As mentioned in the "What is Speed Dating?" article, the concept of speed dating was originated by a Jewish Rabbi named Yaacov Deyo of an orthodox institution called Aish Hatora. Same as today, his intentions were to help Jewish singles find husbands and wives. He has also published many works and has spoken at length on the subject. Speed Dating adheres to Jewish law, there is proclusion for an unmarried man and woman to be together in private place, but none that state the man and the woman must remain engaged for the duration of the evening. Since virtually every event requires a minimum age of 21, speed dating also accommodates the requirement that participating parties be of marriagable age, as the mitzvah to find a mate is actualized when a person reaches 18.
As is the case with many things involving Jewish culture, dating is steeped in tradition, and is considered a more serious matter than what would be considered typical. Sexual attraction carries a certain weight that extends beyond the superficial, but is seen as a potential connection of the soul between two people. While there is of course room for enjoyment in the process the ideal situation sees the mind involved as much as the heart, and the assessment of compatibility a matter of future and current considerations.
Speed dating and online dating services fit into this equation as shadchan, which is the Hebrew word for matchmaker. A shadchan is generally a Jewish wise person, but anyone who knows both parties and can act as a go-between and facilitate introductions would be considered as such. The speed dating setting is also ideal for the inclusion of candid converstation, as it is gathered that places with lots of noise like the movies or the typical club atmosphere don't offer the quiet necessary to form real connections.