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Monday, January 26, 2015

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Local bachelor stars in reality web series

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The bachelor Nathaniel [Shalom Life Media photo]

He’s tall, dark, handsome and single. Even better, he’s Jewish and he’s looking for love.

But instead of searching in the usual places, 30-year-old Nathaniel is starring as the real-life bachelor in Shalom Life’s upcoming web series, The Bachelor 2012: Tall, Dark and Jewish.

Oh, and did I mention he has a British accent?

With the popularity of ABC’s hit show The Bachelor, Jewish web news outlet Shalom Life, in partnership with UJA Federation of Greater Toronto’s Community Connect and El Al Airlines, decided it was time to have a Jewish bachelor, too.

Nathaniel, who works in health care and volunteers extensively in the Jewish community, was shocked when he got the call telling him he was the bachelor of choice. “I was really taken aback and my answer was an instant ‘yes,’” he said.

Stephen Arbib, the founder of Shalom Life and one of the organizers of the competition, said Nathaniel came recommended to him through staff and volunteers at federation.

“We wanted someone that wasn’t well-known in the community but was a great catch,” Arbib said, adding that with a fairly “closed” Jewish community in Toronto, it was important to find someone that not everyone would immediately recognize.

London-born Nathaniel fit the bill perfectly. He came to Canada 10 years ago, lived in Montreal for seven years, and has only been in Toronto for the last three years. “I’d say Toronto is difficult because people like to stay within their groups,” Nathaniel said of his dating luck so far in the city.

Needless to say, he was pleasantly surprised to see the dozens of applicants who want to meet him (sorry, ladies – the application deadline passed last month).

“The one thing that I’ve learned during this process is that there are so many people out there,” Nathaniel said.

With the help of professional matchmaker Alison Green, he has narrowed down the pool of applicants to seven lucky ladies. He will go on a partially filmed date with each one, and the videos will be posted online for the community to watch, comment on and cast their votes. 

From the top seven, Nathaniel will narrow it down to three, and eventually one. The new couple will go on a trip to Israel at the end of the summer to get to know each other better. 

 “I just really hope the community gets engaged and really loves it,” Arbib said, adding that he plans to launch a Jewish bachelorette series in the winter, and to make both competitions annual.

For the moment, Nathaniel is preparing to meet the lucky seven with Green’s expert advice. He said the insight into the dating world that she’s provided has been very useful. “There’s no class that teaches you how to date – you just kind of do it,” he said, explaining the value of Green’s help.

Nathaniel is hoping the competition will lead him to his future wife – a woman, he said, who should be kind, ambitious and charismatic.

The dates begin soon, and Nathaniel is gearing up for an adventurous summer. “I’m excited and nervous about it at the same time,” he said.

For more information and to watch the date videos as they’re posted, visit www.shalomlife.com.

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