10 Celebrities You Never Knew Were Jewish: The Surprising Facts Revealed!

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You probably know that some of the most famous celebrities in Hollywood are Jewish, such as Natalie Portman, Gal Gadot and Steven Spielberg. But did you know that there are many other stars who have Jewish roots or practice Judaism? Here are 10 surprising celebrities who are Jewish, either by birth, conversion, or affiliation.

1. Adam Levine

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The lead singer of Maroon 5 and judge on The Voice is proud of his Jewish heritage. He was born to a Jewish father and a Protestant mother, and had a bar mitzvah when he was 13. He has a Star of David tattoo on his left arm and has visited Israel several times.

2. Pink

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The pop star, whose real name is Alecia Beth Moore, has a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. She was raised in both faiths, but identifies more with Judaism. She told Glamour magazine in 2013 that she was “a Jewish-Irish Catholic girl who likes Guinness”. She also named her daughter Willow Sage Hart after her Jewish grandmother.

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3. Dustin Hoffman

The Oscar-winning actor is one of the most respected and versatile performers in Hollywood. He was born to Jewish parents who immigrated from Romania and Ukraine, and grew up in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in Los Angeles. He had a bar mitzvah and attended Hebrew school as a child. He has said that his Jewish identity has influenced his choice of roles, such as playing Holocaust survivor Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman.

4. Daniel Day-Lewis

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The acclaimed actor, who has won three Academy Awards for Best Actor, is known for his method acting and his dedication to his craft. He was born in London to a Jewish father and an Anglo-Irish mother. His father, Cecil Day-Lewis, was a poet laureate of the United Kingdom and a descendant of Lithuanian Jews. His mother, Jill Balcon, was an actress and a daughter of Michael Balcon, a prominent film producer.

5. Rashida Jones

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The actress, writer, and producer is best known for her roles in The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Angie Tribeca. She is also the daughter of legendary musician Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton. She was born to a Jewish mother and an African-American father, and grew up practicing Reform Judaism. She had a bat mitzvah and visited Israel as a teenager. She has said that she feels “a strong connection to my Jewish roots”.

6. Harrison Ford

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The iconic actor, who has starred in blockbuster franchises such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones, has a complex religious background. He was born to a Catholic father and a Jewish mother, and was raised without any formal religious education. He has said that he feels “Irish as a person but I feel Jewish as an actor”. He has also expressed support for Israel and participated in several Jewish causes.

7. Bob Dylan

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The legendary singer-songwriter, who has influenced generations of musicians with his poetic lyrics and distinctive voice, was born Robert Zimmerman to Jewish parents in Duluth, Minnesota. He had a bar mitzvah and attended Hebrew school as a child. He later changed his name to Bob Dylan, inspired by poet Dylan Thomas. He has explored various religious traditions throughout his life, including Christianity and Kabbalah.

8. David Bowie

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David Bowie was one of the most influential and innovative musicians of all time, known for his constant reinvention and experimentation with different genres and personas. But did you know that he also had a Jewish heritage?

According to his biographer, Paul Trynka, Bowie’s mother, Peggy Burns, was born to a Jewish family in London’s East End. Her parents were Robert and Zillah Burns, who had changed their surname from Blau to avoid anti-Semitism. Peggy married Haywood Stenton Jones, Bowie’s father, in 1947 and converted to Christianity, but she never completely abandoned her Jewish roots. She often took Bowie to visit his Jewish relatives and exposed him to Jewish culture and music. Bowie himself was fascinated by Judaism and even considered converting at one point in his life. He also incorporated Jewish themes and references in some of his songs, such as “Station to Station” and “Lazarus”. Bowie once said that he felt a strong connection to his Jewish ancestry and that it influenced his artistic vision and identity.

9. Gwyneth Paltrow

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The actress, lifestyle guru, and entrepreneur is also a convert to Judaism. She was born to a Jewish father and a Christian mother, and grew up celebrating both religions. She is also a follower of Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism. In 2014, she announced that she was converting to Judaism to properly claim her Jewish status, which is descended maternally.

10. Scarlett Johansson

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Scarlett Johansson is one of the most famous and successful actresses in Hollywood, known for her roles in films like The Avengers, Lost in Translation, and Marriage Story. But did you know that she is also Jewish? Johansson was born in New York City to a Danish father and a Jewish mother, who is a descendant of Polish and Belarusian Jews. Johansson has said that she identifies as Jewish and celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah. She has also expressed her support for Israel and visited the country several times. In 2018, she was honored with the Genesis Prize, which is awarded to individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professional fields, and who inspire others through their engagement and dedication to the Jewish community and/or the State of Israel.