Is Billy Eichner Jewish?

Billy Eichner is Jewish. Billy Eichner is a comedian, actor, writer, and television personality. He is the star, executive producer and creator of Funny Or Die's Billy on the Street, a comedy game show that airs on Fuse TV. Eichner was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Game Show Host" in 2013.

He first gained attention as the host and writer of "Creation Nation: A Live Talk Show," a critically acclaimed stage show in New York. Eichner has also appeared on Conan as a special correspondent in original video shorts and as himself on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Last Call with Carson Daly, The Wendy Williams Show, and Fashion Police with Joan Rivers, among others.

Eichner is also openly gay. In a 2013 article in the Jewish Daily Forward, Eitan Kensky writes, Billy Eichner is tall, gay, Jewish, from Queens, with a hairline somewhere between receding and disappearing. All of these qualities fuel his comedy. They also make the act of watching him run around the streets of New York, offering ordinary people $1 to answer questions like, “Who’s better, Meryl Streep or Glenn Close?” (and then erupting into a heated and irrational fury when the answer is Glenn Close “by far,” to which he yells back, neck veins bulging cartoonishly, “No, that is not the truth!”) one of the most exhilarating comic experiences there is. These moments, when Billy turns on his “contestant,” almost make you believe that the game show was invented just so Billy could savage it. You at least want to believe it.

Is Peaches Geldof Jewish?

Was Peaches Geldof Jewish? It's debatable. Peaches Geldof died April 6, 2014 from unknown causes. Peaches Geldof had a Jewish grandmother and was married to Tom Cohen, who was Jewish. Peaches' father is Bob Geldof, the founder of Live Aid. He is technically a quarter Jewish.

When asked if he was proud of his Jewish ancestry, Geldof said: "I could not give a fucking shit... I was a quarter Catholic, a quarter Protestant, a quarter Jewish and a quarter nothing — the nothing won."

Peaches was the second daughter of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates. Their first was Fifi Trixibelle, and Peaches has a half-sister, named Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, her mother’s daughter with late INXS frontman Michael Hutchence.

In January 2012, before their wedding, Cohen, whose own parents met on an Israeli kibbutz, told the Daily Mail that “Peaches is Jewish – her grandmother is Jewish – she only discovered it last year.

“It makes a lot of sense to me,” he added. “She seems to me like a Jewish woman, the way she thinks and behaves. The first present I ever bought her was a Star of David from an antiques shop in Covent Garden. She wears and really loves it. I don’t know yet whether we’ll be having a traditional Jewish wedding but my parents did and I am really proud of them for it.”

Is Mickey Rooney Jewish?

Mickey Rooney was not Jewish. Mickey Rooney was born Joseph Yule, Jr. in Brooklyn on September 23, 1920. He was an American film actor and entertainer whose film, television, and stage appearances spanned nearly his entire lifetime. Some people thought that Mickey Rooney was a Jew because of his brand of humor including vaudeville.

His father, Joe Yule (born Ninnian Joseph Ewell), was from Glasgow, Scotland, and his mother, Nellie W. (née Carter), was from Kansas City, Missouri. Both of his parents were in vaudeville, appearing in a Brooklyn production of A Gaiety Girl when Joseph, Jr. was born. He began performing at the age of 17 months as part of his parents' routine, wearing a specially tailored tuxedo.

He received multiple awards, including a Juvenile Academy Award, an Honorary Academy Award, two Golden Globes and an Emmy Award. Working as a performer since he was a child, he was a superstar as a teenager for the films in which he played Andy Hardy, and he has had one of the longest careers of any actor, spanning 92 years actively making films in ten decades, from the 1920s to the 2010s. For a younger generation of fans, he gained international fame for his leading role as Henry Dailey in The Family Channel's The Adventures of the Black Stallion.

Rooney died on April 6, 2014 and was one of the last surviving stars who worked in the silent film era. He was also the last surviving cast member of several films in which he appeared during the 1930s and 1940s.

Is David Brenner Jewish?

David Brenner was Jewish. The comedian decided to become a comedian instead of a rabbi. His grandfather and three uncles were rabbis. Brenner was born in 1936 and raised in poor areas of Philadelphia. At school, Brenner was elected class president every.

After high school, he largely hung out on the street corners for two years, followed by two years in the army, serving in the 101st Airborne and as a cryptographer of the 595th Signal Corp in Boblingen, Germany. After being discharged, he attended Temple University, where he majored in mass communication and graduated with honors.
Brenner had three children: Slade, Wyatt and Cole.

He and the mother of his first son, Cole, fought a custody battle lasting several years. Brenner finally won custody in 1992. Brenner married Elizabeth Slater of New York, the mother of his sons Slade and Wyatt, in the closing minutes of his Live from The Venetian Hotel show in Las Vegas, Nevada HBO Special on February 19, 2000. They divorced a little over a year later and fought two custody battles, both of which Brenner won. Brenner married figure skater Tai Babilonia on March 7, 2011.

Brenner died on March 15, 2014, at the age of 78 from cancer at his New York City home.

Is Rodney Dangerfield Jewish?

Yes, Rodney Dangerfield was a Jew. Dangerfield was born Jacob Rodney Cohen in Deer Park within the Town of Babylon, New York, in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. Both of his parents were Jewish with ancestry in Hungary. His father was the vaudevillian performer Phil Roy (Philip Cohen) and his mother was Dotty Teitelbaum. His ancestors came to the United States from Hungary.

Rodney Dangerfield was known as a famous comedian and actor. His most famous one-liner was"I don't get no respect!" He had several funny movie credits in the 1980s including Easy Money, Caddyshack, and Back to School.

