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What makes this site a bit different to the competition is the way it feels more relaxed, a place for gentle chat rather than furious banter. It's a cozy coffee-colored corner of cyberspace designed for friendly dating, and you get the whole shebang for free for 3 weeks. JewishCafe describes itself as "warm, romantic and inviting", and chooses to cater for people wanting to develop "meaningful relationships, thus preserving our precious heritage."
JewishCafe also supports the charities Magen David Adom (MDA), Hillel and Mazon. Despite its (let's face it) brown appearance, this homely, independently-run site is hugely successful and popular, comfortably coming in our top 10 of the big cheeses in Jewish dating. Delicious.
JewishCafe has all the usual search and matching facilities, chat rooms and profile features. The photographs often aren't magnificent, and you don't get gimmick features like 'winks' and 'flirts', but there's a genuine feel and good customer service. The help page is a little light on FAQs, but if a help page has a long list of questions including "how do I get my money back?" (yes, we've seen it!) that is not necessarily a good thing.
The fact that all but the newest members are paying subscription fees should mean most people are motivated to make contact. It is simple to use, and you don't get lost in a mass of confusing gimmicks. JewishCafe sponsors Jewish singles travel events such as European retreats, lecture tours, and a Kosher safari. Jewish Cafe subscribers qualify for discounts on these events, but it doesn't run them.
Refreshingly, JewishCafe clearly shows its prices under a link marked "prices" on the home page. This can be something of a rarity in the online dating industry. Then, as soon as you're done entering your inside leg measurements, pet peeves, bust size, and then poured your lonely heart out over the reasons you haven't been to synagogue lately, a mysterious flashing gold encrusted page pops up suggesting you "UPGRADE NOW!" for a better deal.
Other sites allow you to join as a guest, then you can upgrade depending on how lonely and desperate you are. Some sites even start charging you automatically after a set period - so watch out for those. In contrast, JewishCafe.com has only one membership type and gives you a 3 week free trial of all the normal features you would enjoy as a full member. But don't hang about. Once the trial is over, you cannot sign up again. This should eliminate a lot of dud memberships, so more of the profiles on there should be genuine. You can also earn a longer free trial by achieving certain goals, such as inviting members or uploading photos.
When we logged on there were only 13 people online. We were disappointed by this, and also not so happy about the fact that a lot of our search results gave us profiles with no photos. These signs indicate that the site isn’t used all that much or regularly, except perhaps by a few people.
JewishCafe has a sense of humor (check out the categories for describing your body type!) which gives it an intimate friendly feel. It's a great place for like minded people to meet and share their faith, particularly if you’re low on cash. However we do worry a little about the lack of activity on this site, so we’d recommend taking full advantage of the trial periods before paying for the services on offer.
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