felt like Plum connected with my inner soul the way no other writer has. (And with a first name like Plum! Oy Vey! Delicious!)

4) Woody Allen, Pro or Con?

Woody and I go way back. Although he grew up in Brooklyn, our families always used to get together for the Pesach Seder at my parent’s house in Queens. I still wonder why he doesn’t use his real family name “Konigsberg.” Well, at least I kept my family name!

5) What’s your favorite non-English word?

“Kreplach” for a number of reasons. The most obvious is, who doesn’t like kreplach?! I eat kreplach everyday for breakfast. Definitely the breakfast of champions in my humble and modest opinion. Another reason I like the word kreplach is because of the yiddishe “chhhhhh” sound at the end! I love hearing goy-toys choke as they try to say it.

6) What issue do you wish other people knew more about?

That Barbra Streisand recorded a Christmas Album in 1967. Who knew a nice yiddishe meidella from Brooklyn knew anything about The Lord’s Prayer and Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire?!

7) Historical figure, living or not, that you’d want to share a bagel with, and what kind of bagel?

Definitely Wendy Williams! She and I have a lot in common, like, our shoes size! I’m a plain Jane so I would order a plain bagel (no seeds that can get stuck in your teeth) with low-fat cream cheese schmeared on one side and low-sodium lox spread on the other, extra cream cheese and extra lox spread. Wendy would order a cinnamon raisin bagel with butter… low-fat butter.

Read all of the Seven Question interviews.

 

%d bloggers like this: