About Chai & Home

Welcome to Chai & Home! I’m Dena and Chai & Home is my style blog about creative Jewish living. Through Chai & Home I aim to inspire your observance by bringing you the best in Judaica, decor, and crafts available today. New ideas mixed with centuries old traditions will enliven your practice and stimulate yourself, your family, and friends.

Dena with Blessing Cards

I was motivated to create Chai & Home in 2011 because I saw Judaism under-represented in mainstream publications devoted to lifestyle, home, and entertaining. For a tradition that is steeped in beautiful ritual, iconography, and meaning, this just wasn’t good enough.

And then there is this: I am a home decor addict. Not a day goes by when I am not perusing some catalog or web site. But my sources fall into two distinct camps: home decor sources which have luscious pictures in styled photo shoots and then Judaica sources, which are usually devoid of any inspirational treatment and are dominated by less than attractive merchandise. I thought it would be wonderful to marry the two and create a fabulous source for fresh ideas on Jewish celebrations and living. Essentially, I aim to create the type of source I wish I had everyday.

I hope to show you some fantastic ideas but it is important to remember, it is not about the “stuff”. The “stuff” is merely a gateway to a more joyful observance and home. I really mean that. It doesn’t matter if you use candleholders I feature for Shabbat or your own. Practice is perfected in the heart, not with the napkin rings.

If you want to create new traditions or add something new to your established practice, I hope you find something in Chai & Home. Keep in touch and let me know how I am doing!


Positive comments are most appreciated on the blog posts in the Comments section. If you would like to send me a private note or have an advertising, press, or product review inquiry, use the Contact Chai & Home form or you can email me at dena (at) chaiandhome.com.


Advertising opportunities range from display ads to post sponsorship and everything in between! If you’re interested in advertising please email me and I’ll send along a media kit filled with background information, rates, demographics, and some helpful stats. I only consider writing about products that I love, would use myself, and are consistent with the Chai & Home aesthetic. Please email me at dena (at) chaiandhome.com regarding your product or business and to discuss openings in the editorial calendar.


I welcome guest posts by other bloggers and writers. If you have a great recipe, craft project or home decor project you think would be of interest to a Jewish audience, let me know. Just email me at dena (at) chaiandhome.com and include a brief bio and a summary of the original post you’d like me to consider, with some sample photography. I prefer not to accept previously published work (this includes your personal blog), but might consider it for the right piece. If you are sending the post to multiple publications, please notify me immediately if it’s been accepted elsewhere. The best way to get a sense of what I’d be interested in is to read Chai & Home!



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  • Dena! The website you created is beautiful and inspired. I am so happy to have C+H as a new resource and a much-needed connection to my Jewish heritage.

  • I have just found your blog, and I cannot believe I have not found it sooner!! you are amazing, you insight! I have exactly the same thoughts about decor as you! I am an interior designer so I hate it when the holidays look like something off a garage sale table.
    I fully decorate for Hanukkah so my kids (and relatives) do not feel like they are missing something. I buy lighted white/silver garland and string it around the house with lots of blue ribbon, it looks like something you would see at Neiman Marcus, everyone who comes over ohh’s at it. The previous owners of Crate and Barrel were Jewish as are Bed Bath and Beyond, so that is why you see so much product from them. Thank you, Thank you!

  • Dena! I just found your blog bc I saw you left me a comment on mine! Your blog is just wonderful. I can’t wait to read more. So nice to be here.

  • Dena, I stumbled upon your blog looking for DIY havdalah candles and found a treasure trove of other wonderful things as well! Thanks for creating such beautiful content.

  • Hi Dena,
    I live in Fredericksburg VA and attend a very small local temple. Thank you for all the posts and information, I really enjoyed your site. I hope you continue and I look forward to new photos and information. Also, I loved the challah cover pictured in the shabbat in box. I checked the website and saw that boxes are not shipped outside LA, but I was wondering if you know of someone who is not using the challah cover and would be willing to sell it? I can replicate everything else by downloading the prayers, but not the challah cover. I would really like to create an event with my family. Thank you. –Len

    • Hi Len, I don’t know who else would have that cover and it appears to have been specially made for the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles. Halacha states that the challah cover can just be any material…it doesn’t have to be decorated, it just needs to cover the loaves entirely. Even a napkin or clean dish towel would work.

  • i;m always looking for decorations that are tastful and made of natural materials. you site it full of lovely things.. thank you for your inspiration..

  • I am an educator at a Jewish cultural center, and I found your site while looking for inspiration for some upcoming programs. I love your designs and DIY ideas–thank you so much for the printable templates! It’s lovely to have a fresh, stylish resource for Jewish living. I look forward to following your blog throughout the year!

  • Your vision and this blog is JUST what the Jewish world needs right now!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you! <3

  • Just found your blog and love the concept of bringing modern style to Jewish traditions. I am Christian but my husband is Jewish and we will be hosting our first Passover this year- your site has been a great idea for reference and inspiration! Thanks!

  • Dena,
    Had to acknowledge you for your creativity,passion and genuine original thinking with your FABULOUS BLOG! I am SO impressed and very grateful for your keen Yiddishkeit and wish you the very best with it—-moving forward….Your blog makes me KVELL, bubelah!