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Clarification A story in the Home & Family section last week did not include the complete contact information for a second Speed Dating service in Baltimore. The lights in the Pikesville cafe were suitably dim, jazz music softly played and deep-red carnations adorned the cozy tables for two.
The service pairs a Jewish single with seven potential partners in a session that resembles a musical chairs game.
Each pair gets seven minutes to chat, and then the singles decide to mark on their Speed Dating card if they would like to go on a first date.
A match is made only if both parties indicate they'd like to see each other again.
The service is the latest permutation of Jewish matchmaking to take hold in the United States, and it has proved popular in Baltimore so far, attracting an average of 20 people a session and matching at least half of them for a follow-up first date.
The Pikesville Speed Dating scene had the slight air of a chaperoned high school mixer.
The 18 participants approached one another with shy smiles and slightly awkward introductions.
And Speed Dating organizer Sharon Stadd stood by with an electronic kitchen timer in hand, cheerily ringing a bell after seven minutes and reminding people to thank their dates before moving on."I've been set up by a lot of friends," said Morris Richmond, a 36-year-old Baltimore social worker who joked that "desperation" led him to sign on for a Speed Dating session."On a blind date, if you meet someone you don't like within the first minute, you still have to spend the next two hours with that person.With Speed Dating, "if you don't like the person in the first minute, you only have six more minutes with them.That's not as bad."The program began in Los Angeles last year and has become so popular it now is available in 22 cities in America and its organizers recently launched an online Speed Dating service.Dating service boom Speed Dating is just one of several modern dating services that have gained popularity in recent years in a country increasingly populated by young professionals who are too busy to make their own love connection.Other dating services available in Baltimore include It's Just Lunch, which pairs singles up for lunch, and Dinner at 8, which brings four men and four women together for a meal and perhaps a love connection.