Millions of viewers tune in each week to watch The Big Bang Theory, which over its whopping 11 seasons has climbed to become one of the highest rated and most watched sitcoms on American TV.

And week after week, fan-favorite character Amy Farrah Fowler – played by Mayim Bialik – brings laughs and heart to the show.

But Bialik – a distant relative of famed poet Hayim Nahman Bialik – is also an active, busy and outspoken personality off-screen. The real-life neuroscientist and vegan mom of two has written four books, including the recent Girling Up and Boying Up. She also runs her own lifestyle site, GrokNation.com, with posts on parenting, religion, Hollywood, current affairs and more.

Bialik devotes many of her blog entries and Facebook posts to her Jewish faith and her connection to the State of Israel, which she visits regularly. The actress, who is an observant Jew, has shared images online from her trip to Jerusalem, from her kitchen as she preps for Passover and of the hamantaschen she made for Purim. In a Facebook post in July, Bialik addressed how she can be a scientist and also religious. “For me,” she wrote, “practicing Judaism means committing to a structure of intention and meaning which brings my life mindfulness and purpose.”

Last year, Bialik – who has written for years about her experiences with and her views on modesty – penned a controversial op-ed in The New York Times after Harvey Weinstein was exposed as a serial sexual predator and rapist. The actress drew ire for writing that her choices to dress modestly and not flirt with men have kept her away from being harassed in Hollywood. After outrage from many women, Bialik first defended her op-ed, before later apologizing “for causing so much pain.”