11 Celebrities Who are Black and Jewish

September 6, 2013  

Lenny Kravitz, Sammy Davis Jr. and Drake–oy! Not only have these three entertainers broken hearts and topped the charts, they’re also part of God’s chosen people.

We’re in the midst of the High Holy Days, a celebration of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. The two-day celebration is believed to be the anniversary of the creation of the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, with customs that include eating apples dipped in honey to commemorate a “sweet new year.”

In honor of Rosh Hashanah, The Huffington Post has compiled a list of 11 black celebrities you may not have known had Jewish lineage or practiced Judaism. From musicians, to actors to NBA ballers, check out these stars who are all people of The Good Book.



Aubrey Drake Graham was born to an African American father and a Jewish Canadian mother. Before he was breaking hearts and topping charts, the Young Money star attended a Jewish day school and had a Bar Mitzvah.

Sammy Davis Jr.
After a 1954 car accident that almost took his life, Sammy Davis Jr. went to a hospital in California and began studying Judaism. He later converted to Judaism, telling TIME magazine “Talk about handicap–I’m a one-eyed Negro Jew.”
Rashida Jones
Rashida Jones has an African-American father (music mogul Quincy Jones) and an Ashkenazi Jewish mother (Mod Squad beauty Peggy Lipton) Growing up, she attended a Hebrew School before being accepted to Harvard University.
Amar’e Stoudemire
After his mother informed him of his own family’s  Jewish heritage, Amar’e Stoudemire, traveled to Israel to learn more about his culture. While the specifics of his Jewish lineage remain unknown, the Knicks power forward has embraced his roots and even has a Star of David tattooed on his hand.
Jamal Michael Barrow, better known by his stage name Shyne, stepped into the spotlight as a rapper with Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records. While serving a ten-year prison sentence for attempted murder, Shyne changed his name to Moses Michael Levi to reflect his grandmother’s Jewish heritage and practice Judaism.
Lauren London
Lauren London, an actress and model, was born in Los Angeles to an African American mother and Jewish father. She is most known for her roles in ATL and her parts on 90210 and Entourage.
Lenny Kravitz
Born in New York City in May 1964, Lenny Kravitz has an African American mother and a Jewish father. He has won several “Best Male Rock Vocal Performance” Grammy Awards.
Tracee Ellis Ross
Tracee Ellis Ross was born in Los Angeles to African-American singer/actress Diana Ross and Jewish music business manager Robert Ellis Silberstein. Her big break came in 2000 when Ross landed the role of Joan Carol Clayton on the sitcom series “Girlfriends.” She currently plays the wife of Malcolm Jamal Warner in the BET sitcom “Reed Between The Lines.”
Lisa Bonet
Lisa Bonet is an actress best known for playing Denise Huxtale on the NBC sitcom “The Cosby Show.” She was born in San Francisco, to an African American father, Allen Bonet, and a Jewish mother, Arlene Litman.
Craig David
British musician Craig David’s maternal grandfather was an Orthodox Jew and his maternal grandmother converted to Judaism.
Maya Rudolph
Actress Maya Rudolph’s father, a composer, songwriter and producer is an Ashkenazi Jew. Her mother, soul singer MInnie Riperton, is African-American.

Click here to see Famous Jewish Actresses

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  1. maccabette says:

    How cool!
    They are all so talented. Jewish and African genes – what a great combo!

  2. IsraeliGirl143 says:

    I didn’t know Rashida Jones was half black. That’s probably why her skin tone is amazing, she will never have to worry about a tan that lucky girl. And shes JEWISH?!? Look out, shes got it all.

  3. davidesco8 says:

    Other than Drake I had no idea any of these celebrities were Jewish. All very talented at what they do!

  4. HeyJules says:

    Rashida Jones,Lauren London, Lisa Bonet. Wow

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