Lindsay Pinchuk And Celeste Hackel: Accidental Israeli Activists Speak Out Against Antisemitism
Since the bloody massacre on October 7, 2023, I have been paralyzed with fear and uncertainty about how to respond. Initially, I considered removing symbols of my Jewish identity and remaining silent on social media. However, I came across two courageous women who identify as accidental Israeli activists. Despite being busy moms and successful business owners, they immediately began posting their support for Israel without hesitation. They expressed their disbelief at the silence of others, including celebrities, and emphasized the importance of using our platforms to speak out against antisemitism and propaganda. The war in the Middle East has had devastating consequences for civilians on both sides, and Israel has been forced to defend itself since Hamas broke the cease-fire. Antisemitism has become rampant, with some colleges failing to stand up for Jewish student rights. Discovering these two women on Instagram inspired me to reach out and join their efforts to speak out against antisemitism. In this episode, we will learn how to engage in informed and civil conversations, stay informed ourselves, and stand up against hatred while praying for peace. On this 101st day of captivity for the hostages, I hope they will be released soon and that the world will experience peace. When people speak out, it becomes less intimidating for others to do the same. I hope this podcast episode inspires and empowers you to use your voice and engage in conversations. Even if we may not always agree, let us come together and pray for peace.
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Lindsay Pinchuk And Celeste Hackel: Accidental Israeli Activists Speak Out Against Antisemitism
Learn How To Use Your Voice To Speak Up For Peace
This is our first episode in 2024. The reason is that a year ago, I suffered a stroke where I was locked in. What that means is I basically could hear everything around me, smell, and see, but I couldn’t move. I was inside my head. I didn’t faint. I felt so horrible because I couldn’t control anything. All I could do was control my breathing, which I did, and then the clots cleared.
The reason why I tell you that story is not only the reason why we’ve been on a hiatus for this long. I needed to rehabilitate, but also because what happened the morning of October 7th, 2023 set me right back to that place. I didn’t know what to do. I could move, but I didn’t know what to speak, how to do anything, or what I could do to help.
I immediately called my son and told him to get off of the account 23andMe. I took all of my jewelry. I put it under my shirt. I took it off. I then went in my car and started scrolling. I stumbled upon many female influencers, but two in particular that are joining us now because they not only stood out to me that, “I’m resonating with what they’re saying. They are so brave. How are they doing this?”
They’re speaking their truth, their values, and their Jewishness. I don’t think I’ve ever said that I’m a Jewish woman on my show. I know Rachel, our featured Goddess has, but I never have because frankly, I’ve been afraid. Today, I’m not afraid. Welcome to our guests, Lindsay Pinchuk and Celeste Hackel, who are what they call accidental influencers. They are Israeli influencers, advocates, as well as our feature Goddess Rachel. I need to ask both of you. First of all, thank you so much for coming. How did you decide to start scrolling about this?
I didn’t decide. It was very natural for me to speak up and speak out. Just a little bit of backstory. I had a business in the parenting space for ten years and now I work with female founders and entrepreneurs. I always have spoken out for things that are important to me. When I was in the parenting space, I would talk about vaccinations. I would talk about formula feeding and breastfeeding. I talked about so many things that people came down on me for and it didn’t matter because that’s me. I want to speak up for what’s important to me.
A couple of years ago, my community was ravished by a mad gunman during a parade and my best friend was at the crux of it all. I started speaking out about gun control a lot. I started doing a lot of work in the gun violence community. I share that because it’s not something that I think about. When I’m passionate about something and I believe in something, I speak out about it. I have always spoken up and spoken out for the Jewish community, which I am a member of.
When the Blue Squares came out in 2021, I was the first to put mine up. I went on the March of Living when I was seventeen, which is a trip that goes to Poland for a week and goes to the concentration camps, and then goes to Israel for the Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut, which is Independence Day and Memorial Day in Israel. We made a promise on that trip that we were going to never forget. A part of that trip is learning how to educate others and I always have.
I brought back that education as a camp counselor to my Jewish camp. I did programming surrounding the Holocaust and antisemitism with my co-counselors. This was years and years ago. When this happened on October 7th, oddly enough, I stayed up very late. I was seeing some of the things come through before I even went to bed. It was 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. Before I closed my eyes, the last thing I saw was, “Something is going on in Israel,” but it didn’t seem to be at that moment what it was.
When I woke up in the morning and it was what we now know happened on October 7th, there was no option but to speak up. I also live in a very non-Jewish part of a Jewish community. It was very important to me that the people around me and my friends who aren’t Jewish understood the magnitude of what was happening. For me, a lot of that comes with sharing on social media.
I resonate with what Lindsay said. It wasn’t a decision. It didn’t feel like something to even think about. For me, I had a little bit of a different experience. While I was part of the whole social media community that advocates for various issues, I wasn’t necessarily an outspoken Jewish advocate or Israeli advocate. In general, I’m more reserved or understated. I always let that message come through and adjust. I feel a little bit like I was naive. I didn’t see the world in terms of what we saw happen on October 7th.
