After Temple Isaiah president Peter Small’s wife of nine years died in December 2008, he decided to overcome his grief and help other Jewish singles connect by organizing potluck dinners at his Newport Beach synagogue.
“As I was going through my process of grieving, I thought ‘how do I get back into socializing again?’” said Small, 56, who works as a historical impressionist, doing dramatic portrayals of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, among other historic figures.
The dinners are gaining popularity and have filled a gap for older local Jewish singles, organizers said.
“A lot of the temples are geared toward families, especially kids,” said Marcia Rosenberg, singles director for Mirage Jewish Community Center of Orange County, who has helped promote Small’s potlucks. “There aren’t a lot of synagogues or temples that are geared toward singles of any age, let alone people who are age 40-plus. No one in Orange County is really doing anything for singles in this age group; everything is for younger people.”