38 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Jewish

Most people know that superstars Gal Gadot and Barbra Streisand are Jewish, but did you know the following celebrities are also Jewish?

1. Mila Kunis

Photo of Mila Kunis at a press conference or red carpet.
(Gage Skidmore/CCBYSA2.0)

Mila is Jewish through and through.

Both her parents are Jewish, and Mila was raised in that faith. Even her DNA test stated that she is about 98% Ashkenazi Jew.

Mila was born in Ukraine, and when she was seven, she emigrated to the United States. She shot to fame by starring in the TV series That ’70s Show.

Mila is now married to actor Ashton Kutcher. She calls Ashton a ‘pseudo convert’ to Judaism because he celebrates the Jewish holidays, speaks and reads Hebrew, and has read the Torah (the Old Testament in Christian lingo) “a million times,” according to Mila.

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2. Sarah Michelle Gellar

Photo of Saah Michelle Gellar.
(Photo: Eric Sudias/CCBYSA2.0)

‘Buffy’ is Jewish too.

Both her parents are Jewish. Nevertheless, growing up, Sarah Michelle did have a Christmas tree because “it was pretty.”

Nowadays, Sarah does not believe in organized religion, so she is not a practicing Jew. She even has tattoos, which are a no-no for anyone hoping to be buried in a Jewish cemetery.

Aside from starring in the TV show ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ the actress has also appeared in movies like ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ and ‘Cruel Intentions.’

3. Paul Rudd

Photo of Paul Rudd. He is smiling at a press conference.
(Photo: Gage Skidmore/CCBYSA2.0)

Paul’s parents are from England, and they are both Jewish.

The original last name was Rudnitsky. Paul’s grandfather shortened it to Rudd.

Paul was born in New Jersey, US, and growing up, his household was not very religious. He does identify as Jewish, though.


He has said of being a Jew: “If you are, you are.” And also, “My whole family is Jewish; my wife, Julie [Yaeger], is Jewish. There isn’t anyone in my family who isn’t Jewish. I was bar mitzvahed Reform. We were pretty laid back, but it’s like, oh yeah, I went to synagogue. I know what it’s like to look for matzoh [laughs]. I know the culture and I know the food. I know what a Haggadah is!… We have a lineage that is so many thousands of years old, that you just relate. It is a tribe; it’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s my team,’ and I feel that for sure.

Since Paul’s wife is also Jewish, their kids are being raised in the Jewish culture.

Paul shot to fame when he appeared in the movie ‘Clueless’ along with Alicia Silverstone (who is also on this list). Nowadays you can see Paul in superhero movies playing Ant-Man.

4. Bar Refaeli

Photo of Bar Raphaeli glammed up on the red carpet.

Bar is a famous model. She is also famous for dating actor Leonardo DiCaprio back in the early 2000s.

All of Bar’s grandparents were European Jews that immigrated to Israel.

Bar was born in Israel and was raised in the Jewish faith. Her husband, too, is an Israeli Jew. They have three children.

(Photo: Georges Biard/CCBYSA3.0)

5. Kat Dennings

Photo of Kat Dennings on the red carpet.
(Photo: Benjamin Ellis/CCBYSA2.0)

Her original name is Katherine Litwack.

Kat has said of herself: “[I’m] a billion percent Jewish. I don’t think I have any relatives who aren’t Jewish.”

Indeed, all her great-grandparents were Jews. Most of them were from Russia, with one or two coming from Hungary.

So US-born Kat was raised in Judaism and grew up going to her friends’ bar mitzvahs.

She is not big on religion now, but she still considers herself culturally and ethnically a Jew. She says: “I’m proud to be Jewish.’

Kat has starred in movies like ‘Charlie Barlett’ and ‘Thor’, and she is one of the leads in the TV series ‘2 Broke Girls.’

6. Rande Gerber

A personal photo of Rande Gerber. He is hugging his son who is probably 5 years old or so.
(Photo: Rande Gerber’s Instagram)

Rande is a model-turned-businessman. A few years back, he launched a tequila brand called ‘Casamigos’ with his friend George Clooney. Rande was the one that ran the business. And things seem to have workout well. In 2017 the partners sold Casamigos… for about one billion dollars.

The former model is still surrounded by models. His wife is supermodel Cindy Crawford, and their children, Presley and Kaia, are now models too.


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Rande’s parents are Jewish, and Rande was raised in the Jewish faith. Since his wife is Christian, their children were brought up in both religions.

Rande’s daughter, Kaia, has said that her family celebrates both the Jewish and Christian holidays: “We’d do Passover, Passover dinner, and Yom Kippur. I love learning all of that -and learning the cooking.”

7. Gabriel Macht

Photo of Gabriel Macht. He is at a press conference, wearing a gray suit. He has light brown hair, he is tanned, he has small eyes, and a strong jaw.

The ‘Suits’ star is also 100% Jewish.

All of Gabriel’s grandparents are Jewish. His grandfather was born in Ukraine; his grandmother was born in Russia. His other grandparents were born in the US to European Jews.

Gabriel was born in the Bronx, New York, and was, unsurprisingly, raised Jewish. His father is even a Jewish chaplain.

(Photo: Genevieve/CCBY2.0)

8. Madeleine Albright

Photo of Madeleine Albright. She is sitting on a couch and holding a book.
(Photo: Brinacor/CCBYSA4.0)

The former US Secretary of State has an interesting story. Madeleine was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Her birth name was Marie Jana Korbelova.

When she was about two, Madeleine’s parents converted from Judaism to Catholicism. So Madeleine and her younger siblings were raised Catholics. Their parents never told them they were Jewish.

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The family fled their home country twice. First, when it was invaded by the Nazis, then when the Communists came to power. So, growing up, Madeleine lived in Czechoslovakia, England, Yugoslavia, and Switzerland. And when she was about 11, the family permanently left Europe and relocated to the US.

Madeleine eventually married Joseph Albright and converted to the Episcopal Church for him. And following her father’s footsteps, she became a diplomat. When she was 59, she became the US Secretary of State.

In 1997, ‘The Washington Post’ published a profile about the new Secretary. It included information about her early years in Europe and her Jewish family. And that is how, through the paper, Madeleine found out that she was Jewish.

She had always known that many of her relatives died during WWII, including three of her grandparents. But she hadn’t known that they died in concentration camps.

Madeleine has now embraced her Jewish roots. She says: “I’m very proud of my Czechoslovak background… My identity, the way I describe it now, [is]: I am an American… I came from Jewish heritage, I was a Roman Catholic, I am a practicing Episcopalian…”

To come full circle, Madeleine’s daughter married into a Jewish family.

9. Emmanuel Lubezki

Photo of Emmanuel Lubezki backstage at the Oscars. He is holding an Oscar in his hand.
(Photo: Walt Disney Television/CCBYND2.0)

Emmanuel has won the Oscar three times for cinematography with the movies ‘Gravity’ (2013), ‘Birdman’ (2014), and ‘The Revenant’ (2015). He also won the Bafta for those films. And he has had 5 more Oscar nominations for ‘The Tree of Life,’ ‘Children of Men,’ ‘The New World,’ ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ and ‘A Little Princess.’

Emmanuel, a Director of Photography, is famous for using natural light and making long, uncut takes. The combo tends to make the spectator feel inside the movie.

Emmanuel’s paternal grandparents are Jews; one from Russia, the other from Lithuania. They immigrated to Mexico separately. And years later, they met for the first time in Mexico.

So Emmanuel’s dad, Muni, was born in Mexico. Muni studied psychiatry. And he married a fellow Mexican-born Jew, economist Raquel Morgenstern.

Thus, Emmanuel is Jewish on all sides. And he, too, was born and raised in Mexico.

10. Alicia Silverstone

Photo of Alicia Silverstone smiling in her backyard.
(Photo: Alicia Silverstone’s Instagram)

Alicia became a celebrity after she starred in the movie ‘Clueless.’

The actress was born in California to British parents. Her dad is an English Jew, and her mom was a Scottish Christian. Before they got married, her mom converted to Judaism.

Alicia has said she “was reared in a traditional Jewish household. We lit candles Friday night and had seders. My brother David and I went to Hebrew school and had our bar mitzvahs. I have wonderful memories of my bat mitzvah.”

Nowadays Alicia credits Judaism for turning her “into who I am today.”

Fun fact? Both leads of the movie ‘Clueless’ are Jewish (Alicia and Paul Rudd).


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11. Eric Dane

Photo of Eric Dane posing outdoors.
(Photo: Eric Dane’s Instagram)

Eric was hired to play Dr. Mark ‘McSteamy’ Sloane during one episode of ‘Gray’s Anatomy,’ the TV series. But the fans of the show fell in love with his character, so the actor ended up appearing in 140 episodes as a regular.

