By: Richard Solomon
A matchmaking group, based in Far Rockaway and called ShidduchLine WhatsApp, released unauthorized profiles of singles to the public on their site and phone app, according to the NY Post
A Shidduch resume is a dating profile that is commonly used in the Orthodox community, passed around by matchmakers and friends. Generally, a single person creates a document with their name, photograph, height, family background, and a paragraph describing what they’re looking for, and then sends them to matchmakers, both professional and amateur. As is standard in the Orthodox dating system, the resume also lists personal mobile numbers of references — often teachers, rabbis, friends, and siblings, The Forward explained.
Shidduch is the Yiddish word for a match that leads to marriage.
ShidduchLine WhatsApp is registered for tax-exempt status from the IRS.
“They certainly should not be allowed to conduct business under a charity status,” Reena Bracha Platt, 27, a California transplant living in Israel who said her outdated profile was posted without her consent, told the Forward
Platt is among those who took to Facebook to complain about the security breach, which was even reported to a religious court.
“I click the link, and I see a profile with my name, my picture, my age, my phone number and my email,” Serena, a single woman in her 20’s living in Jerusalem, told the Forward. “Some of the information was wrong, some of it was outdated. But it was all this personal information that I did not know how these people got. I did not give it to them and never heard of [them] before.”
Serena responded to the email — “I’m wondering where you got my information from…??” she wrote. “I don’t remember giving consent for this to be posted on the Internet.” She asked the site to delete her information entirely and inquired where the website got her information, The Forward explained.
She received a response from a Leah Stein, explaining that “one of the shadchanim [matchmakers] added you to there [sic] private folder and mistakenly placed you as a public profile. Your profile has been removed from the public database. Hatzlacha. [Good luck.]”
Naftali Sternbuch started ShidduchLine in Brooklyn in 2018 with a stated purpose to “help the poor and needy in our community”, according to the NY Post
“We help people find their match by providing a platform that provides all information for no fee, so they can fulfill their lives to the fullest extent,” state incorporation documents obtained by The Post say.
Sternbuch blamed the data breach on matchmakers inadvertently uploading dating profiles from their personal databases and said they had now been deleted, according to the NY Post `
“I never signed up for this service,” said a single woman from New Jersey, who asked to remain anonymous. “I have no idea how it happened. The speculation is that a shadchan [matchmaker] sold our profiles to this site.” She, too, had written to the site, demanding that her information be taken down, and received the same answers as Serena. “They told me that my profile has been deleted, but it doesn’t mean that my data has been deleted”, the Forward reported extensively on.