Does paying people extra who make a shidduch really help?

I wonder if these types of campaigns actually help the shidduch situation, or just make single girls feel old at the ripe young age of 23 and make them feel like pieces of meat on consignment. I also found the site to have some of the most interesting fine print I’ve ever seen – allowing me to think that they really don’t want you to get this money.

The fine print below:

For the shadchan of a successful shidduch to qualify for this gift, the following conditions apply:
  • The request for payment must be submitted within 30 days of the engagement.
  • The single woman must be at least 23-years old at the time the engagement is announced.There is no upper age limit.
  • Widows and divorcees are included.
  • The couple must be committed to observing the laws of kashrus, Shabbos, and taharas hamishpacha.
  • Parents, grandparents, children, siblings, sibling-in-laws, and aunts and uncles of the couple are not eligible for the gift. Cousins and other relatives who arrange a shidduch are eligible.
  • Central Queens is defined as the areas of Forest Hills, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills, Rego Park, Briarwood, Holliswood, and Flushing .
  • A Central Queens woman is defined as:
    Her parents must live in Central Queens for one year and have purchased a house there, or are renting a dwelling there for two years, OR-
    If she lives in Central Queens alone, without family, she must have lived in Central Queens for two years (student years do not count).
  • A Central Queens woman, living elsewhere for less than two years, whose parents are presently living in Central Queens, is eligible.
  • If more than one person was involved in the introduction of the couple, the $2,000 award will be divided amongst the parties according to traditional guidelines. For example, if one person thought of the idea and asked a professional to arrange it, the one who thought of it gets 1/3 of the shadchanus and the professional gets 2/3 of the shadchanus.
  • If the shidduch breaks up, chas v’shalom, before the wedding, the committee is exempt from paying the gift.
  • Payment of the gift will be made by the committee within approximately six months after the chasana.
  • The initial introduction of the couple (i.e., the first meeting of the couple) must not have been made prior to the starting date of this program, Rosh Chodesh Nissan, 5765 (April 10, 2005).All disputes, e.g., who is the shadchan, questions regarding eligibility, etc., will be settled by the committee’s rabbinic advisor, Rabbi H. Welcher, shlita, or his designee, whose decision will be final.

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