Eric’s non-Jewish dad died when he was seven. Thus, Eric was raised by his Jewish and religious mom. Eric had a bar mitzvah.

Eric says he was not very observant as a kid, but that now he “celebrates everything” because he wants his two daughters to get to know his religion.

12. Yael Grobglas

Yael during a press conference.
(Photo: iDominick/CCBYSA2.0)

Yael loves to mark the Jewish holidays on Instagram. She even writes the occasional phrase in Hebrew. That does not surprise her fans since Yael grew up in Israel.

Her dad is a Jew from France and her mom was a Christian from Austria. Her mom converted to Judaism. So Yael was born in a Jewish household in France.

When she was about two, the family immigrated to Israel.

In her teens, Yael began acting and became known in Israel for her roles in TV and films. And in 2014, she relocated to California, in the US, after being cast as Petra, the lovable villain in the TV show ‘Jane the Virgin.’

Yael is now married to her high school sweetheart, Artem Kroupenev. He is an Israeli businessman and a practicing Jew.

13. Adam Levine

Adam Levine on the red carpet.
(Photo: Walt Disney Television/CCBYND2.0)

Adam is the frontman of pop band ‘Maroon 5.’ He has also been a judge on ‘American Idol’ several seasons.

Three of Adam’s grandparents were Jewish. Yet his family is not particularly religious. Adam’s mom is not a practicing Jew. Only his dad -the one with both Jewish parents- practices the religion.

And religion was never forced on Adam. His father even allowed him to choose if he wanted to have a bar mitzvah like his friends. Adam chose not to have one.

Adam may not be religious, but he has self-identified as Jewish in several interviews.


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14. Drake

Drake celebrates his Jewish roots in this music video.

Super famous rapper Drake was raised Jewish, courtesy of his mom.

His Canadian mom descends from Lithuanian and Russian Jews. While his dad is a black musician from the United States.

Drake was born in Canada; his parents divorced when he was five. Drake and his mom went to live in the house of his maternal uncle. So Drake grew up in an affluent Jewish neighborhood in Toronto and attended a public school frequented by Jewish kids.


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Drake had a small bar mitzvah because his mom’s financial situation was tight. But he promised himself that if he became rich, he would celebrate another more splendid one. In 2012, he did. The video for his song ‘HYFR’ shows an adult Drake and his friends celebrating his re-bar mitzvah (the video is above). It even includes shots inside a Miami synagogue.

In 2017, Drake also threw a bar mitzvah-themed birthday party. Needless to say, Drake identifies as a Jew.

He has described himself as a “Canadian, black Jewish rapper.” And has said: “[I’m] Proud to be Jewish… I celebrate holidays with my family.”

Some of his lyrics also talk about his Jewishness (“I flow tight like I was born Jewish/Well, actually I was born Jewish”). And he has stated his mom wants him to marry a “nice Jewish girl.”

15. Amanda Peet

Photo of Amanda Peet on the red carpet.
(Photo: Mingle Media TV/ CCBYSA2.0)

Like Drake, Amanda only has one Jewish parent: her mom. Her dad is a Quaker. Amanda has described her upbringing in New York as being “a little bit Jewish” and a “little bit Quaker.”

She married David Benioff, the co-creator of the Game of Thrones TV show, who is fully Jewish. So their three kids are being raised Jewish and with David’s real last name: Friedman.

A few years back, the kids were asking a lot of questions about Christmas, like if they could have a tree and if Santa was going to visit their home. “They felt left out, as I think most Jewish children do, and I was exploring different ways to make sense of it,” Amanda said. So she decided to write a children’s book that addressed those questions. And she penned ‘Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein.’ In it, a Jewish girl learns about other cultures and her own.

Amanda has identified as Jewish in several interviews. When in a TV appearance she was asked how she ate her chocolate Easter bunnies, she replied: “Guys, I’m Jewish. So this is really unfamiliar for me.” Another time she was playing tennis with the interviewer and was having a hard time at getting the hang of it, so she quipped: “Flow states are very difficult for Ashkenazi Jews.”

Amanda became famous when she starred in the TV show ‘Jack and Jill.’ Then she moved on to make Hollywood movies and other TV series.

