Are you still single and looking for love on JDate?

In “Secrets of a Jewish Mother,” Jill Zarin wants to know: Why are you not dating anyone yet? Have you asked everyone you know to set you up with someone? Have you gone online? What are you waiting for?

In our exclusive interview, Jill Zarin shares her top tips from her new book “Secrets of a Jewish Mother” on how to navigate the dating scene, find true love and build a life filled with happiness and success.

Kris: What led you to write the book?

Jill: I wanted to write a book for the longest time. I had a lot of things I wanted to write about and my sister and I thought the book should be called “Secrets of a Jewish Mother” and that we should write it with my mother and sister.  It’s lonely being at the top and I wanted to share this with the people I love the most. I like doing things together as a family and now we are doing the book tour together, television and media together and we are ultimately all enjoying the success together.

Kris: Did the show inspire you to write this book?

Jill: My mother Gloria was the breakout starlet on The Real Housewives of NYC after she gave advice to Bethenny.   There was an overwhelming response and thousands of people wanted similar advice. We realized that not everyone grew up the way we did and had that quintessential “motherly” and involved parent. Our mother Gloria was very affectionate with us and we wanted to share that gift with everybody.  We asked people what they wanted to hear about and everyone wanted to know “How did Jill become so successful?”

Kris: What role did your family play in your success?

Jill: I grew up with amazing parents who always told me that I could be anything I wanted to be and they would always be there to support me. With my first business, my parents gave me $10,000 to start at 23 years old. My parents had the faith and trust to invest in me. They always told me I was the smartest and I was the prettiest and that really resonated because it gave me the confidence I needed to succeed.  If you are always told you are smart and beautiful, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What is most fundamental to you in terms of working hard?

Jill: Education! Education builds a foundation and it is fundamental to a Jewish upbringing.  My family always pushed me to excel in school and at the end of the day you have nothing without an education.  I believe it should be mandatory to go to college.  Being American and being Jewish, you don’t even realize how lucky you are.  Education should be required- through my success is the fact that I have a solid education. I learned how to write and I learned how to think.

Kris: What is your advice for women looking for love?

Jill: Ask everybody in the world you know and tell them you’re single and you’re looking! The man of your dreams won’t fall in your lap; you have to find him! Once you leave the college environment of socializing, you are likely to meet someone at work.  Online dating is another great way to meet someone, and we actually talk about JDate in the book.  You need to be safe about Internet dating- do a credit check or security check on your date to make sure they aren’t pretending to be someone else. 

Kris: What are your deal breakers?

Jill: He must not be stingy- we hate cheap! Never marry a stingy person; it will ruin your life!  People should also marry their own- Jewish people should marry Jewish people- this is very important for the values of children. People should be brought up in a similar background and upbringing.  Two conflicting belief systems are confusing for children. Also watch out for a man that is overly possessive, jealous, lies about money- a man who insists on controlling the purse strings will ruin your chance of happiness.

Kris: What are your must haves?

Jill: He must be kind, have a good sense of humor, be loyal, generous and dedicated to you.  He should love you a little more than you love him.  He should also be kind- always give your spouse five minutes of understanding. Always be on your toes, and always make sure your husband is on his.

Kris: What is your best advice for singles?

Jill: Trust your gut! My best piece of advice is to trust your instincts. If you don’t think he’s right, he’s probably not right. You should always give people a chance- I call it the “two date” rule.

Kris: What are your top tips for singles?


Never leave a stone unturned

Like a good sales girl, never leave a cold lead. If somebody says, “I have a guy for you,” you have to go on every single fix up you get. You are not allowed to say no- even if you don’t like him, you may like his friend.

Get out of your house

You won’t meet anyone sitting at home!

Dress for success

First impressions are the most important thing you’ll ever have in your life- whether it is meeting your in-laws or going to an important business meeting, always dress respectfully and always look your best.

