Practicing jewish celebrities

12.01.2020
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22 Celebrities and the Religious Backgrounds You Didn't Know They Had

Pink

Religion: Judaism

Pink was raised in Pennsylvania by a Catholic father and a Jewish mother, and has said on record that she is, indeed, Jewish. Following the 2017 events in Charlottesville, the singer took to Instagram to share her peace. "It's incredible to watch neo-nazis march in 2017, while I, a Jewish woman, headline a show in Berlin where these tunnels were built by him, built curvy so he couldn't be shot in the back," she wrote.


practicing jewish celebrities
practicing jewish celebrities




Celebrities You Didn’t Know Are Jewish

Most Jewish celebrities wear their heritage on their sleeve. You know them well. Think Adam Sandler or Natalie Portman, for instance. Its part of who they are, and an important thread in the fabric of their celebrity. With such outspoken examples, you might be tempted to assume that all of the celebrities raised Orthodox (or converted later in life) are right there in the open. Youd be wrong. There are plenty of celebrities who play their cultural and religious heritage close to the chest and do not often address it in interviews. Dont believe us? Try to keep your jaw from dropping when you start recognizing names like

Natasha Lyonne

Natasha Lyonne

Best known for playing Nichols on Netflixs smash-hit Orange is the New Black, actress Natasha Lyonne was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home in Great Neck, New York. She attended a private Jewish school in Manhattan, and her family even lived in Israel for little over a year when she was a child.

Jennifer Connelly

Jennifer Connelly

Jennifer Connellys spot on the A-list has been a given for over two decades. The Requiem for a Dream and Noah actress isnt just Hollywood gold, shes also Jewish. Born to a Jewish mother and Irish Catholic father, Connelly has famously joked that she was raised with a double dose of guilt, in reference to her Orthodox upbringing.

Joe Lieberman

Joe Lieberman

Former United States Senator from Connecticut Joe Lieberman is most famous for running with Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election as the latters VP pick. Surprisingly, he is the first Orthodox Jew to become a vice presidential candidate! He retired a few years back and remains the highest-profile Orthodox Jew in American politics.

Joanna Angel

Joanna Angel

Joanna Angel is a porn star and Orthodox Jew. Raised Orthodox in Brooklyn, New York, Joanna even worked in a completely kosher fast food joint while she was in high school. In an interview, when asked about what her parents think of her chosen vocation, Joanna responded that they accept her career choices completely.

Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik

Actress Mayim Bialik is best known for the role of Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on the hit CBS show The Big Bang Theory. She was born in San Diego, California and raised as a Reform Jew. Her first name is even a Hebrew word meaning water. Her husband, raised Mormon, also converted to Judaism after the two married in 2003.

Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump

The daughter of presidential candidate Donald Trump, Ivanka is a businesswoman, socialite and former model. Shes also an Orthodox Jew as of 2009. She converted after studying at the Modern Orthodox Ramaz School, and took the Hebrew name Yael. She keeps a kosher diet, observes the Jewish Sabbath, and considers herself pretty observant.

Ed Asner

Ed Asner

Ed Asner is a prolific character actor best known for his roles in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Elf and the Disney/Pixar hit Up. He was born Yitzhak Edward Asner in Kansas City, Missouri to Jewish Russian-born parents. Though raised Orthodox Jewish, Asner has since come to identify as an agnostic.

Drake

Drake

Believe it or not, Canadian record producer, singer and actor Drake is Jewish. Raised by a Jewish mother in a heavily Jewish Toronto neighborhood, Drake went through all of the Jewish rites and rituals growing up. He attended a Jewish day school, had a bar mitzvah, the whole schmear. He still identifies as Jewish and observes religious holidays with his mother.

Emmanuelle Chriqui

Emmanuelle Chriqui

Canadian actress Emmanuelle Chriqui was raised by Sephardi Jewish parents. Her family is originally from Morocco, and raised the 40-year-old actress in the Orthodox and Sephardic tradition. She has relatives in Israel, and starred as Dalia, Adam Sandlers love interest in the Jewish comedy You Dont Mess with the Zohan.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

Yep, thats the Marilyn Monroe. She wasnt born into a Jewish home, and was actually raised in a foster home that observed strict evangelical Christianity. It wasnt until later in life that she converted to Judaism, specifically after marrying Pulitzer-winning playwright Arthur Miller in 1956. The marriage ended in divorce in 1961, roughly a year before the actress untimely death.

Liz Taylor

Liz Taylor

Another later-in-life convert from the Hollywood hall of fame is Elizabeth Liz Taylor. She converted to Judaism at age 27 at Hollywoods Temple Israel. She practiced the religion for the rest of her life, and became a well-known advocate for Jewish causes. She died in 2011, leading the Washington Post to comment that the nation of Israel has lost one of its best friends in Hollywood.

Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks

Hunger Games actress Elizabeth Banks grew up in a Catholic home in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and refers to her upbringing as very WASP-y. She met her future husband, Max Handelman, at college (on the first day, no less) and before they got married in 2003, she took steps to convert to Judaism. Though without her mikveh shes technically not a full convert, she says she has been essentially a Jew for like 15 years.

Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal

Prolific actor Jake Gyllenhaal doesnt share much about her personal life in interviews, but was nonetheless raised in a Jewish household in Brooklyn, New York. His family, which includes sister and fellow actor Maggie Gyllenhaal, observed Jewish holidays growing up, and he still considers himself Jewish to this day. Though he also considers himself slightly Buddhist, and meditates every day.

Lenny Kravitz

Lenny Kravitz

Rock star Lenny Kravitz comes from a Russian Jewish family, and his mother reinforced this aspect of his identity in him at a young age. Now that hes an adult, Kravitz considers himself a Christian (and even practices abstinence) though also acknowledges his Jewish roots, arguing its all the same to me.

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson

Box office megastar Scarlett Johansson is Jewish on her mothers side, and was raised with basic observance of the Jewish Sabbath and other major holidays. She still considers herself Jewish, though hasnt gone much into detail about how observant she is, beyond continuing to celebrate Hanukkah.

Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones

Daughter of the legendary Quincy Jones and multi-talented actress, filmmaker and comic book writer Rashida Jones is Jewish in both heritage and practice. Through her mother, she can trace a Jewish heritage to both Russia and Latvia, and though she experimented with Hinduism in her teens, she practices Judaism now as an adult.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth (1)

Traditionally, Jewish heritage passes through the mother, so some dont consider actress Gwyneth Paltrow to be a true Jew her great-great-grandfather on her dads side was a Jewish Rabbi, and Paltrow raises her two kids in the Jewish tradition. Her personal commitment to the religion is unclear. The closest she has come to self-identifying with a particular religion or philosophy is her practice of Transcendental Meditation.

Isla Fisher

Isla Fisher

Australian actress Isla Fisher is a Jewish convert since before her marriage to comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. She admitted in an interview that she would have converted to any religion her husband practiced in order to be united in marriage fully with him. She completed conversion after three years of studying in 2007 and observes the Jewish Sabbath.

Sammy Davis Jr.

Sammy Davis Jr.

American entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. was raised Catholic, but converted to Judaism as an adult. He got into a serious car accident in 1954 that cost him his left eye. While recovering in the hospital, he started studying Judaism and completed his conversion several years later, in 1961.

Daniel Day-Lewis

Daniel Day-Lewis

Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the most selective and highly-regarded actors in Hollywood. His career, acting method and personal life are almost complete mysteries, as the actor rarely gives interviews or makes public appearances. Still, his mother, English actress Jill Balcon is Jewish, meaning that by heritage, so is he.

Dianna Agron

Dianna Agron

Glee star Dianna Agrons father comes from a Jewish family, and her mother converted to the religion. Agron herself was raised Jewish, attending Hebrew school and having a bat mitzvah. Though she is very politically active and supports various causes, she hasnt spoken much about her religious views, so its unclear whether or not she is still practicing.

Rachel Bilson

How Your Mother Met Me

Breakout star of The O.C., Rachel Bilson comes from a half Jewish/half Catholic upbringing. Born in Los Angeles, her father is Jewish while her mother is Catholic. Not technically a Jew by Orthodox standards, she doesnt talk much about her religious views or personal life, so whos to say whether she considers herself more Jewish or more Catholic.

Alex Clare

Alex Clare

British singer and songwriter Alex Clare has described his upbringing as very, very secular but he took the steps to become an Orthodox Jew in the mid-2000s. His adherence to the orthodoxy is such that he refuses to work, perform or travel on the Jewish Sabbath, and admits that such strict observance has cost him professionally.

Jamie Geller

Jamie Geller

Celebrity chef Jamie Geller was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home, and has embraced the religion both in her personal and professional life as an adult. Known as the Queen of Kosher, her cooking exclusively deals with kosher foods, but its no gimmick. She has been a committed, practicing Orthodox Jew all her life.

Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis

You might have known that Mila Kunis comes from a Jewish family, but you probably dont know her familys amazing story. Her Russian-Jewish parents were financially successful in the Ukraine, but left all of it behind with only $250 in their pockets when Mila was seven. The reason? They were fleeing antisemitism. Following the move, Milas parents were free to raise the actress and her siblings in the Jewish tradition.

11 Orthodox Jewish Celebrities
Alex Clare
Alex Clare is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 11 Orthodox Jewish Celebrities
Photo: Alex Clare/Twitter
British musician Alex Clare was raised in a secular household, but chose to became an Orthodox Jew as an adult. He will not work, travel, or perform on Shabbos or on Jewish holidays.

Age: 33

Birthplace: Southwark, London, England

see more on Alex Clare
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