Jewish Chick Versus Anti-Semitism
Sister Spotlight with Liora Rez
At a young age, Liora Rez left Lithuania and grew up in the US as a proud Jew and a strong advocate for Israel. “We didn’t come to America because there were gold mines here,” said Liora. “We were political refugees who left the Former Soviet Union (FSU) because of the horrific anti-Semitism that we faced there for generations.” When she became the Jewish Chick, Liora shared both her love of Louboutins, her support of Israel, and her fight against anti-Semitism with her 125,000 followers.
Today, Liora has taken her fight one step further as the director of the Center for Combating Hate in America (C4CHA), a new watchdog group that tracks acts of hate and anti-Semitism in the US, and offers resources to address these threats nationwide. In our conversation with Liora, who was also a JWRP Media Magnet, she shares her evolution from the Jewish Chick to her newest endeavor, as well as tips for speaking out against anti-Semitism.
What inspired you to experience JWRP’s Media Magnets?
I was fortunate to be chosen as a Media Magnet, and traveling to Israel with the Media Magnets was a no-brainer for me. I was excited to share the beauty of Israel’s people and places with my social media networks and to serve as an ambassador for Israel. What I wasn’t expecting was to fall in love with the JWRP, too. I was blown away by the work they do with Jewish women all over the globe.
What was one of the trip’s highlights?
When I stepped into the Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem for Shabbat dinner, I found myself in a ballroom filled with hundreds of Jewish women — many of whom were from the FSU. Seeing these women was so magical to me. I was born in the FSU and immigrated to the US when I was a small child. I grew up hearing about the horrific anti-Semitism that had led my parents and grandparents to flee the region. Watching my sisters take such pride in their Judaism — in ways they probably can’t back at home — was beautiful.
What compelled your transition from the Jewish Chick to running C4CHA?
After working in finance for many years, I became a stay-at-home-mom. It was a difficult transition for me, and starting the Jewish Chick gave me a way to connect with others. At first, I was just some anonymous Jewish Chick, documenting my everyday life, and slowly and organically, I evolved into a Jewish Chick who combated anti-Semitism and supported Israel, too. My social media followers began reaching out to me and saying things like, “I’m always afraid to say that I support Israel. Thank you for inspiring me to do so.” If I am able to give people a voice to share their Jewish pride and support of Israel, then I can sleep better at night.
Last year, I met with a group of people who were equally concerned about the anti-Semitic acts that we see on a daily basis. We realized that these acts are not just attacks on Jews, but on American values and on our core democracy. We created C4CHA to combat anti-Semitism, and I am now the organization’s Executive Director. While applying for our 501(c)(3) status and building a board of directors, we’ve been busy fighting anti-Semitism in a variety of ways. For example, we launched a petition calling on Temple University to fire Marc Lamont Hill, a professor of media studies and urban education who called for Israel’s annihilation at the United Nations. Also, after a man waved a machete in front of the Chabad in North Hollywood, C4CHA shed light on the dangers that he presented to the public by creating a report, which shared his history of anti-Semitic statements on social media. Now, he is being further investigated.
What are some of your tips for publicly speaking out against anti-Semitism?
I believe that it’s very important to remain bipartisan in the fight against anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism isn’t coming from just one direction. It comes from extremists on both sides of the spectrum, and it has many outlets. As Jews, we need to work together to fight it. Let’s not categorize each other and judge each other’s backgrounds. The perpetrators of anti-Semitism don’t care what kind of Jews we are. We need to stand united.