As a way of empowering our strong female community, we've decided to begin a new initiative where we'll be naming and interviewing one woman, our "Balaboosta of the Month". We are launching this project as a way of honoring impactful women who demonstrate power and strength and who embody the values that Apeloig Collection chooses to uphold.

Our core values as female entrepreneurs are to be bold, to be fearless and to dare to achieve one's goals regardless of any judgments that stand in the way. As Jewish women we are oftentimes faced with challenges when trying to prove our abilities, but we aim to break the mold and give other female voices the confidence to do so as well!

Of course, in true Apeloig fashion, another factor that plays a large role in selecting our Balaboosta of the Month is finding a woman that can inspire others to uphold their traditions in a contemporary, modern way.

And with that we present to you our first Balaboosta of the Month, who will accompany us in the launch of this initiative, Brittney Hopper:



AC: Thanksgiving is approaching, how do you maintain and find a balance between your American and Jewish identity?

BH: I was raised with having a lot of pride for our country, (America) so Thanksgiving has always been a fun big gathering with my family! I dont see being Jewish as not wanting to celebrate an American holiday as I consider myself a very prideful American. USA is the best country in the world in my opinion and adding the Jewish flair to our Thanksgiving dinner is the cherry on top. But in my family we keep it pretty traditional.

AC: Which Jewish values do you find most important in transmitting to the generations to come?

BH: The jewish traditions I find pretty important to carry on to my daughter is lighting shabbat candles every shabbos and going to a jewish school. I think both of those traditions set values that live on and please g-d, can be passed down for generations to come. Of course the high holidays are a given but lighting shabbat candles and getting a good jewish education is very important to me.

AC: Can you describe the type of Jewish upbringing you experienced? What were some core values that your parents instilled in your family?

BH: My father is not jewish. My mother is from Morocco, sephardic jewish. I was raised orthodox jewish, and I went to a Labavitch Hebrew Academy until I had my Bat Mitzvah. So I kept kosher until I left for college. I was shomer shabbos until high school. It really instilled so many great values, morals and traditions at such a young age on how to treat others with kindness, and pray to G-d nightly and every morning.

AC: How do you maintain and practice your Jewish traditions and customs today?

BH: I'm not raising my daughter orthodox, rather more modern jewish. Meaning she goes to a jewish school but it's less conservative than the school I went to. We light shabbat candles and have shabbat dinners but we still use technology during shabbos, drive, etc. I want my daughter to feel Shabbat is a time to be with family and unplug a bit, giving thanks for the week and praying for a good following week, but I never want her to feel guilty if she watches TV or we go out to dinner instead of having shabbat at home.

AC: How has your Jewish identity influenced your line of work?

BH: My jewish identity has greatly influenced my work as Im a public person and make it known my pride for Judaism and my pride and total support for Israel. As I like to wear a star of david around my neck on TV. I like to support as many jewish organizations as I possibly can.

AC: Have you ever felt it difficult to accomplish your goals due to oppression as a Jewish woman? If so, how did you overcome that?

BH: I have never felt this way.

AC: How can we inspire our children to utilize their voices to confidently share and enlighten people about their background?

BH: I think we can inspire our children by keeping the traditions alive and well within our household. And never forgetting what our people went through during the holocaust and how important it is we maintain our pride in being the chosen people.

AC: Any Jewish recipe you want to share with our readers?

BH: some jewish recipes - meatballs and cauliflower, artichokes and fish and carrots are recipes we make a lot of in our house! Meatballs and cauliflower is super easy.

- Mix meat with an egg and some breadcrumbs.
- make into balls
- fry them in a frying pan with some olive oil, salt / pepper until done. Set aside.
- break off cauliflower and cook in same pan. With some garlic, and more olive oil. Add lots of turmeric!
- add the cooked meatballs with the cauliflower!