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From Matchmaker to Social Worker

September 22, 2020

Even for a social work student, Tamar Bezalely is more than experienced at talking with clients. As a relationship consultant, she’s been working for years with singles, new couples and spouses through her company Matched by Tamar.

“I get to know singles very closely so that I can help them become their best selves, and explore and discover the partner that will bring them into their best life,” Bezalely said.

As a matchmaker for the past decade, she’s been working with individuals on everything from being ready to date to just being in a relationship. It's a more casual atmosphere though, so earning her online Master of Social Work from Yeshiva University feels like the natural next step in her career.

“When you want to help a person really delve into their deeper side and help them deal with whatever lies beneath, you really need to have the weight of an education behind you,” she said. “You can't just do that flying by the seat of your pants.”

Bezalely’s path to matchmaking stemmed from a stressful time in her life: Her oldest daughter was seriously ill with the H1N1 swine flu and a couple of years later was diagnosed with the illness again. For a couple of days, she was placed on life support.

During that difficult period, many people in her community came to help her family. She noticed that the young singles were struggling with the challenges of dating.

“They used to drive us to and from the hospital, and I discovered that they were totally clueless,” she said. “They all wanted to get married, but really, it would have been a disaster. So I started to counsel them in the car on the way there and back. Ever since then, I've matched about 18 couples—and two of them live across the street from me now!”

Earning Her Degree

When she decided to pursue an MSW, Bezalely set out looking for an online program. With four children and her oldest daughter being a heart- and kidney-transplant recipient, she knew it would be the only possible way for her to manage a master’s program.

It was a client’s brother who recommended that she look at Yeshiva University. As a graduate of its on-campus social work program—and as the relative of someone who was happy with Bezalely’s matchmaking support—he thought it seemed like a good fit.

“He encouraged me to reach out to YU and get more information, so that I could join their MSW program, telling me that I really was a natural and that I needed to pursue this line of work, this field of study,” Bezalely said. “That night, I found that they just started an online program at YU. With that, my criteria were met and I applied.”

Once she started classes, Bezalely gained a wide range of help and insights from both her faculty and her classmates from different fields. Whether it was getting advice from a professor about a challenge in her professional life or learning from a peer about working with those leaving rehab, she’s found herself to be more prepared for what’s ahead.

She has also been surprised by all that she’s learned, from deep dives into ethics to the programming language R. That’s in addition to gaining a better understanding of disability rights, voting rights, discriminatation and other larger issues happening around the world. Even her class in philosophy has given her a better understanding of people.

“All of the classes that I've taken thus far on the MSW online program at Wurzweiler have really helped to shape my perception of humans, psychologically, philosophically,” Bezalely said. “I think that it is a very important element to how a clinician presents themselves: If they have this deep breadth of knowledge standing behind them, they can relate to humans in a very different way. Humans become really three-dimensional. All of the classes have added that extra element of understanding to humankind.”

Her time at Yeshiva University has given Bezalely the tools to understand what’s happening with clients and how to help address it. After graduation, she hopes on eventually becoming a licenced clinical social worker and working with young adults and adolescents.

As a matchmaker, she’s gained a deeper understanding of how people grow and need to develop as well as why they are where they are when they start dating. The program’s helped her recognize her own natural ability to counsel beyond just relationships.

“What I have gained from my education so far as an online MSW student, is a deeper understanding of what a person is. Not who a person is, but what a person is, and what they need.”

Transform Your Future

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