Is Jan Koum Jewish?

Yes, Jan Koum is Jewish. Jan Koum is the founder of WhatsApp, the mobile application that was purchased in February 2014 by Facebook.

According to Wikipedia, Jan Koum grew up in a village outside Kiev in Ukraine. He moved with his mother and grandmother to Mountain View, California in 1992,where a social support program helped the family to get a small two-bedroom apartment, at the age of 16. His father had intended to join the family later, but finally remained in Ukraine. At first Koum's mother worked as a babysitter, while he himself worked as a cleaner at a grocery. By the age of 18 he became interested in programming. He enrolled at San Jose State University and simultaneously worked at Ernst & Young as a security tester.

In 1997, Jan Koum was hired by Yahoo as an infrastructure engineer, shortly after he met Brian Acton while working at Ernst & Young as a security tester. Over the next nine years, they worked at Yahoo. In September 2007 Koum and Acton left Yahoo and took a year off, traveling around South America and playing ultimate frisbee. Both applied, and failed, to work at Facebook. In January 2009, he bought an iPhone and realized that the then seven-month old App Store was about to spawn a whole new industry of apps. He visited his friend Alex Fishman and the two talked for hours about Koum’s idea for an app over tea at Fishman’s kitchen counter. Koum almost immediately chose the name WhatsApp because it sounded like “what’s up,” and a week later on his birthday, Feb. 24, 2009, he incorporated WhatsApp Inc. in California.

Is Joel Kinnaman Jewish?

Yes, Joel Kinnaman is Jewish. The actor from Sweden is the star of the remake of the 1987 classic "RoboCop".

In a recent interview with the Jewish Daily Forward, Joel Kinnaman explained:

“When I’m in Sweden I feel like I have something that is not Swedish.  And when I’m here I feel I have something that’s not American. I’d say I feel still more Swedish then American because I grew up there, but at the same time when I grew up I went to a public school that had English speaking classes, and when we played football in the breaks it was us against the Swedes.”

Joel’s father, Steve Kinnaman, is an American who left the United States in the 1950s. He immigrated to Sweden, where he met Joel’s mom, who is Jewish.

“The Jewish community in Sweden is an old community,” Joel Kinnaman said. “My family came from Ukraine in 1850. They’re very integrated, so it’s a silent presence. We have a fascist party in our government, they’re very anti-Muslim, I don’t think that the Jewish community is affected by that. They wanna kick out all the immigrants. That is something that we’re dealing with in Sweden right now.”

Is Harold Ramis Jewish?

Yes, Harold Ramis was Jewish. The actor Harold Ramis was born November 21, 1944, in Chicago, Illinois. His parents were Ruth and Nathan Ramis, shopkeepers who owned the store Ace Food & Liquor Mart on the city's far North Side.

Harold Ramis had a Jewish upbringing, although in his adult life he did not practice any organized religion. He graduated from Stephen K. Hayt Elementary School and Nicholas Senn High School in Chicago, and, in 1966, from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri where he was a member of the Alpha Xi chapter of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity (ZBT).

Was Harold Ramis Jewish?
Harold Ramis

Ramis was an acclaimed actor, director, and writer, specializing in comedy. His best-known film acting roles are as Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters (1984) and Russell Ziskey in Stripes (1981), both of which he co-wrote. As a writer/director, his films include the comedies Caddyshack (1980), National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), Groundhog Day (1993), and Analyze This (1999). Ramis was the original head writer of the television series SCTV (in which he also performed), and one of three screenwriters for the film National Lampoon's Animal House (1978).

Is Michael Sheen Jewish?

Michael Sheen is not a Jew. The actor has been linked with several Hollywood actresses and US Magazine recently reported that he is dating Sarah Silverman.

Michael Sheen was born in Newport, Wales, the son of Irene (née Thomas), a secretary, and Meyrick, a British Steel personnel manager. He has one younger sister, Joanne. When he was five, the family moved to Liverpool, England, but settled in his parents' hometown of Baglan in Port Talbot, Wales three years later.

Sheen was raised in a theatrical family—his parents were both involved in local amateur operatics and musicals and, later in life, his father worked as a part-time professional Jack Nicholson look-alike.

Is Ruth Bader Ginsburg Jewish?

Yes, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a Jew. The Supreme Court Justice was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, Ruth Joan Bader was the second daughter of Nathan and Celia (née Amster) Bader. The family nicknamed her "Kiki"

The family belonged to the East Midwood Jewish Center, where she took her religious confirmation seriously. At age thirteen, Ruth acted as the "camp rabbi" at a Jewish summer program at Camp Che-Na-Wah in Minerva, New York. (Photo below)

Her Wikipedia entry says, "She graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in government on June 23, 1954. In fall 1956, she enrolled at Harvard Law School, where she was one of nine women in a class of about 500. When her husband took a job in New York City, she transferred to Columbia Law School and became the first woman to be on two major law reviews, the Harvard Law Review and the Columbia Law Review. In 1959, she earned her Bachelor of Laws at Columbia and tied for first in her class."

Is Sid Caesar Jewish?

Sid Caesar was a Jew. The comedian Sid Caesar was Jewish.  Born September 8, 1922, Sid Caesar was an American comic actor and writer best known for the television series Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour. He was also a saxophonist and author of several books, including two autobiographies. Sid Caesar died February 12, 2014.

Caesar was the youngest of three sons born to Jewish immigrants living in Yonkers, New York. His father, Max, had emigrated from Poland; his mother, Ida (née Raphael), from the Russian Empire. The surname "Caesar" was supposedly given to Max, as a child, by an immigration official at Ellis Island.

