Michael W. Sasser
Dade Jewish Journal
David, 34, is a Jewish single Miami man not too familiar with the singles "scene." Having found his limited experience with singles programs unsatisfactory, he didn't resist his father's request to contact Devora Alouf. "My father had picked up her business card at a Jewish shop," David said. "He is an old fashioned person and insisted that I call." Mrs. Devora Alouf is the founder of Jewish Quality Singles, World Center for Jewish Singles. Although she had maintained a branch of her services in Miami, Alouf herself now resides in North Dade. "I am very interested in getting married, so when my father asked me to call I did," David said. "If I had not been comfortable with Devora, that would have been the end of it. But I spoke to her and she sounded like a very serious and dedicated person." Since that day, just weeks ago, David has applied, been screened and joined those using Mrs. Alouf's service to find other singles serious about it.
Alouf has helped more than a few people find his or her mate - though she steadfastly refuses to reduce her service to numbers and say exactly how many. "I had four weddings in February," she said. "I just interviewed a Ph.D. from Caracas who knows he won't meet people in bars, parties or on the street." Alouf has been in business for about seven years. She is joined in her work by her husband and children - making it a multigenerational effort. It is also a full-time endeavor.
"People would be interested to know we're multigenerational and we do this as a job not a hobby," said Israel Alouf, Devora's son. "We are at this 24 hours a day, seven days a week." Devora Alouf is originally from Poland, and her family survived the Holocaust - though not without losing relatives. Descending from generations of rabbis, she said she has always been involved in studying Judaism and [very active] activity in the Jewish community. Today, she is scared of a new threat to the Jews.
"In the Holocaust we lost 1/3 of the Jewish population," Alouf said "Now we are losing officially 60 percent of our people. I'm very, very scared of another Holocaust. It's a quiet Holocaust - people intermarrying." Alouf's clients are carefully screened for seriousness, education and intellectual achievements as she wants all those involved to be "quality people." Operating on a sliding scale of expense she intensely interviews each proposed client. If accepted, a single gets to wade through very thick books of eligible members of the opposite sex in the same age category - people from all over the world. Once contact is made, Alouf helps the client through the process and, when an initial attempt doesn't work out, helps the client achieve greater success in the next attempt. Sam, a man from Montreal, said he was pleased by Alouf's screening process.
"I really appreciated the process," Sam said. "It was away to make sure people were real quality people. She asked for references and called to find out about people. I met several great people through her service." Alouf said her clientele is made up of people who want to get married. She is not interested in being a dating service, or setting people up that want to settle for something other than marriage. She also said her service is open to Jews at any level of observance. "I prefer to work with people who aren't orthodox, because they are at greater risk of intermarriage," she said.
Although the service means people can meet without ever meeting with Devora, she will not leave people on their own. "I keep a close eye on the [Internet] site," Alouf said. "With the Internet site, no one can say that they just can't find other Jewish people in their area" Israel Alouf said. "That's our goal. The whole process on line takes just seconds." "I believe one person- and I am not just one person because my family is involved- can make a difference," Alouf said. "I know I'll be successful. If I marry one couple and they have three children, I can watch the branches growing."