16. Charlie Puth

Photo of Charlie Puth with a friend.
Charlie is the one on the right. (Photo: Charlie Puth’s Instagram)

Charlie and Wiz Kalifa’s song ‘See You Again‘ is among the most watched on YouTube. It has more than 5 billion views. And another of Charlie’s songs, a collaboration with Selena Gomez, ‘We don’t talk anymore,‘ has more than 2 billion views on YouTube.

The musician is from New Jersey, in the US, and he grew up with a Jewish mom and a Catholic dad. He attended a Catholic school. In an interview, he talked about his mom fondly calling her “My Jewish mother.”

In 2019, Charlie did a sketch with TV show host James Corden. In it, Charlie was part of a boy band called ‘Boyz II Menorahs,’ along with other Jewish entertainers. That was an allusion to Judaism since menorahs are a Jewish symbol. But soon after the sketch aired, Charlie tweeted: “Fun fact, I’m not even Jewish.”

So although he acknowledges his Jewish background, Charlie does not seem to practice Judaism or to identify as Jewish.

17. Daniel Day-Lewis

This three-time Oscar winner is considered one of the best actors in the world.

Daniel was born in England, and he comes from a creative family. His dad, Cecil Day-Lewis, was a poet laureate -and the son of an Anglican minister. Daniel’s mom was an English, Jewish actress.

Daniel went to a boarding school in Kent and, apparently, did not have a religious upbringing.

The actor married someone with a similar background to his: Rebecca Miller.

Rebecca, too, is the daughter of a famous literary man: playwright Arthur Miller. Arthur was Jewish, making Rebecca half-Jewish too. Yet, like Daniel, she grew up in a secular household. She even went to a stint of being a practicing Catholic during her teenage years. But later on wrote a novel, ‘Jacob’s Folly,’ about a Jewish man living in 18th century Paris.

The couple now lives in Ireland and has two children. According to Rebecca, the kids are not being raised in any faith.


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18. Sean Penn

Photo of Sean Penn.
(Photo: World Humanitarian Summit/CCBYND2.0)

Another celebrated actor. Sean Penn has won two Academy Awards for acting (‘Mystic River’ and ‘Milk’).

Like Daniel, Sean is half-Jewish, although his Jewishness comes from his dad’s side.

Both of Sean’s paternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants. They left Russia and Lithuania and relocated to the US. His grandad’s original name was Moische Pinon. The last name was later changed to Penn.

But on his mom’s side, there is no Judaism whatsoever. Sean’s mom is a Catholic.

Sean was not raised in any religion. And nowadays the actor, who descends from rabbis, is agnostic.

19. P!nk

Photo of Pink with one of her kids.
P!nk with her kid. (Photo: P!nk’s Instagram)

Did you have any inkling that singer-songwriter P!nk was Jewish? She is, through her mom. And Pink self-identifies as a Jew.

On an Instagram post she called herself: “I, a Jewish woman.” And in an interview, the US singer said: “My mom, she’s like that typical Jewish mother…”

Her dad, on the other hand, is Catholic.

P!nk did not have a religious upbringing, and she still isn’t religious. She married motocross competitor Carey Hart. They are raising her two kids in a similar way that she was raised: with an awareness of their Jewish heritage but without the religious components.

P!nk -real name Alecia Moore- posted a photo of their kids on Instagram with the caption: “These two children are in actuality Jewish, as am I and the entirety of my mother’s family.”

20. Sara Paxton

Photo of Sara Paxton.
(Photo: Greg Eichelberger/CCBYSA3.0)

Sara’s breakout role was as a teenager mermaid in the movie ‘Aquamarine.’

The actress is a practicing Jew. She has said that religion is important to her: “It [Judaism] is family… It is memories… It [religion] helps people believe that there is something greater than their lives; it helps us not to be so self-centered.”

Sara is Jewish via her mom, Lucia Menchaca Zuckerman. Lucia was born in Mexico into a Jewish family. Her ancestors have been in Mexico for a few generations. They originally hail from the Netherlands, Germany, and Spain.

Sara’s dad is from the US and converted to Judaism shortly before marrying Lucia. So Sara was raised in the US in a Jewish household.

21. Harrison Ford

Photo of Harrison Ford.
Harrison and his wife Calista Flockhart. (Photo: Mireille Ampilhac/CCBYSA2.0)

The beloved US actor, who was appeared in iconic movies like ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones,’ is also half-Jewish.

His maternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Belarus.

Harrison, though, was raised Catholic like his dad.

Harrison has explained his ethnicity in interviews. On ‘Inside the Actors Studio,’ he said: “As a man, I’ve always felt Irish; as an actor, I’ve always felt Jewish.”

And when a journalist from the newspaper ‘The Guardian’ asked him if he had any tattoos, Harrison answered: “No, I couldn’t because then I wouldn’t be able to be buried in the Jewish cemetery. I’m half Jewish. My mother. And that’s the half that makes you Jewish. [Traditionally, Jewishness is passed down exclusively through the mother. Only a more recent branch of Judaism, Reform Judaism, considers that either parent can pass their Jewishness to the children.]

22. Lenny Kravitz

Photo of Lenny Kravitz playing guitar and singing on stage.
(Photo: Larry Darling/CCBY2.0)

Lenny embraces both sides of his family tree. Through his dad, he is Russian Jewish, and through his mom, he is black. Lenny’s birth name is Leonard Kravitz.


The rockstar has said that his family was not religious, but that he did grow up immersed in Jewish traditions.

“As with many Jews in my family at the time, it was all about tradition and keeping that alive, especially after what people in the family had gone through in World War II. But I still got exposed to it, from going to temple and spending the High Holidays with my family at their houses,” Lenny has stated.

Lenny was close to his Jewish grandparents. According to his memoir: “I was just a happy-go-lucky kid hanging out in my grandma’s kitchen eating kasha varnishkes [a Jewish dish].”

As a child, Lenny wanted to have a bar mitzvah like his cousins, so he attended Hebrew school. Then he felt self-conscious because he was the only black kid there. He dropped out without having the celebration. “But that didn’t keep me away from Jewish tradition,” explains Lenny. “Grandma Jean and Grandpa Joe always had us over for the holidays.”

Lenny frequently speaks about his cultural Jewishness. But religion-wise, he identifies as a Christian.

One of Lenny’s first girlfriends was Jewish, and his ex-wife, actress Lisa Bonet, is also half-Jewish.

23. Goldie Hawn

Photo of Goldie Hawn.
(Photo: Alan Light/CCBY2.0)

Goldie was raised Jewish. And she has said about her Jewish mom: “My mother was the kind of person who was very much part of her tribe [Jews].”

Yet, Goldie’s upbringing was not religiously restrictive. Since her dad was a Presbyterian, she would sometimes attend a Presbyterian church. She would also go to Catholic mass with her Catholic best friend.

Furthermore, since the 1970s, Goldie has followed Buddhism.

Goldie may not be a practicing Jew, but she does emphasize her strong connection to the cultural aspects of Judaism: “When you have a Jewish mother who has a very strong Jewish family, it’s very ethnic in its practices. Eating brisket, the food and the family and the interconnectedness for better or worse. The intertwining of the family is a big part of the Jewish way of life…” And she passed on those traditions and way of life to her own kids. So much so that her daughter, actress Kate Hudson, considers herself a nonpracticing Jew.

Goldie won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in ‘Cactus Flower.’ She has also appeared in several popular movies such as ‘The First Wives Club.’

24. Amy Schumer

Amy on the red carpet with her sister.
Amy is the one on the right. (Photo: Walt Disney Television/CCBYND2.0)

Amy grew up in a Jewish household, attended Hebrew school, and had a bat mitzvah in Long Island, New York. She identifies as Jewish, saying she feels more Jewish than anything else.

Plenty of her heroes growing up were Jewish comedians, like Joan Rivers and Goldie Hawn. And a few years back, Amy fulfilled a dream when she starred in a movie, ‘Snatched,’ alongside Goldie.

Ethnically, Amy is half Jewish, via her dad’s family. But her mom converted to Judaism before marrying.

25. Scarlett Johansson

Photo of Scarlett.
(Photo: Angela George/CCBYSA3.0)

Scarlett describes herself as Jewish.

She was not raised in a particularly religious household. But since her mom is a New York Jew, Scarlett grew up celebrating the major Jewish holidays like Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, and Passover, plus observing the Shabbat (Saturday, a rest day).

In an interview with an Israeli journalist, Scarlet stated: “I am Jewish, yes.” And: “My grandmother can speak Yiddish. I only know some phrases from her. But I wish I could speak Yiddish.” Yiddish is the language Ashkenazi Jews spoke in Europe before WWII.

