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Style, synagogue, and Sunday brunch with Elizabeth Savetsky

Elizabeth Savetsky poses with her family in New York. Photo | Elizabeth Savetsky via Instagram

With impeccable style and a sense of grace and elegance befitting a mondaine woman more than twice her age, Elizabeth Savetsky is so much more than the narrow perception of a social media influencer. Indeed, @lizzysavetsky, an accomplished mother of three and proud Zionist, utilizes her platform to amplify Jewish news of dire importance, educate followers on Torah teachings and Yiddish words of the week, and upend whatever myopic notions exist of what a mother, social media influencer, and/or Jewish woman should look, think, sound, or act like.

A consummate sophisticate, Savetsky excitedly and generously shared her thoughts with me on Jewish culture and community in New York, her favorite spots around the city for meals and shopping, and the importance of investing in one’s community.

Jamie: Since moving to New York with your family, what’s been your overall experience as a Jewish woman and your perception of the resources for the Jewish community here? How has that compared to places you’ve lived in the past?

Elizabeth: I first moved to NYC from Fort Worth, Texas when I was 18 to attend NYU. After growing up in a place where there was hardly any Jewish life, I wanted to be in a city with a lot of Jewish energy. We were in Dallas for the past few years and just moved back before the school year.

Elizabeth Savetsky poses with her youngest child in New York. (courtesy of Elizabeth Savetsky)

One of our main motivations for moving back to NYC was the Jewish community here. Only 13% of NYC is Jewish but it feels like so much more, culturally. Outside of Israel, it doesn’t get more Jewish than NYC. There are just so many options in terms of synagogues, Jewish day schools, kosher restaurants, and Jewish culture/the arts. We want to raise our children with a strong sense of self in terms of their Judaism, which I think can be done anywhere, but having access to so many Jewish resources and Jewish community members makes it easier.

Jamie: It’s weekend brunch with the family. Where are your go-to spots for a bagel and schmear or for a dine-in experience?

Elizabeth: We go to The Great American Health Bar almost every Sunday. It’s such a classic NYC diner vibe with the best French fries ever. My kids absolutely love it.

Jamie: What about a weekend brunch with friends, or a fancy evening out in the city?

Elizabeth: Wall Street Grill is our favorite restaurant for a night out right now, though we love so many, and more and more have been opening. We love to go there on Thursday nights when they have a DJ on their roof deck or sit downstairs for a quieter vibe. The food is amazing. We always love their specials.

Elizabeth Savetsky poses in New York City. (courtesy of Elizabeth Savetsky)

Jamie: Your fashion sense is impeccable and one’s style can be so intertwined with their identity. What are your favorite spots around NYC for clothing and accessories?

Elizabeth: I have been so busy lately that I do most of my shopping online, but I do love to go to Bergdorfs when I am looking for a fun shopping outing. I love the classic, NYC elegance. When I can make it downtown I love to peruse the vintage shops like What Goes Around Comes Around and Rituals. I am an old soul and love the construction and glamour of designer vintage pieces!

Jamie: Your Instagram generously showcases the support from those who aid in beauty and fashion services. Do you have any favorite spots around the city for a hair stylist, a pedicure, or a day at the spa?

Elizabeth: I love mobile services that can come to me to help accommodate my crazy schedule. I use Glow2GoNYC for spray tans, Glamsquad for hair and makeup, and Sisters On The Go for laser hair removal and jet peel facials.

When I can get an appointment, Joanna Czech is the face guru! She has magic hands. I see Sabria’s Brows for my eyebrows on 61st and Madison. Gloss lab is my go-to for mani-pedis! They have a bunch of locations.

Jamie: The last few years have, of course, been incredibly isolating, even in a city as energetic as NYC. How important has it been to you to cultivate a sense of community for your family, and do you have any recommendations for newcomers to the Empire State?

Elizabeth Savetsky celebrates Shabbat with family. (courtesy of Elizabeth Savetsky)

Elizabeth: Surrounding yourself with good people and positive energy is paramount for happiness, especially in a chaotic place like NYC. Community is a necessary grounding force. We found a synagogue, The Altneu, that our whole family absolutely loves and we go to every Shabbat. Rabbi Goldschmidt is a phenomenal community leader and his wife, Avital, is absolutely brilliant. They have attracted such an inspiring group of members and we have met so many amazing people over the past few months from this synagogue. That’s where our sense of community really begins.

We are also heavily involved in community activism with organizations like UJA, FIDF, and AIPAC. There are so many Jewish organizations in NYC doing amazing work. There’s something for every age and interest and always an event going on or an opportunity to lend a helping hand. I always tell people that doing service for causes you are passionate about will bring like-minded people your way. You have to get out there and get involved! When you give to your community, you get a community in return.

About the Author
Jamie Bichelman has experience as an Applied Behavior Analyst with a straight-A graduate education at Harvard's Extension School and currently in New York University's graduate mental health counseling program. Jamie is a proud Jewish man and vegan and has been a lifelong disability rights advocate.
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