“I think it’s such a niche market,” she says, but “this niche really wants it badly it’s so small.” Halpern is 25, but still an undergraduate at Mc Gill University (in addition to going to seminary before college, she took time off school to work in web development).
She grew up Modern Orthodox in Calgary, and went to High School in Toronto.
For example, same as for straight Jews who are accused of ethnocentrism racism for wanting to in-date, queer Jews find they are often misunderstood.
Or there’s the fact that there are more hookup apps for any gender or sexual orientation, but SYAS is geared towards long term relationships.
In the beta, users selected on a spectrum, how attracted they were to masculinity, or to femininity, and did the same to romantic attraction (separating them out make the website inclusive to asexual folk).
Users don’t have to pick a letter from the alphabet soup that is LGBTQIA .
“There’s a stigma against bi people,” Halpern offers as an example of where labels can be limiting, “or some people hate the word lesbian.” Then, for religious observance and identity, there’s a checklist with options—lots of options: about kashrut, Shabbat, denominations, all with the ability to emphasize the importance of certain practices over others.
As a coder, she was able to almost singlehandedly create Saw You At Stonewall.Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge.We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking.“The intersectionality of Judaism and queerness is a really tough space,” she says, “Because a lot of queer circles are also very radical politically and that makes a lot of Jews feel excluded.” So, Saw You at Stonewall is more than a dating site—it’s a space for Jews to be fully queer, and for queer people to be fully their Jewish selves.
While the site may change a great deal between now and its official launch (no date set yet), Halpern wanted to address a lot of issues that come up for LGBT Jews when designing SYAS.
And while the personal matchmaking will be a draw to the site, users will also have the ability to opt for an algorithm-only option. There are a lot of aspects of the project up in the air.