Sikh Entrepreneurs Release Shalom, a New Jewish Dating App
There’s a certain thrill that rushes through your veins when swiping left or right on a potential match. You feel both excited and nervous at the simple thought of potentially finding your besheret through an app.
It can be frustrating to parse through which apps are geared towards the hook up culture and those focused on making it easier to find your perfect love match. Amongst the slew of Jewish dating apps to choose from, Shalom, which was launched in October, stands out as unique.
Two Sikh entrepreneurs, KJ Dhaliwal and Sukhmeet Toor, started Shalom, which is a complete game changer for those searching for a serious relationship.
What makes this app stand out from all the rest? Well, Shalom has an innovative edge. It uses an advanced technology that suggests matches based on user behavior and data like location, partner preferences, and recent activity. There is a higher chance that users will see profiles that match their desires.
“Our algorithms are designed to help people within high-affinity communities match with the right life partner,” said Dhaliwal. “Most other apps aren’t built for niche or tight-knit communities. So inherently, we have a better algorithm since it was designed from the ground up taking this core difference into consideration.”
Dhaliwal formerly developed Dil Mil, a South Asian dating app. He said that after establishing the app as the leading player in the South Asian market, “we wanted to expand our technology offering to other communities that were very tight-knit. Shalom was started to help people in the Jewish community find their life partners. I have a decent number of Jewish friends who face a similar challenge of finding the right partner. We realized the similarities between the Jewish and South Asian communities, such as values around family and marriage.”
Dhaliwal and his team spent years building their tech processes for the South Asian community. He and his team jumped at the chance to help solve the challenge of finding an ideal mate for Jews. “We’re doing [one] marriage per day on Dil Mil, and plan on hitting that number for Shalom as well,” he said.
Prior to establishing Shalom, Dhaliwal attended several Shabbat dinners and constantly heard the traditional greeting, “Shabbat Shalom.” This triggered the idea for the app. “We actually brainstormed a lot of names,” he said. “I thought why not call it Shalom since even non-Hebrew speaking Jews know what it means and the word Shalom means peace, harmony, and wholeness. Those are all words that induce feelings related to love and fulfillment.”
Another exciting twist that sets Shalom apart from its competitors is the option of using the app via Facebook Messenger. This allows users to chat with a bot that asks questions and suggests possible matches. It also sends notifications when there is activity on users’ profiles, and users can try out the app through Messenger without having to download it.
With Shalom’s premium option, users pay $19.99 per month and receive VIP access, which consists of unlimited likes and dislike resets, along with the ability to view mutual friends with others, send notes to potential matches, and rewind if you want to change your past decision.
So, what can users look forward to for the future of Shalom? “We’re always working on improving the product experience to help our users find the right life partner,” Dhaliwal said. “Currently, we’re exploring some creative ways to help people communicate better within Shalom, beyond just a texting based chat interface.”
Berenice is the founder of Shalomoji, a Jewish Emoji app. She runs the Shalomoji blog, where she interviews Jewish influencers to help inspire newbie entrepreneurs, bloggers, and thought leaders. As a freelancer writer, Berenice has been published in the LA Times, Hello Giggles, The Jewish Home, and Canyon News. She is a proud mom to Shelby, her Labrador Retriever.