You Can Light My Menorah-Ora-Ora

“If you see these celebrities on the street-or on the red carpet-be sure to wish them a Happy Chanukah! Don’t be so surprised! Scarlett Johansson revealed back in 2008 that her mother is not only an Ashkenazi Jew, but also said mamma raised her to celebrate the Festival of Lights. Hollywood is filled with stars who light the menorah for eight nights each year. Click through our festive gallery to see who’s spinning the dreidel…”

Hi, I’m MaNishtana.

So it’s Chanukah and my friend alerted me to this New York Daily News feature entitled “Stars of David”, which pretty much goes through all the “hot” Jews in Hollywood.


It seems that the fine folk over at the News suffer from the same syndrome as the gajillion of YouTube posters who upload video after video of “hot Israelis” or “beautiful Jewish girls”, none of whom dare skirt the spectrum vicinty near the hue of an oil stain on a brown paper bag.

And in a year that saw Amar’e Stoudemire, Drake, and Shyne parade their Jewishness front and center, it’s quite disturbing that in the 66-picture long gallery the only JOC we get is Maya Rudolph at No 36.

So now, I’d like to submit EVERYONE ELSE who got left off of the Daily News’ list, using the same cultural/by birth/patrilineal/matrilineal/bothlineal guidelines that the News used in their pictorial. And maybe next time, certain journalistical type people can get their act together.

Adam Lazarre-White

This recurring star of Grey’s Anatomy, Heroes, Private Practice and Girlfriends boasts an African American father and a Jewish mother.

Anais Granofsky

For us old-schoolers who remember the original Degrassi, you probably didn’t know that while this Canada-native’s mother was Black, her father was a Russian Jew. You can probably bet there’ll be some Soul Food with her latkes this Chanukah 😉

Amar’e Stoudemire

We’re betting spinning a dreidel will be child’s play for this former Suns player. The Knicks power forward has a Jewish mom, and he visited Israel in 2010 to “get a better understanding of my heritage”.

Bahar Soomekh

Best known for her roles in Mission Impossible III, Saw III, and Crash, Bahar was born in Iran to a devout Persian Jewish family.

Ben Harper

This singer/songwriter can probably sing circles around “Maoz Tzur”. He can thank his Jewish mother for the opportunity.

Bizzy Bone

Yep, THAT Bizzy Bone. Alongside the African American, Italian and Native American in his bones, there’s some Jew in the mix bringing some harmony.

Boris Kodjoe

Aside from also appearing on Soul Food: The Series and sharing a Russian name, Boris shares another special bond with costar Anais Granofsky: thanks to his mom, they’re both also members of the tribe.

Craig David

Think we can get a Chanukah-themed remix of “7 Days” from this croonmeister? Maybe we can get his English Jewish mom to classily guilt him into it.

David Blaine

We’re betting the ability to disappear frequently came in handy in this household. Not even a Puerto-Rican father can save you from a Russian Jewish mother.

David Bluthenthal

Our second b-baller on the list, Blu’s African-American father converted before marrying his Jewish bride.


An alum of a different generation of Degrassi, now that he’s a rapper, it’s only a matter of time before we get a ditty thanking his Jewish mom for always pushing him. If he knows what’s good for him.


Bringing some R&B and Soul to this list, Goapele’s South African dad was an exiled political activist, but her mom’s an Israeli from the most Jewish place on earth: New York.

Kidada & Rashida Jones

Daughters of Quincy Jones, they have their Jewish mom Peggy Lipton to thank for adding to this list’s chocolate gelt.

Lauren London

Sure, we love Lil Wayne as much as the next guy, but Lauren’s dad probably wants to see her with a nice Jewish boy.

Lenny Kravitz

Is there anyone left in the world who DOESN’T know that–thanks to his dad–Lenny Kravitz is Jewish? Such a shame he’s a practising Christian, though. Maybe we can get his ex to coax him back to the dark side….

Lisa Bonet

…Ms. Lisa “My name may legally be Lilakoi Moon now but my mom is still Jewish” Bonet. And if SHE can’t convince Lenny…

Zoe Kravitz

…Maybe their daughter–who holds the distinction of being the only JOC on this list born of two OTHER celebrity JOCs also on this list–can.

Liz Cho

Surprise! Asians have more to offer Judaism than just chinese food on Christmas. Just ask this newsanchor’s mom for the story.

Maya Rudolph

For this former SNL funnywoman, Chanukah is no laughing matter. Bet that makes Poppa Rudolph proud.

Meagan Good

She counts All of Us, Stomp the Yard, Saw V and My Wife and Kids in her credits. And her mom was African and Jewish, making Megan an official Jew cardholder.

Mona Sutphen

Just a hunch, but we’re gonna take a guess on who was the first to light the menorah at the White House–prolly the Deputy Chief of Staff of Policy for the Obama administration. Much like the President himself, Ms. Sutphen’s dad was black, but her mom was a Canadian Jew.

Sean Paul

While this dancehall king was raised in a Catholic home, his grandfather’s family on his father’s side is one of the largest Jewish families in Jamaica, having escaped from Spain during the Inquisition.

Sophie Okonedo

This half-Nigerian Secret Life of Bees actress has a secret of her own: Not only is her mom an Ashkenazi Jew, but Sophie was rasied going to synagogue!


By far the most religious on this list, Shyne’s mom reportedly had Ethiopian heritage. And even if she didn’t, today Shyne has been practising Orthodox Judaism since 2009.

Tracee Ellis Ross

Daughter of songstress Diana Ross and business manager Robert Ellis Silberstein, Tracee has crossed paths with the very first JOC on this list, Adam Lazarre-White, on the set of Girlfriends. We’ll bet they had a lot to talk about.

Wow. Lookit that. Amazing what some research and actual effort can produce. You’d almost think I was a journalist (or that I was a Features editor back in the day) or something. Think i should charge the Daily News for some lessons?


Order Thoughts From A Unicorn: 100% Black. 100% Jewish. 0% Safe.

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