With Love Is Blind Season 4 done and dusted, more matchmaking action is up next from Netflix. First we’ll check back in with Sima Aunty aka Sima Taparia and the Indian Matchmaking crew for season 3 of Indian Matchmaking. Season 3 drops on April 21st with eight new episodes of love, loss and controversy. However, the Indian Matchmaking producers have a spinoff on deck with a new cultural focus. May 3rd is the debut date for Jewish Matchmaking, brought to you by matchmaker Aleeza Ben Shalom. We’ve been able to compile details about the show, its setting, and Aleeza herself. Let’s review everything you need to know to prepare yourself for eight crazy episodes of Jewish Matchmaking.
Jewish Matchmaking: Everything We Know About The Show So Far
Like Indian Matchmaking, all the episodes will be released at once, so clear your schedule and prepare to binge. The episodes themselves are going to be short, no more than 30 minutes each. Based on the identity of our matchmaker it looks like the majority of the American scenes will be shot in Philadelphia. We’ll also be travelling to Israel, so some Middle Eastern flavor will get mixed in as well. Netflix’s one minute teaser trailer doesn’t give us any contestant names, but their concerns are relatable. One guy is looking for someone who appreciates Curb Your Enthusiasm. Women want passion — but Aleeza shuts that down (we’ll explain that later).
Along the way we’ll learn a lot about Jewish religious practice, because it’s essential to what matchmaker Aleeza does. We’ve covered the basics of a Jewish wedding before, when we primed you for Alexa and Brennon Lemieux’s wedding on Love Is Blind. However, the Alfias are much less religious than Aleeza, by their own admission. As it turned out, Brennon didn’t need a lot of Jewish knowledge to get and stay married. It’ll be much different with Aleeza and her clients, all of whom have a lot more grounding in Jewish religious communities. Much like Indian Matchmaking, where everyone displayed attachments to Indian culture, fans will likely have a more authentically Jewish experience.
Jewish Matchmaking Cast Members Revealed
At least two cast members have confirmed their involvement in the show thus far. One is disability advocate and comedian Pamela Rae Schuller. The four-foot-six powerhouse is constantly poking fun at her dating misadventures and preaching a message of inclusion onstage. Marketing exec Dani Bergman is on board as well. The accomplished director of 1084 Media will bring both her serious and silly side to Jewish Matchmaking. Both these women are more secular than Aleeza, but we can expect more religious cast members as well.
Jewish Matchmaking: Context Is Everything
Jewish customs were reflected in the trailer where we see a man hoisted up on a chair. This happened at Alexa and Brennon’s wedding, but it was a blink-and-miss-it moment. Traditional Jewish weddings involve men and women separated by a barrier. They are lifted on the chairs so they can see each other over it. In the trailer we also see Aleeza touching a doorpost when entering a house and using Hebrew words like chuppah. BTW, a chuppah is the canopy that the couple stands underneath while getting married. It symbolizes God’s presence above the couple. Aleeza touches that doorpost because Jewish homes have a marking on the entry to their houses called a mezuzah. It contains Old Testament verses commanding Jews to bind these words upon the doorposts. Touching the mezuzah is a sign of respect and religious Jews never enter a house without performing this ritual.
Even this short trailer demonstrates that the show will need to explain these concepts to viewers, many of who have never seen this world before. But there is another group that the show will have to take care with, and that’s the Orthodox Jewish community itself. Another Netflix show, Unorthodox, portrayed this world in a much less flattering light and upset many religious Jews. Some takes even accused the show of perpetuating anti-Semitic stereotypes. Expect Jewish Matchmaking to be a lot more respectful and not go beyond showing tension between modern and traditional takes on Jewish love, much like Indian Matchmaking. You can see some of these hurt feelings on the announcement post on Aleeza’s Facebook. Some of Aleeza’s Facebook friends banned Netflix from their homes entirely after Unorthodox. Aleeza says she “worked hard to make this something positive and wonderful.”
But a ham-fisted Netflix edit could mess things up. Perhaps fixing post-production edits is why Jewish Matchmaking, initially slotted for a late 2022 release date, was pushed back until spring 2023.
Jewish Matchmaking: Who Is Matchmaker Aleeza Ben Shalom?
A Netflix matchmaking show is only as good as its matchmaker. Fans may have gotten used to Sima Aunty’s old-fashioned matchmaking style and tough love. However, Aleeza’s approach is a bit more modern. Sima, has a sharp tongue and is often very stern and blunt, but Aleeza is always smiling and has a more positive, motivational style. If you check out Aleeza’s Instagram you will see that she likes to defuse tension by joking and being free with her emotions while Sima is a bit more reserved. While Sima was controversial among many fans and disliked by some contestants, such as Aparna Shewakramani, expect Aleeza to push for that 100% approval rating. Aparna follows Aleeza on IG, as do Indian Matchmaking stars Nadia Jagessar, Shekar Jayaraman, Akshay Dhumal, producer Smriti Mundhra and Sima Aunty herself. We can also find out some details about Aleeza’s personal and professional life.
She’s a devoted wife to her husband Gershom, who is a lot more prominent than Sima’s husband Anup. Gershom is a blinds and draperies salesman, and according to this article the family moved to Israel during the pandemic. Aleeza’s son Avraham also features prominently on her profile, but she is actually a mother of 5 and a dog mom. 46-year old Aleeza and Gershom have been husband and wife since October 13, 2022 according to Aleeza’s Facebook. While Sima is an institution unto herself, Aleeza is deeply connected to other matchmakers and dating coaches. Many follow her on social media, such as the Today Show’s Jackie Glaser and Rabbi Yisroel Bernath, aka “The Love Rabbi.” Aleeza and Rabbi Bernath host the “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” podcast, and we might see the Rabbi guest star.
According to her website at marriagemindedmentor.com, Aleeza trains other matchmakers while offering a whole host of online courses and events. She’s the author of dating and marriage books as well, including Get Real, Get Married and Virtual Dating (both books’ links are affiliate links to Show Star News). We can’t wait to see what drama will develop on Jewish Matchmaking.