Meet Esther Klein
“At the end of the day, I’m just a girl eating snacks. But, I’m showing the world that you can be ‘religious’ and still be on camera. We shouldn’t feel stifled by our level of observance, rather, it should motivate us in the pursuit of our passions.”
With nearly 10,000 Instagram followers, it is hard to believe that Hardcor Snackie started out as just an idea from a girl who loves snacks.
Esther Klein took notice of her Instagram feed and saw that it was filled with food bloggers. Every time a blogger would review a snack, Esther would be disappointed to find out that it was not kosher. That’s when she realized she could fill a need for a niche market: kosher snack reviews.
“Hardcor Snackie” is a play on COR, the kashrut symbol, and being a hardcore snack lover. That very night HardCor Snackie’s first video was born.
Over time, Esther began to understand the greater significance of her page. “It has become important to me to show the world that kosher is everywhere, and that it is fun and interesting. I want people not to be daunted by the prospect of keeping kosher. It’s not a scary or impossible thing.”
Esther explains that, if anything, the very symbols showing us what we can and cannot eat create a large international community of people buying the same products.
“At the end of the day, I’m just a girl eating snacks. But I’m showing the world that you can be ‘religious’ and still be on camera. There’s no reason not to do it just because I am a religious woman. We shouldn’t feel stifled by our level of observance, rather, it should motivate us in the pursuit of our passions.”
Esther has gotten plenty of positive feedback, especially from the religious community. “I’m a role model to kids because I’m a religious girl doing something fun, clean and entertaining. Often celebrities are perceived in a certain way because of their actions on or off screen. I’m trying to show that you can be in front of the camera without being perceived negatively. I want to wipe away the stigma of not being able to maintain my own lifestyle while doing what I love.”
Instagram and Facebook have been transformed from mere tools for self-promotion into platforms promoting empowerment and creativity. “My page makes me more confident in myself, seeing that I can take a product and turn it into interesting and entertaining content.”
“I had zero expectations to start”, Esther said. At first it was a good thing to have in her portfolio, to make her stand out from the other students in her program.
As the page began to catch on, Esther’s mannerisms in front of the camera did as well. “I get imitated a lot. I have catch phrases that people connect with and use.”
Esther has found a way to channel her love for journalism and being in front of the camera into her page. “I feel I’m pursuing my dream in a very different way. This page taps into what excited me about journalism, and I’ve worked hard to get where I am today.”
Esther has some words of advice for those thinking of following their dreams: “Make sure the passion is there, envision an end goal and fly with it. It’s cool to be different. People see you being authentic and true and soon enough, they’ll go with it, too.”
Esther Klein grew up in Toronto, and always had a flair for the arts. She felt comfortable in front of the camera and considered a career in acting. However, this seemed unrealistic to Esther- a young modern Orthodox woman, so she turned to journalism, an alternative that involved equal screen time and audience engagement. She studied Communication Studies at York University and took multiple acting electives, then furthered her education at Humber College’s Journalism program.
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Jumans of Toronto is a window into the lives and passion of Jewish young adults making their mark in the world. A 50-part series, Jumans is inspired by Humans of New York. If you’d like to recommend someone awesome to be highlighted, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by: Adina Samuels