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When it comes to shidduchim, the extreme ultra-orthodox (both chassidim and non-chassidim) often seem to discriminate against equally (or even more) religious (children of) baalei t'shuva, gerim, persons of color, b'nei niddah, and others of "lesser yichus".

Lev Tahor is an example of an extreme ultra-orthodox chassidic community that makes shidduchim regardless of yichus, etc. However that community is both controversial and remote.

Where could an extreme ultra-orthodox baal t'shuva realistically find a shidduch?


Note: This question is asked out of curiosity, as I am happily married, B"H.

closed as primarily opinion-based by DonielF, Danny Schoemann, sabbahillel, Gershon Gold, mevaqesh Aug 28 '17 at 20:03

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    What does "extreme ultra-orthodox" mean, exactly? But either way, the fundamental answer stands - they are unlikely to be the only one in the group, so that makes opportunities. – Yishai Aug 21 '14 at 14:26
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    @NBZ No. It does not. – Isaac Moses Aug 21 '14 at 17:20
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    I understand completely. I am not a baal tshuva, but had my own bad experiences due to low yichus level. I dont agree however with the tactic of venting by veiling it as asking. Lets call a spade a spade. Every community basically sticks to their own, and narrow minded blindness rules. My sister married a modern orthodox boy. His community members were grumbling at the chupa 'i can't believe it! She's chareidi, does she even have an education?' etc and so on. Lets all just pray for our own acceptance of others and in that zchus Moshiach. – user6591 Aug 21 '14 at 18:37
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    @Dude Because the system in place for more regular BTs works fairly well. – Adám Sep 13 '14 at 22:27
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    @Dude BT yeshivos and girls' schools have (connection to) shadchanim who form an informal global network. Generally BTs will end up marrying BTs, and children of BTs each other, etc., but occasionally one level skewed. Who? E.g. – Adám Oct 14 '14 at 0:05
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Generally with other ulta-orthodox baalei t'shuva or other people with similar backgrounds. That is a good idea, regardless, as the compatibility is more likely to be there. (The only exception to your list is persons of color - my observation is that they tend to find a person of a different color who doesn't have a hangup about it).

In addition, There are other members of the community that aren't on the "inside track" of shidduchim with which to make a shidduch, such as children of ba'alei Teshuva, etc. Compatibility has a lot to do with the age at which the person became a ba'al teshuva. If they started at 13/14 years old, and went through the regular school system at the end of their school years, it is very different than the 30 year old.

The main problem with this is that there is some view that those who are frum from birth from families with a long history of observance are somehow an inherently superior shidduch for a ba'al teshuva. In fact, compatibility in their life together is much more important.

In terms of where to find a Shadchan to make such a shidduch, the way to look is to find recently married people of similar circumstances and ask them how they made their shidduch, and follow those leads. You can also ask people who aren't married in a similar circumstance - perhaps they found a lead and are "in the parsha".

In the type of groups you are talking about, there are always people in the group who are very into knowing who is related to who and how they form the circle of the group (call it Olympic level Jewish geography). As such, some people always know who the Ba'al Teshuva is, so you can find out by asking around.

I am reminded of a story where a Ba'al Teshuva wrote to the Lubavitcher Rebbe that he was having a hard time finding a shidduch for his children. The Rebbe wrote him back that the other Chassidim he inherited from his father-in-law, the Ba'alei Teshuva he chose as Chassidim.

I'll tell you another story about someone I know who is in a Chabad community. He is not a Ba'al Teshuva at all (from a long line of non-Chabad Chassidim with many generations of Yichus) however he had a hard time with a Shidduch for his son because he kept the traditional clothing - streimel, etc. which was out of the norm for a Chabad family. So he looked for a Shidduch in Chassidic communities that demand large dowries from the girls (there is no such thing in Chabad circles). He found a good family that happened to be poor - and they were more than happy to make the Shidduch.

Anyway, the bottom line is that there are many such shidduchim made all the time, where people don't fit the pre-defined mold, and shadchanim who specialize in them. However, there does need to be an adjustment of expectations, which is a good thing for a happy marriage.

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Many baal-teshuva yeshivas in Israel specialize in making shiduchim, often between their talmidim and an affiliated girls' seminary. For example, I attended a yeshiva in Jerusalem made up mostly of baalei teshuva (already frum; not a kiruv yeshiva). During my time there, many students became engaged and married, often to students at the yeshiva's sister institution. Many of the rebbeim teach at both the yeshiva and the seminary, so they are in a good position to make shidduchim. In addition, there is the additional benefit (depending on your perspective) of being set up with another BT who understands where you are coming from and is being taught in a place with a similar hashkafa to where you are learning.

  • See my edit. Most BT yeshivos turn down such people. – Adám Aug 21 '14 at 14:17
  • What the name of the girls BT yeshivah you mentioned? – Ani Yodea Sep 4 '15 at 17:49
  • @AniYodea It's called Shapell's/Darchei Noam. It's not "extreme ultra-Orthodox" like this question is asking though. It's fairly diverse but the overall hashkafah pretty much fits in with mainstream yeshivish. – Daniel Sep 4 '15 at 17:54
  • I see pictures of guys in the link you gave... – Ani Yodea Sep 4 '15 at 17:58
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    @AniYodea You could contact their office, but I don't know that they'd be willing to just randomly set one of the girls up with someone random they have never met. Usually the shiduch is set up by someone who knows both parties well. – Daniel Sep 4 '15 at 18:04

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