Bethenny Frankel:

Headlining Spring Event May 22

Bethany Frankle  image

Bethenny Frankel didn't set out to become an influencer. In fact, the reality star and founder of Skinnygirl Cocktails says she became an influencer "accidentally."  


But accident or not, with 6.5 million followers, she's certainly arrived at "influencer" status. The outspoken Frankel also boasts a slew of other descriptors: Real Housewivesof New York City alum, self-made businessperson, TV producer, bestselling author, podcast host, philanthropist, and mom.


Frankel will talk about the many facets of her impressive resume when she headlines JUF Women's Philanthropy Spring Event 2024 on Wednesday, May 22 at The Geraghty in Chicago. 


In addition to raising much-needed funds, this year, the event will serve as a source of comfort and solidarity at a challenging moment for the Jewish people. "We are looking forward to meaningful conversations with each other about how we're doing during these difficult times," said Lori Fogelson, Overall Spring Event Co-Chair of JUF Women's City Council. "It's important to hear about all the critical work that JUF is doing, and-notwithstanding the times-it is always important to be together as women. And, of course, we're thrilled to hear from Bethenny Frankel."


Unapologetically Jewish, Frankel has spoken out since October 7 in solidarity with the Jewish people and Israel. Of all her accomplishments, it was her emergency relief work that captured the attention of the Spring Event co-chairs.


"Bethenny is known for her time on the Real Housewives , but she is so much more," said Ruth Fromm, Overall Spring Event Co-Chair of JUF Women's Board. "What really drew us to her is the creation of her charity BStrong, which has provided over $100 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and also sent a cargo plane to Israel following October 7."


In advance of Frankel's appearance at Spring Event, Jewish Chicago magazine conducted an interview with the celebrity by email.




Q. How did you become, as you put it, an "accidental influencer?"


A. It really was accidental. I am terrible at social media and was just playing around with makeup; then it exploded.


Are you grateful to your  Real Housewives  days for helping launch your career? Do you keep in touch with anyone from  Housewives?


I am grateful for that part of my life, though it feels so long ago now that I don't think about it too much-and I do keep in touch with some people.


What does being Jewish mean to you?


It's a cultural feeling of being connected to and part of something palpable. You know where you come from and understand the history. The passion that Jewish people have for food is contagious, and it's a caring, nourishing, and humorous culture.


Why is speaking to a room full of Jewish women philanthropists-at Spring Event-important to you?


It's paying it forward because philanthropy is an integral part of my journey, and I understand intimately how to be effective.


How has October 7 affected you?


It was a jarring and emotional day, bringing horrific stories from history to life in the present. It represented so much hate in the world and was very scary. It conveyed that anything can happen at any time and [that], sadly, no one is safe.


What three life lessons do you hope to teach your daughter?


To have confidence, compassion, and loyalty. 


Have you spent any time in Chicago? Are you going to get a chance to go anywhere while you're here?


I lived in Chicago, and I always manage to find an adventure everywhere I go. While I'm in town, I'll probably go to Gibson's, and to Lou Mitchell's for an omelet.


The JUF Women's Philanthropy Spring Event featuring Bethenny Frankel will take place on Wednesday, May 22, from 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at The Geraghty (2520 S. Hoyne Avenue, Chicago). The luncheon costs $90 and women who make an individual gift of $365 or more to the 2024 JUF Annual Campaign are invited to attend. Valet will be available for $25; self-parking is limited. There will be an optional bus to and from the program from the northern suburbs. To register for the event, visit




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