Got Orthonomics in your Email Box?

Monday, January 30, 2012

NASI: The Kick Off and the Endorsers

As per Matzav publishing a NASI press release, NASI is kicking off their program with over 70 shadchanim and they have published a list of Rabbis endorsing their program. Personally, I'd like to hear from some of the endorsers because there are some names that surprise me.

I continue to believe the program defies all logic and the idea of making shidduchim more expensive strikes me as cruel. I'm not certain what the current fee scale is to be a part of the program, but in any case the fees are very high. I'm also certain that the endorsing Rabbis are aware of the lack of cash of so many families and I simply cannot wrap my head around how this can be endorsed as a solution without peer reviewed studies on the underlying issue (the "age gap"), some unbiased market research, etc.


29 comments:

AztecQueen2000 said...

All this points to is a desire for our "heilige Torah bochurim" to land rich, young wives. Somehow, I thought a life of Torah study would make a man value more than that.

sam said...

The age gap has long ago been proven in numerous studies conducted by two separate actuaries and confirmed by a doctor of mathematics. I'mm sure you can understand that these findings were not publicized due to the sensitive nature of the findings (ie which cities or schools have a greater rate of singles).
I have spoken to a large number of singles twenty five and older and none of them have any objection to the fees. I would assume that this is the case for a vast majority of the girls unless you have some peer reviewed studies to the contrary.
What is truly cruel is how a community can sit idly by and watch a crisis unfold. No one is claiming this is a perfect solution, but its a start. I applaud the roshei yeshivos that have stepped to the plate. I hope they wont be dismissed by naysayers such as yourself.
Can you honestly justify to yourself preventing even one person from marrying because of your "non peer reviewed" opinion?

Superintendant Chalmers said...

Sam,
do you mind elaborating - who are the two actuaries and the mathemetician who confirmed the age gap in numerous studies?
Such a vague story does not really lend much credibility to the age gap theory - "some guy studied it and it's true." Without any details or names, that doesn't really mean much...

Anonymous said...

sam appears to be a paid shill, who comments on this site only when NASI posts appear

Orthonomics said...

Can you honestly justify to yourself preventing even one person from marrying because of your "non peer reviewed" opinion?

I'm happy to provide a counter position and a different voice to parents trying to make an educated decision about how to best allocate the money they might not even have before they empty the equity out of their homes.

Orthonomics said...

And no, I do not understand why the studies won't be published. If the program is so great, the studies would most certainly be put out in the free market to convince stubborn people like me to "invest" to make that shidduch for a daughter.

After all, if the program only receives a 10% participation rate and 23 year old guys continue to be set up with 19 year old girls by non-NASI shadchanim, the program won't be able to "close the gap."

JS said...

If you want to get results, it would seem to be more expedient to try a completely different approach than the same approach, but with more money.

Relying completely on shadchanus is no different than the person who refuses to try online dating sites or refuses to date someone who is too short or someone who is from out of town or someone who has a certain kind of job, etc.

What you were doing isn't working. Time to change it up, not spend more money repeating what doesn't work.

BenSira said...

Shir Hashirim 8:7 seems to sum up this program:

אם יתן איש את כל הון ביתו באהבה בוז יבוזו לו

Dave said...

The age gap has long ago been proven in numerous studies conducted by two separate actuaries and confirmed by a doctor of mathematics. I'mm sure you can understand that these findings were not publicized due to the sensitive nature of the findings (ie which cities or schools have a greater rate of singles).

So, "proven" by unreleased reports by anonymous "experts".

I've got a phenomenal deal for you; I can get you Glatt Kosher Beef at 10% over the prices the goyische stores charge for treif beef. I'm sure you'll understand that I can't disclose my sources or mashgiach, or I'll lose my competitive advantage. So just send me a check.

Ezzie Goldish said...

Wow, the names *are* surprising to me. I'm going to ask one Rav's son tomorrow iyH why his father is supporting something that seems so questionable.

Nathan said...

NASI pays matchmakers extra money to match girls over age 22 because they have a harder time getting married.

BUT NOBODY thinks of providing similar incentives to help:
baalei teshuvah, Sephardim or Kohanim get married,
even though they also have a harder time getting married.

Extra shidduch help for girls over age 22: YES.
Extra shidduch help for baalei teshuvah: NO.
Extra shidduch help for Sephardim: NO.
Extra shidduch help for Kohanim: NO.
Extra shidduch help for gerei tzedek: NO.

