Meet Mr. & Mrs. JDate

May 13, 2009, Jewish Journal of Los Angeles

According to Jewish tradition, a person who makes three Jewish matches that lead to marriage earns shares in the world to come. If true, Joe Shapira is a big stockholder in heaven.

As the founding partner of JDate in 1997, he’s among the most prolific shadchanim (matchmakers) in Jewish history. No exact statistics are available on the number of marriages arising from the popular Jewish online dating brand, but more than 21,000 JDate couples reported their marriages to their cyber-yenta in 2008 alone. The site spans England, France and Israel, with Russian and Spanish sites in development.

Shapira’s success and personal allegiances become clear from the minute you step into the foyer of his Beverly Hills home, where the flags of America and Israel flank a view of a lush backyard. Born Yoav Shapira in the Tel Aviv suburb of Givatayim, it’s safe to say the immigrant to America of 30 years has realized the American dream.

“When I came to Los Angeles, I worked for the guy who developed this entire community, and I was the person who delivered the house to new buyers.  Those houses looked to me like palaces, and I never imagined in my wildest dreams I would own one.”


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