I remember on October 7th, I wasn’t on my phone and I went to lunch with my friends for the holiday. One of my friends whose son was in the army told me about what was happening. I was hearing how they took over the police station and everything that was happening. She was saying goodbye to her son. He had to give him his phone and go. It was so real and raw. We had family in the army and family that lives there and friends. It was hard to wrap our heads around. Also, after the holiday was over, I posted a blue Jewish star, “I stand with Israel,” which seemed so obvious.
They endured a terror attack. It didn’t even feel remotely controversial or I didn’t realize it would be anything. I assumed that’s how regular people and humans would feel. I saw the response that I have a hard time wrapping my head around. I felt like not only are people not advocating. The Jewish community rallied, but the community that I felt is more a part of on social media specifically was more of the wellness community and the food blogger community. I still am stunned at the complete silence or now they’re coming out about how they feel. I didn’t even feel like there was a choice. I felt like it was my responsibility every single day for my children, my people, and my community, living in America, and everything to speak up and still feel that way.
I reached out to Rachel right away when I messaged Lindsay first and you said yes. You said thank you for asking. I was like, “Now, I have to walk my talk.” I can’t hide because I am now going to do this. My family is not happy about it. We are Jewish, but they’re scared. I know Celeste, you did mention. One of the first posts that I was attracted to was when you said, “This is what happens when I post,” and then people repost. I reached 144,000 followers which I never had. I get it about the posting and stuff but I know Lindsay, you said you lost a lot of followers. Did you both also get hate? That’s what I’m afraid of. If you did, how did you deal with it?
I’m going to be honest. I was stunned by the hate. I got a lot of hate. I consciously framed things in a certain way I felt was very reasonable and never hateful. I don’t even feel that way in general towards people. I felt like everything I posted was rational. I got so much hate that my kids were scared. They asked me to stop, honestly. The truth is in the past, I posted about health, recipes, life, and all that kind of thing. When they didn’t want to be on my story. They didn’t want me to post about something. I was very conciliatory about certain things. They were like, “Mommy, can you stop? We’re scared. This is how I felt.”
I was like, “I’m sorry, but some things are bigger than ourselves, and no.” I feel like it’s everyone’s responsibility who can make an impact and I didn’t know that I would make an impact. I hoped that the people who knew or had a relationship with us on social media felt like it was our responsibility. I think working through that, everyone has to do what works for them, but I feel like the whole platform of my page is feeling empowered to take care of yourself, to advocate for yourself, and to speak up. If this isn’t the place where you need to do it, then I don’t know what is. I feel like it’s not an option. My kids and my family all came around too. They are more vocal. You see that when people start to pave the way, it makes it a little less scary for others to do the same.Some things are bigger than ourselves. It is everyone's responsibility for those people who can make an impact to do this. Click To Tweet
I told my husband I’m doing it. I also quoted, “If we are silent, we’re complicit.” Lindsay, how about you?
I have a lot to say about this. Yes, I lost a lot of followers. I haven’t looked recently, to be very honest with you. What has happened on my social media can and should be a case study. It should be a case study for what I teach and preach in my business world every single day. That is to show up as yourself. I say that to my clients. I say that to my community. I have built two businesses off of showing up as myself.When people start to pave the way, it makes it a little less scary for others to do the same. Click To Tweet
What has happened is I have lost followers. At one point, I was over a couple of thousand. However, I have gained so many followers. It’s not even funny. My account on October 6th was something like 12,000 people. It’s now over 26,000 and they’re like, “Yes.” They’re actual people. I have been connected to the most incredible people because I’ve spoken out. I was in Vegas for a business opportunity that came to me because a very big well-known businesswoman who is Jewish saw me talking about Israel and said, “I have to work with this woman,” and called me.
We had two calls and then I went to Vegas for this activation. Now, we’re talking about a partnership. I share this because I say all the time, “Show up as yourself and the right people will show up too.” That has happened times 1,000 here. It really and truly has put me and connected me with some of the most incredible people. Like Celeste, I have also gotten hate but you have to remember that a lot of these people are keyboard warriors. They’re hiding behind their screens and keyboards. They’re being paid to put disgusting comments down.Show up as yourself and the right people will show up, too. Click To Tweet
I have my settings now set that if you don’t follow me and you send me a message, it goes into my request. I have to look at it and approve it. I have just gotten into the rhythm, whether it’s someone who comes into my DMs or whether it’s a comment on my post or whatever, that I report them. I block them and that’s it. I move on. The other thing that I want to say that has been an eye-opener for my kids and in a positive way I think is that a lot of people are approaching me in a positive way. I had a business for years that reached millions of people in the parenting space and people would come up to me all the time.
