18 Things to Know About Jewish Actor Michael Aloni

The "We Were the Lucky Ones" and "Shtisel" star isn't in every Jewish TV show and movie. But it certainly feels like he is.

You’ve probably heard the phrase: “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” We here at Hey Alma would like to propose a modified version: “If a Jewish TV show or movie doesn’t feature Michael Aloni, does it really exist?”

OK, so obviously Michael Aloni isn’t in every single piece of Jewish media. But it definitely feels like he is. From “Shtisel” to “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem” to “We Were the Lucky Ones,” the Jewish actor is helping to tell a lot of onscreen stories of Jewishness.

So, without further ado, here are 18 things to know about him.

1. Michael Aloni was born Jan. 31, 1984 in Tel Aviv to a Jewish family.

2. He’s an Aquarius.

3. He got his start acting in commercials. In a 2018 interview, Aloni said that he feels like acting chose him for his profession.

Here he is playing a surfer teen in a 2001 cell phone commercial.

4. He majored in math and physics in high school.

5. In 2005, Aloni was a host on an Israeli children’s TV channel called Arutz HaYeladim. Now, he’s the host of Israel’s version of The Voice.

6. After high school he served in the IDF as a Gadna commander, which prepares young Israelis to join the army.

7. Between 2006 and 2009, he studied at the Nissan Nativ Acting Studio.

8. He grew his own beard and payot to play Akiva Shtisel in “Shtisel.”

9. “Shtisel” was shot on a small budget, which means all the interior scenes were filmed months apart from when all the exterior scenes were filmed. “You’ve got to hold the emotional state of the character and it’s really hard,” Aloni said, explaining how significant time had passed between when he shot a scene where his character walks outside onto a balcony and the actual scene outside. “You’ve got to remember the exact state of mind that you walked through that door [with].”

10. On the set of “Shtisel,” Michael is a baby whisperer!

I am known as the father of the year on set,” he said on an Israeli talk show. He added, “On the third season of ‘Shtisel,’ we got twins who actually played the daughter of Akiva, my character. Every time one of them cried, I just calmed them down, talked to them, played with them.”

11. He had a small role in the HBO Max limited series “Scenes from a Marriage.”

“In the five-part series, Aloni plays Poli, who happens to be an Israeli start-up guru who lives in New York,” Lior Zaltzman wrote for Kveller. “He is the yang to Oscar Isaac’s yin of a protagonist, Jonathan Levy. The two rival for the affections of Jonathan’s wife, Mira, played by Jessica Chastain.”

12. Volodymyr Zelensky might be the Ukrainian dub of Paddington Bear, but the Hebrew dub is voiced by Michael!

13. In 2022, Aloni starred in the Holocaust revenge movie “Plan A.” 

“This film, set in 1945 in recently-defeated Germany, tells the unimaginable — and untold — tale of 45 young Holocaust survivors who realize they have lost everything and therefore have nothing to lose,” Sima Borkovski wrote for Hey Alma at the time. “Despite their immense loss, the world expects them to turn the other cheek and move on — and they certainly don’t intend to do that.”

14. In “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem,” Michael plays the Ermoza family patriarch, Gabriel. Travel through the periods of the show via costume in this Instagram video.

15. He dated neuroscientist Moriya Lombroso for four years. They split in 2023.

16. “I feel so lucky to be part of this beautiful series with an incredible creative team and cast,” Michael says of “We Were the Lucky Ones.” The show tells the real-life story of the Kurcs, a Polish Jewish family who survived the Holocaust.

17. In “We Were the Lucky Ones,” Michael reunited with “Shtisel” co-star Hadas Yaron. Hadas plays Mila Kurc and Michael plays Mila’s husband Selim.

18. Please enjoy this behind-the-scenes content from “We Were the Lucky Ones,” courtesy of Michael:

Evelyn Frick

Evelyn Frick (she/they) is a writer and associate editor at Hey Alma. She graduated from Vassar College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. In her spare time, she's a comedian and contributor for Reductress and The Onion.

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