(The menora with the Star of David)
When you think of Jewish celebrities, there are probably a lot that instantly come to mind, like Adam Sandler, Mel Brooks, Mayim Bialik, and Natalie Portman, to name a few. However, there are plenty of other Jewish celebrities that you may not realize were raised Jewish.
1) Paula Abdul
Paula Abdul, famous pop musician known for her song “Opposites Attract,” was born in California to Jewish parents. Abdul’s father, Harry Abdul, was Syrian Jewish and was raised in Brazil before moving to the United States. Her mother, the concert pianist Lorraine M. Rykiss, grew up in one of the two Jewish families in Minnedosa, Manitoba in Canada, and has Ashkenazi Jewish roots.
2) Alexa Bliss
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Superstar and current Raw Women’s Champion Alxea Bliss is well known for being a fiery champion women’s wrestler but she was raised in a Jewish home and her parents are Ashkenazi Jews. She was actually not allowed to watch Professional Wrestling as a child, but her parents say that they are very proud of her and what she has accomplished.
3) Amanda Bynes
Nickelodeon star Amanda Bynes was born in California to a Catholic dad and Jewish mom. In 2007, Bynes described her relationship to religion, stating: “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 haven’t decided yet on a religion. I don’t know yet exactly what I believe.”
4) Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley is known as the King of Rock and Roll, but he also has some Jewish blood in him. According to a third cousin of Presley, one of Elvis’s mother’s great-grandmothers was Jewish.
In addition, Elvis’s maternal grandmother was supposedly Jewish, making him Jewish in the eyes of Jewish law. Elvis also gave money to Jewish charities and had a Jewish star engraved on his mother’s tombstone when she died.
5) Daniel Radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe, an English actor who is best known for playing boy wizard Harry Potter, has a Jewish mother who was born in South Africa.
While Radcliffe did not grow up particularly religious, he considers himself a Jew and has said that he is “very proud of being Jewish.”
6) David Beckham
David Beckham is an English former professional soccer player. Beckham’s maternal grandfather was Jewish, and Beckham considers himself “half-Jewish.”
Beckham also wrote in his autobiography, “I’ve probably had more contact with Judaism than with any other religion.
7) Rashida Jones
Most famous for her TV appearance on “Parks and Recreation,” actress and writer Jones was born in California (like many on this list) to actress Peggy Lipton and musician and record producer Quincy Jones. Jones’ mother is Ashkenazi Jewish; she was raised in Reform Judaism by her mother. While she attended Hebrew school at a young child, she left at the age of 10 and did not have a bat mitzvah.
8) Emmy Rossum
Singer-songwriter and actress Emmy Rossum, famous for “Phantom of the Opera,” was born in New York City to her photographer mom Cheryl Rossum, who is a Russian Jew, and her Protestant dad (who she has only met twice as of 2007). In the past, Rossum has stated that her mother instilled a “Jewish code of ethics and morals” in her.