Sex, love, and other mysteries in the city your mother warned you about.
Most actual Bubbes, or Jewish grandmothers, prefer to do their well-meaning nagging and cajoling in person or over the phone. I should know. "Would it kill you to find a nice Jewish boy," your own Bubbe might ask, "a doctor, or a lawyer?" That tone, perhaps, is why she complains you "never call."
Well now, God help us all, Bubbe has a new way of communicating with you about your love life. She can text. Sort of.
"Bubby," is a chatbot and app, a spin on the slew of dating services and communities like Tinder, Bumble, J-Swipe, and so forth. But unlike some of those (cough cough Tinder), Bubby's emphasis is on love — the old world, shared values kind. As Bubby co-founder Sarah Persitz tells SFist, her app is "a curated space inspired by Jewish values and tradition." Specifically, and unlike some shared-interest dating sites like, say, Christian Mingle, Bubby is for people of all faiths — or no faith at all. That means goyim, or non-Jews, and even the shiksas, or non-jew temptresses your rabbi warned you about, are welcome to join.
Allow Persitz, who created Bubby along with Stephanie Volftsun and Jordan Klein, to explain using her own dating life as an example. "I know that Shabbat (the Jewish sabbath, sometimes feted with a dinner party) is something important to me — not from a religious perspective, but just from a values perspective. To have a good dinner party with drinks and friends, to have tradition and community, that's important to me. I want to be with someone who loves a great Shabbat dinner, and they may be Jewish, and they may not be."
Bubby, like services including the League before it, takes applications to do that community "curation," and it's currently running beta versions in New York and San Francisco with expansion plans soon. Like the latest iteration of Hinge, the app hopes to eschew the constant swiping culture of Tinder, focusing on quality of match recommendations rather than quantity. Several times a week, Bubby will introduce you in a grandmotherly matchmaker tone to new possibilities. "He's from this place, he went to this college and works at that company, etc." she'll say: to quote the app's marketing slogan, adapted from the musical Fiddler on the Roof, "Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me an app."
Bubby will ask you if your'e interested or if the match is "not for you." If it's a match, you'll be encouraged to text each other and make plans. Bubby, Persitz says, wants to connect users in the real world as soon as possible to see if there's a real-life connection. Further, "Our Bubby bot does do follow ups, reminding people to ping each other, checking in a few weeks later." How very realistic! "The idea is that it can add this personalized matchmaker experience," Persitz says.
What Bubby is and how it works is still evolving, but its values are in place. Says Persitz, "We're inspired by our Bubbes and the love stories of another era — but we're totallly aware that we live in the modern world."