Grateful Goddesses | Samantha Ettus | Antisemitism

Samantha Ettus: Unleash Your Inner Activist And Speak Out Against Anti-Semitism @2024NewVoices

Grateful Goddesses | Samantha Ettus | Antisemitism


In a world plagued by the resurgence of antisemitism, the fight against hatred and prejudice has become more crucial than ever. From the darkest days of the Holocaust to the recent tragic events in Israel, the Jewish community continues to face a wave of discrimination and violence. The diaspora, scattered across the globe, is witnessing a disturbing surge in antisemitic incidents, from protests and disturbances to bomb threats and isolated hate crimes. Social media platforms are being used to spread propaganda and fuel the flames of hatred.


Amidst this chaos, a new initiative has emerged to combat antisemitism and promote unity. Join me as I sit down with Samantha Ettus, a renowned author and public speaker, who has shifted her focus to speak out against antisemitism. Through her initiative, NEWVOICES 2024, celebrities and influencers are encouraged to use their platforms to denounce antisemitism and stand in solidarity with the Jewish community. The message is simple: “I speak out against antisemitism.”


Despite the challenges and risks involved, Samantha’s campaign has gained momentum, inspiring others to raise their voices against hatred and bigotry. By speaking out, individuals can make a difference and create a ripple effect of change. It is not about taking sides in a political conflict, but about taking a stand against injustice and discrimination. As Samantha travels the world, empowering others to unleash their inner activist, the movement continues to grow.

Join us as we explore the power of raising your voice, standing up against antisemitism, and creating a more inclusive and compassionate world for all.

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Samantha Ettus: Unleash Your Inner Activist And Speak Out Against Anti-Semitism @2024NewVoices

We are honored to have Samantha Ettus as our guest. Samantha is the Founder of The New Voices 2024 Campaign, a remarkable initiative that aims to combat antisemitism and mobilize the Jewish community. Previously, Samantha was known for her insights on the future of work as a speaker, author, and TV contributor. Samantha found herself unexpectedly transitioning into a Jewish activist role.

After October 7th, her dedication to addressing rising antisemitism led her to launch this New Voices campaign, which features a diverse array of celebrities and influencers, both Jewish and non-Jewish, including names like Cindy Crawford and Kevin O’Neal. Through a rapidly growing Instagram account, the campaign has reached millions of people globally. Samantha joins us to discuss the campaign and the importance of using our voices to speak out against antisemitism. Welcome to the show, Samantha.

I am a proud Jewish woman and it’s a new year with new voices and stand against antisemitism. That sentence was not hard for me to say, but for some individuals, it is difficult to say. We’re going to talk with the founder of New Voices 2024, Samantha Ettus, in a moment about this campaign, and initiative, as well as perhaps some of the difficulties that some of the celebrities might be having joining in on this campaign, antisemitism and why it’s important for us to use our voices no matter how small or how big to speak up against it. I have photos of all the celebrities and influencers so far that have joined in this campaign. I’m hoping Samantha, that I can fill out my whole bookcase with that.

I hope too. I love it. That’s awesome that you did that.


I want this to be positive. Let’s use our voices. This is a disturbing topic that some people are not doing. Can you please share with us about your campaign? What motivated you to start it? How is it going? It looks fantastic, but you also mentioned the other day that you had some people not want to join it.

I’ll back up briefly. I was not a Jewish activist until October 8th, basically on October 7th was my son’s bar mitzvah. We didn’t have a sense then of the gravity of what had happened. It wasn’t until a couple of days later that it was shocking. On October 8th, I started posting. I’ve never posted my son’s bar mitzvah yet because I went from posting about work-life balance, how to get a 25th hour in your day and my favorite new outfit to realizing that all that stuff seemed frivolous given what was happening. I figured, “After a few days I’ll go back to my old content.” That never happened because I felt like few people were speaking out. I had a platform and it was a nice-sized platform.

I felt like, “I should be using this for good.” I’ve never turned back. For me, it was internal and urgent that I speak out for the Jewish people and Israel. Frankly, I never fully understood what it meant to be a Zionist before. When you live in the diaspora, you’re protected. We have benefited so much from previous generations speaking out that we have not felt like we needed to.

It’s December. I’ve now been doing this for a couple of months and I was flying with my family on a family vacation and suddenly it occurred to me like, “Why aren’t celebrities speaking out? Maybe it’s because they don’t have a soft landing, like a place where it’s easy to speak out.” That was how 2024 New Voices launched. I started contacting celebrities directly, and friends of friends and in various ways and got a few people on board then once you get a couple, you can get more. Originally, I thought it was going to be a two-week campaign, but here we are months later and we’re still going.