It was a lot of people that I knew and people that I knew who they were and this is very different. Strangers are approaching me. On our family vacation in December, everywhere we went, people would come up to me. People were hugging me in the hotel lobby. At first for my kids, I think they were like, “Who is this woman hugging my mother?” They would say, “Who is that?” “I don’t know,” but what they were saying was, “Thank you so much. Thank you for being there for us. Thank you for sharing.”
I think that that’s so important for my kids to see that you have to speak up. You cannot be silent. I’ve been talking a lot about this on social media. If and when something happens here or if they come for any of us, they don’t care who’s silent and who spoke out. We might as well all be collectively speaking out. The whole world needs to be speaking out because if you’re not an Islamic jihadist, they don’t like you either. There’s no excuse.If and when something happens here (in the United States), they, the terrorists, don’t care who is silent and who spoke out, so we might as well collectively speak out. Click To Tweet
That is a good point. For me, I experienced antisemitism as we probably all have and I would like to talk about that. I think that those memories, the antisemitic comments. I had a woman who even said to me when I first moved here. I’m from Canada and she found out I was Jewish and she said, “I didn’t know there were Jews in Canada.” I gave her the benefit of the doubt because I thought a lot of Americans don’t know Canada because it’s pink on the weather map. They don’t know a whole lot about it.
She said, “Can I feel your head?” I said, “Why?” She said, “Where are your horns?” “What are you talking about? Who told you I have horns?” She goes, “All Jews have horns but they’re not sharp anymore. They’re like little bumps. Where are yours? You do a good job of hiding them.” I was in my twenties and I was like, “No. I’m done. I’m not educating you. Goodbye.” Every time I ran into her, I was going, “Don’t look at my head.” I’d like to hear from all of you about antisemitism. I know Rachel, you grew up in normal Illinois. Can you tell us a little bit about what you experienced?
I have family in Israel as well and I’ve always felt a strong connection. I was one of five Jews growing up. I experienced a ton of antisemitism. I never wore Jewish jewelry and I never wanted to identify myself. I’m not wearing it right now because it broke but I got my first Jewish star and have been wearing it. I felt that I was doing it as an act of bravery, but the reality is, just like you said Lindsay, it’s been fellow Jews coming up to me in public spaces. We live in the city we are around people all the time. They are sharing their own stories and Jewish journeys. The feedback that you’re getting, I can understand because it’s such a visceral response when you see someone displaying their Jewishness and their pride.
What was shocking to me and sad was seeing all the gratitude from people coming over to say, “Thank you for speaking up,” that we expect so little and that it’s such a big thing that anyone would speak up when any other community would speak up. I’m always in awe of the surprise and the gratitude, “Thank you.” It feels almost unworthy. I like, “Why thank you,” but I see as a community how much people appreciate and need that. I guess we’re not used to it in some very sad way.
Many of us have been conditioned for fear. At my local bank and local businesses, I always give a holiday gift. This year, I was like, “Happy Hanukkah. This is your Hanukkah gift.” I want them to know that the nice lady who comes in all the time is a Jew. I’ve always tried to be neutral and not make a big deal out of being Jewish.
I have this Jewish star sticker on my phone and this is a client of mine. Two things happened in Vegas and they both had to do with me wearing and displaying my Jewishness. A girl was standing next to me. We were watching a panel and she was wearing a very cool blazer. I said to her, “I love your jacket.” She turned around and she was wearing Israel on her neck. We ended up starting to talk and we’re doing business together now.
We spent the whole day together. She was my wingman. She was so cool. We had an instant connection. Right before I was leaving for the day, I was holding my phone and I was talking to this girl and I was waving my hands around and this girl said, “Be careful with your sticker. I love your sticker but be careful because you don’t know who’s around.” I said, “I don’t care.” She said, “I’m Jewish.” She goes, “Everyone thinks I’m Muslim because I’m Persian.”
We struck up a conversation. It turns out we have a lot of mutual friends even though she lives in LA and I’m in Chicago. She and I also were like, “The next time I’m in LA, we’re going to get together.” I do think it’s so important to share and not be afraid to show who you are. I also want to say on the antisemitism front, I never experienced antisemitism growing up. I grew up in a very Jewish community. I moved to the city of Chicago where I had a lot of Jewish friends and everyone was accepting. I moved to the northern suburbs of Chicago and there are a lot of Jewish people here too but I’ve always known that there’s hate.
When I was in Poland, we experienced it. It was when I was seventeen, but it wasn’t until this that I saw people’s true colors. I had one instance in particular where I had a mentor. I was a part of her mentorship and she preached authenticity and showing up as yourself. Her whole business is Instagram. She was sharing on her public Instagram stories that are very of middle of the road like, “I want peace in the Middle East. I want peace for all the children, etc.” I’m like, “Fine. You don’t want to isolate anyone. You have a business to run. You’re not Jewish, or whatever.”It wasn’t until October 7 that I have seen people's true colors. Click To Tweet
She was checking on me. “How are you? Keep in mind.” She was on my podcast. It was a very top-rated episode. I referred a lot of Jewish customers to her. I was a customer of hers. Someone shared with me over winter break a screenshot from her private Instagram and she’s a totally anti-semite. Misinformation and accusing Israel of genocide. “I’m unfollowing Amy Schumer because she’s talking about genocide. I am pro-Palestine. I stand with Palestine.”
