Maria Ginzburg is a Jubilance employee who was born in Russia and grew up in the United States but this month is moving to Israel to embark on her next adventure! We caught up with Maria to talk to her about how each culture is specific and different and what it means to be a woman in all of these countries.
Check out the video here:
Check out the Podcast here:
Alice: Hi, all! Thank you for coming back and joining us. We’re so excited to have Maria Ginzburg on today for our Woman’s Weekly! Hooray! We’re doing this Facebook live event today about Maria Ginzburg. She is Russian but grew up here, in the US, and now is moving to Israel. So we’re really excited to talk to her and we’re excited for you to join us. So thank you and welcome!
Maria: Thank you, I’m excited to be here, too. Hi, Alice!
Alice: Hi! Nice to have you, Maria! So I just want to introduce Maria to all of our viewers. So Maria Ginzburg works for Jubilance but she’s moving to Israel. So we’re so sorry to see her go but we’re excited to talk to her today about her move, her origins in Russia, and life as an international girl. I’m Alice from Jubilance so thank you for joining us today.
Maria: Thanks for joining us, everyone.
Alice: Great so we just want to start with some fun questions. So tacos or pizza?
Maria: Honestly, as long as they have a ton of cheese on them, I’ll pick either one.
Alice: That’s great. What kind of cheese?
Maria: There are a lot of cheeses I like. There’s obviously the regular Mozzarella, Casa Fresco. I like– Halloumi isn’t really for pizza, to be honest, but it’s one of my favorite cheeses.
Maria: Yes, I love Halloumi, you kind of sauté it, it has a really nice crust and I like Brie.
Alice: So good. I like the stinkier the better. So delicious. Okay. Netflix or coffee?
Maria: I don’t drink any coffee.
Alice: Frozen yogurt or ice cream?
Maria: Frozen yogurt. I really like the tart flavor.
Alice: Cool. So can you tell us about where you’re from, Maria?
Maria: So I was originally born in Russia. St. Petersburg, Russia, and now I’ve lived in San Diego for honestly most of my life, but I live in a Russian immigrant family so I still have that influence.
Alice: That’s amazing. Do you ever go back to Russia? Have you made it back?
Maria: Yes, I’ve gone back a lot of times. I don’t think they can tell me apart from the natives so that’s nice.
Alice: That’s amazing. What’s your favorite part about San Diego? You’ve been here all your life and you’re about to move.
Maria: Honestly, the beach and the weather. I really loved just how warm it was all the time and I love the palm trees, and the beaches, and swimming in the ocean, and surfing. So I’m going to miss that because I’m actually going to be in Jerusalem where there are no beaches.
Alice: Oh no!
Maria: But Tel Aviv is only a few hours away on a bus so obviously I’ll go over there and swim a little.
Alice: Perfect. Do you have a favorite restaurant in San Diego? Where should we check out or hit up before you leave?
Maria: Oh no, I forgot to look this up but I have a favorite restaurant in LA, it’s a kosher restaurant, I think it’s called Charcoal Bar and Grill or Charcoal Grill and Bar. It is actually the best restaurant I’ve ever been to. It’s a meat restaurant so everything there is meat and they have the most amazing food. I remember they have pulled lamb burgers with Moroccan spices and so on. Yes, Moroccan cigars. They’re like– I don’t know, they remind me of the Chinese– I don’t know what they’re called–
Alice: Spring rolls or something?
Maria: Spring rolls. They look like a spring roll but it’s more Moroccan and it has meat in it. It’s really good.
Alice: That sounds really good.
Maria: So it’s one of the–
Alice: Anything with meat.
Maria: It’s so succulent and perfect so highly recommend that place.
Alice: That’s awesome.
Maria: If they want to give me a free dinner for free marketing – please.
Alice: Charcoal Grill, okay, in LA.
Maria: -and the Bar! Yes.
Alice: Yes. So I’d love to hear the step-by-step process of how you got to where you are. So now you’re going to Israel, you’re going back to school, but you started off with the company Terra Biological, which is the parent company of Jubilance for everyone watching, in a very different sort of role. Can you talk about how that changed and shifted over the years?
Maria: Yes, so basically I believe I’ve been at Terra Biological for two years, around two years. I actually started off as– I was basically filing papers. I was just looking for a job and I applied everywhere. Thankfully, I got a call back from Kathy Cash herself inviting me to come file papers, do some light administrative work. I did that for a while, but I’ve always been, honestly, kind of what you would call tech-savvy, and so I was asked to do a few things here and there until I was asked to design a website and so on. I learned how to do email marketing, how to use the email marketing software that we use. It was history from there, I got promoted and got a lot of opportunities to get trained to actually know how to do it. So it’s been an amazing time getting to learn everything.
Alice: You are just a go-getter because you just taught yourself everything that you know, which is just amazing.
Maria: Thank you.
Alice: Yes. How did you find out about Terra Biological in the beginning? It was just like a job posting or–
Maria: Yes, pretty much. I was on indeed.com and I was applying like click-click-click-click at everything and yes, they called me back. That’s how I found out about Terra Biological.