Scarlett took a DNA test for a TV show, and the result came back describing her background pretty accurately. According to the test, the actress is 49% Jewish and 51% European (her dad is Danish).

26. Timothee Chalamet

Photo of Timothee Chalamet.
(Photo: Somewhere In Toronto/CCBYSA2.0)

Timothee is another actor that describes himself as Jewish. Like Scarlett, he has a Jewish mom and a Protestant European dad. His dad is French.

Timothee was raised in New York celebrating Jewish holidays. And he spent his summers in France, visiting his grandparents.

He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor when he was just 22 for his performance in the movie ‘Call Me By Your Name.’ His co-star in the film? Armie Hammer, who also has Jewish ancestors.

27. Jake Gyllenhaal

Photo of Jake Gyllenhaal.
(Photo: John Bauld/CCBY2.0)

If the ‘Gyllenhaal’ bit throws one off from Jake’s Jewishness, his given names make it clearer.

His full name is Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal. And his maternal grandparents are Samuel Achs and Ruth Silbowitz.

Jake’s mom is Jewish, and his dad is not. He was raised loosely Jewish. Jake celebrated his bar mitzvah at 13. And he has described himself as Jewish in several interviews.

Since his parents are both in the movie industry, Jake grew up surrounded by actors and directors. Paul Newman taught him how to drive. And Dustin Hoffman and Jamie Lee Curtis were among the family friends. We singled out those three because they also happen to be Jewish.

When Jake was eleven, he got his first role in a movie. He played the son of Billy Cristal (Billy is Jewish) in ‘City Slickers.’ He then went on to star in ‘Donnie Darko,’ ‘Zodiac’ (with fellow Jew Robert Downey Jr.), and ‘Brokeback Mountain.’ He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Brokeback.


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28. Lisa Bonet

Photo of Lisa Bonet with her husband. They are outdoors.
(Photo: Jason Momoa’s Instagram)

Lisa stole hearts when she appeared in ‘The Cosby Show.’ She played Denise Huxtable, the edgy, cool daughter of the Huxtable family.

In real life, Lisa has a Jewish mom and a black dad. Her parents divorced when she was a baby, so she was brought up by her Jewish mom in California.

Of her parents, the actress has said: “Both of my parents would say they were atheists, so where I inherited my connection to God I don’t know. But it’s natural. No Bible, no Torah, just the love religion.” She is not religiously Jewish, but she does consider herself Jewish.

Her first husband was rocker Lenny Kravitz (who is on this list on the spot #22). Together, they have daughter Zoe Kravitz, who describes herself as a secular Jew and who married a Jewish man.

29. Jennifer Connelly

Picture of Jennifer.
(Photo: Karon Liu/CCBY2.0)

Jennifer is considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood and a great actress.

She starred in the tense drama ‘Requiem for a Dream’ and in ‘A Beautiful Mind,’ with Russell Crowe.

Jennifer jokes she grew up with a “double dose of guilt” since her mom is Jewish and her dad is a Catholic (outsiders joke both religions overemphasize sin and repentance).

Nevertheless, Jennifer has also said that “I wasn’t brought up with any religion at all.”

And, nowadays, the US actress is not affiliated with any religion.

30. Chris Pine

Photo of Chris Pine.
(Photo: Spc. Howard Ketter/Public domain)

Chris has only one Jewish grandparent, his maternal grandad, Max Goldfarb.

Max was born in New York to Russian Jewish immigrants.

So Chris’ mom is only partly Jewish. Chris has not talked about his religious upbringing -if he had any-, or if his household was culturally Jewish. But he did attend what in an interview he called a “liberal Jewish school in the Valley,” in California.

Whatever his upbringing may have been, nowadays ‘The Star Trek’ and ‘Into the Woods’ actor is not religious. He has stated: “I am probably agnostic.”

31. Gwyneth Paltrow

Photo of Gwyneth Paltrow signing an autograph.
(Photo: Michael Mayer/CCBY2.0)

Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow has referred to her Jewish roots in several interviews. Her beloved father descended from a famous Jewish family of rabbis, the Paltrowicz from Poland.


One of Gwyneth’s ancestors is Rabbi David Ben Samuel Ha-Levi. He lived in the 17th century and was an authority in Jewish law. Gwyneth descends from 17 generations of rabbis.