I can understand why; girls over age 22 generally have parents who are desperate to marry them off; in contrast, baalei teshuvah and gerei tzedek are like orphans.

Sephardim and Kohanim are not represented by anybody and have no political power in the American “Frum” world, so nobody cares about helping them; the thought of doing so would never occur to most “Frum” people.

ProfK said...

First rule in teaching research to students is for them to avoid anonymous studies and to avoid using unpublished studies that have 1)not come under peer review for possible defects in methodology/reported results and 2)that have not been replicated by other experts in the field to see if there was an anomoly in the first study that might have skewed the results.

Sorry Sam, but the data you refer to is useless without open publication and a chance at peer review.

And since the "rule" is that for data to be taken seriously it must be openly published, what comes to mind immediately is just what is being hidden and for what reason. Saying "these findings were not publicized due to the sensitive nature of the findings (ie which cities or schools have a greater rate of singles)" just doesn't cut it. What comes to mind first is just what obvious errors were made in running the study that those conducting it are refusing to publish it and let it be peer reviewed.

Nephew of Frum Actuary said...

Sam:

Why not publish the data with the cities blocked out? (Just like HIPAA data)

Something is fishy here. Doesn't pass the smell test.

I do THINK there is an age gap, but I will not come out and say I have data to prove it is THE problem.

Anonymous said...

y'all missing the point. even if there IS an age gap problem, why is it remotely acceptable to raise the standard rates of shadchanus to astronomical sums? For the few people helped there will be many more harmed.

LifeAct said...

I don't think it's missing the point at all. The entire foundation of NASI is based on the age gap theory. They had 70 Rabbonim stake their daas torah credibility on the claim that the PRIMARY cause of the shidduch crisis is the age gap. Everything else they have done in the ensuing 4 years has been with the empowerment of those signatures, and with the full public buy in to the age gap theory.

Crumble that brick, and the whole structure will fall. If there is no age gap, then it is not the primary cause of the shidduch crisis. The 70 Roshei Yeshiva who signed are, in fact, NOT infallible. The entire social agenda of NASI, which was based on the understanding that anything to fix the age gap is a good idea, is called into question and actually judged on the merits of the program.

Au contraire, the age gap IS the crux of any argument against NASI. The public has shown that it will accept all the NASI programs assuming that the age gap is true (with the exception of very few individuals). The only way to sway the majority of public opinion is to publicly do away with the age gap theory.

LifeAct said...

Just to clarify, by "no age gap" I mean simply that it is not a major factor.

Dave said...

So, if the problem *is* caused by the "age gap", then you can talk about cost/benefit/drawback issues in any proposed solution.

If it isn't, then all you get from the proposed solutions are costs and drawbacks. That's why the question of this supposed "age gap" is significant.

No Name Yet said...

So, we are still basing shidduchim on money. Since, according to NASI, there is an age gap which means that there are less men than women of comparable ages. So only those who can afford the astronomical sums will get married? Adding more money to the same solutions won't help... bailing out the ship without plugging the hole will help the two people who will make it to the lifeboat. Plug the hole and more can be saved. (Again, that is based on the idea that there is a gap. I haven't read any studies on it, just expensive advertisements on the subject).

Another point- aren't we just taking shadchanim off the market for everyone else, while raising the prices for everyone else? Why should I make one for someone and earn 500, when I can do it through NASI and make 5,000?

Since when have R"Y become experts in mathematics? Just a question that has been bugging me for a while...

Nephew of Frum Actuary said...

"Since when have R"Y become experts in mathematics? Just a question that has been bugging me for a while..."

One of my Roshei Yeshiva has a PHD in Math from MIT (Guess who?)

There are plenty of Roshei Yeshiva and Rabbonim who consult lay experts (such as my uncle). Don't assume they made the decision on their own.

Anon1 said...

Potential users of this service need a comprehensive presentation of the aims, structure and procedures of this organization. This should include all safeguards that would protect the investments in the program by participants. They also need evidence that the organization will be under proper day-to-day control and that it will undertake corrective action whenever its procedures have been shown in practice to be ineffective. Also, to what degree will the publicized rabbinic supporters keep tabs on how the program functions in practice?

No Name Yet said...

