Shalom Life | September 18, 2014

Did You Know They're Jewish?

10 stars you didn't know were members of the tribe.

By: Ilan Mester

Published: June 16th, 2011 in Culture » Film » Interviews

Did You Know They're Jewish?

For every Jerry Seinfeld or Seth Rogen, there are dozens of other stars who you might not know are Jewish. Here are 10 celebs you probably didn't know were members of the tribe:

Helena Bonham Carter

This two-time Oscar nominee who’s starred in films such as Sweeney Todd and recently, The King's Speech, has more than 50 acting credits under her belt. In her decade-spanning career, Helena Bonham Carter has played an evil wizard, a character from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and two queens. But it was her role as a Jewish mother in the movie Sixty Six that made her own Jewish mother proud. "I look completely like my mum," Bonham Carter told The Guardian back in 2006. "She's very foreign, very Jewish." According to the newspaper, when Bonham Carter’s mother found out her daughter would be playing a Jewish mother for the first time, she said: “Finally!”

Dianna Agron

Glee’s Dianna Agron may play a Christian cheerleader on the hit TV show, but the 24-year-old actress is actually a nice Jewish girl she had a Bat Mitzvah and everything. Not only can she sing, dance and act, Agron is also a director and screenwriter (she wrote and directed the short film A Fuchsia Elephant, which co-starred James Franco’s younger brother Dave Franco).

Andrew Garfield

Andrew Garfield wowed audiences in last year’s The Social Network (which earned him his first Golden Globe nomination). He played Eduardo Saverin (who’s a Brazilian-born Jew) in the Oscar-winning film about the beginnings of Facebook, and is set to star as the new Spider-Man. In an interview with Indie London, the young actor mentioned he had a guilt complex. When the interviewer asked him where the complex came from, he said: “Being Jewish and, yes, I’m sure it stems from being privileged. I was brought up in a middle-class home.”

Ashley Tisdale

Today, Ashley Tisdale is known to children and teens worldwide for roles in TV shows such as The Suit Life and the High School Musical movies. But what a lot of fans don’t know is that the actress (whose mother is Jewish) began her theatrical career performing in musical productions at her local Jewish community centre in Monmouth County, N.J., according to Billboard.com. Tisdale recently got to play Sharpay Evans (her fan-favourite character from High School Musical) in the movie Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure, which was filmed in Toronto.

James Maslow

You might not know who James Maslow is, but odds are your 10-year-old daughter, son or younger sibling watches his show. He stars in The Big Time Rush -- one of the most popular shows on Nickelodeon. The 20-year-old actor said in an interview with Clever TV that his favourite holiday is Hanukkah.

Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones (I Love You, Man, The Office, Parks and Recreation) is the daughter of musician Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton (who’s Jewish). She attended Hebrew school as a kid and enjoyed celebrating Jewish holidays. “We always celebrated the High Holidays,” she told American Jewish Life. “I did fast in high school for Yom Kippur and attend services. We always went to seder for Passover. I really liked the cultural and the familial side of Judaism.”

Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks -- who starred opposite Seth Rogen in Zack and Miri Make a Porno -- converted to Judaism when she married her college sweetheart, sportswriter Max Handelman. She tweeted this during passover: “Happy Passover. On my way to Seder. I think I just saw Elijah sneaking around in the bushes.”

Paul Rudd

Paul Rudd -- the star of hit comedies such as I Love You, Man and Role Models -- is Jewish. Before he hit it big, Rudd used to DJ at parties -- including Bat Mitzvahs. Check him out in action.

Ginnifer Goodwin

Ginnifer Goodwin, who’s starred in romantic comedies such as He’s Just Not That Into You and this year’s Something Borrowed, is Jewish. Watch out for the talented actress in the upcoming TV Show Once Upon a Time, premiering this fall.

Taylor Mays

Taylor Mays, the 23-year-old football player for the San Francisco 49ers, said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that his Bar Mitzvah helped him become an adult.

Adam Lambert is Returning to 'American Idol' as Guest Judge Adam Lambert is Returning to 'American Idol' as Guest Judge TrendingSeth Rogen Applies to Online Job Posting For Professional Blunt Roller Seth Rogen Applies to Online Job Posting For Professional Blunt Roller TrendingGIVEAWAY: Win 1 of 5 Double Passes to See ‘This Is Where I Leave You’ GIVEAWAY: Win 1 of 5 Double Passes to See ‘This Is Where I Leave You’ Trending
 

Judd Apatow's 'Love' Is Coming to Netflix

September 17, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Judd Apatow's 'Love' Is Coming to Netflix

The '40 Year Old Virgin' director is returning to his television roots.

Read More

Seinfeld Mourns Loss of Joan Rivers, Tells Fans She Was Scheduled For 'Comedians in Cars'

September 17, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Seinfeld Mourns Loss of Joan Rivers, Tells Fans She Was Scheduled For 'Comedians in Cars'

The late great Rivers was supposed to star on the premiere episode of the next season of 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee'

Read More

'YidLife Crisis': Your Yiddish Answer to 'Seinfeld' [VIDEO]

September 17, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
'YidLife Crisis': Your Yiddish Answer to 'Seinfeld' [VIDEO]

What if 'Seinfeld' took place in Montreal instead of New York and saw it's main characters speaking Yiddish?

Read More

Bill Clinton: Netanyahu "Not the Guy" to Bring Peace

September 17, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Bill Clinton: Netanyahu "Not the Guy" to Bring Peace

The former U.S. President criticized the Israeli PM, a contrast of what his wife, potential Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton, believes

Read More

Ryan Braun is Milwaukee Brewers Nominee For Roberto Clemente Award

September 17, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Ryan Braun is Milwaukee Brewers Nominee For Roberto Clemente Award

The right fielder is being rewarded for his community service since the PED scandal last year.

Read More

Louis C.K. Joins Bruce Springsteen at Stand Up For Heroes Benefit

September 17, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Louis C.K. Joins Bruce Springsteen at Stand Up For Heroes Benefit

The annual show, involving a night of comedy and music, is organized by the Bob Woodruff Foundation, as well as the New York Comedy Festival benefitting injured servicemembers and their families.

Read More

Adam Lambert is Returning to 'American Idol' as Guest Judge

September 17, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Adam Lambert is Returning to 'American Idol' as Guest Judge

The former contestant will replace Keith Urban while he takes time off to grieve his father-in-law's death

Read More

Shia LaBeouf’s Stalker Returns, Compares Him to Albert Einstein

September 17, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Shia LaBeouf’s Stalker Returns, Compares Him to Albert Einstein

She also threatened to blow up his house before getting a restraining order placed against her.

Read More

More Headlines