I called her out on it but not publicly. I called her out. I sent her an email. I said, “I saw this screenshot and it took my breath away. I don’t know if you are reaching out to me asking me if I’m okay because you care about me or because you care about the business that I have given you and referred to you, but you’re not showing your true self. You’re hiding behind a private Instagram account when you’re telling all of us to show our true selves. It’s important that people know who they’re doing business with.”
I sent this whole email and her response was she issued a cease and desist to me telling me that I was copying her business and copying curriculum, which we teach two different things. The irony of the situation and the stupidity of the situation, obviously, we know this comes from a place of hate. I think she was very much afraid that I was going to out her. The irony of the situation is she dated all of her materials and all of my materials and curriculum predated hers by at least ten months. My attorney circled back and issued her a cease and desist. You know that it comes from a place of pure hatred.
I know. I only posted on my personal. This is now going to be on Grateful Goddesses because our values on Grateful Goddesses, it’s such a small platform. I have 300 followers or something like that but our listeners out there, I know you’re listening because the analytics are close to 20,000, so there are people listening. If you decide as you’re listening to this that you don’t like this conversation, please leave. Get out of the group.
What I was going to say was on my personal, I had three individuals, one in particular, that we’ve supported for years in her nonprofit. I posted about the IDF providing incubators and she said, “This is a lie.” I got into a circle conversation with her and I wanted to ask you guys about those conversations. It started out, “Let’s have an informed civil conversation,” because I said to her, “I’m not lying. Where are you getting your information from?” It ended up with her asking me because I said, “Why are you saying free Palestine? Why not add Hamas at the end?” She said, “You need to look up Israel’s involvement in the creation of Hamas.” I just stopped. I ended it. Celeste, how do we have those conversations or do we even engage?
I think it depends. Like everything, you have to be mindful about what you’re going to give attention and energy to and what is not worth it. I find that happening every day. When someone starts with completely hateful and crazy comments, which I get, I don’t respond. However, I have had a few, not as many as I wish, but a couple of nice conversations that started out maybe that way, but then I don’t know why I felt like there was some sincerity or curiosity or something there. We ended up having a conversation where we saw that we didn’t agree.Be mindful about what you will give energy and time to and what you don’t. Click To Tweet
We’re coming from very different places and worldviews, but at least I felt like my job in this moment of having this conversation is to be an advocate or a good reflection. Someone that they like or someone that they change their perspective of what they think is a Zionist or Israel supporter or a Jew. Also, at least maybe let them walk away with that. I don’t think, and I never focus on changing someone’s mind who’s all the way over here.
That’s just not, but maybe someone is a little more open. The people in the middle who aren’t sure what to think or you see the power of social media and propaganda and all of that. I feel like that’s the focus. It’s often very disappointing. I’m stunned every day by the comments from people and the way they think.
The two are younger. They weren’t around at 9/11.
Yes. That’s a big thing. In a lot of people too, you can tell when you ask them, “Have you ever been to Israel?” I know the answer is no because I know they wouldn’t be saying the things they said if they had. I think it’s a lot of these posts. Those kids were too young to see 9/11 and what that means. They grew up with this apologist attitude. Someone wrote me something negative about White people. “White people have a lot to be sorry for. They did so much wrong.”
This was a White lady and I was thinking, “I never killed anyone. I don’t have anything to be sorry for. I’ve only lived my life supporting every other community. That’s what we do. I feel like there is this pervasive detrimental attitude among that generation, which is something that we try to talk about on social media.
I don’t want to generalize, but I have gotten into some of these conversations as well where, very similar to Celeste’s, they’ve extended an olive branch. I’ve had multiple people extend an olive branch. They try to engage me in conversation and then I engage back and I realize further down the road that it was a manipulation. It wasn’t an actual olive branch. They wanted to get me into this situation where I was heated so I don’t get heated. That is the biggest thing because that’s what they want.
What has turned out to happen in each of these situations is I go back and forth. They start sharing untrue information from unverified resources and they get very angry. It’s happened in each of these situations so I don’t engage much anymore, but the true colors come out. What ends up happening is then I get these insane messages at the end and they look like the idiot because this is what happened. I don’t say this is what always happens. It’s not what always happens.
