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Catch of the Day

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ALL THE WORLD LOVES A LOVER, SO JAY RAMRAS wasn’t entirely surprised when a stranger approached him in New York City and announced, “Hey, I’ve got a friend you should call. Let me give you her number.” Ramras took it and promised to call. “This sort of thing happens to me all the time,” he says. “I’m the kosher Ferris Bueller.”

But Ramras has taken more than the day off; he’s spending the whole winter away from his restaurant business in Fairbanks, Alaska, to look for a bride. And not just any bride. “She just has to be Jewish,” says Ramras, whose hometown, with about 540 Jews, offers few choices. So this fall the 33-year-old bachelor (whose own father advised him to marry a gentile) set off for Gotham, a city of more than a million Jews. He took out a personal ad in New York magazine—his Aunt Ruthie insisted he add “shopping malls” to his list of Fairbanks’s attractions—and the dating began. Since the media learned of his quest, the phone in his sublet hasn’t stopped ringing.

Unfortunately, of the 50 women Ramras has dated so far, the only ones willing to move to Alaska are those he would prefer not to take there. Aunt Ruthie, for one, is getting worried. “He’s losing track of what he came here for,” she says. “If you go out with 50 girls, you’ll end up with nobody.”