Max and Ida Caesar ran a restaurant, a 24-hour luncheonette. By waiting on tables, their son learned to mimic the patois, rhythm and accents of the diverse clientele, a technique he termed "double-talk," which he would famously use throughout his career. He first tried his "double-talk" with a group of Italians, his head barely reaching above the table. They enjoyed it so much that they sent him over to a group of Poles to repeat his native-sounding patter in Polish, and so on with Russians, Hungarians, Frenchmen, Spaniards, Lithuanians and Bulgarians. Despite his apparent fluency in many languages, Caesar could actually speak only English and Yiddish. Sid's older brother, David, was his comic mentor and "one-man cheering section." They created their earliest family sketches from movies of the day like "Test Pilot" and the 1927 silent film "Wings".
At fourteen, Caesar went to the Catskills Mountains as a saxophonist in Mike Cifichello's Swingtime Six band, and occasionally performed in sketches in the Borscht Belt.

Is Shirley Temple Jewish?

Shirley Temple Black was not Jewish. Shirley Temple was born on April 23, 1928, in Santa Monica, California and died on February 11, 2014. She was the daughter of Gertrude Amelia Temple (née Krieger), a homemaker, and George Francis Temple, a bank employee. The family was of English, German, and Dutch ancestry.

Shirley Temple had two brothers, George Francis, Jr. and John Stanley.

In January 1932, Temple was signed by Educational Pictures following a talent search at the dance school. The famous child actor was a one-time U.S. ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia. She also served as Chief of Protocol of the United States, 1976–1977. Temple began her film career in 1932 at the age of three and, in 1934, found international fame in Bright Eyes, a feature film designed specifically for her talents. She received a special Juvenile Academy Award in February 1935 for her outstanding contribution as a juvenile performer to motion pictures during 1934, and film hits such as Curly Top and Heidi followed year after year during the mid-to-late 1930s. Licensed merchandise that capitalized on her wholesome image included dolls, dishes, and clothing.

Is Philip Seymour Hoffman Jewish?

Philip Seymour Hoffman was not Jewish. The actor died of a drug overdose on February 2, 2014 in his Greenwich apartment in New York City.

Hoffman was born in Fairport, New York. His mother, Marilyn O'Connor (née Loucks), who was born in Waterloo, New York, is a family court judge, lawyer, and civil rights activist. His father, Gordon Stowell Hoffman, is a former Xerox executive. He had two sisters, Jill and Emily, and a brother, Gordy Hoffman, who scripted the 2002 film Love Liza, in which Philip starred. He had German, English, Irish, Dutch, and remote Polish ancestry. His father was Protestant and his mother Catholic.

Hoffman attended the 1984 Theater School at the New York State Summer School of the Arts. After graduating from Fairport High School, Hoffman attended the Circle in the Square Theatre's summer program, continuing his acting training with the acting teacher Alan Langdon.

He received a BFA in drama in 1989 from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. At NYU, he was a founding member of the theater company the Bullstoi Ensemble with actor Steven Schub and director Bennett Miller. Soon after graduating, he went to rehab for drug and alcohol addiction and remained sober until May 2013, when he entered a detox facility after briefly relapsing.

Is Natalie Portman Jewish?

Natalie Portman is Jewish. She is married to Benjamin Millepied who announced in January 2014 that he plans to convert to Judaism. The couple has a son named Aleph.

The actress was born in Jerusalem, Israel. Natalie Portman is a dual citizen of the United States and Israel and has said that although she "really love[s] the States... my heart's in Jerusalem. That's where I feel at home.

She is the only child of Shelley (née Stevens), an American homemaker who works as Portman's agent, and Avner Hershlag, an Israeli citizen who is a fertility specialist and gynecologist.

Portman's maternal ancestors were Jewish immigrants to the United States (from Austria and Russia); her mother's family had changed their surname from "Edelstein" to "Stevens". Her paternal grandparents were Jews from Poland and Romania. Natalie's paternal grandfather, Zvi Yehuda Hershlag, was born in Poland, in 1914, and moved to then-Mandatory Palestine, where he was an economics professor, in 1938; Zvi's parents died at Auschwitz. Natalie's Romanian-born great-grandmother was a spy for British Intelligence during World War II.

Portman's parents met at a Jewish student center at Ohio State University, where her mother was selling tickets. They corresponded after her father returned to Israel and were married when her mother visited a few years later. In 1984, when Portman was three years old, the family moved to the United States, where her father received his medical training.

Is Mark Schlissel Jewish?

Mark S. Schlissel is Jewish. Born November 24, 1957, Schlissel is the president-elect of the University of Michigan. Schlissel will become U-M's 14th president on July 1, 2014, following the retirement of Mary Sue Coleman. His contract with the University of Michigan lasts five years, and his base salary is $750,000. Schlissel is married to Monica Schwebs, an environmental and energy lawyer, and has four adult children.

Mark Schlissel was born in Brooklyn, New York to two Jewish parents. He graduated with a BA in Biochemical Sciences from Princeton University in 1979. He earned his MD degree and a PhD in Physiological Chemistry from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1986 through the Medical Scientist Training Program. His residency in Internal Medicine was conducted at the Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1986-88. His postdoctoral research fellowship was under David Baltimore at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Whitehead Institute.

Schlissel became a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1991. He moved to the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley in 1999 as an associate professor, becoming a full professor in 2002. At UC Berkeley he served as Dean of Biological Sciences in the College of Letters & Science from 2008 to 2011. In 2011 he became provost at Brown University.

