They've already found each other. Religious couple on Israeli version of 'Amazing Race'
Photo: Adi Orani
Valentine's Day, Jewish-style
'Amazing Race' competition to be held on holiday of love in bid to help single national-religious men, women find their match

Going to extremes for sake of shidduch: As the Western world celebrates Valentine's Day on Tuesday, and millions of men pamper their women with a flower, chocolate or a romantic dinner, single national-religious Israelis won't be alone either.


Genesis Land, a Biblical farm in the Judean Desert, will hold an "Amazing Race" style competition for young men and women from the national-religious sector who have yet to find the love of their life.


The young bachelors will form couples and compete against each other in Biblical-style missions: Sheepherding, drawing water from the well and filling a water trough.


The winners will likely be those who manage to collect the phone numbers of the most popular single men or women.


The event is being produced by members of the Mishkefet association, which normally organizes tours of Judea and Samaria.


The competition is quite unusual in the sector: Valentine's Day is considered a Christian holiday, and the religious public usually avoids marking it and prefers its Jewish version of Tu B'Av.


In the past, rabbis strongly condemned the habit to mark Valentine's Day in Israel, but it seems that the desire to find a match overpowers social conventions.


"The date doesn't really matter; what's important is the meeting," says Raz Kiel, 32, a Jerusalem bachelor who writes a gossip column in a synagogue newspaper.


"Such an even can be very successful, as it's different from the café dating routine. If it produces couples, it may even become a tradition in our sector."



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