Talk:List of Jewish actors/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Criteria for inclusion

Please ensure that all sources explicitly state that the individual in question is, themselves, Jewish. Not "of Jewish ancestry" or "of Jewish stock" or "has a Jewish father" etc. Those kinds of references only indicate that at least some of their ancestors were Jewish, not that they themselves are Jewish, and it's not up to Wikipedia editors to decide on their own who is or isn't Jewish - we rely on explicit identification by reliable sources. This page is the List of Jewish actors, not the List of actors with some Jewish ancestry. Thanks. Jayjg (talk) 12:07, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

There are two ways to look at this, either Wikipedia is a source of information for those who wish to look it up, or it is not. Sticking stringently to the criteria of who is Jewish (either by Practising or by Matriarchal Lineage) does not make it easy to look up Actors or Actresses who appear Jewish (in appearance, in speech, by name) due to Patriarchal Lineage. I originally changed the list into a wiki table so that such information could be recorded, so that anyone say looking up say "The Jewish guy from Saving Private Ryan" Adam Goldberg for instance would be able to find him on this list even though he does not fit the criteria of Matriarchal Lineage or Practising Judaism but those facts would be recorded for readers to make their own mind up about his true Jewishness. Although biased, I believe that this should be maintained as long as a reliable source either states a Jewish Lineage (either patriarchal or matriarchal) or practising Judaism but as ever, I'm open to discussion on the subject. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 08:42, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
That doesn't seem like a workable standard. Someone with two Jewish parents if of Jewish descent, which is as Jewish as it gets. Not often does a source out and out say that someone is Jewish - that's even more subjective, and most sources don't consider it their business either. - Wikidemon (talk) 09:04, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually, those aren't the only two ways to look at this. Wikipedia must be a source of verifiable information for "those who wish to look it up", rather than a source of any notion, idea, thought, theory, or belief of every random editor who edits it. Wikipedia doesn't care which actors "appear Jewish"; Wikipedia only cares which actors have been identified by reliable sources as Jewish. It's not up to Wikipedia editors to decide who is Jewish; instead, we let the sources do so, and WP:BLP very strictly forbids us from making unsourced claims about living people. And finally, this is a List of Jewish actors, not a List of actors with some Jewish ancestry. Jayjg (talk) 12:42, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
That may be part of the problem. Why do we even try to have a list of Jewish actors if we haven't decided what Jewish means? Sourcing is not the be all and end all of encyclopedic organization of data, you also have to define your terms. If we just go with the sources calling people Jewish, and the sources themselves have varying definitions, standards, and conventions, we have a mishmash. - Wikidemon (talk) 16:29, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
To me the the meaning is clear. The person can be defined as Jewish by Religion (They follow the Judaic Faith), by Culture (They have a Maternal Lineage accepted by most Rabbis as proof of Jewishness), or by Ethnicity (Either Parent is descended from a Hebrew Tribe). So where an verifiable source can be quoted that proves an ethnic or cultural Jewishness in the persons parentage that is extendable to the person do we need a separate specific source that explains this means that the person is Jewish? I've yet to see a similar requirement to prove a person's skin colour or race so why do we need one for this ethnicity? It seems generally regarded as policy not to throughout WP. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 20:04, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Agreed that this would be a reasonable standard if we chose to adopt it. I'm not sure that lineage alone is sufficient, though. Race actually does often require a direct citation, at least in cases where it can be reasonably questioned. Barack Obama is described as African-American because all the different ways we have of looking at it converge: it makes logical sense, he identifies as such (as verified by the sources), others conceive of him as such (again, sourced), and the sources directly state that he is. If all the sources said mixed race instead, we would go with that. You'll probably find that it's easier to nail down heritage / ancestry classifications - we don't need a separate citation that someone is a Chinese-American if we can source that they are American and of Chinese descent. But some categories, such as being Native American, are a lot thornier. - Wikidemon (talk) 20:14, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Um, no. We're not going to "adopt" any Wikipedia-editor invented "standard", where we get to decide who is or isn't Jewish. Instead, we're going to abide by Wikipedia policy, which demands that we rely on what reliable secondary sources explicitly say. That's our standard for all information, including who is or isn't Jewish. This is non-negotiable, particularly as regards WP:BLPs. Jayjg (talk) 21:46, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
We might adopt a standard, although I don't see any urgency or sign of consensus at this point. You are free to disagree. I'm well aware of Wikipedia core policies, and as you well know this issue has been discussed extensively here and elsewhere. And the broader issue of ethnic categorization has been discussed quite extensively outside of Wikipedia. BLP is not a hammer to enforce one editor's opinion, administrator or otherwise, on how the encyclopedia should be organized. Of course we go beyond the literal wording of the sources. An encyclopedia is more than a cut and paste job. - Wikidemon (talk) 22:39, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This isn't about a Wikipedia-Editor invented standard, there is a standard enforced within Jewish Law and another enforced within Ethnology the article is inclusive of those standards. They are summed up within the encyclopaedic article Who is a Jew? and that article is referenced at the top of this one and suggested as the criteria which should be followed when citing what reliable secondary sources explicitly say every entry. If as you say you want every entry to be backed with an explicit reference that says "This person is a Jew" you may as well mark it for speedy deletion because as Wikidemon points out "Not often does a source out and out say that someone is Jewish - that's even more subjective, and most sources don't consider it their business either." Of course if you do nominate for deletion and get consensus, I'll be first in line to start the articles List of Actors of Jewish Descent and List of Actors of Jewish Faith but it makes more sense to have the information from those two separate articles held here in the one central location. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 23:04, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Your claim that complying with Wikipedia's content policies would require the article to be deleted is specious, since many of the items on this list already comply with those requirements - many reliable sources do, in fact, state that so-and-so is Jewish. In addition, Wikipedia doesn't edit its article in accord with "a standard enforced within Jewish law"; rather, every item here will comply with existing Wikipedia sourcing standards, WP:RS, WP:V, and WP:BLP. This article will never adopt a editor-defined definition or standard of who is Jewish. Jayjg (talk) 07:25, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Many sources will come out and say it, but most don't because it's none of their business. Hence, hunting for a direct statement in the outlying sources is less reliable or encyclopedic than using some agreed-to principles and common sense. I tend to agree that Jewish law is not the best criterion, particularly if it conflicts with a person's self-identification. It's hard to come up with a complete definition absent some case-by-case examples - consensus is a lot easier to establish as a descriptive matter of individual editing decisions than as an a priori prescription. On the outside, if someone is sourced as having two Jewish parents, having gone through a Jewish religious education, attending religious ceremonies, active in Jewish causes, and performances marked by a Jewish sensibility, we don't need the source to say so-and-so is Jewish. In fact, with one Jewish parent and any of these, it is more reasonable to describe them as Jewish than to refuse to do so. If we're going to argue BLP, NOR, and V in the abstract, there is more harm done by denying people's culture than by recognizing it. At the opposite extreme, having a distant Jewish ancestor, without more, does not make one Jewish. - Wikidemon (talk) 08:10, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
If reliable sources don't "come out and say it" because "it's none of their business", then it's none of Wikipedia's business either. Wikipedia is not in the business of either affirming or "denying people's culture"; it's in the business of reproducing what reliable secondary sources say about notable subjects. If you wish to change WP:V, WP:NOR, and WP:BLP, and create in them special exemptions for Lists of Jews, this is not the place to do so. Please bring this to the relevant policy pages, where you can propose these special exemptions. Jayjg (talk) 08:41, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Not really. They are in the business of being a playbill, a Hollywood trade magazine, an arts section of a newspaper, or whatever. We are an encyclopedia. We maintain a list of Jewish actors, they don't. Different methods, different language, different purposes. That is a basic point across the encyclopedia, we do not require the literal words "X is a Y" before Wikipedia lists X among Y. I get the point - you believe policy is on your side. I and others disagree. We can make our decision here, although it would be better to come up with a consistent approach across multiple articles. Is there any specific case at hand? In the case of Sophie Winkleman I don't see much there. - Wikidemon (talk) 09:27, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Wikidemon, it's not that "policy is on [my] side", it's that policy is WP:V, WP:NOR, and WP:BLP. If you want to change policy to allow special exceptions for Lists of Jews, you'll have to do it at those policy pages. Jayjg (talk) 17:55, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Jayjg, I disagree with you . Policy is indeed WP:V, WP:NOR, and WP:BLP. But none of these policies are broken by the way that sources have been cited the closest to a breach would be Synthesis. i.e; "If A's Parents are citable as Jewish and we have citable evidence B that if an individual's parents are Jewish then the individual is Jewish then C means that A is Jewish." However synthesis only holds where C is not explicitly citable in relation to the topic of the article; that would mean that citing C in a biography of A would be wrong. However we are defining C where the topic of the article is "Who is a Jewish Actor?" and we can cite that the C that applies for "Who is a Jew?" applies here also since this C is a Subset of the individuals to which "Who is a Jew?" applies. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 19:43, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Stuart, you're free to disagree with me, but in light of your comments, and considering the fact that you've made fewer than 80 article edits in your entire Wikipedia history, and never made an edit to a policy page, I'm going to have to give your views on policy very little weight. Jayjg (talk) 22:03, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm quite fine with the policy as it now exists now, thank you. I'm not going to respond further to rhetorical jabs like that. Let's keep things real, please. - Wikidemon (talk) 07:02, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks WikiDemon, Jayjg I also have no problems with Policy and do not seek to change Policy so why would I want to edit a policy page? I have discussed Policy at the Watering Hole both in this account and Anonymously; also I have substantially more edits outwith my user account. You'll note my original comments in the archived talk page are signed giving my name but under my I.P. address, I did this for about two years until the number of spammers at my I.S.P. forced me to start using an account again.Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 08:21, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I don't see that the article does, or can, satisfy the standard Jayjg is laying out that a reliable source must be provided that explicitly says someone is Jewish. I've done a spot check on the first 17 items on the list (all of the Jewish actors born in the 1990s) and the first five from the 1970s. Of these 22 entries, only one contains a (non-password protected, unbroken - I could not check this handful) link to a reliable source that explicitly states that the person is Jewish. Instead we have people (often as young as 11) self-reporting that they are studying for a bar mitzvah, non-practicing Jews of Jewish descent appearing in local Jewish newsletters' roundups of Jewish celebrity news (and even there, without an explicit claim they are Jewish), people sourced as working in Israel, etc. When there is a reliable source, they describe Jewish-related things but do not say directly that someone is Jewish. That seems to confirm my observation above, that reliable sources don't make that their business. Here are the ones I checked:

  • Jonah Bobo - source behind password, cannot tell
  • Flora Cross - the reliable source says only that the (then 12 year old) said about herself, "I'm a Jew".
  • Hallie Kate Eisenberg - link citation broken
  • Alexander Gould - sourse relates that the (then 9 year old) said he was getting ready for his Bar Mitzvah. The article never says he is Jewish, so not reliably sourced (and indicative of a religious criterion)
  • Esti Ginzburg - source says she is serving in the Israeli Defense Force. The article never says she is Jewish.
  • Shane Haboucha - source lists religion as "Jewish". However, it is not a reliable source. There's no indication what the source is, either a fan page or self-published. Presumably being of the Jewish religion makes one Jewish, but the source does not actually say he is a Jew.
  • Cater Jenkins - apparent video sharing site (behind password) reputedly contains statement by the then-14-year-old subject that he is Jewish.
  • Owen Kline - The source says that he starred in a Jewish-themed film, and indirectly calls his father (father was secular Jew, mother was non-Jewish) a "Jewish celebrity". Article never states that subject is Jewish.
  • Jonathan Lipnicki - source says he said he is studying for his Bar Mitzvah. That is not reliably sourcing, nor does the source say he is a Jew.
  • Sarah Ramos - self-reports in an interview that she is " Hispanic and Jewish and my grandma was Polish." - not reliable, and it's clear she's making a claim of ancestry.
  • Daryl Sabara - two bad links to unreliable sources
  • Evan Sabara - listed in United Jewish Fund's local chapter newsletter section that highlights Jewish celebrities. The publication is not reliable, and it does not make the explicit claim that the subject is Jewish.
  • Adiel Stein - sourced as being the son of a rabbi. Says nothing of his mother, and does not state he is Jewish.
  • Matt Weinberg - in UJF chapter newsletter - see above.
  • Zoe Weizenbaum - in UJF chapter newsletter - see above. Source describes her as part Chinese (in fact, Chinese father, Jewish mother) and had a bat mitzvah. It never says she is Jewish.
  • Alex Wolff - Source says that the (then 8-year-old) subject's father said in an interview that the family was "culturally Jewish" (note: non-Jewish mother). Source does not state subject is Jewish.
  • Nat Wolff - (then 11) - same as above.