Is Pete Seeger Jewish?

Pete Seeger was not Jewish. On January 27, 2014 Pete Seeger, died in New York City at 94.

Pete Seger, the American folk singer, was the author or co-author of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" (with Joe Hickerson), "If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)" (composed with Lee Hays of the Weavers), and "Turn, Turn, Turn!", which have been recorded by many artists both in and outside the folk revival movement and are still sung throughout the world.

Seeger was born at the French Hospital, Midtown Manhattan. His Yankee-Protestant family, which Seeger called "enormously Christian, in the Puritan, Calvinist New England tradition", traced its genealogy back over 200 years. A paternal ancestor, Karl Ludwig Seeger, a physician from Württemberg, Germany, had emigrated to America during the American Revolution and married into an old New England family in the 1780s. Pete's father, the Harvard-trained composer and musicologist Charles Louis Seeger, Jr., established the first musicology curriculum in the U.S. at the University of California in 1913, helped found the American Musicological Society, and was a key founder of the academic discipline of ethnomusicology. Pete's mother, Constance de Clyver Edson, raised in Tunisia and trained at the Paris Conservatory of Music, was a concert violinist and later a teacher at the Juilliard School.

Seeger was one of the folksingers most responsible for popularizing the spiritual "We Shall Overcome" (also recorded by Joan Baez) that became the acknowledged anthem of the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement.

Pete Seeger first visited Israel in 1964 and spent time on an Israeli kibbutz -- several in fact. Seeger performed Israeli folk tunes with the Weavers in the 1950s as part of the larger folk revival he was helping to champion. And just two years ago, he recorded a video for the Jewish retreat center Isabella Freedman that recalls the three questions posed by the Jewish sage Hillel.

In 2011, after a report that Seeger supported a boycott of Israel, he acknowledged to that he “probably said” he supported such a measure, but that his views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were evolving. 

Is James Franco Jewish?

James Franco is a Jew. Franco was born in Palo Alto, California. His mother, Betsy Lou (née Verne) is Jewish. She is a writer and actress. Franco's father, Douglas Eugene "Doug" Franco (d. 2011), ran a Silicon Valley business. James Franco's Jewish family on his mother's side were Russian Jewish immigrants.

The Jewish actor who had a lead part on the short-lived cult hit television program Freaks and Geeks later played James Dean (2001), for which he was awarded a Golden Globe Award. He also played Harry Osborn in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy.

James Franco's notable films include Pineapple Express, Milk, 127 Hours, Tristan & Isolde, Annapolis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and 2013 releases Oz the Great and Powerful, Spring Breakers, This Is the End, and Lovelace. He also had a recurring role in the ABC soap opera General Hospital. For his role in 127 Hours, Franco received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

Is Ian Kinsler Jewish?

Ian Kinsler is a Jew. Ian Kinsler is a Major League Baseball player with the Texas Rangers. He was traded to the Detroit Tigers in November 2013 during the offseason in a trade that sent Prince Fielder to the Rangers.

Ian Kinsler's father is Jewish and Kinsler considers himself a Jewish baseball player.

Kinsler's mother is Catholic. According to Wikipedia, he has become a prominent figure in the Jewish community, and enjoys the attention that he attracts from it. He was featured in the 2008 Hank Greenberg 75th Anniversary edition of Jewish Major Leaguers Baseball Cards, licensed by Major League Baseball, commemorating the Jewish major leaguers from 1871 through 2008. He joined, among others, teammate Scott Feldman, Brad Ausmus, Kevin Youkilis, Ryan Braun, Gabe Kapler, Jason Marquis, Jason Hirsh, John Grabow, Craig Breslow, and Scott Schoeneweis. Kinsler was one of three Jewish players in the 2008 All Star Game, joining Youkilis and Braun. He says that "Youkilis will always say something to me on the bases [referring to the fact that they are both Jewish]. 'Happy Passover,' he'll throw something at me."

Kinsler, who would have been eligible to play for Israel in the 2013 World Baseball Classic because of his Jewish heritage, said: "Wow, I would be happy to play for Team Israel.... The truth is that if a proposal comes from Team USA to play for them, I will have a very difficult decision to make. Youk [New York's Kevin Youkilis], Braun [Milwaukee's Ryan Braun], and I could make a fantastic team. I am sure that I'll talk it over with Youk – we always laugh about things like this."

Kinsler married Tess Brady, his high school sweetheart, on November 18, 2006. Their daughter, Rian Brooklynn Kinsler, was born December 5, 2008.On June 8, 2011 Ian's wife gave birth to a son, Jack Jamisson Kinsler. He was put on paternity leave due to the birth.

In 2008 Kinsler won the Rangers' Jim Sundberg Community Achievement Award, in recognition of his having devoted a great deal of his personal time to the community.

[Source: Rabbi Jason Miller in the Huffington Post]

Was Jack Ruby Jewish?

Jack Ruby was Jewish. Jack Ruby was the man who killed Lee Harvey Oswald.

Born Jacob Leon Rubenstein on March 25, 1911 to Joseph Rubenstein (1871–1958) and Fannie Turek Rutkowski (or Rokowsky), both Polish-born, Orthodox Jews, in Chicago. Jack Leon Ruby was a nightclub operator in Dallas, Texas. Ruby was originally from Chicago, Illinois; he moved to Dallas in 1947. On November 24, 1963, Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who assassinated President John F. Kennedy. A Dallas jury found Ruby guilty of murdering Oswald, and Ruby was sentenced to death. Later, Ruby appealed his conviction and death sentence and was granted a new trial. As the date for his new trial was being set, Ruby became ill and died of a pulmonary embolism due to lung cancer on January 3, 1967.

