July 22nd, 2014 | by ERIN CAREY News | Posted In: Cops and Courts, Religion

When a Dating Service Doesn't Honor a Religious Requirement, It's Not Kosher

Portland woman sues Portland Singles to get her $2,995 membership fee back.

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Irit Tzemah is very religious—so much so that when she signed up for a dating service in January, she was clear: She didn’t want to be matched with a man who did not share her Jewish faith.

She turned to Portland Singles Inc.,  a service that, according to its website, caters to people who are “tired of dating the wrong person” and will find love for its clients “the ‘old fashion’ way.”

Tzemah marked “no” on the questionnaire when Portland Singles asked if she would consider dating men from other religions. When she learned Portland Singles would treat this as a preference, not a requirement, she asked for her $2,995 membership fee back. When the company refused, she took the company to court.

Tzemah filed a complaint July 18 in Multnomah County Circuit Court alleging unlawful trade practices. 

The attorney for Tzemah, Jordan Roberts, declined to comment on the case. An attorney for Portland Singles, Ethan D. Baker, said he didn’t yet know about the lawsuit.

Baker said Portland Singles’ contract is clear that it honors dating preferences, not requirements, when trying to match couples. “All of our members sign very strict membership agreements,” Baker says. “If there was something in her contract that said it was guaranteed, it would be different.”

Baker says he hopes the two sides can find a settlement.

Meanwhile, Tzemah’s lawsuit says, the company has put her dating account “on hold” and that she has had “zero introductions.”

 
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