Good babysitters let the kids stay up extra late and play fun games. Extraordinary babysitters become ambassadors for the Jewish people, using their platform to amplify the beauty of a Torah way of life.
Enter Adriana Fernandez, known by her Instagram handle @nonjewishnanny. Singer by night and sitter by day, Adriana has made a name for herself in Boca Raton’s Orthodox Jewish community, and even wider ripple effects on these video-based social platforms. With three years of babysitting experience in the community, she has learned so much — from tzniut (modest) clothing and covering hair with wigs to the details of Shabbat and the holidays. She has taken that information, appreciation, joy, and fun to the masses with her delightful videos.
With her bubbly personality, it’s evident how accepting and easygoing Adriana is; that sense of fun only grows when she interacts with the children. That positivity extends to what she speaks out on regarding the Jewish community.
When asked about whether she had any preconceived notions about Jewish life, Adriana replied that she had none at all, even with the tremendous amount of negative and antisemitic content in the media. Prior to nannying, she hadn’t previously met many Jews, especially not Orthodox Jews. Most of her interactions with Judaism were through college friends, seeing people celebrate Chanukah, and having attended the occasional bar or bat mitzvah in grade school.
So when the parents at her first nanny job informed her that they were Jewish — and specifically asked if she was okay with that — Adriana was baffled. She thought, “Why should being Jewish be a worry for me?” That comfort working with Jewish families continues to this day. If anything, she was excited to be exposed to a new culture.
Adriana initially started babysitting to make extra money while in college, where she studied vocal performance; part of why Adriana is able to say Hebrew and Yiddish words is due to her training as an opera singer, in which many librettos are sung in other languages. Her vocal work is usually at night-time, and she will also teach in the afternoons. Her love for children was the deciding factor in beginning to babysit during the day. Adriana shares an anecdote, in which she was in Texas for a performance and was so bored during the day that she missed being around children to fill that time with fun and love.
She became quite popular as a babysitter, and the kids and parents loved her (it’s not hard to see why) — one of the kids she babysits now has even sung her praises to their classmates, saying that they had the best babysitter. This was before her TikTok and Instagram fame: she began posting content on those platforms to share the cute and funny stories about conversations she’s had with the kids she watches. The account is now widely popular among the Orthodox Jewish community.
Another medium from which she learns about Judaism and Orthodox Jewish life is by reading books written by Jewish authors to her kids. In addition to being open about her positive relationship with the Orthodox Jewish community, she states that she plans to integrate children’s books written by Jews and for Jews — as well as other children’s books from underrepresented cultures — into her own home so that her family will grow to understand that different ways of life are just as valuable as the one they grow up with.
The Orthodox Jewish family she works for has welcomed her with open arms, and she has never felt uncomfortable with them regarding their cultural differences. It’s the acquaintances who aren’t Jewish — friends, colleagues, and the like — who project discomfort on the situation: and they’re okay with you? a non-Jew? Adriana notes that while everyone seems to have expected the Jewish families to judge Adriana unfavorably and be super strict, she has actually been completely welcomed into the lives of the kids she nannies and loved for who she is.