Some interfaith celebs

I was talking with Nate Bloom, the world’s premier expert on Jewish celebrities (no joke), the other day, about a new column he will be writing for us on intermarried celebrities and celebrities from interfaith backgrounds, and he tipped me off on two good stories about celebrities with interfaith heritage.

One is Miriam Schor, the Jewishly knowledgeable star of ABC’s new comedy Big Day, which uses the real-time format of 24 to look at the final day before the wedding. Check out this excerpt from a story in the Sept. 2006 issue of the San Diego Jewish Journal (my old employer):

The actress was raised Jewish by the insistence of her non-Jewish mother who had married her Jewish father. “That was odd, but nice. I would not be considered Jewish by some, but I have a different take on religion,” Shor said. “The history of my relatives is as much a part of my belief system as much as someone who sits in a church or synagogue and tells me what I am.”

The other is Jorma Kaukonen, the lead guitarist for Jefferson Airplane, who was born to a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father. His story is a fascinating one; he wasn’t raised with much religion, but when he met a spiritually seeking Catholic woman–and married her–they both began researching Judaism. It eventually led to her conversion and his increased observance. Jacob Berkman’s terrific profile of Kaukonen appeared in the March 9, 2006, issue of the New Jersey Jewish Standard.

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