Of the impressive lineage, Gwyneth said in jest to an interviewer from the newspaper ‘The Guardian’: “Like, 17 generations of rabbis. You see, I really am a Jewish princess!” And in another interview, she said: “I come from a real rabbinical dynasty, and it couldn’t help but have fashioned my life. It’s given me so much inner peace and inner strength.”

Since her mother, actress Blythe Danner, is Christian, Gwyneth was brought up in both religions. She considers that was “such a nice way to grow up.” So nice, that she too is raising her children -one of whom is called Moses- in both traditions.

In an interview with USA Today, she said: “We just finished Hanukkah. And my kids are great. Their Hebrew singing is really getting there. And we do Christmas. I believe in everything. I love all the traditions.”

She has also said of herself: “Creating a meal for my family and friends, sitting together, eating, laughing and talking, that’s when I’m happy. Oh my God, if you saw the amount of food that I do. I am the original Jewish mother.”

Gwyneth is said to be a follower of Kabbalah, a mystical branch of Judaism. And in 2018, she married her second husband, Brad Falchuk, who is Jewish.

About her faith, Gwyneth says: “Judaism is something you can’t brush off with a quick answer, It’s part of who I am and what I’ve become. It’s something you need to sit down and talk about for a long time to really understand how much it meant to me in shaping my life.”

Oh! And her godfather is ultra-famous movie director Steven Spielberg -who in case you didn’t know, is Jewish.

32. Joan Collins

Photo of Joan Collins with two friends at an event.
Stephanie Beacham, Joan Collins, and Emma Samms. Emma is also Jewish. (Photo: Immortal-truth/CCBY3.0)

Joan was the ultimate TV villain in the ’80s, when she played ex-wife Alexis Carrington in ‘Dynasty.’

Joan was born in London to a British mom and a South African dad. They had different religions. “Mum was Church of England, Daddy was Jewish, but we weren’t religious at all. We didn’t celebrate at all. I do feel Jewish, but I feel Christian as well,” Joan explains.

She has also said: “Oh yes, I am half Jewish. My father had two sisters, my Jewish aunts. Lalla and Pauline.” And when one of her daughters was seriously ill, Joan says: “I did ask a rabbi for guidance… and a Buddhist monk, and a Catholic priest as well.”

Two of Joan’s five husbands have been Jewish: Anthony Newly and Ron Kass. She had children with both.

One of her daughters married a Jewish man and became ultra Jewish, which Joan found humorous: “She wished me happy Chanukah the other day… She absolutely is completely into it. She does all the holidays and goes to kabbalah meetings five or six times a year.”

33. David Beckham

Photo of David Beckham.
(Photo: AlexRoig2016/CCBYSA4.0)

The English soccer player identifies as half-Jewish.

His maternal grandad, Joseph, was Jewish. And David was very close to him and considered him his inspiration.

David’s maternal grandmom, meanwhile, came from an English family.

Yet, David has said that both his maternal grandparents were Jewish. So she may have converted officially or unofficially: “My grandparents – my mom’s parents – they’re Jewish.”

On other occasions, he has talked only about his grandad’s Judaism: “My grandfather was Jewish, that was on my mother’s side. So yes, I do see myself [as Jewish]. I was never brought up Jewish, but like I said, my grandfather was. And everytime we went to synagogue, I was part of that.”

In his autobiography, he has also written “I’ve probably had more contact with Judaism than with any other religion.”

And during an interview with ‘The Guardian,’ David said: “It’s always nice to be loved and liked… I get that from the gay community around the world, from the black community, and the Jewish community because I’m half Jewish.”


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David sometimes wears a necklace with the Star of David, which is a Jewish symbol. And his oldest son, Brooklyn, is engaged to Nicola Peltz, who comes from a fully Jewish family.

Now, Jews are not supposed to have tattoos, and David Beckham is covered in them. In what may seem like a contradiction to purists, one of the tattoos quotes a passage of the Bible, in Hebrew. It is from the Song of Songs and translates to: “I am my beloved’s, my beloved is mine.” He has other Biblical passages tattooed along with Chinese proverbs, words in Sanskrit and Latin, and… images of Jesus.

34. Bruno Mars

Photo of Bruno Mars.
Bruno is the one on the right. (Photo: Bruno Mars’ Instagram)

Bruno, real name Peter Hernandez, is quite multicultural. So let’s unwrap his ancestry.

