“I was zoche to live around the corner from the Levins for 7 years, during which I heard Megillah at their welcoming home several times. I learned a lot from Mrs. Levin without her realizing it, especially about maintaining a calm demeanor even with a houseful of children and no matter what is going on. I was zoche to know the Kaplans from the many summers my family spent at BVG (1991-2000).

I had redt lots of shidduchim from when I was in my late teens until late twenties; two shidduchim that I redt when I was 18 materialized, but I did not serve as the go-between. Then my life became too hectic to spend time redting shidduchim, so I stopped for about ten years.

Then, three and a half years ago, an obvious shidduch came up: my childhood neighbor and my cousin. The families live down the block from each other and knew each other for years. Even after that shidduch, I still felt that I was too busy to redt shidduchim.

Then 10K Batay Yisroel was founded, and I really wanted to join the Levin and Kaplan families in creating a “binyan adei ad” for Yisroel and Elisheva A”H. I started redting shidduchim again, but I was limited to the people I knew or heard of, and I realized that I needed to expand my pool of people looking for a shidduch. I have a friend who got married at 28 and had been married for a few years and was waiting for children. She started a shidduch group, and we had our first meeting on Chanukah 2018 (on my grandfather’s Yahrtzeit– he was a big proponent of redting shidduchim and encouraged me to do so). There were just a few of us participating, so my friend subscribed to receive singles’ profiles from Sholom Blatter so we’d have a wider pool to work with. None of us in the group have much time to devote to the cause, but we’re all doing the best we could.

At one point, I made a rule for myself: redt a shidduch a day. I would not go to sleep at night without having redt a shidduch that day. Some were done by phone, but most were redt via email. Early each morning, I picked one single I knew and scrolled through all the profiles in the appropriate folder in our shidduch email account (eg “Males 30s”) until I found one that looked suitable, and I sent an email asking if he’d heard of her. I kept that up for a few months.

At this point in time, I probably suggest a shidduch a week, on average. I would have gotten “burnout” from redting so many shidduchim and getting nowhere, but two things kept me going. One was knowing that this is what Hashem wants from me since He gave me strengths in networking and connecting with others. The other thing that kept me going was actually not a thing but a person, and actually not one person but two. My friend who started the shidduch group and I each had a baby boy approximately one year after that first meeting! If I wasn’t seeing results in shidduchim, I definitely felt that my little matnas chinam was a reward for my efforts and my efforts were spurred by 10K Batay Yisroel.

Someone I know suggested her niece for a relative of mine, and while she didn’t seem right for him, she sounded perfect for his friend and neighbor, whose family I know well. With masks required indoors and high temperatures and humidity outdoors (Lakewood and Baltimore), dating was…whatever, BH they are happily engaged! Interestingly, the boy spent his summers at BVG, and his family still goes there as well.”