You might think Kim Kardashian’s 142 million followers on Instagram would make her the most influential woman on social media, but for the Jewish community that’s hardly the case.
Kim K can’t offer any suggestions on the latest fashions for modest dress, she never gives recommendations for bar mitzvah gifts, and I haven’t seen a single post from her on the best recipes for Shabbos.
In the Jewish community, it’s the relatable faces of other Jewish influencers who are attracting a dedicated following on social media.
There’s a growing group of Jewish content creators changing the dynamics of the online Jewish community through Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Their statistics might be a tad more humble than any of the Kardashian family’s, but their subscribers are niche, loyal and hungry to see more.
One of the first and most successful ‘Insta-famous’ Jewish celebrities is American food writer and kosher connoisseur Jamie Geller.
She’s not only written several successful cookbooks she’s launched a Kosher food empire. If you follow her on her Instagram page you’ll see a fascinating glimpse into this mom-preneur mogul’s private life – beginning with prayer each morning in her home in Israel.
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SHABBOS IN 1 HOUR!!! Full menu, recipes, game plan and how-to video NOW ON IGTV (and in my bio link). If you likeeee and want more, more, more – let me know in ze comments below. (Ask and you shall receive.) @colavitaoliveoil #1hourshabbatmenu #shabbosmenu #goodshabbos #greatshabbos #shabbatshalom #jamiegellerdotcom
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What’s most interesting to me about Jamie is the little details of her everyday life: how she prepares a kid friendly kosher breakfast, what she felt the morning of her youngest son’s upshirin, which butcher she recommends etc.
This type of influencer marketing is uniquely Jewish and it’s clear that there is a strong market for her brand.
The most popular Instagram hub for Jewish influencers is kosher cooking. Jewish Instagram celebrities like Busy in Brooklyn’s Chanie Apfelbaum and ‘Raizy’s Cookin’ Raizy Fried’ are constantly reinventing what we think of as traditional Jewish food.
Chanie’s Hasselback Sausage has become a staple in homes across the New York area for Shabbat lunch because it can be made ahead of time and is good hot and at room temperature – this is not shtetl chulent!
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REPOST @jews_of_ny Chanie Apfelbaum AKA @BusyInBrooklyn is answering our questions! . What’s your favorite place in NY?⠀ I'm a Brooklyn gal so I prefer to stay on my side of the East River! Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of my favorite spots because there are so many fun things to do there with kids, and the view is worth the one hour search for parking! When I'm feeling brave enough to head into the city, Union Square Market because farm fresh produce is life! . What’s your favorite Jewish Holiday?⠀ Channukah! Because I was born on the 5th night so I give myself a pass to eat all the donuts, latkes, chocolate gelt and fried food that I want. Best birthday week ever! . What’s your least favorite place in NY?⠀ The subway. Sure it's a great way to get around but when I have to be nudged in between someones armpit and another persons backpack, I always wish I would have just taken an uber! . What do you love about NY? I love the buzz, there's always something to do! I also love the convenience of having plenty of great kosher restaurants and markets wherever I go. . What is your favorite Yiddish word?⠀ Shepping Nachas! It means deriving pleasure from being proud of someones accomplishments. I always shep nachas when people share photos of dishes that they've made from my blog or cookbook, and of course I'm grateful that I shep nachas from my children too! . The last amazing NYC restaurant you have been to? @Alenbi and @BoruBoruNYC because Israeli food and Asian food are my favorites, respectively. . What do you love most about Judaism?⠀ That we are all part of one big happy (and sometimes dysfunctional!) family. I love how when I do an Instagram story in the middle of no where, someone inevitably messages me that the person standing behind me is their brother/3rd cousin once moved/former student/accountant. . 3 Jewish IG pages you recommend:⠀ @MiMuMaxi a clothing brand with minimalistic design, sharing maximum inspiration. @PeasLoveNCarrots because she always brightens up my day and gives me food for thought (pun intended!). @EsteezOnline + @YoDayhan for their positive vibes, couple goals, great music & what’s for suppa! ????????♀️ @zeldahair ???? @laibelschwartzphotography
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Of course it’s not just food that’s captivating Jewish audiences on their Instagram feed.
There are accounts that are breaking the mould of sharing Jewish knowledge like the young Rabbi Sam and Rabbinical student Rena who push their followers to rethink what is meaningful and beautiful about Judaism. Check out their Instagram.
They will help you create a personal prayer or offer you ancient wisdom with a ultra-modern flair, and best of all you can read their posts at any hour of the day or night right on your phone.
Now that you’re fed and spiritually inspired, you can scroll through my favourite click of Jewish women on Instagram – the fashionistas!
They live in Manhattan and Miami and their accounts are dripping in high end designer labels and of course couture diamonds.
Ariel Charnas of ‘Something Navy’ fame has translated her millions of followers, who initially came to her feed for outfit inspiration, into her own clothing line.
While her account doesn’t often touch on her Jewish identity there are times were it becomes prominent. She recently spoke out about the vitriolic hate she receives daily in the form of antisemitic direct messages.
The next platform on the cusp of welcoming a cohort of Jewish influencers is YouTube.
I started my ‘MyJewishMommyLife’ channel two years ago as the only ‘Jewish Mom’ channel online, today there are many women on YouTube dedicated to sharing their advice on raising Jewish children.
Watch my most popular video here!
One of the most popular channels at the moment is Rivka Malka Perlman’s self described ‘Transformation Coach’ channel where she shares how following the Torah can lead to a better more purposeful life.
From how to pack kosher lunches for Jewish day school from the ‘Little Kosher Lunch’ channel to Jewish home tours – YouTube is becoming an endless video archive of Jewish life today.
About the Author: Marion is a writer and content creator for her YouTube/MyJewishMommyLife Channel and Instagram @MyJewishMommyLife page where she shares her experience living a meaning-FULL Jewish family life.