An aspiring rabbi is using Grindr to promote Shabbat

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Matt Green, a student at Hebrew Union College in New York, has been given a university grant to engage members of the community on the Grindr app.

According to The Jewish Chronicle, Green is using the app to invite locals to Shabbat dinners. When he added that he was training as a Rabi to his profile he received lots of responses.

He said: “Everyone kept asking about Kashrut and Judaism. It occurred to me that what happened on Grindr was speaking to a Jewish communal need. People wanted to talk about being Jewish and Jewish things.”

He was awarded a Be Wise Fellowship in Jewish Entrepreneurialism grant after convincing Rabbi Peter Rubinstein, the figurehead of New York’s Central Synagogue, of the spike in interest from Grindr.

“There are a ton of Jews of all stripes, especially people who have nothing to do with organised religion. Why not try getting to them on Grindr?”

Green said he has organised two Shabbat dinners, one of which was attended by a dozen people.

Hebrew Union College’s Dean, Rabbi Shirley Idelson, said: “I view these two dinners as successes largely because they serve as proof that Grindr is a viable means of bringing Jews together to build community.”