About the Blogger

Esther D. Kustanowitz is a freelance writer, editor and consultant whose areas of expertise include dating and relationships, Jewish life and innovation, cultivating online relationships and pop culture. She also blogs at MyUrbanKvetch and Beliefnet’s Idol Chatter.

Esther wrote “First Person Singular,” a singles column that appeared biweekly in the New York Jewish Week, from 2004-2008. She also wrote “Sole Searching,” a monthly column on Jewish spirituality for GenerationJ.com, a webzine for Jews in their 20s and 30s. She also served as senior editor of PresenTense Magazine from February 2006-June 2008. Her articles have also appeared in PresenTense, Contact, The Reporter, World Jewish Digest, Lilith Magazine, J: The Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, JTS Magazine, The Jewish Week and United Synagogue Review, and in several webzines, including JBooks.com, MzVibe.com, and Jewznewz.com.

She has been quoted as a dating-issues and pop culture expert for articles on MSN’s Dating and Relationships page, as well as in The Week, Salon, NYMetro and Ad Age, and has recently emerged as one of the up-and-coming voices in the world of Jewish blogging. She is currently working on a quasi-memoir about being Jewish and single.

Esther is available for television, radio, internet and print interviews, talk show appearances and guest hosting spots on “The View,” starring or supporting sitcom roles, writing jobs and speaking engagements, or to hang out with Tina Fey as her Judaic comedy consultant. To see some videos of and by Esther, check out her YouTube channel.

For more information, contact jdatersanonymous at gmail dot com.


26 comments

  • Kaneez (10 years)

    Hello, I am writing because I am a Jewish Femaie (half Pakistani) and I was interseted in the TUesday Skirball lecture. I see on the blog that I can ask for a complimentary admission.
    May I do so for this week?
    Kaneez Naseem

  • barf (10 years)

    hi sorry, just seems like a lot of blathering about absolutely nothing. if i were ceo of jdate i’d simply sue you for name infringement. maybe if you weren’t so self absorbed you might have something productive to do with your life.

  • Esther Kustanowitz (10 years)

    I have to say that I worried about using the JDate name at first, but they contacted me a while back and told me that they didn’t care, as long as people were talking about them. I suppose “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” is a saying for a reason.

    The wonderful part about the internet is that you don’t have to read anything you don’t want to read. So thanks for stopping by and for your cheery encouragement!

  • acaligurl (10 years)

    anyone who writes a comment and doesn’t leave their site is a chicken sh*t. ahem “barf”
    i like your response to them. and you are right, if you don’t want to read something… move along. :)

  • austin (10 years)

    I thought you’d like this site http://odetojewishwomen.blogspot.com/

  • Gary's son (9 years)

    Jewish dating websites
    It is true many people are just playing the games using somebody else’s photos or posting the multiple profiles.While I was writing research paper about the Internet dating, I have read a lot about this. Personally, I never had success using the on-line dating. Many people are there just for games. On the other hand, some members are posting their high income figures (possibly fake) and huge list of completed degrees including Ph.D. No wonder, they will not even bother to look on former automotive repair tech, who is grinding into the bachelor’s degree while working as industrial engineer. To be objective, the women who were watching my profile were mostly single mothers with teenage kids.

  • Michael Flam (9 years)

    I found this blog from the jpost.com but was unable to find a reciprocal link to our blog site. To link back would be appreciated. Thank you.

  • Alexander Stone (9 years)

    To “Gary’s Son”. . . your lack of success with online dating has NOTHING to do with your profession. I have included such illustrious occupations in my JDate profile as ‘professional miniature golfer’ and ‘the lettuce guy at Taco Bell,’ and I have had no problems getting women to contact me. In fact, they don’t find out I am an attorney until after they give me their number. If you want to do better than single mothers with teenage kids (not there is anything wrong with them, of course), you might want to try fixing your grammar and then losing the negative attitude about the process.

  • washwords (jfa) (9 years)

    Hi Esther, I’m so glad I found you. I’ve been collected my best (ahem, or worst) J-dates for several years now. Or I was anyway. Seeing someone great now but man alive, that was a rough process. I love your chutzpah and your writing. Hope you don’t mind me stopping by now and again and would GLADLY welcome your comments on my (emerging) site.

    Cheers all!