Okay, maybe the problem is just the youngsters? So I'll skip a decade and do the first ones from the 1970s:

  • Shiri Appleby - (unreliable: same local newsletter Jew celebrity roundup) source says she appeared in a Jewish-themed film, does not say she is Jewish.
  • David Arquette - unreliable Jewish celebrity roundup reports Jewish mother (non-Jewish father), grew up celebrating Jewish holidays, and observed a Jewish custom at his marriage to a non-Jew. Another source says he grew up on a Buddhist commune, had one Jewish parent, and at one time reconnected with "Jewish roots" and a "Jewish identity". Neither says he is Jewish.
  • Mili Avital - one source (same celebrity Jew news) says she makes movies in Israel, another says she served on a Jewish charity, and quotes her talking about Jewish-Americans and her relations with "non-Jewish co-stars". The sources do not explicitly say she is Jewish.
  • Elizabeth Banks - source calls her a "Jewish actress"
  • Sandy Barr - one link broken, the other says (in Hebrew) that she was born in Israel and starred in films there, but it does not say she is Jewish

The criterion Jayjg proposes seems unworkable, and is not being followed. Even if it could be followed (and to the extent people are trying to follow it), it encourages reliance on unreliable and semi-reliable sources, such as the many lists Jewish groups make (without benefit of fact-checking, editorial control, or intent to present a biography) of Jewish celebrities. To improve matters, as a start we should not accept these lists, self-reporting, or inferences from being involved in Jewish films, causes, or organizations. Instead, we should look for reliable sources that come out and say a person is of Jewish faith, Jewish descent (I would start with both parents being Jewish, we can talk about how far to go with this), Jewish culture, or Jewish upbringing. Very rarely will these sources say that someone is in fact a Jew, but when they do, obviously we can admit that - they usually mean, depending on the context, that someone practices the Jewish religion or that someone is generally identified as Jewish. - Wikidemon (talk) 06:55, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I'm not actually proposing any criteria, so your comment doesn't really make sense from that perspective. Also, you appear to be arguing that because this article is poorly cited, editors should be free to ignore policy here; that also makes little sense. Finally, it's unclear why you would reject perfectly good sources that satisfy WP:V; for example, Cross, explicitly stating she's a Jew, or Banks, which the source says is a "Jewish actress". Look, if you're going to say that someone born into a Jewish family, or someone with two Jewish parents, is Jewish, I'm not going to be too fussy, but Wikipedia still must stick to its sourcing and contents policies. Jayjg (talk) 00:15, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
You have proposed that we use a single criterion, that there be a citation to a reliable source that explicitly states that the person is Jewish. Am I wrong? That criterion, if adopted, would make this article untenable. We would have to rule out all or nearly all of the items on this list. My spot check supports my argument that we don't have reliable sources that make this pronouncement. Indeed, this list is poorly cited, with half the items on the list sourced at best to local Jewish newsletter versions of The Chanukah Song -- I sincerely doubt that they vetted their list any more carefully than Adam Sandler before including them in their Jewish celebrity roundup. But I am not proposing we reject the current sources, that is a different subject. Rather, I am pointing out that the proposed criterion is unworkable. It will not help matters, even if we scour the world for better sources, because for the most part reliable sources do not opine on a person's Jewishness. They do not consider it their business, any more than we consider it ours, to decide who is a Jew. They report facts, not conclusions about ethnic classes. So they mention that a person practices Judaism as a religion, that they were raised in a Jewish household or with a Jewish upbringing, that they have Jewish parents, that they said they were Jewish, and so on. The very few sources that out-and-out say that a person is Jewish are either using shorthand to say that the person practices the Jewish faith (which is no more Jewish than being from the Jewish culture, unless we're playing favorites here), or else they are being less than completely careful. Again, I am not rejecting any of the 22, but you have hit on the two strongest. Regarding Cross, when a child says they are a Jew but the source does not actually confirm this, are we going to take their word for it? Maybe, but self-identification is only one of many ways in which a person can be part of a group identity. Regarding Banks, yes, the source clearly says she is a Jewish actress. That source is a (apparently non-notable, they have no Wikipedia entry) small circulation Northern California Jewish community magazine, available in at least nine retail locations[1] that blurts out in passing in a column on Jewish celebrities that she is one. I kind of trust them to get it right. Per WP:V, that is verifiable, and stands unless there is a good faith doubt. But do you truly want to rely on that source to the exclusion of, say, a New York Times article that goes into great detail about a person having two Jewish parents? That's upside-down. - Wikidemon (talk) 01:31, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
The criteria I have proposed using are WP:V, WP:NOR, and WP:BLP. They require us to stick very closely to what a source says. Now, sources are allowed by Wikipedia policy to self-identify as Jewish; thus if a subject says "I am a Jew" or "I am Jewish" or "I practice Judaism", then it satisfies WP:V, WP:NOR and WP:BLP in terms of being a Jew. Wikipedia considers individuals to be reliable sources about their own religion or ethnicity. Additionally, if a reliable source states that the subject is a Jew, or Jewish, or a "Jewish actor", or "practices Judaism", then the requirements of the policies are also met. And, as I've said previously, for the sake of compromise, I'm not going to quibble if a reliable source says an individual was born into a Jewish family, has two Jewish parents, or was "raised Jewish", even though there are such people who don't/didn't consider themselves to be Jews, and certainly Wikipedia editors who would insist they were not, unless they actually actively practiced Judaism. However, there are boundaries of WP:V, WP:NOR and WP:BLP beyond which we simply cannot go. Thus, if a source describes someone has "having Jewish ancestry" or having a Jewish grandparent - well, it turns out there are tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of non-Jews who have those. Similarly, many other "indicators" do not satisfy WP:V, WP:NOR and WP:BLP - for example, being Israeli (over 20% of Israelis are non-Jews), going to Jewish school (many Jewish schools accept non-Jewish students), being a member of a synagogue (many synagogues accept non-Jews as members), etc. Jayjg (talk) 02:58, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Okay, that's workable. I won't quibble the details either. Having one Jewish parent and one non-Jewish parent can be borderline, but I'm sure you would agree with me that absent any of the above indicators reliably sourced (self-declaration, practicing the religion, being Jewish or a Jewish actor, being raised Jewish, or a Jewish family) that is not enough here. I do think that some (many) of the sources we have could be improved. IBest, - Wikidemon (talk) 00:35, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree with Wikidemon "Why do we even try to have a list of Jewish actors?" How does it help? Span (talk) 17:48, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