Scooter Braun shared an amazing story of a conversation that he had with someone who was pro-Palestinian and it was a beautiful story. It resulted in them not seeing eye to eye, but being able to talk and continue to talk every single day. Now, that is a normal human conversation. When you have someone coming at you from all angles acting like a psychopath, a lot of these pro-Hamas groups are psychopaths. They are aligning with terrorism. Sometimes I will engage to get the evidence because I want to share it and show my community like, “This is what we’re dealing with here.”Let’s have the conversation. We may not see eye to eye, but let’s continue to talk and have the conversation. Click To Tweet
I like that a lot. You take what they posted that’s pro-Palestinian and then you say, “That’s a great idea.”
It’s not an intentional thing. It happens. I do take screenshots of the psychotic messages that I get and I share those too because it’s important that people see that this exists. Every time I share it, people are like, “Holy shit.” People are like, “I can’t even believe that there are people out there saying these things,” but it’s very important to show these things.
I’m assuming you guys feel the same way, but I don’t know anyone who talks like that. I don’t think like that or talk like that. I don’t know anyone Jewish, not Jewish. I don’t surround myself with anyone who has those kind of thoughts. It’s important to show that anyone who supports this is supporting horrible things.
I agree with that. I think it’s important. I share ones and again, I try to be mindful. I won’t give my kids complete anxiety, but it’s important to share. I’m blown away by some of the things people say and the way they think. I share them intentionally too because it’s important for others to see who are the company you keep. These are the people you’re standing with. This is the face of your movement and the way they think. It’s important to expose that. You always draw the line about what you want to give attention to and what you want to expose but it’s important. I agree with you, Lindsay.
What are some of the arguments that you use if you can have a civil dialogue? What are the biggest points that you think can help at least shift or enlighten someone to have more compassion or more knowledge?
An open mind.
I will be honest. I don’t think there’s much shifting or changing someone’s mind who’s that far in but oftentimes, when people say things to me that aren’t true, I respond with the definition of what they’re saying. I put out a piece of content with the actual Webster’s definition of genocide, apartheid, and all these words that are being thrown around so incorrectly. When you respond back with, “This is the Webster’s dictionary definition of genocide. How is Israel doing this?” That’s how I try to frame it. It does not always work. It probably never works but it oftentimes shuts people up.
Celeste, how about you?
I don’t go there. I find that it doesn’t usually help. I did for a while too. I realized I couldn’t convince anyone of anything. I try to cut through that and I’ll always say, “I’m not a historian. You are not a historian or a Middle East expert. None of us know,” but I try to draw at least the human aspect of it that, “Can we agree that rape is wrong, kidnapping is wrong, hostage taking, and murder?” That’s the bottom line. I don’t get into that back and forth. It’s not worth it because you realize people believe what they want to believe. It doesn’t matter what you say.I try to talk to people about the human aspect. Can we agree rape is wrong, kidnapping is wrong, and taking hostages is a crime? Click To Tweet
A lot of these people are not even real people. There are so many comments out there that come from bots and people who are being paid to spew hate. Your time is better spent projecting positivity and actual awareness in other places versus arguing with someone who it’s not going to matter anyway.
The three people who followed me still follow me personally. I thought that once they found out my stance, they would unfollow me. I wasn’t sure about unfollowing them but I wanted to see what they were thinking. I screenshot. One of them, I was back and forth like a ping pong game. Finally, at the end, I said, “You’ve been in our lives for ten years. We love you,” because we do. “Can we use our passions towards peace?” She said, “Yes. I love you too.” She still commented after but then she also liked. It was confusing. She liked when I posted about the hostages being released but then previous to that, she posted that it’s a lie about the hostages. It’s such a mishmash of garbage. I can’t even go there.
Can we talk for a minute about college campuses? I have three young adult children. I think your kids are younger. My youngest is 22 and she’s in Michigan, Go Blue. Rachel’s kids too are at college. She came to me twice with two episodes. One where there was pro-Palestinian who was on a TikTok screaming with the bullhorn, “Kill the Jews” or whatever. My daughter was in a group project with and she felt uncomfortable. She went to tell the professor and what he did was he took my daughter out of the group and put her in a different group. That’s how he solved it. It was a teachable moment for him.
The other one was my daughter called me and said she had to write a paper on the conflict. It was going to be a different paper but because it happened they all had to write where they stand. She was like, “I don’t know what to do.” It turned out one of the students had family who were a hostage and asked on behalf of all the Jewish people in the class if they could change the assignment and then he changed it. What are your thoughts on all this?
I think that our education system is a mess. This whole situation has exposed a lot and not just at college. It’s interesting because you say my kids are younger. We’re not in college but I am very closely following what’s going on college campuses but it does start earlier. It starts in the K through 12 years. My kids go to public school and a big part of it is teaching kids acceptance of all throughout all of elementary school, middle school, high school, etc.
It’s not funny ha ha ha. It’s funny ironic because even my kids have had experiences that they don’t realize but I realize. We went to our holiday sing. It’s called Winter Sing and they always talk about all the holidays. Usually, there are a couple of Hanukkah songs. There’s Ramadan. They do poems. There’s Christmas. There’s winter. There’s a holiday. They do the whole mishmash. We’ve been going for six years. It’s been six years since I’ve lived up here. They’ve not addressed the holidays.
