Around 40 % of the Jewish population worldwide lives in the United States. The 6 million Jewish people make up only a small proportion of the approximately 320 million people living in US, but still a lot of Hollywood actors and actresses have a Jewish background.
Some of the Jewish Celebrities have only a Jewish mother but they still consider themselves as Jews. The possible reason behind that can be due to the beliefs in Rabbinic Judaism wherre “a Jew is anyone who was either born of a Jewish mother or who converted to Judaism in accordance with Jewish Law.”
However, Reconstructionist Judaism and the other larger denominations of worldwide Liberal or Reform Judaism accept the child as Jewish if one of the parents is Jewish.
Here is a list of famous Jewish actors:
1. Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson is the daugther of a Danish architect and a Jewish mother, who is originally from Poland. The famous actress also has a twin brother called Hunter, who was a campaign adviser for Barack Obamas election in 2008. Even though her father is not Jewish, the actress does identify with her mothers’ roots as she already claimed in several interviews.
Scarlett Johanssons’ husband is French journalist Romain Dauriac. The two have a baby girl called Rose.
Scarlett Johansson Movies:
Lost in Translation, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Avengers, Lucy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War
2. Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem under the surname Herslag. Her parents moved to New York when she was three years old, where she also attended a Jewish primary school. As she started to become famous with the movie “Leon the Professional”, Natalie did change her name to “Portman” to keep her family out of public.
Until today the actress hsa an Israeli and an US citizenship and is also fluent in Hebrew. Her husband, french dancer Benjamin Milleped, whom she met on set of “Black Swan”, converted to Judaism in 2014. The two have a son called Aleph.
Natalie Portman Movies:
Leon the Professional, The Other Boleyn Girl, Black Swan.
3. Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal’s father is Christian director Stephen Gyllenhaal, while his mother is of Russian Jewish origin. In an interview with the guardian, he revealed that at age 13, he had something like his barmitzvah, but “without the typical trappings” (January, 2011).
Jake Gyllenhaal’s sister is also a famous actress called Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Jake Gyllenhaal Movies:
Donnie Darko, Brokeback Mountain, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Southpaw
4. Mila Kunis
Mila Kunis was born in Ukraine, but both her parents moved to Los Angeles, because they (according to Kunis) didn’t see any future for their kids and had to fight with antisemitism in their homecountry.
Mia, her brother and her parents are Jewish. She once described herself as a bad Jew in terms of practicing, but wants to raise her daughter Jewish. Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher are married since 2015.
Mila Kunis movies and tv shows:
70s show, Black Swan, Jupiter Ascending
5. Shia LaBeouf
Shia LaBeouf is named after his grandfather (Shia means “Godgiven gift”). His mother is Jew and his father a Christian, but the actor feels more close to his mother’s religion. Nevertheless did he not only have a ‘Bar Mitzvah’, but is also baptized.
In 2007, he revealed in an interview with Cineplex, that religion made never sense to him.
Shia LaBeouf movies:
Disturbia, Transformers , Fury
6. Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler is of Russian Jewish origin, but was born in Brooklyn, New York City. He never talks much about his religion, but already played Jewish characters in movies like for example Zohan. When he grew up, Israeli soldiers have been his heroes. Adam Sandlers wife Jackie converted in 2000 to Judaism.
Adam Sandler Movies:
Big Daddy, Pixels
7. Harisson Ford
To the wonder of some people Indiana Jones star Harrison Ford is Jewish. His Catholic father is from Ireland, while his mother is from Russia and a Jew.
One of his statements in past was: “As a man I’ve always felt Irish, as an actor I’ve always felt Jewish”.
Harrison Ford Movies:
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Blade Runner, Star Wars, Air Force One
8. Daniel Radcliffe
Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe’s mother is Jewish, while his father is a Protestant. Even though he once stated, that he is not religious, he considers himself more as a Jew rather than a Protestant.
Daniel Radcliffe Movies:
Harry Potter 17, Victor Frankenstein
9. Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow is the child of actress Blythe Danner and director Bruce Paltrow. Her father was Jewish and her mom is Christian. Gwyneth grew up with both religions. She once even stated in an interview that she doesn’t believe in religion, but in spirituality.
According to her religion is the reason for all the problems in the world. In 2014, after her break up with husband Chris Martin, it became official that Gwyneth converted to Judaism. Already in 2011, when Gwyneth Paltrow’s kids were still very young, she stated, that she’s planning to raise them Jewish. Her sons name is Moses and her daughters’ name Apple.
Gwyneth Paltrow Movies:
Seven, Emma, Iron Man 3
10. Amanda Bynes
Amanda Bynes is a former teen actress and recently more or less known for her controversial twitter statements and arrests. Her mother is Jewish, while her father Catholic. She was raised with both religions and later on had the option to decide.
In an interview with interfaithfamily.com from 2007, she stated: “My father is a retired dentist. As far as religion, I was raised both. I learned about both [Judaism and Catholicism]. My parents said it was up to me to decide [which faith to adhere to] when I grew up. I’m sort of a spiritual person anyway. I believe in being morally correcttreating other people like you like to be treatedkarma…. I think there is something else going on.”
Amanda Bynes Movies:
Love Wrecked, Easy A
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