People who need a reliable source that says they are Jewish

(removed to sub-page per discussion below) - Wikidemon (talk) 00:30, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

The original above list had been archived but was reinstated in order that addition names can be added from time to time. Davshul (talk) 06:26, 2 August 2010 (UTC). The list now includes additional names. Davshul (talk) 06:29, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Are these people who are on the list, but not properly sourced, or not on the list at all, because they could not be sourced? If the latter, they will have to be removed again. Wikipedia Talk: pages are not a back door to get around WP:V and WP:BLP. Jayjg (talk) 07:26, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
My understanding is that these people were removed from the main list because thery were not properly sourced. If it transpires that any of them clearly do not meet the criteria, I agree that they should certainly be removed from this list. Davshul (talk) 08:56, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps it's best to put them in a sub-page of this one. That way they'll be stable without cluttering up the talk page, and it is a helpful working area. - Wikidemon (talk) 09:11, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Wikidemon, I agree with your suggestion. Davshul (talk) 12:45, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Okay, apparently Jayjg wanted this taken care of[2] so I've moved them to Talk:List of Jewish actors/needing citation. - Wikidemon (talk) 00:30, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Copy editing

I copy edited and removed the copy editing template. Buddpaul (talk) 15:42, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

No, you didn't copyedit, you just removed the copyedit template.[3] Jayjg (talk) 01:44, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Last Edit

Jayjg if a link is broken or unclear is it possible for you to mark it some way to give other editors a chance to correct the citation rather than immediately deleting it? A good example would be Ben Feldman it took me all of 10 seconds to discover that the link had moved from to a simple fix but instead you deleted the entry meaning it needs to be reinserted now.

Many of the other references also seemed to be from sites which list Jewish Celebrities like and do explicitly state Jewishness not on the referenced page but on the table of contents page. While some of these sources may need additional detail to comply with WP:V most are reasonable reliable tertiary sources and tertiary sources are acceptable if used appropriately.

If you feel that WP:BLP requires further sources then why not comment out the list item < !-- -- > rather than deleting it and simplify the work of correcting these problems for other editors who believe the item is verifiable and would like to be given a chance to find a better source. If no better source if found within a set time limit then feel free to remove.

I also notice you delete entries which cite actual physical Journals - I presume you have that edition of that journal to ensure that the source did not state that the individual was Jewish?

Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 21:09, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

I always looked for references. In some cases I found new ones, or improved existing ones. In others I looked but couldn't find them. I'm glad you were more successful with one specific reference, I've restored the item and improved the reference. To which "actual physical Journals" are you referring? Do you have other specific sources or links in mind here whose removal you object to? Jayjg (talk) 21:40, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Yuval David was cited based on an article in Pnai Plus magazine dated November, 2009 but was deleted; this was the "Physical Journal" rather than web article that caught my eye. Also a better cite for Jesse Eisenberg is [4]. For most of the others deleted, other links can be found on Google showing Jewish lineage from one or more parents. One I'm not sure about is the deleted Dave Franco where we can source links of his brothers Lineage (hence his brother's inclusion) and we can source links showing they are brothers but it seems a little too much like WP:Synthesis to say that this is citable for his own lineage (even though it is common sense). As I said above, I also see the likes of as a tertiary source and acceptable till a secondary source can be found; deleted actors from were Sean Flynn-Amir, and John Francis Daley whilst Ben Foster can also be found on there. Although their individual pages do not always claim Jewishness, the List page [5] certainly does make that claim about these individuals. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 12:16, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Apologies, after posting that I now see that Yuval David shows up as a Red Link; being the reason for the deletion not the quality or otherwise of the cite. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 12:18, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Again, do you have other specific sources or links in mind here whose removal you object to? Could you list them specifically? Thanks. Jayjg (talk) 00:30, 15 September 2010 (UTC)


why i think this page is racist ? and why did you delete this and said this is "Vandalism". i just think this page i racist. why to list jewish actors ? (70 years ago the jews also listed....) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:43, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Why this is such a bad article

