If you've ever watched "Sex and the City" and thought, "I relate because I'm single, but none of them go to shul or make Shabbat dinner," you'll want to check out Serugim, a drama about religious single thirtysomethings in Jerusalem. (For the page about the series, click here.)
Originally, this show came to my attention because a new friend of mine, Shira, plays "neighbor Stacey" in this episode (and because I read about it on Israluv's blog). But I watched the whole thing and found it interesting, resonant, funny and disturbingly familiar (even though the post-denominationalist in me wouldn't define my affiliation as Orthodox).
Many of the same dating/relationship issues that New Yorkers deal with, religious Jerusalemites deal with: feeling like you already know everyone from youth movement, parents who sign you up for speed dating, meeting a potential and then having to compete with other single women for his attention, differences in interpreting the roles of men and women in religious Judaism, the dramatic role of Shabbat dinners, friends who tell you what you want to hear to spare your feelings...it's all in there. As the site notes:
בשכונות רחביה, קטמון, הנחלאות והמושבה הגרמנית התהוותה לה "הביצה הירושלמית", שכבה חברתית חדשה של רווקים ורווקות בסביבות גיל ה-30, חלקם הגדול משכילים ואינטליגנטים מאוד, שאינם מוצאים את מקומם במסגרות הדתיות הקיימות. הם גרים בדירות שכורות הפזורות ברחבי העיר, חלקם סטודנטים, חלקם כבר עובדים במשרות מכובדות וכמעט כולם מחפשים אהבה ומוצא מהמצב שאליו נקלעו – מצב המתנה זמני ("עד החתונה") שהפך להיות מצב קבוע
[Rough translation: In Rehavia, Katamon, Nahlaot and the German Colony is "the Jerusalem Swamp," a new social segment of single men and women in their 30s, most of them educated and very intelligent, who don't find their place in the existing religious frameworkd. They live in rented apartments throughout the city, many of them students, others already working in prestigious roles and almost all of them looking for love and finding that the situation they're in--a constant state of waiting "until the wedding"--has become a more permanent situation.]
Wow. Looks like I picked the wrong time to quit writing a Jewish singles column. Maybe it's time to start that book after all.