Jdate.com is an online dating service owned and operated by Spark Networks. Jdate specializes in providing service to Jewish singles interested in long-term relationships. While users of other faiths are not explicitly barred from using the service, the Religion section of the Jdate signup form is divided into the different Jewish denominations. Likewise, the Ethnicity section lists only Jewish ethnic groups, and there are additional sections for Temple attendance and Kosher preference. Of interesting note is the lack of a 'married' option in Marital Status section. This emphasizes Jdate's commitment to the long term relationship, and actively discourages extra-marital relationships.
Jdate was founded in 1997 by two Jewish entrepreneurs with the intention of promoting intra-racial marriage between American Jews. The site has since amassed a userbase of well over half a million active members, with about half of them living in North America. Jdate has been listed among Alexa's top 2000 most popular website since late 2003, and won the Social Networking Webby Award for 2006. A Hebrew-language sister site in the Israeli Internet domain serves Jews living in Israel and the Middle East. Unique among Internet dating services, both the English language and Hebrew language websites have more women subscribers than men. The success of Jdate has helped Spark Networks to launch over thirty geographically and demographically-narrow websites, each heavily focused on a specific theme.
Every page on the Jdate website links to their Safety page. The page contains tips to protect oneself during all online activities, including tips to prevent spam, malware infection, identity theft, and of course personal injury when prospective daters meet face to face. Although Jdate promotes safe dating and acts to educate it's users about online and offline dating safety, various incidents have tarnished the Jdate image. Notable among these occurred in early 2006 when a prominent businessman had harassed a woman he met on Jdate after she refused to meet him for a second date. The man stalked the woman, and left very disturbing and threatening messages on the woman's answering machine, which she published on the Internet. The man then threatened to sue the woman for the cost of her portion of the meal they ate, and harassed the woman's coworkers as well. Although Spark Networks canceled the man's Jdate account, there was little that the company could do to protect the woman further.
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