Some contend Ruby was involved with major figures in organized crime, and conspiracy theorists widely assert that Ruby killed Oswald as part of an overall plot surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy. Others have disputed this, arguing that Ruby's connection with gangsters was minimal at most, or circumstantial, and also that Ruby was not the sort to be entrusted with such an act within a high-level conspiracy. Ruby never married.

In an article in the Jewish Daily Forward, Steve North wrote the following about Jack Ruby's Jewish heritage:

We were sharing a pastrami sandwich and pickles at the Los Angeles landmark Canter’s Deli. I was 24. She was nearly 50 years older, with a piercing voice as loud as her flaming red wig.
Her name was Eva Rubenstein Grant, and she was a little-known nightclub manager the morning of Nov. 24, 1963, when her brother left the apartment they shared in Dallas and blasted his way into infamy by fatally shooting Lee Harvey Oswald. It was history’s first live televised murder.
Eva worked and lived with Jack Ruby and spent the rest of her life defending him against various allegations.
“I swear on my life, my brother was not three things,” Eva told me, her voice rising. “He was not a homosexual. He was not with the communists. And certainly not with the underworld.”
Journalist Steve North with the siblings of Jack Ruby: From left, Eva, Sam and Earl, 1989. JTA
Journalist Steve North with the siblings of Jack Ruby: From left, Eva, Sam and Earl, 1989.
I listened with fascination to Eva that day in 1977. (Years later she was perfectly portrayed in a TV movie by Doris Roberts, the high-decibel mom on “Everybody Loves Raymond.” She died in November 1992 at 83.)
“But Mrs. Grant,” I said. “Jack had ties to the ‘syndicate,’ as you call it, as far back as your childhood in Chicago.”
“Look,” she replied in exasperation. “We would see these people in the neighborhood and we’d ask, how’s your mother? How’s your sister? But that doesn’t mean Jack was connected with them. I grew up with a bunch of boys who turned out to be no good. Who knew?”
It was a quintessentially Jewish response, albeit delivered in Eva’s hybrid Chicago-Dallas accent. And the Rubensteins were a staunchly Jewish family, a fact that may have played a role in Ruby’s killing of Oswald, President John F. Kennedy’s assassin.
Ruby was born Jacob Rubenstein in 1911 to a family of Polish-Jewish immigrants. His parents, Joseph and Fannie, were a volatile couple. Joseph was a mean and abusive drunk. Fannie suffered from mental illness and at one point was committed to an Illinois state hospital.
Their eight children had their fair share of problems, both before and after the parents separated. Ruby and three of his siblings were made wards of Chicago’s Jewish Home Finding Society and placed in foster homes for periods of time during the 1920s.
Despite their dysfunctional world, the Rubensteins kept a kosher home, observed the holidays, sent their boys to Hebrew school and attended synagogue.
Ruby idolized Chicago Jewish boxing champion Barney Ross, who later described him as a “well-behaved” youth. But others recall Ruby’s hair-trigger temper and street brawls, especially when taunted by the non-Jews in his mixed Jewish-Italian neighborhood. Ruby’s biographer, Seth Kantor, relates that as an Air Force private, Ruby once beat up a sergeant who called him “a Jew bastard.”
After World War II, Eva moved to Dallas and began managing nightclubs and restaurants. Ruby received an honorable discharge from the Air Force in 1946 and joined Eva a year later in Texas. It was in 1947 that Jack, along with brothers Earl and Sam, legally changed his last name to Ruby.
As a young man in Chicago, Ruby reportedly ran errands for Al Capone’s cousin and henchman Frank Nitti. A former Dallas sheriff once testified that Chicago mafia figures told him that Ruby was sent to Texas to run nightclubs that were fronts for illegal gambling operations.
According to evidence uncovered by the U.S. House of Representatives Assassinations Committee in the 1970s, Ruby was later linked to mobsters Carlos Marcello and Santos Traficante, who the panel considered prime suspects in a possible mob conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy.
Whatever he was doing behind the scenes, Ruby became known as a nightclub owner and at some point began attending services at Congregation Shearith Israel. Rabbi Hillel Silverman, who was the Dallas synagogue’s spiritual leader from 1954 to 1964, says Ruby came to say Kaddish for his father.
“He came to minyan one day with a cast on his arm,” Silverman recalled. “I said, ‘Jack, what happened?’ He said, ‘In my club, somebody was very raucous, and I was the bouncer.’ ”
Silverman, now 89 and still leading High Holy Days services every year, remembers Ruby well. Once Ruby showed up at the rabbi’s house with a litter of puppies and insisted the rabbi take one. When the family went to Israel one summer, Ruby looked after the dog.
“The day of the assassination, we had our regular Friday night service, which became a memorial service for the president,” Silverman said. “Jack was there. People were either irate or in tears, and Jack was neither. He came over and said, ‘Good Shabbos, rabbi. Thank you for visiting my sister Eva in the hospital last week.’ I thought that was rather peculiar.”
Two days later, Silverman spoke to his Sunday morning confirmation class, expressing relief to the students that Lee Harvey Oswald was not Jewish or there might have been a “pogrom” in Dallas. He then switched on the radio and heard that a “Jack Rubenstein” had killed the assassin.
“I was shocked,” said Silverman. “I visited him the next day in jail, and I said, ‘Why, Jack, why?’ He said, ‘I did it for the American people.’”
I interrupted Silverman, pointing out that other reports had Ruby saying he did it “to show that Jews had guts.” The rabbi sighed.
“Yes, he mentioned that,” Silverman said. “But I don’t like to mention it. I think he said, ‘I did it for the Jewish people.’ But I’ve tried to wipe that statement from my mind.”
Another person close to Ruby who tried, unsuccessfully, to block out the past is his nephew, “Craig” Ruby. (He asked that I not publish his real first name). His early memories are pleasant: Uncle Jack having a shot of whiskey with Craig’s father, doling out silver dollars to the kids, his flashy sports cars.
Like millions of Americans, Craig watched Oswald’s murder live on television. Soon afterward, he and his mother heard the name of the gunman.
“Did you ever hear the expression ‘The color drained from her face?’ I literally saw my mother’s face go from flesh to green,” he recalled. “At age 12, that was a little freaky to watch.”
Half a century after the fact, Craig is still bitter over the dramatic effect his childless uncle’s act had on the extended family, including bomb threats and huge legal bills. Given his last name, Craig was an easy target for bullies during his junior high school years in Dallas. But worst of all was facing Uncle Jack himself.
“One Sunday my dad insisted we go to see Jack in jail,” Craig said. “Outside, a police car’s siren started up, and my uncle was standing there with this incredibly intense, wild-eyed look on his face, and he yelled, ‘You hear that? You hear that? They’re torturing Jews in the basement!’ That particular experience was traumatic enough to where talking about it right now, 50 years later, is turning my gut into a knot.”
Silverman, who later testified before the Warren Commission, also vividly remembers his jailhouse visits.
“In prison, he deteriorated psychologically,” the rabbi said. “One time I walked in and he said, ‘Come on, rabbi, duck underneath the table. They’re pouring oil on the Jews and setting it on fire.’ He was quite psychotic.”
My initial connection to the Ruby family was through Eva, who I convinced to appear on ABC’s “Good Night America” program in 1976. Later I visited her several times at her apartment in Los Angeles, where she once gave me the last piece of stationary from Jack’s Carousel Club.
She introduced me to her brothers — Earl, who owned a dry cleaning store in Detroit, and Sam, who lived in the Los Angeles suburb of Sylmar. Sam showed me the one picture he had of their immigrant parents as well as the rusting car Jack drove to the Dallas police station the morning he shot Oswald.
In 1991, Earl allowed me to rendezvous with him in Dallas on the day he retrieved Jack’s gun, which he won after a decades-long legal battle. I later showed the weapon on television for the first time since 1963, shortly before it was auctioned off for $220,000.
The brothers also downplayed Jack’s ties to the mob. Sam, who died in 2008 at age 95, leaned in close and lowered his voice, confiding: “These guys would come into Jack’s club, and you had to be nice to them, ya know.”
Ironically, when Earl chose a place for us to meet in Dallas the day he was given Jack’s gun, he picked an Italian restaurant better known for its links to the Mafia than its lasagna. (Earl died in 2006 at 90.)
Some conspiracy theorists believe Ruby was ordered to silence Oswald by his organized crime contacts. Others, who think the murder was an impulsive act, point to Ruby’s fury over an anti-Kennedy advertisement in a Dallas newspaper the morning of the president’s visit. It was paid for by a right-wing Jewish activist named Bernard Weissman, which Ruby thought put Jews in a bad light.
We will never know for sure. What Craig Ruby knows for certain is that he did not mourn his uncle’s death from cancer in 1967. His family had moved to Chicago by then and when he saw the headline announcing Ruby’s death, he felt like a weight had lifted.
As for having a connection to one of the darkest moments in American history, Craig Ruby’s view has not changed in 50 years.
“I wish to God it hadn’t happened to us.”
(Steve North is a broadcast journalist with CBS News who’s been reporting on the Kennedy assassination since 1976.)

