Last Wednesday, hundreds of shadchanim gathered together in Yerushalayim for the third HaGefen Conference. The event was held in the Wedding Club Hall. The shadchanim came from all parts of the kehillah, united in their desire to help establish Jewish homes by bringing people, particularly older bachurim and girls, together.
Among the distinguished guests at the conference were the Boyaner Rebbe, the Biale Rebbe of London, Harav Boruch Leib Rabinowitz; Harav Shmuel Ludmir, the Pressburger Rav and many other special guests.
The first session was opened by Rabbi Tuvia Freund, who praised the shadchanim for all their work and efforts in this sacred task. The conference is a direct follow-up from a meeting for HaGefen shadchanim held in London, which has had tremendous results.
Rabbi Meir Schwartz shared some inspiring thoughts, after which Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman spoke. The conference was directed by Rabbi Mordechai Eichler, enabling hundreds of shadchanim to discuss the painful issues of shidduchim for older singles.
After a break, the Boyaner Rebbe and the Biale Rebbe of London both spoke.
Towards the end of the proceedings, Harav Chaim Schmerler, Rosh Yeshivas Oraysa and president of HaGefen spoke, emphasizing the pain of parents and children who sit at home, waiting for the phone to ring with a suggestion. He said that the shadchanim bring light and joy into these homes with their work.
An emotional and riveting speech was delivered by a bachur of 36, who described the feelings that the elder bachurim go through, how it hurts to see everyone else moving ahead in life besides for them, the times of despair. He asked the shadchanim to devote several minutes a day on behalf of the older boys and girls. “There are those who think that the elder bachurim are a more difficult market to deal with,” he said, but then added, “to the contrary; we are more willing to accommodate and to lower our demands.”
He blessed all the shadchanim that in the zechus of their devotion they should merit marrying off their children in the right time, and never have to experience what they are going through.
Finally, the director of the organization Rabbi Yehuda Wagschal expressed the feelings of the shadchanim, saying that they were inspired to continue with a fresh outlook and renewed strength, as well as new tools for their job – to seek to bring people together and build new Jewish homes.