Put away your devices

Email and texting is ruining true romance.  I have a rule- no talking on phones in the car or on a date. The worst way to start a relationship is by texting on a date- when someone’s Blackberry ® is sitting on the table every time you go to eat, you feel the table vibrating! No phones at the dinner table- put your Blackberry or iPhone ® in a vault when you go on a date! It is rude and disrespectful, and you will never get to know someone if you are more glued to your device.  I suggest turning off the phone before you walk into the restaurant.  If he refuses to put down the phone, then he shouldn’t be out on a date.  If the business call is more than a ten-minute call, then re-schedule for when he has time- you are not his secretary!

Avoid stingy men

If a guy can’t take you out for dinner and pay, then you don’t want to go on a second date with him. However, you have to go where he can afford to take you.  Learn how to communicate that he is paying for the date- but he gets to pick wherever he wants to take you.  I have a rule- whoever picks the restaurant pays, so if you want to go somewhere extravagant then you can pick the venue.  Diners have the best value, and there are a ton of nice diners in metropolitan cities, especially Manhattan.

Don’t over-indulge

Don’t order a lot if you know he doesn’t have a lot of money. This isn’t the last supper- you’re not going to the electric chair; eat before you go out so this way you don’t feel guilty he’s paying. 

My other dining tips:

Follow the leader

Don’t eat like a pig on your first date

Never order more than the host who is paying is ordering

If everyone is ordering chicken, don’t come in and order lobster

If someone else is treating, you order less than the host

Kris: Do you believe in traditional courtship roles?

Jill: The man should plan everything in the beginning.  People shift roles in a relationship, but in the beginning, old fashion is always the best rule of thumb.  I will tell you, I once set up a friend of mine with a guy and he didn’t pick up the tab- I will never fix him up again- it was so rude and gross!

Kris: What are some Secrets of a Jewish Mother that you would like to share?

Jill: Never be less than who you are- you can only step out of your comfort zone for so long. You can pretend to be someone for a very short period of time; you have to be who you are and he should love you for it. If he doesn’t, he’s not the right one.

Nobody’s perfect, so why should he be?

No just means you didn’t ask the right question.  You didn’t ask it right, so go back and ask again.

If you want unconditional love, go buy a puppy.

Just because he’s imperfect, doesn’t mean he won’t be perfectly right for you.

Kris: Do you have any fashion and makeup tips for single women?

Jill: Yes, my favorite fashion and makeup tips from “Secrets of a Jewish Mother” are: 

You are what you wear. If in doubt, do not wear it. If you don’t feel good in your clothing, you will radiate insecurity and others will notice.

Fake eyelashes do open your eyes. Try them.

Moisturize your face and hands as often as possible.

Do not buy a piece of clothing just because it is cheap or on sale. There are tons of stores that have fabulous clothes for less, so make sure that you love something before you buy it.

If you know you are being photographed, photograph yourself first before you leave. Often, you will look great in something in person but not as great on camera. Take the photo just to make sure.

If you wear lip liner, keep checking it.

Don’t fidget, play with your hair or bite your nails. Also, don’t slouch.

Always bring a sweater. The Jewish mother is never without a sweater.

More beauty and fashion tips can be found in the book. 

Kris: What are Gloria’s “Must Have” Qualities and “Must Avoid” Qualities in a husband?

Jill: Gloria’s “Must Haves” are: Generosity, Dedication, Kindness, Fidelity, Ambition, Fatherhood Capabilities, Brains, Sense of Humor, Age Compatibility, If you are Jewish, he has to be Jewish too.

Her “Must Avoids” are: Possessive Jealousy, Dishonesty, Stinginess, Violence of any Kind, Addiction to Drugs/ Gambling/ Alcohol, Stubbornness and Stupidity.

We sum it up best in “Secrets of a Jewish Mother” when we say “If the guy you are dating falls short of any of these qualities, move on.  The right guy is out there.  It is better to be alone than end up with someone who makes you miserable.  If you are in a terrible relationship, gather your courage, cry on your best friends shoulder and get a divorce.  Life is too short to stay sad forever.  Marriage is not supposed to be a jail sentence.”

