The Changing Cost of Shidduchim in the Chareidi World


chupahBy Hannah Katsman

According to an article in the Hebrew edition of Mishpacha, only 10% of students in a particular seminary got engaged last year instead of the normal 50%. According to the shadchanim quoted, only 5-10% of girls’ parents can afford to buy an apartment for the young couple in a low-cost charedi project. But the parents of the “good” bochurim, are still hopeful, so they wait, while the yeshiva dormitories fill up.These kinds of articles always seem to pit parents of sons against parents of daughters. At least 90% of charedi parents, presumably, have children of both genders. Yet parents demand large sums for sons, even though the system bites back when it comes time to marry off a daughter. Maybe they think that the price of apartments will drop after the wedding.

In the meantime, apartment prices are rising rapidly. According to the article, even those parents who diligently saved are finding they don’t have nearly enough. Families are larger and sources that helped previous generations, like Holocaust reparations from Germany and inheritances, have dried up.

A shadchan lists the “going rate” in various charedi communities:

“Yerushalmim”: (Lithuanians in Jerusalem) $130,000 total, including varying amounts from both sides.
“Sephardim”: If the boy learns in a Lithuanian yeshiva, he can get $50,000 and sometimes much more. In sephardi yeshivos it’s common not to expect financial help. Sometimes the parents only commit to the cost of the wedding and furniture.
Chassidim have it simpler, thanks to takanos. The rebbes of the various chassidic groups have set financial limits on all aspects of the wedding.  Chabad opposes any gift of an apartment. Couples work as shlichim in Chabad Houses around the world, or live in cheap secular cities within Israel. Gur, Belz and Satmar have strict guidelines, with each side paying no more than $20,000.

In some Yerushalaim Chasidic communities, the parents provide $130,000 like in the Lithuanian community. Other Chasidic groups like Boyan, Slonim and Vizhnitz used to give $20,000 from each side, but now each Rebbe rules in a slightly different way. It also depends on whether the chosson is planning to work, or stay in yeshiva.

Chasidic parents in the US give $20,000 each and pay rent for 8 years.

Some Lakewood yeshiva students request an apartment but not getting one doesn’t stop the shidduch. Shidduchim in the US end with each side giving $1000, and “even then the children say thank you.”

Americans in Israel, even if they have lived here for thirty years, are not interested in buying apartments for their children. They give a minimal sum to start out with, and expect the children to manage on their own.

There is no discussion of the Lithuanian community outside of Yerushalayim.

One shadchan got a call from the parents of a 25-year-old woman, looking for a man with a health issue or a “small defect.” She’s a fine girl, but the parents can’t pay so they have lowered their sights. One of the shadchanim claimed parents who had a hard time getting the sum they demanded for their son are reducing the rates for the next son in line.

A rabbi in Modiin Ilit said that he doesn’t know of any family that married off a daughter without getting charitable funds. And everyone agrees that it’s unreasonable to leave yeshiva to spend months in the US begging for funds to marry off a daughter.

{A Mother in Israel/}


  1. Mishpachah Magazine prints statistics that are entirely unverifiable but make for good copy. I wouldn’t pay much attention to anything found in that magazine. The problem could be far better or worse than stated. Zero credibility.

  2. “Some Lakewood yeshiva students request an apartment but not getting one doesn’t stop the shidduch. Shidduchim in the US end with each side giving $1000, and “even then the children say thank you.”
    That should read “$1,000 a month for not less then 5 years”!

  3. I wouldn’t totally agree with #3, but I would say to take all articles written with some grain of salt. People ‘juice’ up stories with hyperbole not just in Mishpacha.
    With that said, it is a very difficult situation but Hashem is still in charge. I have a chareidi sister in law who lives in Eretz Yisroel, who is so stuck for money that they have to rely on chickens from Tomchei Shabbos yet she just married off 2 daughters to terrific learning boys, and in fact one of the sons in law is a son of a yichusdik rosh kollel.
    How did that happen? With a lot of siyata Dishmaya. The second daughter didn’t get married right away so it’s possible she put aside some money for those couple of years it took for her to get married.

  4. it’s a disaster how much it costs to marry off a kid anywhere
    we’re all going broke and no one cares. we keep chasing in the rat race buying more than we can afford. It’s sick. and I am part of this sick rat race, in debt.

  5. In biblical and talmudical times the boy would pay a certain basic amount to the kallahs side. At what point in history did this change and who is responsible?

  6. If it is $130,000 for each couple plus wedding and there are 8 children, where does the $1,000,000 come from? Who has that kind of money?

  7. It is untrue that Americans, no matter how long they are living in Israel, don’t buy apartments for their children. Their children are Israeli and don’t only marry into American families. Their sons and the sons of fellow Anglos living in Israel who learn in Israeli Litvish yeshivos have the same expectations as their peers with Israeli parents. True, the American parents may squirm, but they are part of the system and do as the Israeli Schwartzs do. There is a major housing problem in Israel and renting is not a solution either. With hardly any rentals available, the rent for tiny studio apartments in sky-high. So rather than wasting money on rent, many people feel that it is worthwhile to buy and pay a mortgage. Many young couples share the burden these days and take out a modest mortgage or private loans.

  8. Funny that in this weeks parsha it was the boys side – Eliezer on behalf of Yitzchok who brought all the $$$ to the table. Some say that Rivka actually was from a poor family – why else was she the one who had to go shlep water? werent there any slaves to do it? Also it says that Yakov brought blessing to Lovon, apparently he has no $$ before. He also ran to Eliezer and hugged him looking for $$. Perhaps he didny have any. Besual was the youngest of 8 in his family – so he came from a large family and likely didnt have $$. So why have shiduchim turned backwards today? A good girl is worth all the $$$ – and good boys should be told otherwise by their money hungry parents!

  9. I would be very glad to rescue one of these happless single girls by marrying her and giving her a financialy comfortable life which i can BH afford.

    I guess these Israeli girls are just not ready to settle for an american guy.

  10. “Sephardim”: If the boy learns in a Lithuanian yeshiva, he can get $50,000 and sometimes much more. In sephardi yeshivos it’s common not to expect financial help.”

    —-this can make one throw up!!!

  11. Boruch Hashem this does not exist in my
    Chabad communities. selling your child??
    When did this all start…when I got married over 25 years ago, my parents set me up with basics…dishes, linen, blankets and pillows…
    the rest my husband and I had to figure out and we were so thankful for all that we had.
    Both sets of parents had very little money and
    we used our Chasuneh money to buy our beds and furniture…and we were happy!

    who is supporting the next generation? This has to change for the future of our Yiddishe Kinder.

  12. 22, you’re right. I just followed some of the correspondence re an article in a popular weekly, on cutting costs, and support is still a non-negotiable part of most parents’ budgets. I’m scratching my head too.

  13. You can find your Bashert on

    There is no sign-up fee or monthly fee at Shidduch world and we don’t charge a fee for meeting with singles.

    Shidduch World was created with one primary goal; to help singles and their parents in the process of Shidduchim!

    It is our sincere hope that by working together with concerned Yidden from around the world, we will merit to facilitate many more Shidduchim in Klal Yisrael!

    Phone number: 732 534-4539


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