I've started looking through some of the citations given in the article, and it's clear that this has been shoddily cited at best. Today I removed two actresses, Lani Billard and Lake Bell, who explicitly state they are not Jewish - one of them even stated it in the citation provided! In my opinion very little on this page can be trusted. Jayjg (talk) 04:02, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Not that I really disagree all that much, but I've done some random spot-checking and the people I hit on have verifiable sources regarding being Jewish.Buddpaul (talk) 15:42, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
I would add that the subject is slightly unencyclopedic. Anyway, even though they do have sources, many of the sources are questionable. In the heated discussion above, I pointed out that many of these sources are celebrity gossip / round-up style posts in local Jewish newsletters, and the only confirmation that they're Jewish is that they appear in the piece. Or else, it will be a throw-away line like "in other Jewish celebrity news, so-and-so attended a fundraiser for the Israeli charity steering committee ..." In terms of editorial oversight, if a person writing for a newsletter happens to mention a celebrity in their column, there's probably not a whole lot of fact-checking or consequences if they make a mistake. Plus if the person is "half Jewish" or has some other connection to Judaism, nobody is going to seriously question that they appear in a roundup of Jews in the news because it is peripherally of interest to people who follow such things. That's different than out-and-out claiming that they are Jewish. - Wikidemon (talk) 16:37, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
Whilst I agree with Lani Billard until such time as a cited evidence backs it up (The reference identifies she does not practise the Jewish Religion - it makes no mention of her ethnicity); Lake Bell is exactly the kind of case that is borderline she self identifies as not practising Judaism, yet also self identified that she is ethnically Jewish through her fathers side. The problem is that an individual can be trusted to self identify which religion they practise but cannot be trusted to define their own ethnicity as they are not experts in ethnology. the Who is a Jew article states "the definition of who is a Jew has varied, depending on whether a religious, sociological, or ethnic aspect was being considered" what aspect should this article represent? Self identification or even direct identification typically limits this debate to only the religious aspect ignoring the sociological and ethnic aspects. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 22:00, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
See, that's the kind of nonsense that has plagued this article. What Bell says is "I wanted her to be far more Jewish and have the last name of Cohen or Rosenberg because I'm not Jewish and I wanted the opportunity to play Jewish, make the father's side of my family proud."[6] She does not say "she self identifies as not practising Judaism, yet also self identified that she is ethnically Jewish through her fathers side". She says "I'm not Jewish". It doesn't get any more clear than this. Wikipedia's Who is a Jew article is irrelevant. What would "make the father's side of the family proud" is irrelevant. All that matters is WP:V and WP:BLP. Jayjg (talk) 01:45, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
See that's the kind of argument that completely goes against WP:V, because you're using a quote that a person is not an expert in answering - her answer is not verifiable. You're right that the reference isn't explicit in saying her father is Jewish, but there are other sources that are more explicit [7] for instance where it says Her father is Jewish or [8]; which makes her ethnically at least Half-Jewish whether or not she believes or states she is. I don't know of any situation where "Half-Jewish" is an acceptable term because as far as I am aware not being ethnically, socially, or religiously a Jew makes one a Gentile there are no half measures. This fact is verifiable where her statement is not. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 20:06, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
What utter nonsense. For purposes of WP:V, individuals are allowed to self-identify as any religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. It's not up to you to decide what her ethnicity is; she explicitly states "I'm not Jewish", and that's that. In fact, it's so clear-cut that you could be blocked if you inserted the claim she was Jewish after she made such a clear statement that she wasn't. Jayjg (talk) 21:37, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
So a person can self identify by any criteria then? There has been a recent video traversing the web of Barack Obama stating "I'm not American" - I'm not sure of the reliability of that video but if taken as a reliable secondary source, does that mean that all the mentions of him being "African-American" need to be reduced to "African", or does the fact that we have substantial secondary sources referring to his American citizenship through his mother outweigh his self-identification? How about Gender, in a recent interview Megan Fox made the claim that she was a "Man with a Vagina" if I take this as a reliable source I can add that she is Transgendered in the lead of her article despite plenty of reliable secondary sources to confirm that she is in fact a female? Where Religion and Sexual Orientation are fine to be self identified because they are individual to that person and not affected external circumstance (Though individuals may change their position on these throughout their lifetime requiring caution in how they are inserted) something like Ethnicity cannot be self-identified - by it's definition an ethnic group is a group with a shared descent - if we can prove a shared descent then we can prove that individual is a part of that ethnic group - whatever they choose to self identify as. Again if you take the line removing all these individuals who can be cited to have shared Jewish Descent because they choose not to identify with that descent then the best solution is to split to two pages List of Actors of Jewish Descent and List of Actors of Jewish Faith and I'm still happing to advocate that but it makes more sense to centralise the information under the one heading of List of Jewish actors. In Michelle Malkin this approach is taken, where she Self Identifies as not being Asian or Asian-American but only as American however she is still categorised as being an American person of Filipino descent Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 11:16, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, a person and pretty much self-identify by any criteria, assuming they're not doing so facetiously or rhetorically. Jayjg (talk) 00:29, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Even if that were true, (and I still have reservations that it is because WP:BLP states that self-identification is *only* suitable for Religion and Sexual Orientation not for ethnicity, gender, nationality etc. In these latter cases it requires a consensus of Verifiable, Reliable sources which is the point I'm making - the consensus of reliable sources points to her ethnicity being non-gentile or "Jewish" ) the quote is made ambiguously is she talking about her relationship to Jewish Culture, her not practising Judaism, her not being ethnically Jewish it makes the article unreliable when compared to the number of articles that can be found identifying Jewish Parentage. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 10:47, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
"I'm not Jewish" is the opposite of "ambiguous". Deciding whether or not she is Jewish based on her father's ancestry is WP:NOR. Jayjg (talk) 14:40, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Depends what the question asked was, if it was "Do you consider yourself Jewish or Christian?" it has a different meaning to "Do you consider yourself Culturally Jewish?" which in turn has a different meaning to "Are you of Jewish Descent". As Douglas Adams pointed out the answer to life being 42 is only stupid if you don't know what the question was. As for WP:OR, Ethnicity is proven by shared descent, it's not OR to show what that descent is. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 16:02, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
No, Stuart, it doesn't depend on what the question was. Her statement was unequivocal. And while you may believe "ethnicity is proven by shared descent", it's still WP:NOR. You can make your point a thousand times, in a thousand ways on this page, and it will not change this basic fact. Please stop misrepresenting policy on this page, it's a waste of time. Instead, actually spent some time learning what the policies are. Jayjg (talk) 17:59, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Jayjg, If this cite had not been put up in reference to Lake Bell then we would not be debating policy in this manner we have citable evidence of Jewish Paternity and that should be enough. Instead because it was transferred over from her own article we have a quote where talking about her desire to play someone who is culturally Jewish she says "I'm not a Jew" and then goes on about making her Jewish relatives proud. Is she somehow denying her paternity in this statement? Or is it possible that she is expressing her distance from her paternal relations who are culturally Jewish? Either way I don't really care, what I do care about is the fact you seem to be misusing policy particularly WP:BLP like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Yes some entries require cleaning and improvement particularly where the cites point to tertiary instead of secondary sources or have become dead links. However my position is no worse than your insistence that you can somehow create new policy like "a person can pretty much self-identify by any criteria" and have the cheek to accuse me of wikilawyering, if you want to move this debate to a policy page feel free, or lets debate the advantages/disadvantages of splitting the article. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 20:25, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

