Real Housewives of NY star leads campaign against antisemitism

The campaign sees famous Jews across the US and Israel opening their homes to IDF soldiers over Hanukkah.

 The Savetsky family hosts Sgt. Shachar on the first night of Hanukkah in their home in New York. (photo credit: Yoav Davis for Davis Media, courtesy of FIDF)
The Savetsky family hosts Sgt. Shachar on the first night of Hanukkah in their home in New York.
(photo credit: Yoav Davis for Davis Media, courtesy of FIDF)

Former cast member of The Real Housewives of NY (RHONY) star Lizzy Savetsky aligned with Friends of the IDF (FIDF), along with some of the most recognized and respected Jewish influencers from across the globe, for a Hanukkah campaign aimed at combating antisemitism, “Live the Miracle.”

According to FIDF, “the campaign celebrates the miracle that is Israel and the Jewish people who, throughout history, continue to rise in the face of terror, even when the odds are stacked against them.”

On Sunday night, on the eve of Hanukkah, Savetsky opened her home to an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier from across oceans and together they lit candles and shared meaningful traditions that have been practiced for centuries. 

Savetsky’s family welcomed with open arms Sergeant Shachar, a naval combat sailor in the IDF who, weeks ago, successfully intercepted two drones sent by the Hezbollah terror organization in an attempt to damage one of Israel’s gas rigs.

“Hanukkah is the perfect representation of bringing light to the darkness,” Savetsky said. “As proud Jews, we want our light to shine as bright as possible in this time of growing hate towards our people. We will not back down or shrink away. Shahar’s courage and strength, and the bravery of her fellow soldiers, inspires us to keep going! Together, we can light up the world,” she added.

 Lizzy Savetsky (credit: FIDF) Lizzy Savetsky (credit: FIDF)

Who is Lizzy Savetsky?

Savetsky, 37, starred in the 13th season and had been set to appear in the 14th season of “Real Housewives of New York,” a show that broadcasts the glitzy lives of New York City socialites. (Last year, the show featured a drama-filled Shabbat dinner.) But she announced on Instagram in November that she had reconsidered because of the response that her inclusion received.

“As a proud orthodox Jewish woman, I thought participating in this series would be a great chance to represent people like me and share my experience,” she wrote. “Unfortunately, from the time of my announcement in the cast, I was on the receiving end of a torrent of antisemitism. As this continued, I realized that this path was no longer right for me and my family.”

“As a proud orthodox Jewish woman, I thought participating in this series would be a great chance to represent people like me and share my experience."

Lizzy Savetsky

“In a powerful show of unity, Jewish celebrities and influencers are opening their homes and their hearts to welcome the courageous protectors of the Jewish people,” FIDF’s website states. “These exclusive Hanukkah candle lightings with visiting IDF soldiers are a symbolic act of solidarity in the face of the darkness that is antisemitism.”

Night two of the campaign will feature Alexi and Loren Brovarnik, stars of the hit series 90 Day Fiancé and the spinoff series that launched on December 18, 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? Other participants of the campaign, comedian Modi Rosenfeld, Israeli actress, writer and activist Noa Tishby and others.

“It’s a privilege to stand in solidarity with these influential Jewish figures who will not let darkness prevail,”  said Steve Weil, CEO of Friends of the IDF. “These are people, who, in the face of social media and all sorts of attacks, are standing up for morality, for dignity, and for these young men and young women who are literally at the front line of humanity.”