Social media influencer speaks to Women's Philanthropy

By Charlene Riegger
Director of Marketing

Amy Albertson, an Asian American Jewish social media influencer with over 35,000 followers on Instagram (@theamyalbertson), spoke to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s Women’s Philanthropy Dollar-a-Day Spring Event on May 9.

The event, chaired by Marilyn Claire, Beth Kushnik, and Ellen Sosis with division chair Aviva Marlin, began with Laurie Wax, Women’s Philanthropy president, introducing Crissy Toff as a new Lion of Judah. Lee Kestecher Solomon, the Federation’s director of community engagement, presented the Lion pin to Toff.

Ellen Sosis was the moderator for the rest of the presentation with Albertson. After providing some background on her college experiences, Albertson spoke about the situation on college campuses and advised three actions for students. First, be sure to report any antisemitic incident, not only to make the authorities aware, but also in case of future litigation. Second, do not engage with protesters or those in encampments. They are too far gone in their beliefs, and you will not change their minds. Last, talk to people who aren’t protesting. They might not know or understand what is going on, and those are the people you can reach and educate.

Albertson also spoke about visiting Israel after October 7. She mentioned volunteering and visiting the Nova Music Festival site, but the thing that struck her most was that Israelis were in “action mode” rather than “sad, victim mode.” Even Israelis that needed help for themselves were still volunteering to help others. She encouraged the women in the audience to donate and, if possible, go on the Solidarity Mission with the Federation in August 2024.

During the Q&A session, Vicki Wax asked, “Why do we lose the media, and what can we do?” Albertson replied that she didn’t have any definitive reasons with sources, but did quip, “It’s ironic that we don’t have the media when they think we control it.” She went on to say that Israel does what it needs to do, and sometimes people think she’s a bully. Also, Israel often has soldiers in uniform speaking to the press. In Israel, where so many people are or were soldiers, a uniform isn’t triggering, but to Americans, a military uniform can be jarring. 

Albertson ended the presentation by imploring the women to go out and speak to people to help dispel antisemitic tropes. Since Jewish people are in the minority, strong allies are needed to help dispel negative myths.  “Let them get to know you and realize you are just a human being, and probably a pretty awesome one because you have Jewish values,” she said.