I am really fed up with seeing all these discussions with racists and crypto-racists here. This entire topic is completely unencyclopedic anyway. Unless you subscribe to antisemitic conspiracy theories which posit that evil Jews are controlling Hollywood, this topic makes hardly more sense than List of Roman emperors born on the territory of Republic of Serbia or any other random combination of features. And the continuing attempts to put people on the list who very clearly do not think of themselves as Jews suggest that this is precisely what it's about. If it were about culture, people would be content with self-identification. But it's evidently about getting a complete list of all the evil Jewish conspirators who have already taken over Hollywood and the banks and are trying to take over the rest of the world. In this mindset obviously the most important members of this list are those who try to cover their tracks by denying they are Jews.

This is disgusting. If I wanted to see this kind of discussion I would go to stormfront, not edit Wikipedia. It's a shame that Wikipedia is can't get rid of this crap. Hans Adler 15:04, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Hans, as a Reader I came to this page because I am a film-maker and was looking for an Actress for a film set in WWII who had to be Jewish rather than just casting a general Caucasian actress - the reasoning would be the same if I was looking to cast an actor or actress from any other specific racial or ethnic group. My annoyance is that these are exactly the actors and actresses that are being pruned out of the list because at the moment Jewish ethnicity is not seen as reason to keep unless they also specifically discuss their Culturally Jewishness or the fact they Practise Judaism which is why I'm still open to a split into a Jewish descent list. As I say in another thread above, most readers will come to this page trying to identify a Jewish Actor who appeared such and such a show. Someone like John Francis Daley, Lake Bell or Adam Goldberg (who is still in but will surely be removed as he doesn't fit the current criteria) are identifiable because of their Jewish Descent and Portrayal of Jewish Roles - they are exactly the actors that need to be listed on here for research/identification purposes or perhaps we need to offset the actor information into List of Jewish characters. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 16:02, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
I am glad to hear that you have such an innocent reason, but an encyclopedia is obviously not an employment agency. Hans Adler 16:16, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Nor would I wish it to be, What I need it to be is a reference of pertinent information. As I have said repeatedly. most readers will be looking for information on the Jewish Actor who appeared in show X or film Y, in my case I was looking for a list of Jewish Actresses who were born in such and such a year. There are various Jewish organisations who create similar lists but the scope for each organisation is limited geographically and most have a higher threshold of notability that Wikipedia focusing on major stars for instance. This is the kind of information Wiki should be making available. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 16:37, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Still, your case is very special, and even so what you need is not really actors who happen to be Jewish. What you need is a list of actors who could convincingly play Jews. But that's certainly not of wider interest, nor encyclopedic. What would make some limited sense is actors who have played Jews. But I argue that even that would be too marginal. You could equally have list of actors who have played, well, say kings, or prostitutes, or Albanians.
Actually, Albanians are a good example because there is a List of Albanian actors. But this list exists only because there is a project wide consensus to split huge lists of people according to nationality to make them notable. If being a Jew wasn't sufficiently close to a nationality, the present list would have no chance to survive. (I think I remember a deletion discussion involving this list, but it's not listed here. Maybe it was for a similar list.) Hans Adler 17:09, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
For my purpose I would not accept an Actor who could convincingly play a Jew. Being part of an National/Ethnic Group which has regularly been imitated on screen by non-members of that group, I often find attempts by outsiders offensive and it is very rarely that I have seen it carried out successfully. However, outside of my use, a number of Jewish organisations clearly collate similar lists for different reasons often to encourage other young Jewish Actors and Actresses to achieve goals in the entertainment sector. There may be other reasons and surely the other editors who have contributed/worked on their page each have their own reasons why they got involved with it. There are however more comparable lists about ethnicity of Actors such as List of Irish American actors and List of Italian American actors which have nowhere near the level of work and have both been nominated for deletion only to result in a keep. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 20:25, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
You're right, Hans, that these non-notable and unencyclopedic intersections of ethnicity and profession are usually found on websites like Stormfront and Radio Islam. They're also a nightmare to clean up; witness the discussions above, where I try to remove the names of a person who explicitly states "I'm not Jewish", only to be met with a wall of wikilawyering and policy misrepresentation. Jayjg (talk) 17:59, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Totally agree with the comment that these types of lists are usually found on Stormfront, Radio Islam, and low-level blog or vanity-magazines like Jweekly, whose articles seem to be written with the sole agenda of forcing Jewish identity on people with some Jewish ethnic ancestry. I think the biggest problem is that people assume every single nationality/ethnicity that has a Jewish population deserves a sub-cat or sub-list documenting that population -- even when their cultural or ethnic links are tenuous at best. For example, how many Jews on pages like List of Romanian Jews or "Romanian-American Jews" ever spoke Romanian?? Probably 30% at best. These pages end up creating manufactured ethnic/cultural affiliations. Bulldog123 07:10, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
I would concur with the comment by Bulldog123. Avaya1 (talk) 18:25, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Cristiana Capotondi