Is Sasha Cohen Jewish?

Yes, the figure skater Sasha Cohen is Jewish. Her mother, Galina (née Feldman), is a Jewish immigrant from Ukraine and a former ballet dancer. Her father, Roger Cohen, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law. Roger Cohen was formerly a law partner at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, and Of Counsel at Dorsey and Whitney. He is Founder and CEO of VerticalPoint Solutions, a company that simplifies and automates compliance for document intensive industries. VerticalPoint is based in Orange County, California.

Disambiguation: Is comedian/actor Sasha Baron Cohen Jewish? 

Is Max Scherzer Jewish?

Max Scherzer is not a Jew. The Detroit Tigers starting pitcher is not Jewish although some think that he is based on his last name.

Maxwell M. "Max" Scherzer was born July 27, 1984 and raised in Chesterfield, Missouri to Brad and Jan Scherzer, neither of whom are Jewish. Max Scherzer is engaged to model Erica May and the couple will marry on November 23, 2013 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The professional baseball pitcher with the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball also played for the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 2013, he won the American League Cy Young Award. Scherzer has one eye that is blue and one eye that is brown.

After playing for Parkway Central High School in his hometown, Scherzer was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 43rd round (1,291st overall) in the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft but did not sign and instead attended the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. He was then drafted again in 2006 by the Arizona Diamondbacks, this time in the 1st round as the 11th overall pick. On January 9, 2012 it was announced that Scherzer would be one of six new inductees to the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame. While at Mizzou he was Big 12 Pitcher of the Year in 2005. He was Mizzou's first-ever 1st round MLB pick.

Is Brad Ausmus Jewish?

Is Brad Ausmus a Jew? Yes, the former Major League Baseball player and current manager of the Detroit Tigers, is Jewish.