This year, instead of doing that and using it as a teachable moment, they didn’t talk about the holidays. We went to this Winter Sing and there was no holiday music. It was songs about ice skating and sledding. There was one song that was something with the tree, but there was no mention of Christmas. They did that because they didn’t want to mention Hanukkah. It was very clear. Down the road, our sister elementary school did an activation where they raised a Star of David. It wasn’t a district thing. It was a school thing.
I have been sitting back and forth as to how I want to address it because my feeling is we need to be teaching these kids from a young age about acceptance of all so that when they go to college, they’re not brainwashed and they have some level of foundation of what is right and what is wrong. I don’t think that’s happening in America. I think that this is happening far earlier than college and that’s why it’s being accepted by college kids.
I agree. What about your kids? They’re younger.
My oldest is 21. She’s in a Jewish college. The experience is a little different but one of the things that I’ve also been focusing on my page is talking about the problems on college campuses. That starts much younger. My nieces and nephews are in private schools in Manhattan, but I see that one of my nephews who is six came home and was talking about the conversations in his class and the conflict. My niece said, “Why does everyone hate Israel?” He said, “Because Israel is the oppressor and took the Palestinian homes.”
My sister said, “What? Who told you that? Where did you get that?” He said, “We learned it in class.” We realize it starts much younger. Any of these schools, public schools, private schools, or wherever, it’s a problem but I feel like it’s all coming to a head now. I’m hoping that we can do something and revamp it now. We have been hearing about it but didn’t realize, at least for myself, the extent of what is happening in our school system.
Something else I want to say about that is it’s not just in the schools. It’s in the home. This happened in my house. My child had one of her friends over who we love and adore. We love her. We love her whole family. My child said, “Why do people hate Jewish people so much?” Her friend said, not in response to that but in response to the conversation, “Why doesn’t Israel just give back the land?” She had to get that from somewhere. This ten-year-old didn’t come up with it on her own. I had to sit there and say, “It’s their land to begin with.” I had to sit there and educate her. It’s not just in schools. Whether it’s her parents, her aunt, or her uncle, whether she heard it at school, I don’t know.
It’s so true. I didn’t experience that though with my kids early on but we’re seeing it in college especially with my youngest one because of what happened on October 7th. It’s not lost on me that it’s been 101 days that the hostages have been held captive. I was at a rally here in downtown Chicago and I was holding up Hersh Goldberg-Polin. They gave out posters and I was holding it up and they were speaking. Ironically, Lindsay, I met your counselor. What happened was I went up. I saw this girl wearing a T-shirt over her jacket. I started talking with her. I told her that I do a podcast and she’s asking me about it. I’m interviewing this amazing woman tomorrow along with another amazing woman, Celeste, but I mentioned you and she goes, “I was her counselor.”
It was such a small world when you played that Jewish geography. The point of my story is I was holding that up. We all were given random people. I was holding that up and her husband, they’re cousins with Hersh. He spoke and then he came up to me and said, “Can I hold this because that’s my cousin?” It was this moment of, “This is a real person.” We have to keep remembering that. I’m a teacher. I used to have the kids do the 100 days of school project. It’s not like, “This is 100 individuals.” It’s a big number and it’s 136 I believe now still held captive. What are your thoughts on this?
Every day is too many. I don’t understand why everyone is not up in arms about it. I don’t get it. I feel like I grew up always hearing, “If one person is not safe, no one is safe. Your life is better off when your neighbor’s lives are better off.” I don’t have words but it’s too long and too many.
I’ll echo that. I can’t believe that we’re on the 101st day. When you think about all the people screaming for a ceasefire and all the people screaming for the rights of Palestinian people and the protection of Palestinian people, they dialed it back for a second and realized that if they were screaming for the release of the hostages, this would’ve been over a day after it started. None of this had to happen.
If there were hostages of any country anywhere in this world, the country where the hostages came from would be defending itself probably far greater than Israel is. We all know that Israel takes great lengths with their warfare to make sure that they’re minimizing civilian casualties even though people like to say otherwise. I don’t know any country in the world that drops leaflets, makes phone calls, and lets their enemy know where and when they’re going to bomb. That’s crazy.
This could have been over so long ago and there would’ve been a minimal loss of life. It’s insane to me and it proves that with these people, it’s not about land. It’s not about anything except for eradication of Jewish people. That’s what all of this says. The people who are so afraid of speaking out, and I’m not talking about your everyday civilian. I understand that people are nervous and scared. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but okay.
To all of these people who have platforms, celebrities, Hollywood, authors, and musicians who have used their platforms for every single marginalized group out there and have not said a word, it’s an utter embarrassment and I very much believe in karma, to be honest. I’m not wishing anything bad on anyone but it is sick that people like Michelle Obama and Oprah and all of these people who align themselves with Martin Luther King Jr. who aligned himself with Jewish people and the Jewish community are not saying anything. It is an utter embarrassment.
