Why I don’t hate labels

labels.jpg As some of you know, I try to set up singles. There are many factors that go into setting people up, and I’ve found that one of the trickier aspects of dating in the religious world is the application of labels.

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times: “I hate labeling myself.” While nobody likes to be pigeonholed, allow me to explain why this often bemoaned point is not only beneficial but necessary.

Looking up at the night sky with your naked eye (assuming you’re not in a city!), you can see billions of stars. They’re beautiful to behold, but they all look kind of…identical. You try setting up two random stars and hoping the night won’t end in tears! Once you look through, say, the Hubble telescope, you begin to see that some of the stars are actually planets or other space objects (hey, I’m not an astronomer!). Perhaps this comet would really get along with that comet, you’d start to think. Now you can get cooking, to mix metaphors.

In other words, if someone refuses to label themselves, how am I supposed to know if I should suggest a match who’s Yeshivish vs someone who’s on the liberal side of Modern Orthodox?

When I talk to singles, I say: first provide me with your general label and then we can get into the details of what that label means to you. Labels are very much relative – what’s “modern” for a Chassidish person isn’t “modern” for a Modern Orthodox person. My rule is, let’s put you in a box, and then we can open the lid. Oh, and we can even add compartments😉



Israel Adventures-Sisters Trip!

A couple months ago, I had the amazing opportunity of a lifetime to travel to the Holy Land, the Land of Israel, along with my sisters Chanie and Aliza. This was our first lengthy sisters trip as adults, since I got married while they were still young teens. My wonderful husband assured me that it was ok for me to go, and even encouraged me to – he’s the best😉

It was just the most magical, beautiful time. Firstly, as close as we are, back at home each of us is busy with daily life. Being together for a longer than normal period of time, we forged an even stronger bond – shared experiences are priceless! And while it was super hard to leave my husband and kids (I stayed up late at night to catch them after school for “face-timing” since Israel is 7 hours ahead), it was a time to think about just me and know that they were being well taken care of.

I’ve been to Israel before, but I can never get enough. There is such rich history under every stone. I always wish I could transpose myself to another time, when a now-quiet area had hustle and bustle, when you could hear ancient voices and see ancient life. What’s the story each tree can tell? This trip – although we did have fun:) – concentrated on our shared love of history, particularly Jewish history, in this historically rich country. Chanie teaches about the Arab-Israeli conflict, using her experience in international law, and both Aliza and I love history, so it was perfection.

Below are some pics of our adventures. Aliza being ever so creative put together a video you can check it out here! Enjoy!



On our way to meet family for breakfast



Photobombed by chayalim!



View of the Kineret



Walking in Jerusalem



Mid century window-doors from an Indian shul, brought over to the Israel Museum. History at my fingertips…



Horseback riding in Netanya


Sooooo much more to share but I will leave you guys with one last pic. This is me walking in the Golan Heights on the trail to a memorial created by friends of the 4 taken too young heroes/terror victims from Yeshivat Otniel murdered in 2002. You can read about it here. All our honor and respect for the thousands of victims who have been murdered for living in and defending our homeland.




Join my new Facebook group!

As many of you know, 9 years ago I established Mbellishd, a unique brand of accessories. Although I will soon be starting to add more kinds of accessories, for the past 9 years my claim to fame is helping the you, the customer, be involved in the creation of your hair accessories. Whether an outfit needs the perfect match or you’re looking for something that doesn’t exist, I am here to help. Putting together an applique of your choice with a hardware that can be hats, bands, ponies and clips, you’re sure to wear it with pride:)

Please join my FB group here for updates on new inventory, as well as updates on my blog where I post more detailed info on the products.

As always feel free to email orders/inquiries for Mbellishd to info.mbellishd@gmail.com.

Updated DIY Headband Holder!

My most popular post here is always my DIY Headband Holder how-to.

The version I created then is meant to be hung on a hook. Working with my girls’ new closets, I came up with a more integrated placement for it. Their closets are fantastic in the way that they are extremely customizable, allowing for changes such as shelving vs. hanging space. I followed the same directions as my older post until placing the ends-like the flowers. Instead, I now put a hanging rod through the tube. To help it stay in place I added a strip of No Slip Grip tape I use when creating clips onto the top of the rod. In addition, I stuffed each end with tissues as far as I could. As shown, 2 rolls fill the rod. Since my girls have way more headbands, I will definitely be adding another rod or two, probably removing the shelf underneath for more space!

