By Deb Silverthorn
Elizabeth “Lizzy” Savetsky, a modern Jewish renaissance woman, spreads her love of fashion and her mission for mitzvot through her Instagram account, @lizzysavetsky, and her 187,000-plus followers. And most recently, she’s taken her creativity for connections to launch her own Instagram TV series.
She’s used her influence not only on the style scene, but to spread messages of healing and to stand up to hate.
“Last year, with so many ill with COVID-19, I used Instagram to share prayers around the world,” she said. “Then, our congregation (Shaare Tefilla) was Zoom-bombed with antisemitic hatred, and I had to stand up, to use my platform to drive awareness.”
In June, she spoke at the in-person “Say No to Anti-Semitism” rally in North Dallas. Earlier this month, she and her family modeled for the virtual “Jeans for Genes” event to raise awareness for genetic testing, and on Oct. 14 in New York City, she spoke to an audience of Birthright Israel Foundation donors to convey the significance of their support, a message she’ll relate again next summer in Israel.
“As antisemitism spreads, we must become our own ambassadors for Israel,” Savetsky said. “Our best defense against hate, fear and assimilation is sending the next generation to Israel so they can see with their own eyes the magic of the land and the urgency of our support.”
A Fort Worth native, Savetsky is the daughter of Laurie and Marvin Blum and the sister of Adam (Brooke). She’s a graduate of Trinity Valley School and was raised at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, where she was a soloist in the children’s choir. She was a member of the BBYO’s Alton-Silver BBG.
As a teen, Savetsky was a featured singer at the Johnnie High Country Music Review, Miss Teen Duncanville and third runner-up in the 2002 Miss Teen Texas pageant.
“Lizzy was a tiny girl with a larger-than-life personality; she brought the house down on her first night and then every week for five years,” said her father.
“She lives life in the spotlight and uses her megaphone to speak of Israel, Jewish issues and Torah,” Blum said. “We couldn’t be prouder as she’s always driven the train and we just hang on going in unimagined directions.”
Savetsky headed to New York University to study music and business. Living in the Big Apple had been a dream since her grandmother, Elsie Blum, first took her there as a child.
Before heading to college, Savetsky went on Birthright Israel with childhood friend Sari Hochberger, an experience that impacted both young ladies more than either imagined. Ultimately, Hochberger married Mickey Bar, a Birthright counselor, who was a close friend of Savetsky’s as well.
Savetsky first met her future husband, Ira, through an introduction from Bar. At the time, the relationship didn’t take off. Three years later, Savetsky was singing at a club in Tribeca when her father, in town visiting, noticed Ira standing in the wings. Unbeknownst to her, he’d come with an intention to pursue a relationship.
“I was a unicorn, a Jew, from Texas, still finding my religion,” said Savetsky. “He was born and raised in an observant family. Ultimately, it worked!”
After college, Savetsky studied at Jerusalem’s Neve Yerushalayim. Inspired and ingrained, she remembers her parents thinking she’d never return to the States. However, she applied to the University of Pennsylvania and, when she came in for an admissions interview, Ira proposed. Savetsky earned her master’s degree in reading, writing and literacy at Penn and returned to New York to work in public relations.
The two married and began their family that now includes their children Stella, Juliet and Ollie. Growing their family has brought joy and pain, the couple suffering three pregnancy losses. While Savetsky’s Instagram shares flair and fun, she’s also shared stories of loss and tribute to souls of the unborn children never met. From those expressions Savetsky founded the “Real Love, Real Loss” movement.
“I needed to do something tangible,” Savetsky said. She raised $57,000, enough to donate a Torah to the Israel Defense Forces. “All donors ‘received’ a letter in the Torah in the merit of the soul they’d lost.”
On- and offline, Savetsky is devoted to Israel and all things Jewish. In 2019 she was the Honorary Grand Marshal of the Celebrate Israel Parade and in 2020 she participated in the “No Hate, No Fear” march, both in New York.
The Savetskys came to Dallas in 2019 for Ira to complete a fellowship in aesthetic surgery. Now he is a plastic surgeon at McGuiness Dermatology and Aesthetics, and the family is embedded in the community, with the girls students of Akiba Yavneh Academy and Ollie, just 1, still home.
The blogger’s influence starts at her home, which she opens each Thursday for Torah study led by Congregation Shaare Tefilla’s Rabbi Ariel Rackovsky.
“Lizzy wanted to learn, and she’s brought others along. Not only are we learning at home, she then shares clips to her audience,” said Rackovsky. “The learning continues and sharing Torah on her platform enhances it all.”
Savetsky is serious-minded and social action–inclined. To celebrate her recent double-chai birthday, she and her “mitzvah squad” of friends and family supported Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas’ Food Pantry. Having successfully set up several couples, on Oct. 19 she debuted the first episode of “Beshert,” her IGTV series (Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. CST) allowing her to be a most-modern matchmaker.
“It’s absolutely exciting and I want to help people find their soulmates,” said Savetsky, who will interview prospective matches, host speed dating and do other connecting activities. “‘Beshert’ is a lighthearted approach to a serious issue.”
To follow Savetsky, visit @LizzySavetsky. To apply to her IGTV series “Beshert,” direct message @ronitdickter.