Alice: Perfect. That’s amazing. So you’ve been there for the start of Jubilance. What do you think the most rewarding part of it has been, working on this new supplement?
Maria: I think that there are actually two things. The first is a bit more– I love the creativity that has gone into trying to get Jubilance out to everyone. We as a team have done a lot of really amazing, fun, and creative stuff to just get Jubilance to everyone so that women can find out about it and try it out. That has been a lot of fun, that’s been one of my favorite parts, being able to use your creativity and your mind to help people. That brings me to my next point which is helping people. One of the most rewarding things is when you get these comments or emails saying, “Oh my god! This really helped me!” “This has completely changed my life!” and so on. It’s crazy to think that we’ve impacted women all across the US and even some people not in the US to the point that they actually write to us and say that. Because I’m going to be honest, I hate writing reviews, I’ve barely written reviews for anything in my life. So to me when somebody goes out of their way to say, “Wow, this is so amazing that I’m actually going to go and make the effort to write about how amazing this product is,” that means a lot. That means that we have really, really helped some woman out there.
Alice: That’s wonderful, Maria. What are you most looking forward to? With this last month of summer and you have some free time now, too. So?
Maria: I’m basically going to be hanging out a lot with my family as much as possible, and going to the beach as often as I can.
Alice: When exactly are you moving? It’s soon, right?
Maria: Yes, so I’m– less than two weeks, 13 days. August 27th I’m flying out and there you go. That’s it.
Alice: What are you most excited about for Israel?
Maria: I think that I’m most excited about everything that I’ll get to learn honestly. Because Israel is such a unique place where you can learn so much about culture, and history, and spirituality. It’s just an amazing place and it’s like you can never finish learning, there is always more to know. That is why I’m going for, first, some classes there and then after that, I’ll go to University and so on. Hopefully a history degree actually, business and history.
Alice: That’s awesome!
Maria: I’m really excited about that because– I guess the Harry Potter quiz was right. It said that I was a Ravenclaw.
Alice: That makes sense.
Maria: I’m also excited about the food.
Alice: Oh, so good–
Maria: And the friendly people. The people are friendly over there so it’ll be fun, too.
Alice: That’s wonderful. What do you think is your biggest success story so far, just being a woman and being alive?
Maria: Being a woman and being alive?
Alice: Yes, just anything about your life and success.
Maria: I guess surviving [laughs] I’m joking but I think in terms of the biggest success story, that would have to be my work with Jubilance. Because I came here with basically no experience and was able to make something that I think I could make a career out of in the future. So I’m really happy about that. Yes. As a woman, I’m not quite sure what to say to that. Maybe– I don’t know. It’s hard being a woman these days as it was always.
Alice: I’m curious about what’s your biggest takeaway about American culture?
Maria: I think that my biggest takeaway about American culture is kind of the different– the creativity and the opportunities that you have here. Because I think there’s a reason that Jubilance, for example, it’s here in the US. The US is unique in that. There are so many different things that are out there here. Let’s say this, no other country besides the US, probably, except maybe for Japan, I don’t know, could have come up with a sushi burrito, right? A sushirrito. Yes. I don’t know about that combo but you know, there are so many different things out there. There’s anything and everything for everyone. You just have to find what you want, where it is, and it’s going to be in the US. It’s extremely unique here; you have a lot of opportunities here.
Alice: What do you think it means to be a woman in America? I mean growing up in an immigrant family, do you have a different perspective on that? Or at least just what’s your definition for being a woman here?
Maria: Definition for being a woman here as opposed to Russia?
Maria: I mean I guess I can say that in the US people are a lot more open. So I think that that’s actually what’s really cool, especially about America right now, is that people are becoming more and more open about things that are really important but that haven’t been deemed important in the past. So, for example, what happens during PMS, right? To be honest, Jubilance, like I said already, it couldn’t have come– I mean it could have but you know, there’s a reason that it was started in the US. In Russia this kind of product, it wouldn’t make it, right? Maybe in a few decades, you’ll– or I don’t know, maybe earlier, you can bring over Jubilance to Russia. But it couldn’t have been started in Russia because in the US right now, there’s a unique culture of looking at things that should be solved, should be helped and that hasn’t been focused on in the past. I think that’s really amazing that people are starting to focus on those issues and just help everyone. Because I don’t think that people should ignore these issues, even though they have been ignored for so long.
Alice: I wonder how that will shift– How your perspective will shift moving to Israel, too. I just don’t know, personally, because I’ve never lived there but it’ll be interesting for you to find out.
Maria: I’ll get back to you on that.
Alice: Yes, I’m curious. We’ll do a follow-up.
Alice: I’m curious, as an immigrant, have you felt affected by our American politics?
