The Pizza Girl supports Israel
Photo: Courtesy Caroline D’Amore
Caroline D’Amore, known for her Pizza Girl brand, is shown with an IDF soldier.

By Deb Silverthorn

Amore” means love in Italian and Caroline D’Amore, founder and CEO of Pizza Girl Inc., will bring her love of Israel and her influence to support the Friendship Circle of Dallas at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at Chabad of Dallas.

D’Amore, a finalist in last summer’s “Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars,” wears a chef’s hat as well as that of an entrepreneur and social media influencer. A Southern California native and an Italian Catholic, she has more than 141,000 followers on Instagram.

“None of our neighbors, our friends from work and school or the people down the street had anything to do with what is happening right now and scaring Jewish people isn’t making a difference,” said D’Amore. “All that’s happening is that it’s being made clear that Jewish people need help and need to be spoken up for. I’ll never stand by, watch this happen and stay silent.”

The event is a partnership between Friendship Circle of Dallas, Friends of the IDF North Texas and Israel Bonds’ Dallas office. Proceeds will support Friendship Circle’s Friends at Home, Sunday Circle, Teens on the Town, Junior Friends, Winter Camp, Moms’ and Dads’ Nights Out and the Mitzvah Volunteer programs.

“We’ve hosted deli and burger pop-ups, we make bread and we’re definitely foodies, so we’re excited to bring Caroline in,” said Leah Dubrawsky, co-director of Dallas Friendship Circle. “We host many family events including our annual carnival (this year on May 26 at the J), but this is a feel-good, feel-the-love grown-up night.”

For Janine Reutter, director of the FIDF North Texas chapter, D’Amore’s visit is an opportunity to bring in some of Dallas’ younger leadership. “Caroline is clearly a pro-Israel advocate and an ardent supporter, of which we are very appreciative. We’re thrilled to connect,” said Reutter.

Karen Garfield, Israel Bonds’ southwest regional director, said, “We’re proud to have a unique opportunity to partner with Friendship Circle and to help them raise funds for their meaningful work through an investment in Israel.”

Merissa and Ben Kogutt, Britt and Jeff Lefkovits, Zoe and AJ Magid and Rachel and Greg Pinn are co-chairs of the evening, which will include pizza featuring D’Amore’s kosher OU-certified “Pizza Girl” sauce, wines donated by Royal Wine Corp. and a raffle.

“We’re huge fans of Friendship Circle and Caroline too. I fall in love with her again every time she says something,” said Zoe Magid, who, after seeing D’Amore’s many pro-Israel Instagram posts in the wake of the Oct. 7 massacre, proposed D’Amore’s visit. “Her Pizza Girl Sauce, which is amazing, is our family’s favorite.”

Magid added, “I can’t wait to meet her, to hear what she has to share and to thank her for standing up for us.”

Caroline D’Amore has made two trips to Israel in the last few months.

On Oct. 5, D’Amore’s @carolinedamore social media post featured her creating shakshuka and spaghetti served in a martini glass. The next, which was the first of nearly 300 posts since, came weeks later because she couldn’t bring herself to find the words until Oct. 19.

“I have so many Jewish friends, I knew so many people in pain, I was hearing from people that they were receiving death threats,” she said. “I went into my backyard and crumbled. I put up a post and didn’t think much of it. In a couple of hours, there were 30,000 views and 6 million within days.

“I care for all of the innocent lives, but terror isn’t how we are going to get peace,” she said. “People speak out for BLM, for Me Too, for LGBTQ and every other cause. How is it possible that so few are speaking up against rapes, murders, the absolute massacre? If ‘death to all’ was a cry for any other group, can you imagine? Why is it OK against the Jews? How are people not speaking up?”

In December, hosted by Israel Friends, D’Amore made the first of two visits to Israel. Her intense travels took her to Kibbutz Be’eri, to the site of the Nova Music Festival and to the Knesset. She met with families who had lost their loved ones, with ZAKA Search and Rescue volunteers and Israel Defense Forces soldiers undergoing rehabilitative services.

“These soldiers are young ‘kids’ with dreams of their careers, of building a business just like I have,” said D’Amore. “I met one who had before the war started a shoe company. He and his partner left their pregnant wives, their new business; now they are serving their country.”

During her second trip, in February, D’Amore was accompanied by her boyfriend, Omer Levy, a Sabra. “We only started dating a bit before Oct. 7 and in the strangest of ways we are closer,” she said. “When we went back, we rolled up our sleeves. I love an Israeli and I love Israel.”

Together, D’Amore and Levy visited women whose husbands were serving in the IDF; they cooked and served meals to their families.

Levy — @ShabbatSurfClub — participated in a paddle-out in memory of 26 surfers who had been killed during the massacre, counted from one to 127 for the days at that time the hostages had been in captivity and said the Shema. Joining the paddle-out was Jewish surfing world champion, Shaun Tomson.

D’Amore’s Pizza Girl tagline, “It all begins with the base,” holds true for her person. She attributes her base and her foundation to her mother, Bonnie Major, who passed away when D’Amore was just five years old; her father, Joe D’Amore; and three generations behind her of passionate dreamers and believers.

“Karma is real and life is short. I’ve always taught my daughter to be kind to kids at school if others are bullying them. Stand up and be kind always,” said D’Amore, expanding her business and her social calling. “I believe if you stand up for innocent people and do the right thing, then you’re doing the right thing.”

Tickets, on sale now for $54 ($72 after May 1), can be ordered at friendshipcircle.dallas/pizzagirl.

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