Speaking of celebrities, my cousin is a producer and she was at the Critic’s Choice Awards. She was posting on her story and I saw she was wearing a yellow ribbon. I said, “Good for you. “ I said, “Do you see other celebrities,” because she took a picture of Oprah and all of these other celebrities. She said, “Not one person.” No one asked her and no one said anything. No one was wearing a ribbon except her that she could see. It’s unbelievable.
I want to thank you both. Before we end, I want to explore what you both do because we’re Jewish women and we’re helping empower and inspire each other. That was the main focus of bravery and courage. I am so eternally grateful for helping me and Rachel too. Thank you for lifting us up to do this.
I told Rachel, “Are you sure you want to do this?” I made it very clear to the other women, “Are you sure?” It’s because once we’re putting it out there, we’re putting it out there. I don’t know why it was a hard decision but I’m grateful that you both inspired me. Tell us a little bit about what you do and please join me back at another episode where I can showcase each one of you more specifically about your passion and your purpose. Celeste, tell us a little bit about what you love to do. What is your passion?
I am a women’s health coach. I say men too, but mostly women. The truth is I have not worked so much since October 7th. I put my business aside. I have it set up that a lot of what I do is digital and online also, but my academic background is in industrial psychology. I worked with businesses helping them to engender employee motivation, participation, productivity, and all that stuff.
I blend my passion for nutrition and wellness with that practical aspect of it. I have courses and programs designed to empower women to be able to take care of themselves or reach whatever goals they have to change their mindset about the way we live here and the foods we buy. Also, all the marketing and that whole consumer culture, which is part of being educated and empowered. It’s not about following any specific food, but feeling that you are capable of learning about what’s in the food that you’re eating, how you feel, how to best take care of yourself, and all of that.
It’s just like your everyday person being able to do that. How to cook healthy? I found that one thing that took off was that I published a lot of eBooks because people felt like they didn’t necessarily know how or that it was complicated. How do I make a healthy meal? All of this is meant to be a tool here. Here are some ideas. Here are some things that you can make easily and simply without fuss, hoopla, and all of that. That is what I love to do.
I purchased your eBook the other day and I can’t wait. I know you also make kosher foods too.
Both of them are kosher and gluten-free. I have one for Passover. I have one Healthy Made Easy. I have a few different ones.
Celeste, how can people reach out to you if they’d like to purchase a cookbook, or eBook, speak with you, or get in touch with you?
I’m not like tech-savvy. I have a website. That’s not set up and I don’t even know how to use it. It’s through Instagram. Thank you. It’s @Healthy.to.the.core.
You need Lindsay to help you as I did too. I messaged her and she gave me nice feedback. I love constructive criticism. Ironically, you live in Illinois. We can just meet at The Bagel or something.
We absolutely can meet at The Bagel. I’d love to meet.
Tell us what you do.
It’s funny because about a month ago, in a matter of one week, I had three people who newly followed me say, “What do you do when you’re not talking about Israel and saving the Jewish community?” I realized that have not been talking about business so I started talking about business a little bit too. You need to and we all need to so I want to say that no one should feel like they can’t talk about their business right now because we all have things that we have to be putting into despite what’s going on in the world around us.
I am a marketing expert. I’m a marketing consultant. I built and sold a seven-figure business. In 2019, I sold it. I started building it in 2010. Now, I teach other women how to do the same. My whole approach is to make marketing simple and dial it back. Also, I teach you how to build and grow your brand without a million followers without $1 million through basic principles of marketing. It’s how I built my first company. It’s how I’m building my second. It’s how I build that of many of my clients.
I consult with bigger clients. I mentor one-on-one, and I have a group mentorship that I launched right before Thanksgiving. I have 50 amazing women in this group mentorship. We meet online. I teach them the steps that they need to make their marketing simple and grow their business. I got a screenshot from someone who is showing me her insights on Instagram. It’s not just Instagram that I talk about. It’s how social fits in with your website, your email, your events, your partnerships, and your publicity.
There is this woman who was showing me how her social stats have gone up tremendously since we started together. That was very exciting to see. I love seeing that. I also have a podcast called Dear FoundHer. I interview female founders. It’s some of the most amazing women who have paved the way before many of us and have built huge businesses. I drop an episode every week, sometimes two episodes every week of the podcast.
Yes, I’ve listened to them. I like them very much. I’m inspired by them. Thank you both so much for joining us on the show. Let’s just pray for peace. As my son wrote, I came across it. It’s framed when he was in first grade. “Can you be mine in peace? Be nice to one another. Stop killing other people. Be nice to everybody. I hope you love each other. I hope you believe in peace too.”
