Millennials get a bad rap—especially when it comes to love and relationships. It doesn’t matter which phase of love we may be in or out of, we seem to continually baffle our parents and other Baby Boomers/Gen-Xers with the choices we make in love and romance. In fact, a recent NPR report was dedicated to helping non-millennials decipher our confusing dating vocabulary. Yet, even as we confound previous generations with our unique romantic mores, we 20- and 30-somethings are ourselves perplexed by questions about finding and keeping love.

This confusion is reflected in the dizzying and often-contradictory information regarding millennial dating trends. All at once, 20- and 30- somethings are accused of being the “hookup” generation, even as various reports demonstrate that millennials are more likely to stay single longer or have fewer sexual partners than their parents’ generation. Then, there’s the whole issue of even finding your person—dependent as it is on choosing to find your partner via the wild variety of dating apps or to do it the sometimes frustrating “old-fashioned way.” What’s a millennial who seeks meaningful connection to do?

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When it comes to commitment, too, millennials buck tradition. According to this Gallup poll published in 2016, 59 percent of millennials are single and have never been married, that ultimate expression of relationship tradition. The report notes that “millennials are clearly delaying marriage longer than any generation before them, in spite of evidence suggesting that many millennials intend to marry at some point.” Within the Jewish community, this unorthodox—pun intended!—trend takes shape in the rising rates of intermarriage. As the 2013 Pew report on the American Jewish community signaled, many millennial Jews seek and find partners outside of the Jewish community. So how do these changing views on long-term partnership affect us—and, as our parents might say, our religious communities? And, on the flip side, how do we grow our faith-based communities to reflect the diversity of the millennial experience—whether attached, single or searching?

The questions about the state of millennial love and relationships abound. And they not only affect the millennial generation as a whole, but also have a specific, concrete impact on the Jewish community. So, Eser seeks to offer a Jewish framework through which to start discussing these questions. Having a venue to intentionally begin these conversations is key—and that’s what we hope to provide at our Love & Lox event, taking place at Mamaleh’s Delicatessen on Feb. 12. We’ll converse, connect, commiserate about our romantic trials and celebrate our love triumphs as we hear what insights the Jewish tradition can provide on every phase of romantic entanglement (or the lack thereof). All the while, we’ll nosh on Mamaleh’s delicious Ashkenazi soul food—itself a gastronomic experience of love.

You can find more information about the event on Facebook or at the registration site here. Do you have questions of your own about love and Judaism that you’re dying to discuss? We’re collecting your (anonymous) questions on our Google form to use for a fun event activity. Looking forward to asking—and hopefully answering—these many questions with you at Mamaleh’s!

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