13 Black Celebrities You Didn't Know Were Jewish

16 Black Celebrities You Didn't Know Had Jewish Roots

13 Black Celebrities You Didn't Know Were Jewish

You'll never guess who No. 11 is!

Published October 12, 2016

In honor of Yom Kippur (October 11-12), one of the holiest holidays on the Jewish calendar, we’ve rounded up several Black stars that you didn’t know (or might have forgotten) had Hebrew roots.

Some of these celebs celebrate the holiday known as “the day of atonement” and practice the faith, while others are of Jewish descent — either way they're repping! Scroll below to see the some of the shocking big names that made it to the list.

  1. Lenny Kravitz, Lisa Bonet and Zoe Kravitz
    (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

    Coincidentally, the actress famous for playing Denise Huxtable and her rock star ex-hubby both claim Jewish roots, making the same true for their beautifully talented daughter.

    Lenny comes from a Russian-Jewish background on his father's side while Lisa's Jewish lineage is on her mom's.

  2. Shyne
    (Photo: Danny Martindale/FilmMagic)

    The Belize-born rapper jumped all into Judaism after a prison stint for an NYC club shooting in 1999. After his sentence, he changed his name to Moses Michael Levi and moved to Jerusalem, where he currently lives practicing Orthodox Judaism.  

  3. Drake
    (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

    The rapper grew up with his Jewish mom in Toronto. He even attended a Jewish day school and had bar mitzvah!

  4. Sammy Davis Jr.
    (Photo: Evening Standard/Getty Images)

    The legendary American entertainer converted to Judaism after a near-death car accident in 1954.

  5. Amar'e Stoudemire
    (Photo: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Haute Living)

    In 2010, the yarmulke-clad baller took a birthright trip to Israel to explore his Jewish roots that he claims come from his mother.

  6. Rashida Jones
    (Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Refinery29)

    The actress may be the daughter of the great Quincy Jones, but her mom Peggy Lipton was raised Jewish and attended Hebrew school.

  7. Tracee Ellis Ross
    (Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

    The Black-ish star was born Tracee Joy Silberstein, the last name coming from her father, Robert Ellis Silberstein.

  8. Lauren London
    (Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

    Technically speaking, Lauren’s not Jewish since her roots come from her father and not her mother, but the star still reps. “I’m a little half-Black, half-Jewish girl who was odd and awkward.”

  9. Boris Kodjoe
    (Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

    The Real Husbands of Hollywood star’s great-grandmother died in the Holocaust. It’s unclear whether the actor keeps up with his Jewish roots at home.

  10. Goapele
    (Photo: Mike Windle/Getty Images for ASCAP)

    The songbird’s mom is an Israeli Jew, but didn’t grow up very religious. She’s said “it’s more of a cultural kind of thing” and about her family history more than anything else. 

  11. Meagan Good
    (Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

    Yes, The Wait author practices Christianity with her husband DeVon Franklin, but does in fact have a grandmother who is half African and Jewish.

  12. Sean Paul
    (Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS)

    The dancehall singer’s father is a Sephardic Jew, but he was raised Catholic.

  13. Maya Rudolph

    We’re not sure if the comedian celebrates any of the traditional Jewish holidays, but her father is an Ashkenazi Jew.

Written by Jazmine A. Ortiz

(Photo from left: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images, Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Haute Living, Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

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