I keep this because it reminds me of our passion for peace. We don’t want war. We never asked for this war. We don’t want innocent civilians killed. We want to free Palestine from Hamas and the hostages need to be back home now. Hopefully, they will be back home. We will be talking about how to inspire each other to advocate for your passions. Thank you both again.
Welcome everyone to Favorite Things on our episode with Celeste and Lindsay and our featured Goddess, Rachel. I’d like to share some of my favorite things. I was inspired and empowered by our guests because I have these necklaces. One was for my bat mitzvah which I haven’t worn for years. It’s a Star of David and I decided to take it out and wear it. I was hiding it and then I took it. Now, it’s out loud and clear.
The other one, my sister-in-law gave me for my birthday. It has a heart and then a cutout Jewish star, and that represents the hole in our hearts since the hostages have been held captive, and then Chaim in Hebrew means life. Those are some of my favorite things lately that I’ve been carrying and wearing proudly. Rachel?
My great-grandfather started a creamery and it became a grocery store. His brother who was missing a leg had not gained entrance into the United States. He went to Israel and he started Whitman’s Ice Cream in Israel, which at the time became the Baskin Robbins of Israel. I found a metal sign of Whitman’s in Hebrew that I’m on eBay bidding on right now. That connection with our family in Israel has always remained strong.
My great-grandfather, when he got a washing machine for his family, he sent one to Israel. My mom grew up making care packages. Since October 7th, I have felt even closer to my Israeli relatives. I’m communicating with them more and there are silver linings in this moment of connection, pride, and passion, and rejuvenating some of that as well.
That’s so true. We wouldn’t have met each other. I probably would’ve stumbled still upon you because you’re such a dynamic women, but speaking about Israel connected me. Lindsay, what did you bring?
There are a couple of things. I didn’t bring it so I’m sorry. One is a new favorite of mine. It’s tahini. They’re Israeli and I literally eat the chocolate by the spoonful out of the can. It’s amazing tahini. On that same note, they have a competitor product called Seed + Mill. It’s halva and you can have it shipped to you, but you can also buy it in Chelsea Market in New York. They partnered for an amazing fundraiser together, which I think is awesome when you see community over competition.
The other thing is Jessica’s Natural Granola, which is also a Jewish-owned business by my camp friend. You could buy it at Whole Foods nationwide. My family goes through five bags a week and it’s very expensive. It’s expensive granola, but it’s amazing. That’s another one of my favorite things. I want to echo what you were saying, Karen. I have been wearing my necklaces too, and these necklaces, I resurrected. This Jewish star I got on my first trip to Israel with my grandmother in Haifa and I picked it out. I haven’t worn it in years and I’ve worn it every day since October 7th. I put it on a necklace with this ring, which was my great-great grandmother’s, the other side of my family. I feel like it’s keeping me connected to my roots every single day.
How do you feel about the chocolate and ice cream reference? It’s still okay, right?
One hundred percent, yeah. It’s funny. I’m going to echo all the jewelry sentiments too. I have a necklace that was given to me by my grandparents when I was one. On the back, they engraved it in French. My grandparents were from Morocco. They’re French-Moroccan. They immigrated to France and I had been wearing it to give me strength too.
My whole life, I grew up hearing how the King of Morocco saved the Jews of Morocco from Hitler during the Holocaust. I think that shaped my worldview in a way. Now, I hadn’t worn this. My daughter had appropriated it for me for a while, but since October 7th, I’ve been wearing it also. It gives me strength, comfort, and hope. It’s one of my favorite things.
Thank you for sharing your favorite things. Proud Jewish women unite. Wonder Twin powers activate. Thank you all.
About Lindsay Pinchuk
For over two decades Lindsay Pinchuk has worked in marketing, advertising, media, content and sales for and with the world’s largest brands. While Lindsay bleeds maize and blue as a University of Michigan alum, she also has a soft spot for the Northwestern Wildcats where she earned her Master’s of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications.
A Detroit-area native, Lindsay now calls suburban Chicago home where she resides with her husband, two daughters and mini Bernadoodle. Lindsay insists that everything she’s needed to succeed in life she learned at summer camp (where she also met her husband!). When she’s not working or enjoying time with her family, you can find her eating sushi with friends, on the lawn at Ravinia, or in the front row of the most recent concert.
About Celeste Hackel
Hi! I’m Celeste Hackel, aka @healthy.to.the.core. I’m a wife, busy mom, recipe developer and health coach with a passion for cooking and all things health and wellness. My own experience trying to juggle it all and feel good doing it inspires my mission to create simple, family friendly recipes that are approachable, nutritious and delicious.
My favorite line is “eat like you love yourself” because we all deserve to eat good food that’s good for us too. You can find more recipes like these on my instagram page @healthy.to.the.core, and in my newly released recipe e-book.
My recipe are made with simple, healthy, whole food ingredients and minimal fuss. Life is busy enough. My mission is to make healthy living and healthy cooking low stress, attainable and enjoyable, so you enjoy the foods you love in an easier, healthier way.
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