At the behest of a staffer, J-Weekend added a Havdalah service this year.Schreiber wasn’t sure how the singles would respond, but said he received “phenomenal” feedback.With 200 or so mostly secular attendees, J-Weekend really wasn’t all that Jewy.
Despite the misgivings, I packed my bags for a weekend of adventure and possible romance, and hopefully not too much schmaltz.
“We strive to build and strengthen the Jewish community, and offline events like the J-Weekends are a great way to complement the online dating experience,” said Arielle Schechtman, director of public and community relations for Spark Networks, JDate’s parent company.
The best tip I picked up over the years was to focus on just having fun, not meeting your match, and interacting with people in the daylight rather than window shopping online by the light of my computer screen provided that opportunity.
Alissa Cipriano of New York, participating in her third J-Weekend, called her adventures of trapeze and mountain biking “a great time with nice people.” “If you meet someone, that’s great, but that’s not the motive,” she said.
Fencing is full of rules and ceremony, but swashbuckling is down-and-dirty fighting, explained our instructor Alberto, who trains celebrities to use the blade for fight scenes.
Having dressed as Zorro two years in a row for Halloween, I lunged (get it? With five moves, Alberto taught us the basics of attacking and defending in a Hollywood sword fight.Hooking up takes on a whole different meaning for one-handed pirates.Pirates aside, it was really the Jewish content — or lack thereof — that separated J-Weekend from other Jewish singles weekends.A week later, I’m still sore from the break dancing, but now I have moves like Jagger — or at least like You Tube bar mitzvah sensation Sam Horowitz.Color war is a staple of most summer camps, and Club Getaway is no exception, except here it was condensed down to under an hour.We tossed water balloons, spun around baseball bats and literally jumped through (hula) hoops.