(The ribbon is for decorative purposes only-a cute way of hiding the seam. You can also just face it towards the back to have a seamless look or if using a printed fabric.)

Happy crafting:)0628151712 0628151718

I’m Baaaaack!

It’s been 2 years since Sandy (to the day!!), and after rebuilding our house, my business, and so much in between, I’m finally at a point where I’m officially reopened for business! It’s been long and I’m super pumped to get back into the swing of things! I’m (almost) settled in – stay tuned for more pictures of my new studio. I absolutely love it:) Though I’m taking my time to find the perfect finishing touches, it’s a dream!

Check out my Mbellishd blog to see what’s new, and to hear about sales and more!


Rebuilding Post Sandy

As many of you know, my home was ruined during the infamous Hurricane Sandy. Although we made it out ok our house had to be rebuilt. (Luckily my hubby is an architect!) Along with the home that drowned, a lot of the stock I had from my accessories company Mbellishd went with it. Anything that so much as looked at the water, I tossed. That, in conjunction with moving twice in the interim (once from the old house to my mother-in-law right after, then somewhere else until we moved back home) and being my own decorator for the new house, maintaining constant watch on the sub-contractors etc., took nearly all the time I had. Though I kept up Mbellishd, I couldn’t give it my full focus.

Well, we are back at home, getting more settled with each passing day, and I am in the midst of putting together my new studio!! Here is a picture of the shelving that was just installed. I love love love my grey-stained floors against the pink walls!


Now that the shelving is in, I will decide on desk shape and room decor. Stay tuned for pics of my developing studio and finally of my new stock🙂 I can’t wait to share it all!

Follow my blog to see Mbellishd’s progress here. And join my Mbellishd on Facebook for more pics!

Now I Need the Girls!

Although my fingers feel heavy, my stomach feels queasy and my mind is thick with thoughts of the 3 boys Eyal, Gil-ad and Naftali, innocent children brutally kidnapped and murdered by Hamas, I push myself to try to help a fellow Jew. I dedicate this post in their honor. Even if no shidduch comes about from trying, may your efforts be an aliyah for their nashamot.


Thanks so much for all the personal messages I received supporting me in doing my share to help singles.

In my last post (find it here), I requested specifically for people to pass on information about guys they know who are single as I was short on guys. I am happy to say I have received a nice amount of guys (yay!) to work with so I am really accepting info on ALL girls and guys you know! To be more direct, I am most familiar with and have worked with modern orthodox to yeshivish types and anything within that spectrum. Again, I ask of you all, think of people maybe a step further than your immediate circle, friends siblings, co-workers, boss’s child, child’s friend’s siblings. You NEVER know how it will come about. The shidduch I made came about after randomly meeting a stranger on the Brooklyn College campus who knew someone for someone I knew and the rest is history;)

Feel free to forward infos + pic to letsmakeashidduch@gmail.com. Feel free to contact me with any questions as well.

Please make sure there is a contact number to the single (or go-between) and a brief description of what the person is about, how they see themselves religiously and what type of person they are looking for. This helps me differentiate one from another as simple technical details do not help in me understanding what they’re about.

I really try to be non-judgmental, to understand each person’s needs, listen well to their requests in what they are looking for and how they describe their hashkafot.

Thanks so much!


PS I am working on something that will allow singles themselves to peruse through other singles out there and possibly help someone find their bashert on their own. I will be available to do the communication at first if they feel more comfortable that way. Details to follow!

Shidduchim and How YOU Can Help

As some of you may know, I’ve been actively involved in Shidduchim for many years. I’ve made one Shidduch so I know I can do it again🙂

Unfortunately, my list trails with girls. And although I’ll accept any girl’s info, I’m truly seeking your help to find guys for my girls, ranging from Modern Orthodox to Yeshivish.

SO, I created an email just for shidduchim. Please feel free to send questions, profiles, and pictures to letsmakeashidduch@gmail.com.