Why aren’t celebrities speaking out—maybe it’s because they don’t have a soft landing to make it really easy to speak out, and that is why @2024newvoices was created to give them that place. Click To Tweet

I follow you. How I stumbled across you was because of your Israeli advocacy and is another proud Jewish woman. I was afraid to speak out. I was not wearing any of my jewelry. I was thinking about taking down my mezuzah. I think you as one of the many powerful, brave Jewish women who helped inspire me to not do that and to use my voice. This Grateful Goddess platform might be small, but it’s mighty. We might reach even one person who might not be reading the Jewish show.

Grateful Goddesses | Samantha Ettus | Antisemitism
Antisemitism: I’m a proud Jew. I’m no longer scared of fighting for the Jewish people.


Some people have already since. an interview I did with two other Israeli activists, they stopped following me. I’m happy about that because I don’t want people who are not aligned with our values. I love people who are. Can you tell us a bit about those celebrities that said no and what does that mean? How can you say no to antisemitism? What does that mean? They don’t like Jews or are they ignorant or what?

We need to create allies to support and stand up against antisemitism, so talk about it at your book clubs, your gym, and your social circles. Click To Tweet


I like to think it’s more ignorance than anything. I think that the other side, which is the pro-Hamas side has politicized even Jewish hate. One of the things I’ve been very cognizant of is when we have celebrities who join the 2024 New Voices Campaign, I don’t allow them to mention Israel because even though we all know that these things are intertwined, it’s very hard for a celebrity who is worried about they’re putting dinner on the table for their family because their careers go in these ebbs and flows, and they’re worried about losing jobs. I’ve assured them that our campaign is not political. I’ll get a lot of direct messages from people saying, “I really wish these celebrities would talk about Israel.”

2024 New Voices is not political. Click To Tweet

We would not get half the celebrities to speak up if we did talk about Israel. Right now let’s focus on Jewish hate. To back up, we have four wars, we’re fighting the war to get the hostages returned. We’re fighting the war against propaganda, which we’re losing. We’re fighting the war against Hamas and then we’re fighting antisemitism and the diaspora. I think this campaign specifically hits number four. When you try to do everything, you fail. I’m very specific.

We are creating a very easy space for people to say, “I am so and so. I stand against antisemitism. I stand against Jewish hate.” Say it however you’d like to say it, and that’s it. You don’t have to say more if you don’t want. You can if you want. You don’t have to. There are some people, and I think this is ignorance, who will say, “I don’t want to take sides.” What is the other side of Jewish hate? It’s you for Jewish hate. It’s absurd if you think of it that way or someone will say, “I have to talk to my agent and get permission.” You’re like, “Would you have to ask your agent for permission to speak out against Asian hate or any other hate, hate against, the LGBTQ community? No. Why are you asking permission to say, ‘I’m against hating Jewish people?’”

When you say it that way, it’s harder for people to stand their ground. You’ve lost some followers. I’ve lost some relationships over this, but I think that we are all better off because it you want to know where your friends stand. This was a wake-up call for all of us, especially in the Western world that Israelis were much more aware of all of these issues before we were. If anything, as a community, we are much stronger. Think of all the new relationships that you have formed since October 7th and those more than make up for the ones you’ve lost since October 7th and by shedding some of these friends who were anti-Semitic or don’t want to be political, you are making room for new relationships.

As a community, we are so much stronger. Click To Tweet

I appreciate that and that’s how I connected with you. I appreciate that you answered when I reached out. One of the things that I did was my daughter text me, she’s away at college. She’s in Michigan, and she texted me when she was in a class. You can imagine as a mother, you have children, we all have children, and it’s 4:30 in the afternoon and she says, “Mom, I’m scared. They’re banging on the door screaming, etc., the slogans and what should I do?” I was frozen. I was texting her back and forth. I called the dean. I sent this to you. I couldn’t believe the response.  I know she was going to ask more about colleges, but to be a mother and to receive that text is blatant antisemitism.

I had to happen to be an empty nester now, but my son graduated from college. I had a bunch of his friends from New York here in Chicago and we were talking about it. The overwhelming sense was relief that they were not on a college campus right now, that they may be out living in big cities like New York, LA, Chicago or Dallas. It’s not that they’re immune to antisemitism and defacing of Jewish-owned businesses or synagogues, but being on a college campus, there’s a whole other heightened level of fear I think among college students.

Grateful Goddesses | Samantha Ettus | Antisemitism
Antisemitism: There’s a whole other heightened level of fear among college students.