Nephew of Frum Actuary,
I was referring to the fact that so many people automatically assume that if a R"Y sign it, they understand the consequences and, in this case, the mathematical basis for the plan.
Am I a heretic for reaching the conclusion that just because someone is a R"Y that they automatically know the math? Yes, some may have PhD's in Mathematics, some may consult others. But on the whole, does every single Rav who signs these papers consult a knowledgeable person?
Don't assume that they consulted someone, just like I don't assume that they didn't. I am just coming from the idea that I would rather have both signatures on there- the "PhD in mathematics" holder and the Rav (with their appropriate titles).

Nephew of Frum Actuary said...

"Don't assume that they consulted someone, just like I don't assume that they didn't. I am just coming from the idea that I would rather have both signatures on there- the "PhD in mathematics" holder and the Rav (with their appropriate titles)."

I don't disagree, but you have to remember with whom you are dealing. Personally I would prefer to see some FSA's (Fellows of the Society of Actuaries) sign on it.

tesyaa said...

Nephew, no FSAs will sign because by doing so, they will be making a SAO (Statement of Actuarial Opinion) and are bound by the standards of their profession. No one wants to get hauled before the ABCD (Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline) over the shidduch crisis.

If some frum FSA wants to do the necessary population studies and analysis and will sign off on the NASI assumptions, I will be surprised (but impressed).

old frum actuary said...

There has been an 'age gap' since Adam married a woman younger than him and on thru Avrohom (Sarah was 10 years younger), Yitzchok (Rivka was between 26 and 37 years younger) and Yaakov (unclear now much, but seemingly much younger). This average age at marriage is older for men across almost all segments, countries, etc. and has been going on for centuries. Yet, only in the last 10-15 years has it caused a crisis, and for some reason only among one segment of the world population. So you can believe it is all casued by the 'age gap theory' or a$$ume there are $ome other factor$.

megapixel said...

for those concerned that parents will have yet another expense, I dont think that parents of older girls are expected to shell out this kind of money. These girls are working after all,as long as they are putting some $ away for a few years and can easily afford these fees. It is a few months salary. worth a shot at their future. IF in fact it works. But nasi is saying you get your money back if it doesnt work.

question: to calm all the naysayers, why couldnt nasi just say, put down a deposit of $500 for admin costs or whatever, and if the shidduch happens you owe the rest of the money. Cash on delivery. why should they have to prepay? this way there would not be such a backlash against their suggestion.

No Name Yet said...

megapixel-
They know that people won't pay. What if the family can't afford it? NASI won't allow the couple to get married? They will set up a protest outside the wedding hall?
Or...
NASI shadchanim redt a shidduch, it starts to work out but the family can't pay. The couple "break it off" and get another shadchan to redt it 2 months later. They "try again" and it works, saving the couple tons of money!
Ok, I am a cynic but this idea probably has come into some people's heads... hence the pre-pay.

LifeAct said...

Old Frum Actuary-

Your nephew has quoted you above as one who supported the age gap concept:
"There are plenty of Roshei Yeshiva and Rabbonim who consult lay experts (such as my uncle). Don't assume they made the decision on their own."

I interpreted that as meaning some RY or Rov consulted you and you agreed that he should sign the letter stating that the age gap is the primary cause of the shidduch crisis.

But in your last post you seem to say that while you acknowledge there is an age gap, the shidduch crisis is likely caused by $omething el$e. Which is your true opinion?

I am curious, because other than Nephew's uncle (I presume is you) I do not know of a single actuary who thinks the age gap is the cause of the shidduch crisis. (And I have discussed it with many credentialed colleagues and acquaintances)

Nephew of Frum Actuary said...

"I interpreted that as meaning some RY or Rov consulted you and you agreed that he should sign the letter stating that the age gap is the primary cause of the shidduch crisis."

Actually, I was refering to NOT signing the Araivim "life insurance" scheme. I am unaware of any specific questions regarding NASI between that Rosh Yeshiva and my uncle. I was generalizing from that point that Roshei Yeshiva do sometimes ask others who know more about math than themselves.

Sorry for the confusion.

Anonymous said...

There is another question which no one has touched on, This is the question of how (un)ethical it is for some shadhkan to deliberately not match up a couple due to personal financial gain. Would you trust a shadhkan who would participate in a program in which such actions are allowed or encouraged?