At first everything seemed normal between JDate and JSwipe: the former is a veteran of the online dating sphere catering to Jewish singles, while the latter is a newcomer who created the ‘Tinder of Jews’. However, in 2015 Spark Networks, the group behind JDate, filed a lawsuit against JSwipe, claiming that the then-newcomer violated trademark laws by incorporating the letter ‘J’ in its name, which is the intellectual property of Spark Networks’s “J-family” brand. JDate also claimed that they have patented a software algorithm that determines mutual interests and notifies singles of matches, a core concept for all dating services.
Believe it or not, the nasty dispute had a happy ending: a few months after the lawsuit, the two companies made up and teamed up. Still, even though both brands are now under the same roof, their features are widely different.
JDate was created in 1997 as part of Spark Networks, one of the most influential dating site groups in the industry. Since then JDate went through several redesigns, but it managed to retain its popularity among Jewish singles. Even though it has a very distinct clientele, the site is open to non-believers as well – but only if they specify whether they are willing to convert to Judaism later or not.
The service prides itself on its user-friendly interface: in the profile section, for instance, hobbies and preferences are displayed with pictures instead of plain text. The matchmaking engine recommends several promising dates every day, but manual searches can be launched as well by simply changing the options. However, there is a third option called “Secret Admirer” that is all about mingling randomly selected profiles. JDate is available for smartphones thanks to a downloadable app that effectively scales down the interface for touchscreen, while also preserving all important features.
Signing up with JDate is entirely cost-free, but in order to send messages a monthly, quarterly or semi-annual subscription to gold membership is a must. As for the pricing: the month-by-month subscription costs $39.99 per month, the quarterly plan charges $29.99 per month, while the six-month plan is only $19.99 per month.
JSwipe was announced in 2014 during the height of the Tinder-craze, so it’s not surprising that the dating app has a Tinderesque flavor. As a result of that JSwipe completely ditched the concept of traditional browser-based matchmaking: not only is the dating service exclusively available for Android and iOS, but it also focuses on swiping profiles left or right.
Unlike Tinder, however, JSwipe is for an audience interested in serious relationships. Therefore, profile pictures are far less revealing and erotic, and you’ll find that the dating profiles contain a lot more information than with the counterpart it’s inspired on. Another noteworthy feature is the limited time to chat: after 18 days, the connection and all messages with the contacted person will be permanently deleted.
JSwipe’s allegiance to the Jewish community is most prevalent from the matchmaking layout: your partner’s sect and kosher preference enjoys top priority on the profile page, as they are right below information regarding the person’s age and geographical distance from you. The user interface also shows subtle signs of the Jewish culture: for example, when you have a match, you see graphics reminiscent of a bar mitzvah celebration.
JSwipe is free to use, and this includes the ability to send messages. Members also receive one Super Swipe per day, a premium feature that allows you to make a strong first impression on your date. But for just $9.99 per month you get five daily Super Swipes.
JDate and JSwipe are not only similar in name, but they also belong to the same company. Still, these two Jewish dating services aim for distinct audiences.
JDate is more traditional and it can be accessed from desktop computers, too. The matchmaking has more layers and your messages remain accessible forever. The only thing that may be bothersome to some is the fact that communication is locked behind a paywall, but it can be easily bypassed by paying a modest monthly contribution. JSwipe, on the other hand, is ideal for millennials. Matchmaking is fast-paced and easy, and the geo-location technology helps finding other members who are close to you. The service is also free, with the option to purchase more daily boosts.