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“The same way we had [the Jewish sabbath] every week, we had dieting every day,” she tells SELF.“It was always a part of my life.”While Sara, now 25, says pressure to diet and lose weight came from various family members, the emphasis on being thin seemed to stem from a deeper, core obligation in the Orthodox community: getting married.“It's a very cultural thing to need to be thin for dating.Sarah Bateman, a licensed social worker who is the liaison to the Jewish community for the Renfrew Center, one of the oldest eating disorder treatment institutions in the country, tells SELF that her professional interests stemmed from what she witnessed at her own Orthodox school.

Therefore, an individual’s expectations regarding love, mate selection and marriage are deeply ingrained by their socialization and the subsequent values they hold. Whether intentional or not, let’s face it; In this modern age of technology, Western culture seeps into our lives as Jews no matter how much we try and shelter ourselves. When it came to making a choice about who would be the right mate for them, all Jewish daters had values from their dual identity’s influencing their decision (namely their identity as a Jew and as an American/Canadian/Brit, etc).

Understanding how things work has been a passion of mine ever since I can remember.

For sure I was one of those potentially annoying children who had to ask “but why? And I was definitely always intrigued with understanding relationships.

Beneath Every Dating Jewish Single Are Their Values This lesson is important, I believe, as a prerequisite in framing the rest of my learnings.

My take on doing research with Jewish singles that were living in North America (or were in Israel but were raised in a Western culture) was to appreciate that people are, in fact, products of their societies. Namely, that our identities are constructed in a large part out of the cultural things we consume.

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