Firstly you're citing the article wrongly La Repubblica (15 april 2006, page 58) can be found here and in it says she talked about the Talmud but gives no context in which the Talmud was mentioned. The closest we get to context is that the conversation takes in Thomas-Mann as well.

As for her Grandparents it identifies her grandfather as a Jew but no other family members,that doesn't even identify her a Jewish by Halakhic law which states matriarchal lineage confirming Judaism, let alone being as close as an identification of her parents or herself as Jewish. Please don't argue WP:OTHERSTUFF as an argument of inclusion, we know that some entries need to be cleared up for similar reasons but it's not an excuse to make the job bigger by adding further entries that are wrongfully placed. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 18:58, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree with this. But it's ambiguous what this list is talking about, which is why it's such a bad article.
The word 'Jewish' has an ethnic and a religious meaning. It's currently being used in the sense of "people of Jewish ancestry" (like the Category:People of Jewish descent or this list List of Italian American actors), as opposed to in the religious sense. As for religious sense of the term, we don't have a List of Christian actors or a List of Muslims actors - so why do we have a List of Jewish actors (in the religious sense)?
I think the list should probably be deleted, or re-named at least. Avaya 15:58, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree Span (talk) 21:05, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
The word Jewish also has a cultural meaning which I think is the most notable reason for this list to exist. There are many actors who regularly attempt to connect with their cultural heritage through the Jewish roles they play. Some are religiously observant like Adam Sandler, Others may not be like David Baddiel, Some may only have Partial Ethnicity Adam Goldberg and due to Jewish law that would prevent them from being religiously Jewish unless they choose to convert. However the important and notable thing is that they identify with and represent that culture on screen. Some may choose to play to stereotype of that culture, others may choose to challenge perceptions and stereotypes. The closest equivalent is probably the one you give above List of Italian American actors Although it's a list based on ethnicity it's more notable for the way actors to connect with their heritage/culture - which is why actors like Robert De Niro appear on that list when their ethnicity is only a small part Italian but they have chosen to play Italian American roles connecting with that culture/heritage.
Of course having a title like List of Actors who choose to connect with their Jewish Heritage in the Roles they play is a little long winded and it's really subjective whether the actor is or is not connecting with their heritage. It's also not within the scope of a list to provide details of if, how, or why they connect to that heritage, however a list of all actors that can reliably be sourced as "Jewish" allows readers to read the individual's articles and discover that for themselves. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 20:25, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
You have the problem backward here; this is actually supposed to be a "List of Jewish actors", not a "List of actors with some Jewish ancestry" - it's not ambiguous at all. Unfortunately, a number of editors have used this as a dumping ground for any actors they thought might be Jewish, or might have some Jewish ancestry. That is slowly being cleaned out. That said, having a Jewish grandfather or mentioning the Talmud doesn't make one Jewish, so please don't add individuals on that basis. Jayjg (talk) 23:48, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Jayjg, if we are listing people who follow a certain religion, in that case why do we not have a List of Christian actors, of Muslim actors, of Buddhist actors, of Hindu actors etc? Isn't this a little inconsistent? Either we are making a list by ethnicity, or by religion? If it's the latter, then why is this the only list of actors by religion on Wikipedia? 17:12, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Please read my post above, we are not listing religious followers; nor are we listing people of a particular ethnic descent. We are listing a group of individuals who share an identity, many commentators have found it easier to compare to a nationality where citizenship can be inherited or can be legally converted into. It doesn't matter whether the individual is of Jewish descent or not, nor whether they are religiously observant or not. All that matters is that sources reliably identify the individual as fitting into that categorisation. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 21:30, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
If we're not going to make a choice about listing by either (i) ethnicity or (ii) religion, then we have no criteria for judging which cases should be listed. The idea of being culturally Jewish is not something you can make a clear-cut distinction about. :::::The criteria is simple we require reliable sources to specifically define them as Jewish. If you were notable Actor and you self identified in the press as being Jewish (even if you're not religious) and it can be seen by your quarter heritage as a reasonable self-identification so not rhetorical then that article can be cited as criteria for inclusion on the list. If you simply say "I've studied the Torah" or "I have a Jewish Granddad" then that does not mean that you are Jewish (it doesn't rule it out, but it leaves WP open to litigation if you disagree with that label.) On the other hand if you join an organisation that only accepts Jewish members and they release a press statement to that end (that you've been accepted because they define you as Jewish) then reasonably we can use that as a source as well. Another might be if your Jewish heritage is well known and significant reliable sources identify you as Jewish on a regular basis - in that case you can be included as well. I understand where you're coming from look at the above section "Why this is such a bad article" and you'll find me arguing from a similar position because I believed that Lake Bell's inclusion did not make this article a bad one - I've since found other sources that clearly identify her as Jewish yet have not added her back in because the sources conflict. However since that time I've discussed this at length at WP:VPP, User_Talk:Jimbo_Wales and WT:BLP (the latter discussion is still there) and realised what a difficult balancing act this is. I stilll believe that WP policy is missing criteria to define inclusion in Jewish articles but no one editor seems to want to set policy and many would rather delete all Jewish articles so they don't have to deal with it. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 22:30, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Split it up?

