Ilanit Shalev started with a passion for glass art and her flair for personal connection. Just under
a decade ago, she was approached by her local Chabad Rebbetzin and was asked to lead a
mezuzah workshop for the women of the community. She of course agreed, and thus began her
journey working with thousands, creating thousands of mezuzot. This was the first of many
events and workshops she would instruct.
The mitzvah of putting a mezuzah on the doorpost of your home serves as a reminder that
God joins you on your journeys and protects you wherever they may take you. Creating a fused
glass mezuzah from just a few pieces of glass and some creativity really personalizes this
mitzvah for each person that gets to participate in one of Ilanit’s mezuzah workshops. Each
person gets to create their own work of art to house the mezuzah scroll, and this experience
really connects every person that creates to their Judaism.
The workshop starts off with Ilanit instructing how to safely score, cut, place, and glue the
glass, all while encouraging creativity and self-expression. Many of the people joining these
workshops and parties are first-time glass artists; and yet, without fail, every person leaves with
a gorgeous, professional piece of art they can display in their home or gift to a loved one. Ilanit
does events all over Southern California working and connecting with all kinds of people.
When COVID hit, the workshops stopped for a while as did the world. However, Ilanit wanted
to allow others to continue creating and connecting to their Judaism despite the pandemic, and
the ‘GlassKit’ project was born. These GlassKits include all the materials needed to make
mezuzot right in the comfort of your home – without having to have the expensive machinery
that brings your creations to life. It comes with cut glass, glue, and a return label to be sent
straight to Ilanits studio to get fired and fused into a beautiful artwork mezuzah. Starting in a
time of isolation, Ilanit took the opportunity to unite people through art and Judaism.
The glass kits are available on her website: ilanitshalev.com
Over the years, there have been thousands of mezuzot made with Ilanit’s guidance and she is
not stopping there.