His mom is from the Philippines (in Asia). She has Native Filipino, Spanish, and perhaps Chinese blood.

Bruno’s dad was born in New York, and his parents were of different ethnicities. His dad was Puerto Rican (of undisclosed race or races). While his mom was a Jew of Hungarian/Ukrainian descent.

So Bruno’s dad self-identifies as Jewish.

He and his wife met in Hawaii, where Bruno was born.

That makes Bruno 25% Jewish. He doesn’t talk much about that side of his ancestry. But he has stated he has Jewish heritage. And maybe hinting at it, he named one of his albums ‘Unorthodox Jukebox.’

35. Zac Efron

Photo of Zac Efron.
(Photo: Liam Mendes/CCBYSA2.0)

On a sketch on Comedy Central, Zac Efron said: “Here is a bombshell: I’m Jewish.”

And in real life, Zac does identify as an agnostic Jew.

His Jewishness comes through his paternal grandad, Harold Efron. The pair is close, with the actor calling his grandad “my hero” on Twitter.

Harold’s parents were Jewish immigrants from Poland.

Zac, born and raised in California, shot to fame with the TV movie ‘High School Musical’ and became a teen idol.

Since then, he has starred in movies like ’17 Again’ and ‘The Greatest Showman.’

36. Mandy Moore

Photo of Mandy Moore.
(Photo: Walt Disney Television/CCBYND2.0)

The US actress and singer also has one Jewish grandparent: her maternal grandad Julian Leonard Friedman.

Mandy grew up Catholic, attended a Catholic school, and was quite attached to her religion. In recent years, though, she has drifted away from Catholicism.

Mandy has a thing for Jewish guys. Most of her ex-boyfriends are Jewish, and so is her husband, Taylor Goldsmith. She told ‘Elle’ magazine: “I like a good Jewish boy with a sense of humor.”

All in all, Mandy seems to self-identify as a Catholic with Jewish ancestry. Once, she said: “I want to learn about a different religion. I grew up Catholic, but my grandfather was Jewish. Knowledge about other religions can help you understand your own better.”

37. Louis C.K.

Photo of Louis CK on the red carpet.
(Photo: David Shankbone/CCBY3.0)

The stand-up comedian is also 25% Jewish. His birth name is Louis Szekely.

His paternal grandfather, Geza Szekely Schweitzer, was a Hungarian Jew. He migrated to Mexico. There, he met Louis’ grandmother, who stems from a wealthy family of Spanish descent. Her family has been living in Mexico for generations.

So Louis’ dad, Luis, was born in Mexico and was raised Catholic.

Luis later attended Harvard, the university in the US, and met a Catholic American. The duo married, had Louis, and headed back to Mexico. Louis was brought up in Mexico as a Catholic.

But then a plot twist. After Louis’ parents divorced, his dad, who is half Jewish, married a Jewish woman and converted to Judaism.

Louis has been living in the US since he is about 8, and has talked about his Jewish roots in interviews.


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38. Lily Collins

Snow White is also part Jewish.

Lily played Snow White in the movie ‘Mirror, Mirror,’ alongside Julia Roberts. And she stars on Netflix’s hit show ‘Emily in Paris.’

Lily was born in England, where her father -singer Phil Collins- is from. And she was raised in the US, where her mom is from. Her Jewishness comes from her maternal grandad.

Lily does not talk about her religion or her political affiliations, so there is no telling if she had a Jewish upbringing.

There are plenty more people with Jewish roots in the celebrity world.

Here are a few others: Eva Green, Kat Graham, Barbara Walters, Maya Rudolph, Michael Douglas, Bob Dylan, Joaquin Phoenix, Ivanka Trump (converted to Judaism), Zooey Deschanel (converted to Judaism), Isla Fischer (converted), Armie Hammer, Sophie Okonedo, Rashida Jones, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Michael Vartan, Rachel Weisz, Dianna Agron, Matthew Broderick, Josh Bowman, Mark Cuban, Kirsten Stewart, Pete Sampras, Andrew Garfield, Lisa Kudrow, Nikki Reed, Lauren Becall, Robert Downey Jr., Jessica Biel, Rachel Bilson, Winona Ryder, Elizabeth Banks, Ellen Barkin, James Caan, Kelly Osborne, Stella McCartney, Romola Garai, and Chelsea Handler.

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2021-06-23
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