Orthodox Dating Website Frumster Changing Name to JWed
The popular Orthodox Jewish dating service, Frumster, will change its name to JWed, according to JWed CEO and primary majority owner, Ben Rabizadeh. The ongoing name change will be complete in the next few weeks. Ben Rabizadeh was actually one of Frumster’s first users back in 2001. He loved the site so much that he decided to buy it. Now, the 35-year-old business entrepreneur is himself married.
The online dating service Frumster began in December 2001, “my current management team bought it on September 4, 2003.” said Mr. Rabizadeh.
It was launched as an Orthodox dating site by “disenfranchised Jdate users” who did not feel that it was a good environment for them. “Two years after taking it over, we started getting a tremendous amount of non-Orthodox users taking over the site.” he said. Mr. Rabizadeh said in an interview that the site’s management began getting [many] complaints by users [saying] you have thousands and thousands of users calling themselves Orthodox just so they can get on the site [and get a date].” he told Arutz Sheva. “People basically lied just to get on the site.”
The birth of the JWed site happened in 2005, as an upshot of this.
“We built a very innovative proprietary technology, which we refer to as the firewalls. What they do” he explained “is they completely control your experience based on your religious background.”
“Someone who is a ‘black hatter’ will never be aware that there is anyone on the site who is not Orthodox. The average user is only aware of less than 25 percent of the profiles on the site. So it is a really complicated set of rules.” The benefit is that it “creates a comfortable niche environment for everybody.”
This is what led the company to change the name Frumster to JWed. However, originally there were two parallel sites. But they always shared the same exact database. “Frumster will be out the door very soon. But for now, the login is interchangeable by both sites.” Ben Rabizadeh told Arutz Sheva in an interview.
“Even now, 50 percent [of users] are basically modern Orthodox liberal or modern Orthodox machmir.” he said.
“And what we found,” he said, is that “they never liked the name ‘Frumster’; it sounds too dweeby.” he said
What we want to do is “to be the Jewish E-Harmony.” he said referring to a similar secular American dating service.
“How can we focus on meaningful relationships and getting people married rather than being a place to just find a date?” he asked. “Frumster has grown up, it started off as a free service. Our technology has evolved our screening has evolved.”
When asked about the competition such as JDate and SawYouAtSinai, he said he rarely thinks about them. The competition is not a motivator.
“We really do not think about JDate. We have over 2100 [users] that have been reported to have gotten married through our site. That is 40 people every month.” he said.
“We really do not look at the competition. When I built the site back in 2003 and one of the big things he told me was never look at the competition, look at the customers and make sure they’re happy.”
Now, he said “we’re getting more activity, more profiles. I was one of the first members of Frumster back in 2001 and I was so happy with the service I decided to buy it.” he admitted. “I was a friend of a friend of the person who started it. So I bought it in 2003.”
Today, JWed has over 100,000 registered users.