About that Jew-finding app…

Dear American Jews,

I know we’re worried about assimilation. I know it can be hard to find fellow members of the tribe who like long walks on the beach and headbanging to classic Beastie Boys. I understand the limitations of minority life and the imperative of “l’dor ve’dor”—“from generation unto generation.”

But please. Let’s not be reduced to this:

App finds you a Jew

Yenta, a new iPhone application that connects Jewish singles based on their location, debuted about a month ago, the latest in niche matchmaking.

Somewhat similar to the gay application Grindr [note: an app generally described by users in rather graphic sexual terms], the free mobile dating service uses GPS technology to allow users to peruse the profiles of nearby Jews.

…“You can walk into a coffee shop and you can find out who’s Jewish and single around you,” said creator Luba Tolkachyov.

Am I the only one totally creeped out by this? The only one whose very first reaction to technology that literally uncovers Jews in your immediate vicinity was to think about where I could hide them if need be?

I have two kids, and please God, they should enter the Torah, the chuppa (gay or straight, I don’t care), and good deeds. I genuinely—really and truly—want my kids to marry Jews and even (in the fullness of time, and only if they want to!) bring me Jewish grandbabies. They’re both too young to date yet, but not too young for me to start dreaming.

But the idea of them finding partners (for whatever…) via what amounts to (IMHO) a stalking app…? She’lo neda me’tsarot—we shouldn’t know from such troubles!

Aside from anything else, can you imagine the conversation?

“Hi, my phone tells me you’re Jewish! Is anyone sitting here?”

Let’s just, I don’t know, build some more Gaga pits and maybe host another Kiddush or two, instead. Ask my friends—I’m good for the kugel.

Crossposted from Open Zion/The Daily Beast.

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