Oy vey! Its not every day you get to interview a gorgeous Channel 4 News correspondent!! Today I catch up with presenter Benjamin Cohen, one of the panellists for Jews at Ten on More 4. With a fascinating episode on matchmaking in the Jewish community, Benjamin tells us what to expect in Episode 2 of Jews at Ten and discusses his own story too!
Ben is a very interesting guy with a very interesting story! In 1998, at the age of sixteen, Ben started the Jewishnet.co.uk website, an early social networking community which later became soJewish.com, with GB£150, and floated it ten months later. The company was valued at £5 million in September 1998. But that’s a whole ‘nother story!
Now on to the interview!
Thank you so much Benjamin for this exclusive! What can you tell me about tonight’s episode of Jews at Ten??
This week’s Jews at Ten is mainly about love and relationships and it was probably the most fun and interesting part of the series to film. Judaism is only perpetuated through relationships, finding the right person, settling down, marrying and having children. Except in reality it’s not as easy as that, despite the pressure from everyone for you to find the perfect Jewish boy or girl.
In the episode we hear from comedian and former Rabbinical student Josh Howie whose wife converted to Judaism and from Edwina Curry who explained how her family rejected her after she married a non-Jew. Vanessa Feltz explains how quickly she met and married her first husband and how she wanted her children to get married as soon as possible, as the hat is already bought!
I had an opportunity to explain what it’s like for someone like me, someone who is both gay and Jewish, the ultimate niche within a niche! As I said in the programme, the expectation is still for you to find a Jewish partner, despite the fact that there really aren’t that many to go around! But it seems that everyone nowadays knows someone who is gay and people do try to set me up with ‘so and so’s son who’s gay’, despite the fact that they’d be totally unsuitable. At least in the straight Jewish community, there’s a lot more choice when people are trying to shidduch you up.
In the programme, I say “I started coming out as gay when I was 15 and eventually came out to everyone by the time I was 21. But the biggest question I was asked wasn’t ‘are you sure you are gay?’ Not at all! It was ‘but your boyfriend isn’t Jewish’ as my then partner was a non-Jew.
This week among others, Jews at Ten features a clip from Friday Night Dinner, where Martin Goodman (played by Paul Ritter) tries to help his son Adam (played by Simon Bird) find a girlfriend using J-Date. Although, unluckily for Adam, his Dad mainly finds him Jewish guys looking to find love (Adam is straight). That gave me the opportunity to talk about my own experience of using the site, which I have to say isn’t ideal. Buoyed up up by the tales of girl friends who’ve found love online, I signed up. But after I paid my subscription fee, I realised that all the profiles I could find of gay Jews, were just of my friends. On Jews at Ten I explain: “I certainly wouldn’t pay a subscription fee to go on a date with my friends”.
Sounds like its going to be a very interesting programme!! Thank you so much for your time Ben my boobalah!!
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