"Technology is rapidly changing, but for reasons we couldn’t understand, Jewish dating sites remain pretty archaic," the app's iTunes description states. "They still rely heavily on long, detailed profiles that most people BS through anyhow, back and forth chatting with people far away, and an overall sense of upkeep that make users feel as dating is their second job."
Yenta is aiming to get away from some of those long, detailed online profiles with a new, more direct approach: The app uses GPS technology to allow users to find who is single, Jewish and hanging out nearby. It also poses profile questions like "How Jewish are you?" and "What's your shtick?"
The site's founder, Luba Tolkachyov, told the New York Post that the idea is for Jewish singles to strike up a conversation with other singles around them while, say, waiting in line for coffee. At the same time, she argued the app could help to strengthen Jewish communities.
Still, others have expressed a more cynical interpretation of the app.
"Are you looking for someone to share some HOT matzah ball soup? Someone to GRIND up against at Barbra Streisand's Barclays Center concert? Someone to KVETCH with about the presidential debates? Well you're in luck, because there's now an app specifically for single Jews on the prowl: Yenta, the Jewish Grindr," Gothamist quips.
According to the Post, only 1,000 people have downloaded Yenta so far. But reporter Tara Palmeri tried it out and was able to find a single, Jewish man in close proximity -- 2,000 feet to be exact -- who rated himself "super Jewish" and was willing meet up for a brief conversation.
Dating sites that pair singles based on religion have been known to boast impressive statistics about how many long-term relationships they've spawned. JDate commissioned a survey that found the site had led to more Jewish marriages than all other dating sites combined.
Still, it remains to be seen whether the GPS element of the app will work to its advantage or not. Although plenty of singles are giving GPS dating apps a shot -- according to ABC, OkCupid has 1 million of its 3 million singles using its GPS function and the mobile app SinglesAroundMe gets installed by about 20,000 people a week -- most of the users are men.
As NPR reports, women have proven hesitant to use GPS dating sites because of the potential safety risks. Even Nick Soman, the CEO of LikeBright, another GPS dating app, told NPR that he understands there's a certain creep factor:
"The only thing scarier than a random grab bag full of dudes who are just aggressively messaging you, is a random grab bag full of dudes who are literally around you," he said.
Click through the slideshow to see most and least Jewish states in America: