Breaking Barriers and Baking Babka: How One Jewish Mom Became a YouTube Sensation

Through her relatable videos about Jewish cooking and life, Sonya is breaking misconceptions and sharing practical tips and wisdom.

With 60,000 Youtube subscribers and nearly 5.5 million views, Sonya’s YouTube channel, Sonya’s Prep, about home organization, Jewish life, and cooking is making a splash.

What’s the secret behind this Jewish woman’s success?

Perhaps it’s a combination of a few factors: Sonya’s strength and perseverance as a full-time nurse, her nurturing demeanor as a mother of five young kids, her devoted partnership to “Mr. Prep”, and her love and genuine enthusiasm of Jewish food and life.

When Sonya experienced infertility at the beginning of her marriage, she scoured the web and searched for answers on YouTube. “I always turned to YouTube for motivation and inspiration,” Sonya reveals, “I wanted to learn things and found YouTube to be one of the largest search engines out there.”

Sonya was especially intrigued by the phenomenon of Mommy Channels. “These women are showing their daily lives,” she explains, “and people are subscribing and watching it. I wondered if there’s anything like that for the Jewish community.”

At the time, there wasn’t.

In her heart, Sonya desired to represent Jewish mothers online. “But I was very shy and very introverted,” she admits. “It took time for me to build the courage and rip the Band-Aid off.”

She and her husband were torn about opening their lives to the world and becoming so vulnerable. “I was very nervous about putting my life out there as a Jewish woman.”

But her love for sharing wisdom and her appreciation of this type of content gave her the confidence to try.

And she succeeded. Both Jews and non-Jews alike love her videos.

Craving that picture-perfect kitchen? Sonya’s got you covered. Meal prep for the holidays? Not a problem. Trying out the airfryer? Sonya has exciting recipes for the whole family to enjoy. From polishing silverware to the most refreshing summer salads, Sonya’s Prep has it all.

It’s especially poignant to read the comments by people unfamiliar with Jewish culture and values: “I’m not Jewish, but I enjoy seeing your values and traditions.” “It’s so refreshing to see a young mom practicing her culture and religion.” “I’m going to make my first challah tonight.” (Sonya’s Shabbat prep video has over 1.2 million views.)

Most importantly, people see Sonya as a real mom of five who is a full-time nurse and proud Jew. Sonya feels she is helping to diminish the xenophobia surrounding Jewish life, the stigma that people are limited by their faith. She’s breaking barriers and baking babka at the same time.

And she’s super relatable.

“My very first video was me making challah with my three youngest kids, and they were screaming in the background… but that’s real life,” she shares. “Being authentic is key.”

Sonya’s cooking Shabbat videos have encouraged people to return to their kitchens and create memories for the entire family.

Sadly, Sonya still second-guesses herself every time she uploads a new video. “You’re creating content for people to judge and see,” she says. “It’s an internal struggle.” While the feedback on her videos is “99.9%” positive, there are still those who aren’t fond of the Jewish people. Some who are “plain old mean no matter who you are.”

Yet Sonya remains strong. “The more negative comments you get, the thicker your skin becomes,” she notes.

Sonya also feels a responsibility to portray authentic Jewish life and break down misconceptions.

In one video, Sonya and her husband sit down and talk about their marriage. Called “Love, Dating & Marriage as an Orthodox Jewish Couple Q&A,” the video shows the couple explaining their story together. Both Sonya and her husband respect and support each other. They’re a shining example of two educated, equal partners in a loving marriage.

At the end of the day, Sonya doesn’t let the pressure get to her. She’s honed her skill of staying calm, cool, and collected working as an ER nurse. “When you’re in the middle of an emergency… patients are looking to you and you have to portray a sign of calmness so they don’t freak out.”

Today, Sonya works as a nurse at a public school and edits her videos at night.

Sonya hopes people will benefit from all her tips and tricks. “I’m so grateful for everyone watching and subscribing,” she says. “And be on the lookout for a cookbook sometime soon!”