|Why is this Project necessary||>>||The Problem||>>||The Solution|
The symptoms are many, and a lengthy analysis would be counterproductive in this venue. The intended audience is primarily interested in a solution, not a rehash of what is already well known. Besides, the various symptoms will be evident from the solution.
The root of the problem is social pressure. Our culture is dominated by an unwritten code of conduct and standards, a perverse sort of oral Torah. Conformance to this code often supersedes observance of fundamental principles of the actual Torah. For example, wearing a yarmulke has gone from a Jewish custom to an indicator of ones political and religious views and, by extension, ones suitability for marriage. Hats and jackets (not to mention their colors and styles) have assumed more spiritual meaning than tallis and tefillin. The Yeshiva one attends or attended somehow speaks volumes about the essence of the person. All sorts of arbitrary external practices have become divisive standards by which the Jewish nation has splintered, each tiny faction holy unto itself.
The dating scene is replete with this insanity. Potential mates are judged on conformance to ones culture, like an actor trying out for a part. The dating process has become a script that must be followed down to the slightest detail. The search for a spiritual partner has been reduced to matching résumés.
Worst of all, those who recognize the sickness of this culture feel compelled to perpetuate it, lest they be denied shidduchim. The courage to confront and defy social injustice makes one an outcast.
More social events will not help, certainly not if the participants are treated like rats in a laboratory, allowed to mingle only in a controlled, sterile environment. This conveys the notion that interaction with the opposite sex, even dating itself, is somehow illicit, a necessary evil. As a result, religious singles are never comfortable around one another, and natural affinities that might develop are inhibited by pressure to perform.
Setting people up at every opportunity often leads to frustration, and takes all the joy and excitement out of dating. These attempted solutions only perpetuate the problem.