I think it should be split by nationality, making this into a parent list of sublists. Thoughts? postdlf (talk) 12:51, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

As the vast majority actors listed are described as American, I cannot see anything to be gained from splitting this list - we will still be left with a very large "List of American Jewish actors". Furthermore, many actors would end up appearing on two or more lists, not to mention endless discussions as to whether a particular actors belongs to this list or that list. Davshul (talk) 14:52, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Nationality is pretty easy to determine in the vast majority of cases (unless we're talking about some disputed territory), and every article should already have it categorized. For those actors who have dual citizenship, or who emigrated in the middle of their acting career, they could obviously be listed in both. If they emigrated from a country before they began their career, I wouldn't think it would be worth listing them as an actor of that country, nor would it really be accurate. postdlf (talk) 15:24, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Comment-Nationality isn't always clear Isla Fisher has been a WP:Battleground about it (Generally considered Australian, her only verifiable nationality is British (Scottish) consensus was to remove nationality from her article, but I note it's been put back in during November). I have the same concerns as Davshul that that would occur here, that said I dislike the current table splits by decade of birth which may not be as notable as the decades they were active as an actor. Splitting the one list on this page by nationality instead might be an improvement, and could contain a specific table for those whose nationality is complicatedStuart.Jamieson (talk) 17:02, 14 December 2010 (UTC).


I removed some people who had no traceable Jewish ancestry and / or didn't convert to Judaism.

  • Keri Russell (appears to be a misquoting in a magazine five years ago; no Jewish ancestry that I can find, and she was raised a Mormon)
  • Courtney Love (her claim that her maternal grandmother was Jewish is contradicted by... her maternal grandmother, Paula Fox, and her autobiography)
  • Jack Warden (no Jewish ancestry)
  • Anna Magnani (the source cited indicates that her being Jewish is a rumor that isn't true)
  • Felix Aylmer (not Jewish)
  • Augustus Harris (ditto)

Aside from that, I moved B. J. Novak to the right section, removed Paulo Costanzo (the source isn't very reliable). All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 02:22, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

BTW, does anyone know how to condense references into a reference box? That would save a lot of space on this page. All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 02:28, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Good call. I've restored Russell with a source. I see no indication of misquoting, she's quite clear. Regarding the formatting, it's terrible (though I've been trying to improve), and the article is impossible to edit. If I had 100 hours and was bored out of my mind I could fix it; I've managed to clean up 1990s and half of 1980s so far. Jayjg (talk) 22:30, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
I explained the Russell thing on Alansohn's talk page. In short, the line "Russell is Jewish" wasn't in the original Vanity Fair interview (that interview just included Russell saying something about "all my Jewish grandmothers"). The Daily Mail added it. I found a genealogy of Russell that had no traceable Jewish ancestry (not a reliable source, but I don't doubt that it's accurate - and we don't need it to add something to an article). She hasn't mentioned anything about being Jewish before or since that 2006 Vanity Fair interview. There are also vaguely unreliable mentions of Russell online as being raised a Mormon (or this one), which fits in with her Utah-born ancestors on her genealogy. So while I was unsure before, after I found the genealogy, it became clear to me that "all my Jewish grandmothers" was just a figure of speech - albeit a very, very strange one. All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 01:09, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, good points. O.K., I accept your reasoning. Jayjg (talk) 02:15, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

James Franco

Clearly he's Jewish by Halakha, but isn't religious or observant, doesn't appear to self-identify as Jewish, and has commented at some length about not being raised Jewish. Of the two sources given, one just summarises his parentage. I'm not sure how high grade a source "JUF Tweens" is, but certainly it doesn't really develop its thinking as to why he's indeed Jewish. I did find one additional source, [9]; it also explicitly states its criterion is "Jewish by standard Orthodox definition". (talk) 23:49, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

From The Boston Globe, 2009: "After the ceremony, the actor said the bar mitzvah was "actually really touching. I'm Jewish, my mother's Jewish, but I wasn't raised Jewish. I guess I wasn't a man until tonight."" All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 03:42, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
BTW, though this other reference is not Franco, but Franco's mother, I did find it interesting: "BF: My kids know that I’m Jewish; they know they’re Jewish." All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 03:48, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
BG source is a definite improvement on those preexisting two. Thanks. (talk) 01:03, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Proposed deletion: Jewish American actors/actresses

The categories involving Jewish American actors and actresses are being proposed for deletion. If you have an opinion, either way, you can post your comment at: Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2013 September 11#Jewish American actors. Liz Read! Talk! 14:04, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

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In the words of Adam Sandler...

In the words of Adam Sandler: "So many Jews are in the showbiz / Bruce Springsteen isn't Jewish" (my own input) "but his drummer Max Weinberg is." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:22, 31 December 2016 (UTC)