New singles club gaining ground
December 9, 2008 | Jewish Tribune
“Too often singles just go unnoticed at synagogues or community gatherings,” said Helen Rummel, who spearheaded the new club.
The club’s first get together was a meeting when a semi-formal committee was formed. A Calgary Jewish Community Council (JCC) representative also attended.
The next planned event is a Shabbat potluck dinner in a private home set for Nov. 28.
“There had been a Jewish singles club a while back, but we’ve been without one for a little while now,” explained Rummel.
She said the club members were considering inviting younger singles to join as well, but decided against it when the JCC started a young adult singles group.
“You could say we’re a group of 50-somethings, but people in their 40s are also welcome,” said Rummel.
Although Rummel said she is, technically speaking, a senior, she doesn’t necessarily fit the mould of a senior and enjoys mingling with people of a broad age range. She was an ESL teaching assistant to new immigrants until recently, when she decided to take some time off to help take care of her grandchild.
“We want to start out with just the basics – eating and shmoozing,” said Rummel. “Everyone likes that. Later, we’ll move on to having guest speakers, panels, camping, travelling, bowling, and events like a New Year’s party.”
Rummel said the club has more than 100 people on its call list, hoping to interest many more.
Understanding that the club will not get off the ground overnight, Rummel said, “This is one of those things you just have to keep working at as word gets around.”
Rummel became impassioned about creating opportunities for Jewish singles to meet after attending a Jewish Family Services seminar some years ago. “This really sparked my interest,” she said. “I remember asking the question ‘do men mind if women phone them [instead of the reverse] to ask them out on a date?’ and getting a resounding ‘no’ for an answer.”
As the club continues to grow, Rummel said the synagogue and JCC have committed to helping out.
“I know of quite a few people who successfully met and got married through singles groups,” said Rummel. She, herself, met a man, who has since moved to Victoria, through a previous singles group. Although the couple weren’t a match, they still keep in touch.
Admittedly known around the community as a matchmaker, Rummel said, “The club doesn’t have to be for people to find the person they’re going to marry. It can also be a way to meet people and socialize. It’s more of a cultural group than a religious one.”
Simply put, Rummel said, “Jewish people like to get together with other Jewish people and there should be a venue for them to do so.”