Bradley David "Brad" Ausmus is Jewish, and was born in New Haven, Connecticut. His mother is Jewish, and his father, Harry, is Protestant. His father is a retired professor of European history at Southern Connecticut State University, and the author of A Schopenhauerian Critique of Nietzsche's Thought, which Ausmus calls his "favorite book."

Although Ausmus' mother is Jewish, he was not raised with the Jewish religion; he occasionally celebrated the High Holidays with his mother and her side of the family. Nonetheless, he still takes pride in his heritage. Ausmus stated in an interview with the Jewish Journal: "I wasn’t raised with the Jewish religion, so in that sense I don’t really have much feeling toward it. But, however, in the last 10 or so years, I have had quite a few young Jewish boys who will tell me that I am their favorite player or they love watching me play or they feel like baseball is a good fit for them because it worked for me or it worked for Shawn Green or other Jewish players at the major league level. It has been a sense of pride. If you can have a positive impact on a kid, I’m all for it."

In 2001 he did not play on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, quipping that he "was trying to atone for my poor first half." Ausmus was the manager of the 2013 World Baseball Classic Israel team, which under the Classic's rules entitles non-Israeli citizens of Jewish heritage to play for the team. is a former catcher in Major League Baseball and the current manager of the Detroit Tigers. He has also been the manager of the Israel national baseball team.
A 1987 draft pick of the New York Yankees, he chose to alternate attending Dartmouth College and playing minor league baseball.

According to blogger Rabbi Jason Miller, Ausmus is one of only a handful of managers in Major League Baseball history and it looks like several of them were catchers in their playing days. There is also a high proportion of Jewish managers who at one point managed the Oakland Athletics. Rabbi Jason writes, "The only other Jewish men to ever manage a Major League Baseball team were Lipman Pike (1800s), Lou Boudreau (Indians, Red Sox, Oakland and Cubs), Bob Melvin (Seattle, Arizona and Oakland), Norm Sherry (Angels) and Jeff Newman (interim for Oakland)."

Is Simon Cowell Jewish?

Is Simon Cowell a Jew? According to the website, Simon Cowell has a Jewish father and is planning to marry his Jewish girlfriend in a Jewish ceremony:

The British musical reality shows judge is said to be taking Israeli folk dance classes in preparation for his wedding to his girlfriend Lauren Silverman, who is Jewish. According to reports, the couple's wedding will be officiated by a rabbi. The Daily Mall reports that Simon Cowell, 54, the English eternal judge of musical reality shows, plans to get married in a Jewish wedding, his good friends say. Cowell, who was born to a Jewish father, is set to marry his pregnant Jewish girlfriend Lauren Silverman in the coming year, and the two will be blessed by a rabbi.

Wikipedia reports that "Cowell was born in Lambeth, London, England, and brought up in Elstree, Hertfordshire.His mother, Julie Brett (née Josie Dalglish), is a former ballet dancer and socialite, and his father, Eric Selig Phillip Cowell (1918–1999),was an estate agent developer and music industry executive.Cowell's father was from a mostly Jewish family, though he did not discuss his background with his children (Cowell's paternal grandmother had immigrated from Poland). Cowell's mother was from a Christian background, and is of part Scottish descent. He has a younger brother, Nicholas Cowell, three half-brothers, John, Tony, and Michael Cowell, and a half-sister, June Cowell."

According to an article in Haaretz, titled "Is Simon Cowell planning on converting to Judaism?":

A report in The Daily Mirror suggests so. According to the British tabloid, the "X Factor" boss, 54, is planning to embrace the Jewish faith of his girlfriend and soon-to-be mother of his first child Lauren Silverman, 36. Silverman isn't Cowell's first connection with Judaism; according to "Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell," the celebrity's father was Jewish, but didn't share the religion with his children. The TV mogul was raised Roman Catholic, but has previously expressed little interest in religion, the Mirror said.
The Mirror report also states that after he converts, Cowell will embark on a secret trip to Israel. “Simon is getting increasingly excited about becoming a daddy," a source told the Mirror. “He really is embracing fatherhood and wants to be the first person to cradle his new-born son. He is open to reason on the subject of religion and the faith in which his son is brought up. But he is naturally inquisitive and really wants to visit Israel so that he can make a more informed decision.” Cowell’s son is due on February 28, the source added. "Contrary to reports, Cowell intends to be at the birth and has booked out a top £12,000-a-night private hospital in the US ahead of Lauren’s elective C-section," the Mirror report states, "And while he is keeping quiet about the baby’s first name, he has told pals the middle one will be Eric – after his late father." The Mirror reported that following the baby's birth, the couple will settle down in Cowell's west London mansion. Cowell recently made headlines in Israel when he donated some $150,000 to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. At a fundraising gala event in Los Angeles, the organization raised $20 million.
It was also reported that Cowell was considering taking traditional Israeli dancing lessons in preparation for his upcoming wedding to Silverman.

Is Lou Reed Jewish?

Was Lou Reed Jewish? Yes, Lou Reed was Jewish. Born Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed on March 2, 1942, Lou Reed was an American rock musician and songwriter. He died on  October 27, 2013.

According to Wikipedia, after being guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of the Velvet Underground, his solo career spanned several decades. The Velvet Underground were a commercial failure in the late 1960s, but the group has gained a considerable cult following in the years since its demise and has gone on to become one of the most widely cited and influential bands of the era.

Lou Reed was born at Beth El Hospital (now Brookdale) in Brooklyn and grew up in Freeport, Long Island. Contrary to some sources, his birth name was Lewis Allan Reed, not Louis Firbanks, a name that was coined as a joke by Lester Bangs in Creem magazine. Lou Reed was the son of Toby (née Futterman) and Sidney Joseph Reed, who was an accountant. Both of his parents were Jewish.

