Baltimore, MD – Apr. 16, 2024 - Faces of Orthodoxy is a social media initiative powered by the Orthodox Union. Launched in 2022, Faces of Orthodoxy puts a human face on Orthodox Jews by telling the day-in-the-life stories of diverse religious Jews through portrait photography, personal photos, and journal-style posts. Each season takes place in a different city in the United States. The account highlights everyday heroes of faith who share their journeys, struggles, and triumphs.

The mission of Faces of Orthodoxy is to expose the non-Jewish and non-Orthodox communities to the diversity within the Orthodox community while emphasizing the universal values we all share. The initiative also aims to inspire Orthodox Jews to be proud of who they are, what they do, and what they believe. Faces of Orthodoxy has become a supportive community and a positive space on social media that celebrates the individuality of the Orthodox Jews in our communities.

More than ever, we need to put a human face on Orthodox Jews. We need to tell our stories. We need to show the world that we share similar human struggles, overcome universal challenges, and live fulfilling lives in the modern world guided by the values and traditions of our ancient wisdom. Because if we won’t tell our stories, who will tell them for us?

Faces of Orthodoxy has partnered with Baltimore Jewish Life to reprint the profiles from the Baltimore season of Faces of Orthodoxy. Follow @facesoforthodoxy on Instagram and Facebook.

Tziri Preis

“As a kid, I was never celebrated for anything. I was cute enough, smart enough & had ‘a lot of potential.’ But I’ve always felt the need to be part of the solution. After working for an amazing camp director who was also a Kindergarten teacher, I realized I could also be a cool person & a Kindergarten teacher! I had thought teaching older kids was the way to really make an impact, but I fell in love with kids turning 6 in my first teaching job. I gave them the message, you are already an asset to the world just by being who you are right now.

For various reasons, I left the classroom. I knew Hashem had to guide me to my next chapter. I started pounding podcasts. I was also looking for a podcast that I could play for my kids, which I couldn’t find. So I created one. I called 2 former students to be guests & Inkredible Kids Podcast was born. It’s real talk with real kids, celebrating kids for who they are. 

I always had a crazy dream to teach every Jewish child. After October 7th, I wanted a response to explain the situation to kids. The next day I created a zoom call for families. I told the kids we needed their prayers more than ever, & we said a chapter of Tehillim (Psalms). There were 250 families on the call. That’s how the Tehillim Army started. Now we meet twice a week at 6 pm, hear from guest singers, rabbis or soldiers and say tehillim led by one of the children. Kids need to see that we’re all in this together. We have up to 10k kids a night on Tehillim Army. Our guests leave inspired & even the hardest ones to get tell me they’ll come back. And the kids feel this tangible sense of unity & pride being part of this. We even printed 3,000 Artscroll Tehillim Army Tehillims for our kids. The kids are so invested because they know they’re needed. When this war ends, these kids will associate scary times with the most beautiful memories of saying Tehillim. They’ll have connected to Tehillim for life.

I had a strong inner voice for so long to do something, but I kept saying it was the wrong time. I needed to take the plunge & trust the process. Go for your dreams & your crazy ideas. Daven (pray) to Hashem to make it happen.”