This Orthodox Teenage Girl Stars In An Award-Winning Paramount+ Show

A lot of kids dream of being on Broadway or on television, but Dalya, an Orthodox Jewish teen from New Jersey,  turned her dreams into reality. She is a 13 year old actress who began her career at age 6 after being inspired by her older sister, Sophie, who is also a television and Broadway actress. She has been featured on Broadway, television, and film, toured 18 cities as an ensemble member of the Les Miserables Broadway tour, and is a series regular in Evil on Paramount Plus, playing the role of Laura Bouchard. Season 4 premieres tonight. She also guest starred on NBC’s Law and Order: SVU and CBS’s FBI Most Wanted.

Dalya stands out as one of the very few successful television, film and Broadway actors that has been Orthodox from birth. She shares,“I have a lot of people telling me that I’m really showing them that even though you’re a[n Orthodox] Jew or you’re different, you could still do all these kinds of things. Because there’s not that many like actors who are Jewish and very religious like I am.” Dalya hopes to continue acting into her adult life as spiritually she feels that “it is meant to be.”

Luckily, Dalya’s colleagues have been very supportive of her observance and even tend to be curious when differences, such as eating kosher, arise. “Everyone on all the shows that I’ve been on [has] been super accommodating and they’re just very respectful of my religion,” she shares.

When it comes to the perception of Orthodox Jews in a place where people have seen very few, it might seem like a lot of pressure to represent us well. Dalya handles this responsibility with grace. 

“You have to always be kind, even if someone doesn’t like the way you think, you have to treat them the way you want to be treated. Even if they’re not treating you that way. I know a lot of people are thinking a lot of different things right now [about Jews], and some people may not think what we think, and we may not like that. It’s the same way for them to think about, too. We also are thinking different things than they’re thinking. So we just have to always be nice, because you never know what’s happening.” 

Although diversity, inclusion, and accommodation usually doesn’t include Jews, Dalya says that the shows she has worked on have been very understanding of her religious practices. The crew of Evil even helped to build her work schedule around Passover so that she could be with her family. 

Having a career as a performer includes a lot of rejection. “No one really talks about rejection, when they’re posting a job that they’re doing…Everyone’s getting rejected by someone,” she explains. Dalya went in for many auditions to no avail before booking her role on Evil. The Torah teaching, Gam Zu l’Tova (this too is for the good) has helped Dalya throughout her career to stay positive in the face of rejection.

“Everything that’s happening right now is happening for the good and for the better for you. So if you don’t get a job sometime, and you’re upset about it, maybe think that this is gonna help you in the future.” For any budding actors she advises to get good training, such as acting and singing coaches. She claims “no help is bad help” and to take advantage of any help that might be offered. 

Dalya’s positivity and resilience influenced by the Torah shines through. Having such a successful young Orthodox woman in the film industry helps foster hope that Jewish people will continue to be more appreciated and respected as other minorities are. 

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