Is Marc Silverstein Jewish?

Marc Silverstein is Jewish. Married to actress Busy Philipps, Marc Silverstein is an American screenwriter, producer, actor, and director. He is known for writing romantic comedy films such as He's Just Not That Into You, Valentine's Day, and The Vow. The couple has two daughters: Birdie Leigh (born August 2008) and Cricket Pearl (born July 2013).

Is Harry Styles Jewish?

Harry Styles is not a Jew. Styles, of the British boy band One Direction, is not Jewish.

Although there have been rumors that he is partially Jewish, his father says that he is not. In August 2013, Harry Styles of One Direction stopped by one of Manhattan’s most popular kosher restaurants, Le Marais. Styles was seen wearing a blue knit yarmulke with his name on it. The kippah was a gift from director Ben Winston. Harry Styles also has a tattoo spelling his sister Gemma’s name in Hebrew.

However, Styles father Des Styles posted the unequivocal answer to the question of Harry Styles' Jewishness on Twitter writing, “Still lots of queries asking if H is some % Jewish? No idea where any rumours came from in but, categorically, he is 0% Jewish. Not at all.”

According to Wikipedia, Harry Edward Styles was born February 1, 1994 and is from the village of Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, England. His mother is Anne Cox (née Selley) and father is Des Styles.

Is Elmore Leonard Jewish?

Elmore Leonard was not Jewish. The crime novelist known for "Get Shorty" and "3:10 to Yuma" died at 87 in August 2013.

Among his best-known works are Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Hombre, Mr. Majestyk, and Rum Punch (adapted for the movie Jackie Brown). Leonard's writings include short stories that became the films 3:10 to Yuma and The Tall T, as well as the current FX television series Justified.

Leonard was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Flora Amelia (Rive) and Elmore John Leonard, Sr. Because his father worked as a site locator for General Motors, the family moved frequently for several years. In 1934, the family settled in Detroit. He graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1943 and immediately joined the Navy, where he served with the Seabees for three years in the South Pacific.

Leonard—or "Dutch," as he often preferred to be called—got his first break in the fiction market during the 1950s, regularly publishing pulp Western novels. He went on to write in the mystery, crime, and more topical genres, as well as screenwriting.

Elmore Leonard was married to Beverly Claire Cline in 1949, and they had five children together – three daughters and two sons before they got divorced in 1977. His second marriage in 1979, to Joan Leanne Lancaster (aka Joan Shepard), ended with her death in 1993. Later that same year, he married Christine Kent, and they divorced in 2012.

Leonard spent the last years of his life with his family in Oakland County, Michigan. He suffered a stroke on July 29, 2013. Initial reports stated that Leonard was recovering from the stroke. On August 20, 2013, Leonard died at his home in Bloomfield Hills (a Detroit suburb) of complications from the stroke.

Is Elon Musk Jewish?

Elon Musk is not Jewish. The inventor and serial entrepreneur Musk is of Pennsylvania Dutch descent.

Musk, known for founding PayPal, is the CEO/owner of Tesla Motors. He was born in Pretoria, South Africa to a Canadian mother, Maye (née Haldeman), and a South African father, Errol Musk. Maye Haldeman's father, a Minnesota native, in 1950 moved his young family to Pretoria, South Africa.

Elon taught himself computer programming, and by the age of 12 he sold his first program—a space game called Blastar—for about $500.

In June 2013, Elon Musk made a $100,000,000 buy into Tesla Motors. The CEO bought a total of 1,084,129 shares of Tesla Motors at $92.24 per share. This buy cost him exactly $100,000,058.96 and represents the priciest insider buy reported for the company.

This buy is also the first insider buy for the company since Musk's buy in October 2012. Musk currently holds over 28 million shares of his company's stock. Since his most recent buy, the price per share has gone up 0.38%.

Elon Musk is a South African-American entrepreneur. He is best known for founding SpaceX and co-founding Tesla Motors and PayPal. Forbes recognizes him as ranked No. 181 richest of America's Billionaires, No. 66 Powerful People and No. 190 in the Forbes 400. As of March 2013, his net worth is estimated at $2.7 billion. Alongside his stake in Tesla Motors, Musk maintains a chairman position and 10% ownership of SolarCity, a company run by Musk's cousin Lyndon Rive.

Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 in the Silicon Valley of California. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., and currently maintains 31 stores and service locations worldwide. Tesla Motors designs, develops, manufactures and sells high-performance fully electric vehicles and advanced electric vehicle powertrain components. It owns its sales and service network and has operationally structured its business in a manner that it believes will enable it to rapidly develop and launch advanced electric vehicles and technologies.

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Is Eydie Gorme Jewish?

Eydie Gorme was Jewish. Known as a singer who performed solo as well as with her husband, Steve Lawrence, in popular ballads and swing. She earned numerous awards, including a Grammy and an Emmy.

She was born as Edith Gormezano in The Bronx, New York in 1928, the daughter of Fortuna and Nessim Garmezano. Her father was a tailor. She was a cousin of singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka. Her parents were Sephardic Jewish immigrants, her father from Sicily and her mother from Turkey. She graduated from William Howard Taft High School in 1946 with Stanley Kubrick in her class.

Her parents were Sephardic Jews. For more than 55 years, Eydie and Steve Lawrence made beautiful music together. Eydie and Steve were a staple in the American music scene through much of the 20th century.

Vintage 1970s TV appearance:

Eydie Gorme died in August 2013 at age 84.