My biggest pet peeve is when I get information that reads like a job resume, with all the technical details but without any description of the single as a person– I cannot help you if all I know is his/her camp, bungalow colony, references, and whether or not he or she was valedictorian. I don’t know the person from a hole in the wall, so if you’re coming to me for help I need to know whether the single is an atheist, conservative, Yeshivish, learning, wears skirts, pants, or turbans. I exaggerate, of course, but you get the idea. The more I read about you (not too long, save that for the date!) the better feel I get.

So please be sure there is a paragraph on what you or the single is looking for type-wise, hashkafically, religiously. Also, I need pictures. If you’d like me not to share them, please specify, but I need to see what you look like. It helps me remember you as I’m a visual person.


There is really so much I’d love to discuss on this topic but I’ll rein myself in (or try;)) and concentrate on how we can help the singles who remain after the initial burst of engagements post high school/seminary/college.

For many, “Shidduchim” means excitement, a whirlwind of fun and joy – but for many, many others, it connotes loneliness, judgment, and hardship.

Although I didn’t get married late myself, I feel a super strong connection with and sympathy for singles in our community, who leave weddings happy for their friends but with sadness in their hearts. For once their friends are married, and many begin having children, these singles are left behind in the dust. It’s very difficult to live in a community where laughing kids and a husband to link your arm into are the norm when you have neither.

And here’s the biggest problem:

So many times I’ve asked people if they know any guys – or even girls – whom I can set up with a particular person, and the expression of not only lack of effort but interest breaks my heart. I cringe when right off the bat they say they don’t know anyone.

No, a name may not come to mind immediately. But pause for a minute. Think of your neighbor, your son’s friend, your co-worker’s daughter.

It’s a regrettable truth that once people gets married, they tend to forget how hard it is to be single. Marriage, kids, life keeps us all busy. I know that personally. I don’t think anyone is intentionally thoughtless.

And of course there are people who focus their time and energy on other wonderful endeavors – collecting for the less fortunate, making rounds in hospitals, etc. – and Kol HaKavod to them. If they can’t concentrate full time on Shidduchim, that’s understandable.




But it would be really amazing if people stopped for just a minute, thought about the singles they might possibly know, and passed those names on to someone who does focus on setting people up. It’s all about connections.

And singles out there, please don’t be shy about asking for yourselves. It’s uncomfortable, awkward, and maybe you feel embarrassed. But do it for no one else but yourselves. You never know when you may hit the jackpot.


Please take a moment: if you’re not single or looking, think of your friend’s brother, sister, neighbor, Shul member, cousin’s kid. You never know.

Send me names, profiles, and pictures, and maybe we can work some magic!

Thanks everyone!


Yom Ha’atzmaut and My Sister’s Fascinating Blog


Israel’s Independence Day is celebrated on the fifth day of the month of Iyar, which is the Hebrew date of the formal establishment of the state, when members of the “provisional government” read and signed a Declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv. The original date corresponded to May 14, 1948.

In honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, which falls out today, and yesterday’s Yom Hazikaron, Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism, I would like to share my sister Chanie (Susana) Scheiner’s amazing blog called Israel Unlocked.  Sometimes it is down due to editing.

Chanie so eloquently and articulately takes the issues of the Arab-Israeli conflict of years before to current times, and helps her readers understand the root of the matter. As an attorney she shares not only her personal views, but also international laws pertaining to the situation.

I love the tagline of her blog:

“The truly righteous don’t complain about ignorance; rather, they add wisdom.” – Rav Kook

She believes, as do I, that it’s crucial to share, learn, discuss and most of all be knowledgeable about all that is Israel. For people who stand with Israel, especially Jewish people who absolutely should (my views on that are worth another post here:)) the more educated we are, the better we can stand up for ourselves be it physically and verbally.

Please feel free to share her blog, comment and share your views or ask questions-she is very well versed in a lot of the difficult issues of the conflict. In her words:

“I encourage civil discourse on the topic and I’m open to comments, questions, and suggestions concerning this blog or the conflict.”


Here is a direct link to pages of legal analysis of the conflict which is simplified for the lay person;)


Her latest post:

Cruelty or Compassion? You Be the Judge


To end, I would like to say that I am ever so grateful to the IDF who put themselves in harm’s way to allow the freedom for Jews and other people to visit and live in the beautiful Land of Milk and Honey. From all the way in America: