As Persian Jews pray for their souls on Yom Kippur


The holiest day of the year is ripe for matchmaking because it draws big crowds to synagogue, including young people who don't often attend. 'Every year the skirts are getting shorter,' a woman says.
Yom Kippur, the holiest and most somber day of the Jewish calendar, is a time for repentance, traditionally reserved for fasting and intense prayer. But scores of Iranian American Jews in Los Angeles, many of whom congregate in just a handful of synagogues across the city, aren't just looking for forgiveness on the Day of Atonement.

They're looking for love.

Facing enormous pressure from their families to marry within the community, many of these young people -- and their matchmaking relatives -- say they use the day to scope out potential romantic interests and tap into vast social networks to get the scoop on prospective candidates.

The irritability and less-than-fresh breath that can accompany the 25-hour fast don't seem to stop many of them from dressing up and synagogue-hopping from the San Fernando Valley to the Westside in search of a soul mate.

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