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Queens Tribune: September 8, 2004

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Dating Service Owners 9/11 Mission


The owner of the first speed-dating service in Queens remembers that the second Saturday in September carries more significance than simply being one of the days when singles gather to socialize under the umbrella of his WeekendDating.com service.

It is the day when the entire nation will grieve for and honor the sacrifices made by those who perished in the terrorist attacks three years ago, and Jay Rosensweig is planning to do his part by donating all of the profits for his September dating events to two charities, one directly related to 9/11 and another aimed at helping troops overseas.

I always wanted to do something like this, but was unable to do so until the business actually began to generate profits, said the 33-year-old Bayside resident. This year was especially appropriate since Sept. 11 falls on a Saturday, which adds significance to my next event.

Speed is the name of the game with Rosensweigs company that produced its inaugural event on Valentines Day in 2003. Rosensweig got the idea for it after attending a similar event in Manhattan, where singles are given no more than four minutes for each date and then move on to the next one. At the end of the event, they submit the cards marked up with the names of those they find suitable for a second hopefully longer date, and receive contact information of a person, or persons, who express similar interest in them in return.

I felt that people in Queens are in need of a service like this, he said. Besides, the Manhattan meetings took place on a weekday, and I felt that for working people like myself it would be better to meet on weekends.

Rosensweig, apparently, is not only an owner, but also a client.

I am at an age when many of my friends are either married with kids or getting married,� he said. For Rosensweig, who is single and unattached, his creates peer pressure to enter into a meaningful relationship, and his dating service allows him to meet a larger number of people than simply using the traditional singles scene.

For the first WeekendDating event, 25 people showed up, Rosensweig said. Since then, the numbers have been growing rapidly, and he gradually increased the frequency of events to five per month, taking place in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, with the bulk of the borough events conducted at the Sly Fox in Fresh Meadows.

The increased popularity of his service, according to Rosensweig, is in a close personal approach he takes to every client.

The concept of my service is not new�many companies now offer similar stuff at similar prices, he said. What differs is when people want to contact me, they get a live person on the phone rather than an answering machine or communicating via e-mail. People are not used to personal service of this kind and they are shocked at how they are treated when they show up for an event.

Rosensweig is planning to split his donations regionally, with those from Long Island events going to the Long Island September 11 Memorial Fund, created by the Long Island Association of Retired New York City Firefighters. The memorial, to be built on campus of SUNY University of Farmingdale, will commemorate the nearly 400 Long Island residents who lost their lives in the attacks.

The profits from Brooklyn and Queens events will go to the Freedom Calls Foundation, an organization that provides Internet centers in Iraq to make it easier for soldiers to communicate with their families, friends and loved ones.

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