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to signal when it was time for the single men and women present to switch partners and spark up a conversation with the next stranger.
“We thought 10 minutes for each date, because that was just an easier number to use in a busy coffeehouse,” Deyo says.
To have a positive speed dating experience, you can prepare ahead of time, know what to expect, and present yourself well to your dates.
Soon they began their experiment (under the auspices of American Friends of Aish Ha Torah, the nonprofit group that employed Deyo), using an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of the singles and their responses on feedback cards.
Speed dating, established by Rabbi Yaacov Deyo in 1999, is based on a Jewish tradition of chaperoned gatherings of young Jewish singles.
Originally intended as a way of keeping Jewish singles from marrying outside the faith; the speed-dating movement has flourished in both Jewish and secular communities throughout the world.
Within a year or so, the speed-dating idea had gone viral, with imitators around the country. In 1999, Deyo was horrified by a TV program that hyped 30-second dates in which couples jabbered at each other like auctioneers.
When he called the producers to complain, “no one paid attention,” and Deyo did not pursue the matter.