A religious dating WhatsApp group named “Until We Meet” has ignited controversy by permitting members to upload profile photos, including full-body images, without accompanying text, leading one member to call the group “Tinder for religious singles.”
The shift in policy has led to heated debates among the group’s members.
Eleanor Rahimi, a 35-year-old graphic designer and content creator from Kfar Saba, caused a stir when she revealed on Facebook that the group was suggesting the inclusion of two photos, one of which is a full-body image. The group’s manager even authorized singles to share photos without the customary accompanying self-description.
Comprising around 500 members, all identifying as religious, the group’s objective, according to Rahimi’s interview with The Jerusalem Post, is to facilitate connections among like-minded religious singles.
Rahimi explained, “Participants submit a profile text with their details and a photo, allowing interested parties to reach out to the profile uploader via the group’s manager.”
Explaining the rationale behind the change in policy, the group manager stated, “As part of the new group rules, and given that the majority determines whether they wish to proceed with a potential date based on photos, there is no obligation to provide additional details.”
This implies that members need not include a curriculum vitae (CV) or a textual description of their potential match.
Rahimi, however, took issue with this alteration, expressing her discontent on Facebook.
“A WhatsApp dating group for religious people decided to issue a new rule in which it is not necessary to write the member’s details, but only to post a photo.”
She added, “Tell me more about love that is not dependent on anything, and some lies about establishing a Jewish home. I want to puke.”
Policy change came after poll concerning photos
Originally intended as a platform for religious singles to explore potential relationships among like-minded peers, the group faced a turning point when one member initiated a poll. The poll questioned whether profiles should include full-body photos or just headshots, leading to divided opinions.
Among the respondents, 22 advocated for the inclusion of body images, while 17 believed it was inconsequential. This divergence in views prompted a shift in group policy.
Rahimi disclosed that a group member posted a photo of himself without supplementary details. In response, the group’s manager asserted, “Within the new group rules, there is no obligation to provide personal details; sending a photo alone is also acceptable.”
This decision triggered spirited debates within the group.
Rahimi admitted, “I was anxious when I first saw it. I engaged in a private conversation with the manager, and though she conceded my point, she maintained that the new policy stands.”
Subsequently, Rahimi shared her experience on Facebook, divulging the group’s amended policy. Reactions ranged from astonishment to skepticism, underscoring a yearning for comprehensive visual cues.
She also noted that a survey revealed a preference for full-body images in profiles, indicative of the desire for a holistic understanding of potential partners.
“We have essentially become Tinder for religious singles,” Rahimi reflected. Despite the controversy, she remains optimistic that the ensuing conversations will foster positive changes.
Rahimi mentioned receiving inquiries from several individuals about the group, and she believes that widespread publication will illuminate the controversial nature of this approach.
Baim Betov, an organization aiding National-Religious singles in finding suitable marriage matches, voiced its opinion on the matter.
“The singleness crisis has spurred various dating initiatives within the national religious sector. However, some initiatives may lose sight of the essence, focusing instead on trivial matters,” said Shira Mass, CEO of Baim Betov.
Mass emphasized the uniqueness of each bachelor and bachelorette, carrying their own values, qualities, characters, desires, and aspirations. While Mass acknowledged the importance of external appearance in partner selection, she criticized the decision to prioritize physical attributes over one’s true essence. Mass concluded that while she supports community growth initiatives, this approach misaligns with their core values.