I know you’ve talked about this on news programs, et cetera, but it is insane to me what is happening on college campuses. I went to Penn and Harvard, those two in particular, Michigan, we’re talking about three schools right now that have had an enormous amount of attention thrown at them, negative attention because of the way that they’ve mishandled all of these acts of blatant antisemitism and the fear of by administrators of speaking out, even now the fear of prosecuting pro-Palestinian protestors who have engaged in words of hate, hate speech under the guise of free speech.

Creating Allies

We’re coming after the administrators for not even prosecuting these people. I think there is a question there, but it is really about fear among us living in big cities and among college students. I guess you could imagine in that light, some people being afraid to speak out, whether it’s for your campaign or others, even though it shouldn’t be hard to say that they stand against antisemitism. It is this overarching fear that I’m grappling with. How do we get people to use that as a way to embolden them, to act, to speak, and not just the Jewish community but everybody because as you said, they wouldn’t be afraid to say, “I stand against anti-Asian or anti any other marginalized group in our history.” What do we do about this fear?

We have to have ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY on all college campuses and corporations. Click To Tweet

First of all, you said it well and laid out the situation well. I think we keep being stunted. Every, “This kosher restaurant was destroyed overnight in New York.” It never ends. We’re playing whack-a-mole and we’re losing because it’s too many things. It’s Nordstrom’s Tyson’s Corner. It’s endless. I think that we have to have a zero-tolerance policy on all college campuses and corporations. These are private institutions. These are institutions that are private and even the University of Michigan received so much public funding. These, the private ones receive public funding. We need to say, “We cut off public funding unless you have a zero-tolerance policy for antisemitism.” You would never tolerate this for any other ethnic group. I remember when you sent that to me, you were allowing it in your libraries, in your outside of the classrooms.

It feels like we are playing whack-a-mole and we are losing, and all the antisemitic occurrences continue and escalate—it is never ending, so it’s time we used our voices and spoke out against it. Click To Tweet

I couldn’t believe it. When I called the dean’s office, the person said, “The dean is with the group.” I said, “Excuse me?” “To make sure it doesn’t get violent. This is free speech and only if it’s disrupting the classroom.” I said, “My daughter is freaking out. She’s supposed to do a presentation.”

You would never tolerate this for any other ethnic group, and parents need to call and contact every administer right away if something antisemitic happens on campuses. Click To Tweet


Disruption means a lot of things. If you are sitting there worried for your safety, you’re not able to concentrate in class. This is permeated beyond what is acceptable. whether it’s a private institution or a public institution, we need a zero-tolerance policy for it. It makes it easy when you have a moral compass where you’re like, “We don’t tolerate anything that makes our students feel unsafe.” That should be the bar at every single university. I was at an event with the CoFounder of Stand With Us. I said to him, “My daughter is going to a college that seems good about what’s been going on with Palestinian stuff and I’m happy.”

Grateful Goddesses | Samantha Ettus | Antisemitism
Antisemitism: Whether it’s a private or public institution, we need a zero tolerance policy for antisemitism.


He’s like, “It’s good until it’s not.” Unfortunately, that’s where we’re at. It’s like one group and then one bad cake on it. You can’t give an inch because then it gives more. Last time you allowed this. As parents we need to have a zero-tolerance policy for it. What you did calling the school right away, every parent who sees anything like this needs to call and contact every administrator right away. We are the first line of defense if the administration is not behaving correctly.

Bothering other mothers, other parents because like what people have done on Instagram, “Post this. Pass it along for parents.” That’s the message.

Galvanizing all of us. I do a ton of public speaking. In post-October 7th, I called my agent and said, “I’m not doing any more speaking for anything other than Jewish audiences and Jewish topics,” which made him unhappy. I feel right now this is the urgent topic of our time and this is what needs attention the thing. I talk a lot about is how to unleash your inner activism because a lot of people think that you need a big following or be active on social media to make a difference, and you don’t.

There are 15million of us in the world (jews) and we cannot stay silent, so it requires every single one of us to step up. Click To Tweet

What’s important is right now, every single one of us, if you have 1 hour or 20 hours a week, we need every single one of us to do something. It could be a minute a day where you’re writing a letter, but it has to be something you can’t stay silent. This is a moment in time that requires all of us. There are only fifteen million of us in the world and it requires every single one of us to step up because this is what it was like pre-Holocaust. This is a very terrifying time, but it’s a time for us to be brave and speak out. It can’t just be a few of us. It has to be all of us.

It is a terrifying time, but also a brave time for all of us to speak up and speak out. Click To Tweet

I  wanted to thank her for that insightful conversation. I love that you touched on those points, especially about a lot of those people who are in the middle deal. Hopefully, if you’re reading this and you’re in the middle, how can you not stand up to hate? I started thinking like, “Do people not know the definition of antisemitism?”