  • Art M. (9 years)

    Is JDate working for anyone at all?

  • Art M. (9 years)

    Is JDate working for anyone at all ?

  • Henry Cohen (9 years)

    Here’s where you can find the home of The Dancing JDates…

    Look on the Portfolio Page

    http://myintrovideo.webs.com/

    Have fun!

  • Ilona (9 years)

    jdate is making money out of people desperation of finding happiness. Their costumer service is unhelpful.

    I find it very sad that our society making money on such.

    jewish Matchmakers have never asked money for such only tzedaka if you got married.

    this site was actually used to be free before 2000. now it is owned by a company that makes money on something that is should be provided for free as it is

    also they refusing me to have written confirmation why they suspended my profile. I am really really disappointed about it. As it is my personal data.
    I have asked them to provide the reason they simply refuse to give me written confirmation they only want to give information on phone.

  • Batvroom (9 years)

    Jdate worked for me.

    Happily married for almost 2 years – two new jews (twins!) due in 6 weeks

    I know many people it works for – you have to have a open heart and the right expectations

  • h. (9 years)

    JDate worked for one of my cousins. he met a girl in 2001, and they got married 2 years later. she is definitely not a typical JDater- in other words, not desperate. they didn’t get married until they were both in their 30’s and they certainly weren’t moping about it. JDate also worked for one of my friends. he just got engaged a few days ago. however, JDate did not work for me and i have no intention of trying it again. but this doesn’t mean other people shouldn’t give it a spin. it’s just not for everyone.

  • Clever Elsie (8 years)

    What a great blog you have! I’d like to add it to my blogroll at Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles. I’m always on the lookout for blogs that can bring a smile or a chuckle to us singles, who are supposed to be so depressed (even though the great secret is that we aren’t!). :) If you don’t want to be added for any reason, please let me know.

  • Jewy Jewstein (8 years)

    No men want to go out with Jewish women. They are too self involved and kvetch too much. Jewish women are a turn off. Give me a Shiska anyday or a latina or a goyim european lady.

  • Jewy Jewstein (8 years)

    J/k Jewish ladies are terrific. Look at Lisa Remini, Winona Ryder, Scarlett Johanson, Gwynth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, Barbra Walters, Thora Birch, Rachel Bilson, Zac Efron, Evan Rachel Wood, Selma Blair, Isla Fisher, etc…

  • Darcy Lewis (8 years)

    CALLING ALL BAD DATE STORIES – ESPECIALLY FROM THE FRUM WORLD!!!!

    I was delighted to find this site, because after a number of really horrifyingly bad dates, I decided to start collecting other people’s bad date stories – especially from the frum world.

    While I am very sorry so many other people HAVE such stories, like this site, I am attempting to provide catharsis for the Jewish world and write a book with these stories along with some guidelines on proper dating behavior (if you have lots of problems getting a second date, this book might explain why).

    So if you are willing to see your story in print, please email me – darcylewis@yahoo.com, include your name (will NOT be published – my way of keeping track of whose stories are whose), location, and detailed story. I will change any identifying information, and will not use anyone’s real name, so please be honest with me and don’t worry that it will come back to bite you. If you met someone through a website, mention the site, but don’t worry I will remove the info. I just need accurate stories so I can make sure I’m getting the facts right, and to ensure that if someone reports their own experience, and someone else tells me about their friend, I don’t think I have 2 similar stories instead of really one story reported by 2 different people. Thank you, I look forward to hearing them!!!

    On a separate note, my experience with JDate is that most people on it are not frum, and there are even people who are not Jewish, but who think Jews are really sexy. I was a member of Frumster until they too started charging, and was frustrated that they never did anything about the guys who behaved really badly or totally mispresented themselves. What about you guys?

  • Paul (8 years)

    Great idea for a blog…looking forward to reading more. I thought you’d enjoy reading about my experience on Jdate. Take care! Paul

    http://thecorner33.blogspot.com/2008/08/j-date-202.html

  • tuviah (8 years)

    can the blog writer – esther – give us some idea of why JDate and the UWS shidduch scene is so difficult for MO Jews to find a mate/match?

    I ask because I saw a promo for “Unattached” – I would love to see the whole thing (Esther – any ideas on how to get this?).