Maria: Oh, absolutely. I think the first time I was affected by US politics was when we came to the US actually. I mean this in a good way, by the way. We actually came as refugees from Russia due to anti-Semitism in the 90s. So the US was the first country that welcomed us in. So thank you, US. I’m really glad that we got that opportunity to leave all that. In terms of now, I think a lot has changed. I think that there is a lot of, unfortunately, disunity in the US right now between all kinds of different people and it’s very sad to see. Because the US is supposed to be a melting pot. People do get treated differently nowadays, even Russians, believe it or not. I’ve always gotten those jokes about being a Russian spy, Russian hacker and obviously, I’m not offended at that. It’s funny. But a lot of people say it. But now there is this kind of thought that Russians are somehow uniquely– more suspicious or bad or something, you know? They think that people in Russia are maybe inherently bigoted or so on and so forth. The fact is that everybody is different and I promise you that in other countries they might not think well of the US, and of Americans either. So I think that what needs to be is that there needs to be more unity among every citizen regardless of their heritage or their immigrant status and so on.
Alice: It’s like women being women and just we’re women no matter where we are in the world I guess. We’re all affected by PMS, so something that binds us together.
Maria: Binds us together, yes.
Alice: If a woman were to come up to you asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them the best tip, what would it be?
Maria: About PMS?
Alice: About anything. About being a woman, about being Maria the International Lady.
Maria: Oh [chuckles] Okay. How about being a woman? Personally, I would say, “Don’t let people walk over you and the things that you might experience, your problems are legitimate. They matter. You shouldn’t just try to take it, deal with it. I think that if there is a way to solve a problem, you should solve it, you shouldn’t just tolerate it.” I think that women especially are told by doctors, for example, or just people in general that, “Oh, PMS, just tough it out.” “Oh, you’re just being–” I don’t know, annoying, and so on. But the fact is that this affects women themselves, not just the people around them. It’s not nice to experience this and I don’t think that this issue should be swept under the rug at all. So stand up for yourself and do what will make you most happy.
Alice: Yes, that’s so empowering. Thank you. I just want to end our interview with a couple of fun questions. So what is the most essential item in your purse at all times? Jubilance? Just kidding.
Maria: Oh my gosh. Yes, phone, keys,… Jubilance? A pen.
Alice: Yes, I always have like 20 in my bag.
Maria: Yes, it’s kind of a problem and you lose the cap, too.
Maria: Moving on. I guess my planner. My planner keeps me organized so that I don’t lose track of everything.
Alice: That’s good. Do you have a book to recommend to us? What’s your best plane book or beach book because you’re going to the beach a lot?
Maria: Best book? I’m going to be honest, my tastes go towards depressing books. So I don’t know if that’s very good for the plane or the beach.
Alice: So maybe not a beach book, but–?
Maria: But I can tell you what my favorite books are. I love Victor Hugo, he wrote Hunchback of Notre-Dame and Les Miserables. I don’t know if I pronounced that right, I’m not French. I loved Flowers for Algernon.
Alice: I have never read that.
Maria: It’s about a mentally disabled man who gets a miracle cure and he gets super smart. But then it stops working and he goes back down. It’s one of the saddest things ever to see how his consciousness changes.
Alice: That’s really interesting.
Maria: Yes, it’s a really good book; highly recommend it but definitely a little bit depressing for the beach.
Alice: Okay. So not for the beach, but we’ll have to read it some other time.
Alice: If you were on a deserted island shipwrecked and you could only bring two items with you, what would they be?
Maria: Okay. Phone and solar charger.
Alice: It’s really smart, you’re doing like–
Maria: Except it wouldn’t have the– They probably not going to have the data so I couldn’t call anybody to rescue me.
Alice: Yeah. I would definitely bring my Jubilance. I don’t really know what I would take?
Maria: All this stuff is useless anyway. Might as well bring the whole box of Jubilance. That sounds like an item, right?
Maria: A box of Jubilance. Here you go!
Alice: Definitely. Yes. My last question for you is when did you start your period?
Maria: I think I was 15. I couldn’t tell you for sure because I faked having a period for a while.
Alice: What? Why did you fake?
Maria: I don’t know if it was different for you, but at my school, the cool girls were the ones who already got their periods. I was very sad about not having my period yet so I faked it from like 12.
Alice: Oh my gosh!
Maria: Not like anything weird, I just told people that I already had my period. It was funny, they’re like, “Oh, so does it hurt?” and I was like–
Maria: No comment. I don’t know.
Alice: That’s so fascinating. I wish I could have faked it because it’s horrible.
Maria: Yes, I wish I could fake it now. Then again, it would be nice to have kids, too, someday. So that’s a nice thing about having your period and the only nice thing.
Alice: Yes, so, Maria, anything else you’d like to add to our viewers?
Maria: Thank you for coming on with us and I hope you enjoyed it. I hope that everybody knows that as women we should stand up for ourselves and do what is right for us; what will make us feel best. To not apologize for the fact that we want to do something for ourselves to help us.
Alice: That’s great, Maria. Have the best time in Israel.
Maria: Thank you.
Alice: We can’t wait to hear all about it and have you back to talk about Israel so thank you for being on today. Bye!
Maria: Thank you. Bye, Alice! See you.
Alice: Bye, thank you.