The Shmooze

Orthodox Top Model Now an IDF Tank Instructor

By Nathan Jeffay

  • Print
  • Share Share

The Shmooze hasn’t heard much about Esther Petrack since she was eliminated from “America’s Next Top Model” 18 months ago. Before then, she sent a flutter of excitement through American Jewry at the prospect of having a Jewish — and Orthodox noch — winner of the show.

Now, Israel’s Channel 2 has reported, she is on her way to becoming a tank instructor in the Israeli army. She has been serving in the Israel Defense Forces since December.

Any words of reflection from her? Apparently — surprise, surprise — soldiers are more pleasant to be around than models. “My nails are no longer what they were, but the girls in the course are nicer than those on the show,” she told Channel 2.

In an interview with Haaretz she said that army service “gives you such a feel for Israel” and reflected on her religious identify — which became a subject of controversy when she was on television. She said, “I am proud of my Judaism and have never really hidden it,” and went on to say of her observance of the Sabbath and the dietary laws: “It’s part of me. But at its core it’s so much more than a religion, or whether you believe in God and go to shul [synagogue] a few times a year or a few times a week. It’s our culture. It’s who we are as a people, as a connected group and with a group history.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Esther Petrack, IDF America's Next Top Model

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.