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Hanukkah 2021: Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Jewish

Hanukkah 2021: Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Jewish
12/2/2021
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Liz Montenegro

Adam Sandler undoubtedly paved the way in bringing the celebration of Hanukkah to the forefront of pop culture with his wildly famous “Hanukkah” song debut in 1994 on Saturday Night Live (did you know there is now a “Hanukkah” Part 4?). In the song, Sandler draws attention to famous Jews in mainstream culture. You may be wondering which celebrities are observing Hanukkah this year. Before we dive into Hollywood, let’s answer the question of why these “eight CRAZY nights” are celebrated by millions of Jewish people across the globe.

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is observed during winter by lighting the nine candles of the menorah, a traditional Jewish candelabra, which includes the “shamash” in the center that lights them all. The observance of Hanukkah is accompanied by traditional Jewish attire, food, decorations and activities.

Famous Jewish Celebrities

#4 Josh Radnor

From his role on the Emmy Award-winning “How I Met Your Mother” series, Radnor is best known for his character of Ted Mosby and comes from a conservative Jewish background, where he attended an Orthodox elementary school.

#3 Mila Kunis

Kunis immigrated with her family from Ukraine when she was just nine years old and did not speak a word of English. By the time she was 14, Kunis landed a major role in “That 70’s Show” and has taken Hollywood by storm ever since. She has starred in A-list movies like “Bad Moms” and “The Spy Who Dumped Me.” Kunis is also well-known for playing the voice of Meg Griffin in the show, “Family Guy.”

#2 Seth Rogen

The “Superbad” star is a successful Jewish Canadian actor, comedian, writer, and film producer. In the 2015 comedy “The Night Before,” Rogen plays the Jewish friend who sports the iconic Star of David sweater as they search for the best Christmas Eve party in New York City. Rogen’s upbringing was very traditional; he attended a Jewish elementary and secondary school before pursuing a career in comedy when he was 13 years old.

#1 Scarlett Johansson

Raised in Manhattan, the “Black Widow” star comes from an Ashkenazi Jewish family from Poland and Russia. She was the world's highest-paid actress in 2018 and 2019, and has featured multiple times on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list. In the 2019 film, “Jojo Rabbit,” she plays the role of a young boy's mother who shelters a Jewish girl in Nazi Germany.

Scholarships for Jewish Students

Do you know someone who comes from a Jewish background? Check out these scholarships offered exclusively for Jewish students.

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