Hi there. I am a licensed tour guide specializing in Hasidic Brooklyn. As of this writing in 2020, I have been giving tours for seven years, and writing about Hasidic life for many more.

I take my tour visitors in Brooklyn to Lee and Bedford and Thirteenth Avenue. I teach, learn, discuss, nosh. I meet people from all over the world. Together we get sunburned and freeze-bitten and soaked through to the bone. We eat too much babka and make great memories.

What makes my perspective unique is that I know the Hasidic community intimately. I come from the insular Satmar sect. I was raised, married and became a mother in the village of Kiryas Joel. I left Hasidism with my son but part of my heart remains there. (You can hear about my experience here.)

I return to the neighborhood to visit family, celebrate holidays and scout new toys, fashion trends and be a bit of an amateur anthropologist. I try to always be thoughtful, empathetic and fair. I believe other cultures can expand the mind. I challenge my visitors and myself to always think a little broader.

Besides giving tours I run the blog here, where I post resources, analysis, commentary, fiction and even sometimes doodles. I also occasionally publish in real publications, and will have an illustrated story in the upcoming book Off the Derech. I also enjoy to consult on various creative and academic projects. Please sign up to follow my blog to keep up with whatever trouble I am up to!

Many thanks to some amazing and talents for making my projects happen.

Valeria Di Matteo
website developer, coding magician with better taste than any ordinary magician

Shannon Kuta Kelly
blog editor, social media manager, wonderful poet in her own right

Tayla Olandim
illustrator, artist with so much soul, Hasidic mapmaker from far-flung Brazil