Shidduch Crisis
Causes & Cures

By Michael J. Salamon
April 2008
Urim Publications
Distributed by
ISBN: 9789655240061
141 pages, Illustrated, 6 7/8 x 9 5/8"
$21.95 Hardcover

The Shidduch Crisis: Causes and Cures takes a hard, honest look at the real difficulties faced by the dating public in today’s Orthodox world. With the rates of divorce and eating disorders rising, complaints regarding the shortage of men and the move away from socializing activities to the extensive use of third-party matchmakers, a true crisis exists and may be worsening.

In this book, the author explores these issues, particularly those related to how matches are made. He finds that most are made based on availability, not compatibility, and on superficial criteria that have no relevance to what truly makes a marriage successful. Citing relevant data from the fields of psychology, sociology, and neurology, along with a host of anecdotes from a wide range of people, Dr. Salamon, a well-known psychologist, author, and lecturer, provides guidelines to help alleviate this crisis.

Dr. Salamon looks at the lists of criteria, the questions that people ask and the expectations for a mate that have developed over the last several years within the shidduch (matchmaking for marriage) process, and shows how they are counter-intuitive for forming healthy marriages. He also shows how much of what passes for background checking, in fact, may be lashon ha-ra (tale bearing).

But most importantly, Dr. Salamon provides real suggestions for going beyond the physical, superficial standards that have contributed to a developing shidduch crisis. He advocates an approach where a measure of personal maturity is returned to those who are dating and makes the case for alleviating the external pressures on the dating couple.

About the Author:

Michael J. Salamon, PH.D., FPPR, has worked with the Jewish communities of the Greater New York area for more than two decades. He has been at the forefront of influencing the Jewish community to acknowledge and deal with the challenges it faces, including dating and relationship issues, substance and alcohol abuse, eating and other disorders relating to body image issues, and physical abuse. Dr. Salamon is a sought after speaker by synagogues, yeshivas, and Jewish communal institutions throughout the United States. He is the author of many assessment tools including the Life Satisfaction Scale and the Addiction Dependency Scale, as well as the book Home or Nursing Home: Making the Right Choice. He has presented more than 100 papers at national and international conferences.

Dr. Salamon is the founder and director of the Adult Developmental Center, Inc., a comprehensive psychological consulting practice in Hewlett, NY. He empowers individuals and families to cope with the various psychological challenges that arise throughout the life span. Among his areas of specialization are substance abuse and alcoholism counseling, crisis management, child, family, and marital counseling, therapeutic interventions, and gerontology.

Dr. Michael Salamon received his doctorate in psychology from Hofstra University. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America’s Behavioral and Social Sciences Section and a board certified Diplomate- Fellow Prescribing Psychologist Register.

Praise for The Shidduch Crisis:

Dr. Michael Salamon has written a book which touches on very important issues relating to the Jewish family. These subjects must be addressed by the community, schools, the Rabbinate, and the family. Dr. Salamon’s work makes an important contribution to the discussion which must take place. I congratulate him for his insight and hope that his book will be a catalyst for more thoughtprovoking contributions on raising our children in a very challenging world.
-Rabbi Hershel Billet, Rabbi, Young Israel of Woodmere

In every generation we, the Jewish people, are faced with new challenges. In this generation, the challenge of singles and appropriate guidelines regarding shadchanut and matchmaking seem to be one of ours. On the one hand, there are many older singles, and we as a community must find opportunities to help those who wish to find their ezer ke-negdo. However, due to this phenomenon parents pressure their children to marry before they reach an age in which it may be perceived that they are “too old” for marriage.

The pressure placed upon them by our community can be so damaging that it occasionally causes our children to make wrong decisions that affect their entire lives. Shadchanut often has a materialistic expectation that is prohibitive to many families. The search done in this process can be extremely exhaustive and often focuses on the wrong values. I am reminded of a case where one family checked out another family in such a forensic way that they located a relative thought to have been killed in the Holocaust.

Your competency as a mental health professional, as well as your capacity to look at the world through the prism of Torah, has allowed you to write an important work that helps create clarity for this challenge. Your insights, Torah-based guidance, and clear perspective empower the reader. Parents, teachers, rabbanim, and especially those of marriageable age should read this book.
-Rabbi Kenneth Brander, Dean, Center for the Jewish Future, Yeshiva University

This book offers a clear insight into the many intricacies of the issues involved, and delivers – with common sense, logic, and a dash of humor – effective, solution-oriented answers to some of the most intractable problems. I highly recommend this book.
-David J. Lieberman, Ph.D., noted psychotherapist and best-selling author

Dr. Salamon has written a carefully researched and fact-filled book about the shidduch crisis in the Orthodox community. This book addresses a vacuum in this area by providing objective and common-sense information regarding this anxiety filled process. Dr. Salamon convincingly debunks many of the dangerous misconceptions that often guide the thinking of parents and young men and women in determining whom they will date and how they will decide whom to marry. Using a combination of common sense and solid psychological research, Dr. Salamon’s recommendations regarding what is really predictive of success in marriage are enlightening and invaluable to all who are involved in making what is most likely one of life’s most important decisions. I recommend this book highly to those getting ready to date, their parents and those involved in making shidduchim.
-David Pelcovitz, Ph.D., Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus Chair in Psychology and Education, Yeshiva University

Religion; Jewish Studies

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