For more information on Jill Zarins “Secrets of a Jewish Mother,” please visit:

About the Author
Kristen Ruby is the President & Founder of Ruby Media Group, a Social Media Marketing, Public Relations & Personal Branding Agency. Follow Kris on Twitter @sparklingruby or via her blog.




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  1. I love that this was a family effort. With multiple generations of Zarins contributing to the book, the advice is bound to be great.

  2. Thank you dear Jewish Mothers & Eshet Chails, for this beautiful book & article. I especially admire how stern you are about not settling for anything other than what’s good for you, but still keeping & open mind.

    Other than the “don’t leave a stone unturned” rule, I try to follow them all. From my personal experience, I find that my friends (when they do thing about me) tend to always fix me up with losers & then claim I should be grateful for any offer I get.
    I really hope that your book has some input to matchmakers etiquette: you don’t fix a single person with someone you would never consider for yourself, your sibling or your child.

  3. Why would anyone take relationship advice from someone who behaves like a catty monster on a public platform like television – and allows herself to send that kind if image to young girls everywhere? I saw that show for the first time last night and was absolutely appalled. No wonder we have a generation of young women who bully, behave like monsters and are so horribly mean. Her show and the way those women behave are feeding the beast in the worst possible way. And what they are conveying about Jewish women is degrading them everywhere.

  4. This website shouldn’t be promoting Jill Zarin. Her behavior gives credence to all the awful stereotypes of Jews over the years, that we’ve worked so hard to overcome. And here comes a woman who appears to marry for money, is petty, vindictive, catty and just plain rude. Jdate promotes relationships based on love and respect, not money and fame. Jill Zarin is an embarrassment to our people.

  5. What a stereotypical JAP! Plus, that’s quite a racially charged comment: “People should also marry their own…”

  6. I wholly agree with Vivian. I am a Real Housewives fanatic and I am on TEAM BETHENNY all the way! Jill behaves like a 7th grader and therefore has no credibility in this area.

  7. this is pretty stupid…even the title, “Jewish mothers”…is that as opposed to “Christian mothers”?

  8. Jill Zarin is a manipulative social climber and a bitch to boot!
    She speaks of herself as being “on the top” where it’s lonely! Her opinion of herself is ridiculously inflated.
    Her behavior with her friends is nothing short of catty. She navigates the New York social scene cleverly to promote herself, her business and now her Mom.

  9. Tell me,Jill et al, ,do you have a clue or meaningfull insight as to why so very many nice Jewish boys marry “shixas” (Yiddish for a non-Jewish,or Gentile,girl)?I think I know the why’s and how’s.No,I didn’t.In fact,I’m a widower,childless, lonely, and without any close family at all.Clue-(it would take an hour or more to discuss fully,even if you didn’t offer coffee and cookies)it has to do with the perception of being stalked relentlessly,serially,and without any signs of what it would take to get the huntress to re-sheathe her extraordinary and frightening claws,(and this next point is absolutely quintessential),would the “retracted”state remain,revealing a gracious,sweet,funny,cuddly wonderful wife-to-be,best friend,confidente,or (may G-D forbid)could the primal huntress return at any time,ready for and itching for some more blood sport ?We the hunted have enough scars already,and we’d like to act civilly with someone sweet,so that we two could together take on the world,not each other.Love is for the relaxed,not for the hunted.

  10. I am shocked that JDate is promoting Jill Zarin’s book. While her heart might be in the right place, she is certainly no role model to single Jewish women. She comes across as petty, jappy and extremely clingy and annoying. I liked her better when she was promoting her philanthropic side and not her bitchy mean side. She has lost all credibility as far as I am concerned.

