Chilean Instagram star, 19, receives a barrage of online abuse over her decision to convert to Judaism and visiting the Jewish state; she remains undeterred, saying she is ‘sticking with my truth.’
When Tamara Rogers, a teen influencer and model from Chile, decided to convert to Judaism upon discovering her father’s Jewish roots, she didn’t anticipate she would be bullied and targeted online over her decision. However, an Instagram star is only as big as her number of followers, and the decision to convert cost her 15,000 of them – along with a barrage of antisemitic online abuse.
The 19-year-old model however, remains unapologetic in her decision to convert and visit Israel. “Every time I upload images from Israel, I receive hurtful comments and lose followers on Instagram,” she says. “It doesn’t affect me. I’m sticking with my truth. If someone asked me whether I regret the decision to convert and visit Israel – I do not. I would do it again.”
She initially revealed her Jewish heritage after visiting the former Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. She then came to Israel with other young Jews from around the world as part of a tour arranged by a company known as “The Israeli Experience.” The program involves touring Israeli heritage sites in Jerusalem and other parts of the country.
Having witnessed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more closely, she feels it gives her more tools to represent the Israeli side when the need be. “This is a battle over consciousness,” she says. “I help represent Israel online, and I feel it’s a privilege to be a part of it.”
Currently, Rogers in volunteering at Hazerim, a Kibbutz in southern Israel, and is set to return home in a few days.
Amos Hermon, the chairman of The Israeli Experience, says the online abuse that followed the young model’s visit to the Jewish state did not surprise him.
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