    I am not MO, but I am quasi – observant. I am fascinated by the problem. I know so many people who are happily married (non-observant Jews, often actually married to other non-observant Jews, or, one of them converted to Judaism).

    I am sort of amazed that Judaism in practice seems to have “a problem” with creating the very thing it so singularly cares about: Jewish families to pass the mesorah on to!

    I know Esther you are writing a book — but can we ask: why do you remain committed to this MO journey? Did you ever think of going to Israel and marrying a decent guy there? Do you think that MO is overly concerned with the “look” of the potential spouse – i.e. that he or she be white, middle-class, from a typical background – and if so, what does this say about how prejudice gets in the way of the beshert search?

    I will end with one story: I had a great Rabbi years ago who took seven years to get married. He started the shidduch process from age 20. He dated over 250 women in the shidduch style. He had one criteria (besides the obvious one that they needed to be ortho): he did NOT want to date a sabra (native Israeli). They were too tough he felt.

    Long story short: first sabra he dated — boom. marriage. just what he needed!

    Best, tuvia

  • Esther Kustanowitz (8 years)

    Hi Tuviah,

    The Unattached movie is probably available online somewhere.

    Why Jdate and Shidduchim make it difficult? I’ve been writing a blog for 5 years about this, so go back in the archives and take a look. But really, I think it boils down to people feeling they have endless options and deserve a perfect match, however they define that.

    I have to see about that book – kind of taking a back shelf to life right now. But the truth is I haven’t really ever considered myself MO, per se. I want a life of observing Shabbat and keeping kosher, but I’m also a little more liberal than Orthodox theology allows for.

    My personal opinion, without knowing the particular situation you describe, is that although you say that person had “one criteria,” clearly, by dating 250+ women, he had more than one criterion, even if he didn’t state them.

    Going to Israel for good isn’t in my plan right now, but when I do go, about once a year, I like to think I’m open to the possibility of meeting someone there.

  • Still Searching (7 years)

    I’m a semi observant Jewish Man in my late 30’s. I appreciate your blog. I haven’t read too much, but I wanted to share my story. After about four months there was only one response. There were countless e-mails to women, but no one cared to respond. I read the one response’s profile thinking it might be a match. So we met for coffee. Unfortunately, she misrepresented herself on her profile. There were many things that she wrote about her hobbies, interests, career, lifestyle, etc. that simply weren’t true. I did a Google search about her and discovered other unpleasant things that I don’t wish to repeat. In addition she didn’t even take the time to read my profile. (Appearantly Jdaters just look at photos) She looked nothing like her picture. It was like she took a photo from college and put it up.

    Other things I constantly complained to Jdate about was being spamed by minors and foreign hackers. I was constantly getting flirts and emails from profiles that contained a photo of twelve year old. Or offers to go to another website for job opportunity.

    I noticed many photos were low resolution. Worse yet contained another man either in the frame or croped with scisors.

    Does anybody actually take this site seriously?

    I just wonder.

    Take care and good luck.

  • Robert Edward (6 years)

    I noticed there are many complaints with Jdate and a few positives. I am new to the single scene in Boston, 55 years young, looking for younger serious woman who has conservative viewpoints, actively jewish, and a giver. I do not like liberal women. Do you recommend Jdate be a good match for me, or has anybody had any other experiences with other web sites?

  • emunadate (5 years)

    Hi Esther,
    So glad to find your blog. Love the way you write. I’ve read a number of your articles in the Jewish Week and always enjoyed them.
    Hatzlacha Rabah!!

  • Dave (4 years)

    Hi Esther, I am a semi-observant Jewish man, 54 years old, divorced, 6’3″ tall.

    I have found that there are very very very few Jewish women over 5’6″ tall.

    Another thing is I am Sephardic. Most Jewish women in Canada and the U.S.A. are either very “culturally” Jewish, which in their mind means Eastern European Jewish culture, period OR a minority of them are very very religious. Of the few Sephardic women I have met, some are “trashy” and others are very very religious.

    I have travelled to China a few times, and I have also dated Chinese women.
    For me, it is easier and less culturally jarring to marry a Chinese woman and persuade her to convert to Judaism rather than to marry a “born” Jewish woman.

    I know you probably won’t reply this, but I just thought to put in my 2 cents worth, or (with inflation) 2 dollars worth.

    Regards,
    Dave.

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