  11. Keeping Jill Zarin’s behavior from The Real Housewives of NY show separate, I wholeheartedly agree with most of what she says in this interview. One item Jill touches on is the “cheap” red flag. On a first JDate during which all I ordered was a $3.00 coffee, the guy — who initially contacted me — actually told me what I owed when the bill came. A real downer…and he actually asked me out again. Another obvious red flag is making/answering calls and/or texts on a date. This communicates disinterest and is flat out rude. A first date is a first impression, and un-gentlemanly actions are not impressive and cause first dates to be last dates.

    I’m a contemporary of Jill’s, and she touches on some very good points, points that those of us of a certain 40-ish age in the Jewish-dating world have long known. You may not agree with her actions on the show (note that these reality shows are edited and tweaked for entertainment value) and you may think her behavior is sophomoric, but she does impart some very useful advice. (And, to those whose comments missed the point of the interview and focused solely on lambasting Jill, we ALL live in “glass houses,” if you know that old saying.)

    And, as for the term “Jewish Mother,” Danny, this is not in any way direct or indirect disrespect of mothers of other faiths or cultures. That decades-long-established term plain and simply imparts the special endearment those of us lucky Jewish children feel who are fortunate enough to have Jewish mothers.

  12. Jill some of your advice is ok, but as a guy I am gonna have to disagree with a lot of the things you mentioned. Such things as having the guy love the girl just a little bit more.. hmmmm, or the guy always picks up the tab. Ladies if you want advice dont buy jill’s book it’s a waste of money just like the millions of other books out there. Ask advice from male friends who are trustworthy. Jill just wants your money from her book. I am wondering how good her relationship is. Is her husband faithful to her, that she knows of? So before you think aout buying her book THINK.
    sorry jill I have to be honest

  13. Although soe of the advice is good, i am having trouble understanding some of Jill’s advice. Why should the man love the wife a little more than she loves him. Not quite understanding the logic and reason for this. Is there an explanation. Why would I want to be with someone who does’ntl ove me as much as I love her? In my opinion, people who want to be in a relationship where their partner loves them more need to be worshiped and have their egos stroked. Not attractive. Yes, reality tv stars are usually the ones who completely have their lives together and are major role models so I guess we should all listen to Jill.

  14. Yikes, Jill. You seem like a loving, compassionate person, but please learn to digest what you’re about to say. Although you think you’re being honest by saying your first thought, you can be overly critical of others. Please choose the time to critique; people will listen more when it’s tempered and purposeful.

  15. As many other here said, Jill is not the person anyone wants to take advise from. She needs to work on herself, rather than give advice to others. As much I found Jill mother a very nice women, I would not be listening to any of these women. The way she hawks her book is sad. Take the money you might have paid for the book and buy your mom or someone important in your life flowers.

  16. I’m sorry, but the attitudes expressed here are truly revolting. This is what gives (some) Jewish women a bad name. If I encountered this woman on a date, it would be a brief date indeed!

  17. Jill Zarin was the Mistress of Bob and she knew he was married.

  18. Jill Zarin is really the embodiment of a horrible Jewish stereotype. She is all about money, social climbing and manipulating. On her show, The Real Housewives, she was so incredibly mean to Bethenny Frankel that it was almost disturbing and definitely upsetting. I wouldn’t buy any advice book from her ever, and I don’t think Jdate should support her.

  19. jill’s behavior is deplorable. gimme a break-writing a book-what the heck does she know-nonsense,seriously-she should be embarrassed, completely embarrassed -your advice is worth nothing-you apologize for your behaviors but someone who is intelligent and respectful would not do these things in the first place-you are all about fame and money and nothing else-you have no substance-jdate should not be advocating your behavior or book

  20. The comment rules say to be nice, so I will. Their interview answers, and likely the book, are a total pile of trash. Absolutely no Jewish women should take advice from these superficial know-it-alls who are as self-centered as they are annoying. The advice to marry a man who loves you a little more than you love him? What a complete joke; it’s about their desire to control men. “We hate stingy.” That’s subjective. Personally, I would probably puke if I had to pay, in any manner, for all the accouterments those women consider mandatory. They are terrible, and I hope women ignore them.

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