Meet Jewish Person of the Week – Lori Orlinsky

Lori Orlinsky ChiTribe

Let’s Meet Jewish Person of the Week – Lori Orlinsky

Where did you grow up?

Columbus, Ohio!

Where did you go to school?

Indiana University – GO HOOSIERS!

What did you do Jewish growing up?

My late grandparents were Holocaust survivors, and I spent a lot of time learning about their amazing story of survival. I hope to write their story one day.

What do you do now?

I am a children’s book author and was I recently named to the “36 Under 36” list by Oy! Chicago and YLD. I recently volunteered at the JUF Uptown Cafe, Chicago’s first kosher anti-hunger program for the needy. I set tables and served Sunday brunch. I was truly blown away by this place. I loved interacting with the clients – many of whom are socially isolated and are in need of person-to-person contact. If I could volunteer here every day, I would.

Lori Orlinsky ChiTribe

Tell us about being a children’s book author…

My first book “Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All)” is a multi-award winning book, praised for its messages of self-acceptance and bullying prevention. My second book “The Tooth Fairy’s Tummy Ache” is another lesson-based book, due for release January 7 2020.  I have a Journalism degree and have always wanted to write a book. The inspiration hit a few years ago when my daughter Hayley was 3-years-old. After the teachers hung up a growth chart in her preschool classroom and Hayley saw her name at the bottom, she decided she didn’t want to go to school because she was the shortest kid in class. Frustrated no books existed on this topic, I wrote one! In addition to being an author, I am also a regular contributor for Chicago Parent and serve as the Marketing Director for WTTW, Chicago’s PBS Station.

Tell us more about your book!

“Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All)” is a rhyming picture book that teaches children to celebrate their differences, no matter their size. While it is a great read for smaller kids, it is also a hit with average and taller children, as it gives them perspective on the power of their words. Hayley and I were recently featured on ABC7 to discuss the book to kick off Bullying Prevention Month.

Can you tell us about the awards this book has won?
“Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All)” has won multiple awards,including the following:
– Gold Recipient, Mom’s Choice Award
– Purple Dragonfly Book Award
– Global Top 10 Finalist, Author Academy Awards
– Reading With Your Kids Certified Great Read
lori orlinsky chitribe

What do you do for fun/to relax?

I love myself a good spa day (someone give my husband the hint). I also like to indulge in retail therapy.

What is your favorite hidden gem in Chicago?

Mary Bartelme Park in the West Loop.

Where can we see you around town?
“Being Small” is the featured book in November at the Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview, and I’ll be there reading it on Monday, November 4. I  will be leading storytime at the Thomas Hughes Children’s Library on Saturday, November 9. I will also have a booth at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair on Saturday & Sunday, November 23 & 24 at Navy Pier, More information about these and other events can be found on Facebook. 

What is your favorite way to spend shabbat?

Friday nights are always family nights for us. After a long week, there’s nothing better than climbing into bed with my husband and daughters and putting on a good movie. Our current favorites are the Toy Story movies.

Top three things on your Chicago bucket list?

1) Eat at Alinea

2) Take a helicopter tour of the city

3) Take my daughters to a White Sox playoff game (maybe next is our year!)


When the Tribe Gathers… RUN (don’t walk) for the food!


Lori Orlinsky ChiTribe
Buy the book! Being small is the worst! No one ever picks me for their sports team and my feet hurt from standing on my tiptoes all the time. There can’t be anything good about being small…right? Being Small is a picture book about a little girl who is scared to go to school because she’s the shortest kid in the class. She talks about all of the reasons that being short is a challenge, but her mother presents to her funny and unique advantages that only she has because of her height, instilling self-confidence in her. This book is a must-read for any child who has ever fallen behind the curve on the growth chart.


Rebecca Schwab

Rebecca Schwab

Rebecca creates best practices and executes marketing campaigns for Jewish organizations who are trying to reach the next generation of the Jewish community - specifically Millennials and Gen Z - through digital marketing, social media, online and in-person events.