I think Samantha raises a great point, which is that people have conflated this idea of being pro or even sympathetic to Jewish people. I would therefore then be supporting the Israeli government’s every move in this war against Hamas. It doesn’t matter that it’s a terrorist organization or how they treat their people. It is all about what we see on the news, in social media and what we see out there, which is what is the plight of the Gazan people?

I read somewhere the other day, “You can be aligned with Jews. You can like Jews, you can be whatever the opposite of anti-Semitic is, pro the Jewish people and against Netanyahu or the Israeli government, this move, that move, this invasion, that and Rafa or in the South.” It doesn’t have to be the same thing. Insert the name of silent celebrity here with a gigantic follower, let’s say, Taylor Swift. You don’t have to agree with everything that the state of Israel is doing to pro-Jewish people. That is why Samantha rightly has taken the political component out of the campaign

Forget Israel. The fact that her bodyguard is Jewish and was her bodyguard. You would think there would be some friendship relationship. You would think she would support against being against antisemitism. It is unfathomable for me. I don’t understand it, but maybe education, awareness and us being proud and wearing our Magen David, we will dance again, talking about this posting and anything you can do.

If any of you have any questions out there and don’t know how to stand up or how to use your voice, you can always contact me at [email protected]. Speak. Say it. The more of us together combating this hatred, the easier it gets. It’s like when you’re in school and everyone’s quiet and the teacher asks a question and everyone’s quiet and then one person bravely puts their hand up and then there’s a whole conversation.

We all need to help each other. I wanted to close with, I believe it’s crucial to emphasize the power of using our voices, whether they’re loud or soft, to advocate for peace and stand up to hatred. It is imperative to educate and raise awareness about the meaning and implications of antisemitism and to unite with non-Jewish allies in the fight against it. Together by standing up against antisemitism and promoting understanding and acceptance, we can strive towards a world of peace and love for all. Alyssa, it’s a new year, New Voices 2024. What would you like to say?

I would like to say we could all have one ounce of the energy and the fervor that Samantha Ettus has shown us. I think we would all be in a very different place right now. This is all a chance for us to use our voice in small ways and ideally bigger ways to talk, educate and have these conversations. Let’s hope that by the end of 2024, we’re in a very different place.

I hope that this is filled with celebrities and influencers as well as everyday people, you and I. Thank you for using your voice.

Up next, favorite things, opening up to happiness and joy?

I would like to share some of my favorite things right now. As I mentioned in a past episode, I’ve been wearing my Star of David around town and I’ve been proudly wearing it. At first, I was putting it under my shirt because I was scared honestly, every now and then I do that. More and more I’m wearing it out and proud. This dog tag I received where it says, “We will dance again in the Nova 7/10/23,” I do believe that the Jewish people and the Israeli people will dance again and they will rebuild. It’s my hope and prayer that we will continue to use our voices to stand up against hatred and that by the time this episode is released, all of the hostages will be released. Thank you for using your voice.


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About Samantha Ettus

In the wake of October 7th, Samantha Ettus found herself in the unexpected position of becoming a Jewish activist. While previously recognized for her insights on the future of work as a speaker, author and TV contributor, she refocused all of her endeavors to combat antisemitism and mobilize the Jewish community. As Sam explains it, she went from covering work and life issues to covering life and death issues after the start of the Hamas/Israel war.

In an effort to bring more attention to rising antisemitism, she launched the New Voices campaign, enlisting a combination of non-Jewish and Jewish celebrities and influencers from Cindy Crawford to Kevin Nealon to speak out through a rapidly growing Instagram account that has now reached millions of people worldwide. The campaign was launched on CNN. Sam is also a producer of the upcoming documentary, Primal Fear: Jews Under Siege which is being filmed now.

Sam is a best-selling author of five books, a renowned speaker, and was co-host of iHeart’s leading women in business podcast. Sam spent eight years as a Contributor to Forbes, was a syndicated columnist for Scripps Howard News Service. Sam hosted 75 episodes of the leading Internet talk show Obsessed TV, which she created and produced with Gary Vaynerchuk.

A renowned speaker, Sam has spoken on hundreds of stages across America from TEDx to Fortune 500 companies and Jewish Federations. She has appeared on countless TV shows including the TODAY Show, Access Hollywood, NBC News, Dr. Phil, The Doctors, Cavuto Live and Good Morning America. She has been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, and Fortune.

Sam earned both her undergraduate and MBA degrees from Harvard. She is passionate about women in politics and co-founded the Los Angeles Women’s Collective, aimed at supporting women to run for office and win. She currently serves on the advisory board of the Forbes School of Business and Technology and Sparks and Honey. Sam is a proud mom of three teenagers.


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