8 Celebrities Who Celebrate Hanukkah With Style


lea micheleTonight, families all over the world are lighting the first candle on their menorahs to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. They may eat latkes (potato pancakes), spin the Dreidel and win gelt (or chocolate disguised as coins), and sing songs (like "Hanukkah O Hanukkah" or "The Chanukah Song" by Adam Sandler).

Since there are quite a few stars (of David) who identify as Jewish -- you know, like the ones named in Sandler's song and then some -- they'll be among us Hanukkah revelers tonight. Here, eight celebrities who will be celebrating the Festival of Lights ...

  1. Brooke Burke - Brooke (whose mom is Jewish) is married to David Charvet, who was raised Jewish in France, and the couple says they celebrate Hanukkah every year. They say they do it in an "intimate" way, lighting the candles and saying the prayers. Their eldest daughter Neriah says she "loves latkes!" and  keeping with tradition, each of their four children receives eight small presents for Hanukkah. (But for every toy they receive, they give away a gently used toy to a less fortunate child.)
  2. Gwyneth Paltrow - The GOOP queen, who says she celebrates the holiday in honor of her late father, is said to be a fan of eating Hanukkah-themed ice cream. She's recently name-checked the brand Chozen, which has flavors ranging from Chocolate Gelt to Ronne's Rugelach. Yummm. Not exactly traditional, but hey, it works!
  3. Jack Black - The Jewish actor and one-half of the funny rock duo Tenacious D says he celebrates what he calls "Hanuk-Christmas-kah" with his wife Tanya Haden and the couple's two sons. He has said, "My mom and [my wife's] mom celebrate Hanukkah with their new husbands. My dad and her dad celebrate Christmas with their new wives, so we've got four different families to hit." Good times!
  4. Scarlett Johansson - Scarlett Johansson's got Jewish roots (on her mom's side), and this year for her annual Hanukkah mitzvah (good deed), she has teamed up with lifestyle label Neff to create Neff Hope, a project to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. Sounds like a stellar way to celebrate!
  5. Lenny Kravitz - The half-Jewish rocker-turned-actor who will appear in The Hunger Games this spring told Jimmy Kimmel that when he was seven years old, he went to a family Hanukkah party and accidentally got drunk on Manischewitz wine that he thought was grape juice! Ha! Hopefully, he knows better these days.
  6. Jamie Lynn Sigler - The Sopranos actress grew up with lots of Hanukkah tradition in her home in Queens. Her family enjoyed making and eating latkes and matzo ball soup, which she has said she helped make. She's said, "Rolling matzo balls was a big deal! And when they were cooked, I'd claim to know which ones I'd made."
  7. & 8. Lea Michele & Dianna Agron - Although Lea is the one who portrays a Jewish girl on TV, both Glee ladies celebrate the eight-day holiday.

What's your favorite Hanukkah tradition?


Image via David Shankbone/Flickr



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DebaLa DebaLa

Our blended family didn't happen 'til my mom remarried; all of us being adult children in our 30s. So, it was nice learning new rituals, recipes and traditions (not to mention some yiddish). In fact, my mom embraced it and did it up more on Jewish holidays than my stepfather had in the past, much to his delight. We miss them both 'cause they were the best of both worlds. We love latkes and matzo ball soup, any time of the year. If feel that experience rounded us out as a family.

Question: for Brooke, couldn't she donate a NEW toy along with the "used" ones for the "less fortunate"?? Am I supposed to be impressed by her generosity?

MamaB... MamaBear2cubs

My SO is Jewish and we light candles.

nonmember avatar nonofyourbizniz

How can Lenny Kravitz be only half jewish? Either you are, or you're not. Its like saying you're half Catholic

Jealo... JealousGrrl

I could care less who celebrates what.  :)

nonmember avatar astein

@nonofyourbizniz: You CAN be half Jewish if you have one Jewish parent, though technically Judaism is carried down through the mother. Judaism is not just a belief system, like Catholicism.

Wendy Moss

Lea Michele stated on national television that she was raised Catholic, and that her Jewish father "gladly" attends church with her and her mother.

Starts at the 9:40 mark - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyfCHFy8r-k

MoonD... MoonDustLady

David Charvet definitely considers himself Jewish.  He had his son circumcised on the 8th day in a religious ceremony in 2008.

Yeon Jang

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