JDate Closes Its Israel Office, Lays Off Staff of 25

Spark Networks, which owns the Jewish dating site, will continue to operate a Hebrew-language JDate site from the United States, the Calcalist business daily reports.

A JDate's ad campaign as seen in Times Square.
Screenshot from the Terry & Sandy Solution

Spark Networks, which operates the Jewish dating JDate websites has closed its Israeli office, the Calcalist business daily reported on Tuesday, saying that its Herzliya offices have been shuttered and the staff of 25 laid off.  

The Israeli JDate website will continue to be maintained from the United States including Hebrew-language content, Calcalist added, and its CEO in Israel, Shai Trotzman, will serve as the company's contact person in Israel. The company will outsource its customer support to Israeli customers to a local supplier, Spark Networks CEO Michael Egan explained.

The closure if Spark Networks' Israeli operations is reportedly part of a broader series of cuts around the world that includes the closure of a U.S. office in Utah. Spark Networks' revenues are said to have declined from $13.5 million in the first quarter of last year to $9.9 million in the first quarter of this year. Its Jewish sites accounted for about $4 million of the $9.9 million, Calcalist said, a decline of 22 percent.

JDate, which was established in 1997, was the first Jewish dating website. It has operated a site geared to Israelis since 2002. Of its 750,000 subscribers, an estimated 350,000 are in Israel, the business daily reported.