Thanks to an introduction by my corporate partner, Gabriel Herman, I recently had the pleasure of interviewing a special friend and client of Fox Rothschild, Aleeza Ben Shalom, of the Netflix series Jewish Matchmaking, for the podcast I host called Jewish Divorce Talk. As the name implies, Jewish Divorce Talk is a show about Jewish divorce, separation, co-parenting, and other unique considerations that arise when couples divorce in the Jewish world.

You may be asking: what interest does a divorce lawyer have in interviewing a shadchun, a matchmaker? After all, our jobs could not be more different. Aleeza brings people together, couples them, and sees them ride off into the sunset, happy and content with their new beginnings. And, well, my job is just the opposite.

On the surface, my job and Aleeza’s job are, indeed, quite different. But, as I watched the show, I discovered that there were more commonalities in our work that lie beneath: how we navigate people through relationship challenges, how we troubleshoot creative solutions to meet our clients’ unique needs, and how we use our intimate knowledge of the Jewish community to tailor results.

Just like with what Aleeza does as a matchmaker, as a divorce lawyer, I spot relationship trends; what brings people together, what makes the relationship tick, and what ultimately can cause its demise. Especially for my clients in the Jewish community, I tend to think about what could have been done better, just as much as I think about what went wrong. And oftentimes, I can see how relationship dynamics that develop early on set people up for success or failure, both before and after a divorce.

Thus, not only did Aleeza’s warm and endearing persona capture the hearts of so many, but her wisdom – from her empathy to her witty catchphrases – teach us so much about how to improve throughout the lifecycle of any relationship.

During a Marriage:

 “When in doubt, go out”: Aleeza says that if you have any doubt that you might develop an interest in a potential shidduch, give it a try. And while Aleeza explained to me that she actually hates the word hate, in the interest of making the point stick, she says you should then “date ‘em, ‘til you hate ‘em.”

While it doesn’t have the same pithy ring, I say, “stay married to ‘em, ‘til you hate ‘em.” I don’t want to see you in my office until you have removed all doubts from your mind; until you are certain that divorce is the only path remaining for you and your spouse.

And you may say that you can’t stand your spouse, you may have a laundry list of grievances and gripes, you may be at the end of your rope. But divorce, in many respects, is like trading problems. You are relinquishing the marital problems for your divorce problems.

Not only are you taking your own relationship baggage with you (Aleeza has a great graphic on the show illustrating how people carry baggage with them from relationship to relationship), but if you have children or are financially entangled post-divorce, you are not truly ridding yourself of anything. So, if there is any doubt as to whether you should stay married, give it a try and be realistic about what lies ahead.

During a Divorce:

Analysis paralysis: Aleeza explains that, when dating, too much analysis, can lead to paralysis. In other words, when one excessively perseverates over choices, options, pathways forward, they become stuck in one spot, unable to move forward, trapped in a state of suspended animation.

I find that rings loud and true for some of my clients going through a divorce as well. When people are divorcing, they can understandably be burdened by indecision and fear. There can be a lot of noise from well-meaning friends, relatives, and yes, Google, telling people about all the pitfalls of each decision. Sometimes, critical situations can unfold rapidly, and certain choices can have far reaching consequences. Sometimes, a new chapter in life and the decisions that accompany it, can be too much for people to bear. They experience divorce-induced analysis paralysis.

 However, it is crucial when divorcing to be able to work with your lawyer to narrow options, assess risk, and quickly determine how best to proceed. While each decision may carry significant weight, the cost of indecision can be far more steep.


Value based glue: Shared values and beliefs are the building blocks of any relationship, and as Aleeza explains, are a material and critical component of not only finding a shidduch, but sticking to them for life. Because, as Aleeza explained to me, she is not only interested in getting people married, but making sure they stay married.   

Much like Aleeza, I am not only interested in getting people divorced, but in making sure they can have a functional relationship after divorce, both for themselves and their children. And this  is where another important piece of Aleeza’s wisdom comes in: If you don’t have fire, work toward the goal of just getting to neutral point where you want to learn more.

After a divorce, all that may remain is the fire of anger and resentment. The goal after a divorce is to get back to a neutral place; to a point where you can co-exist and co-parent with your former spouse without the ire that brought you to the divorce. Remember, the value based glue that bound you may be lurking somewhere in the background, and rediscovering that common ground may be all you need to get you back to neutral.

Listen to me and Aleeza delve into these issues and more on the newest episode of Jewish Divorce Talk, which can be found here:


Eliana T. Baer is a partner in the Family Law Practice Group of Fox Rothschild LLP. Eliana focuses her state-wide practice on representing clients on issues relating to divorce, asset distribution, support, custody, domestic violence, premarital agreements and Appellate Practice. She appears in both civil and rabbinical court. You can reach Eliana at (609) 895-3344, or