18 Things to Know About Jewish Actress Jemima Kirke

The "Girls" star is a Jew who "always secretly yearned to wear crosses."

There are quite a few similarities between Jewish actress Jemima Kirke and the character that catapulted her to fame, Jessa Johansson on “Girls.”

Jessa is an open-minded and adventurous bohemian, and Jemima is no different. Having grown up in the West Village, the daughter of a rock drummer and a vintage boutique owner, Jemima, too, comes off as a free-spirited and independent soul.

Yet, Jemima is not Jessa, and there’s so much more to her than being bohemian!

Here are 18 things to know about Jemima Kirke.

1. Jemima was born in 1985 in London to a Jewish mother and a non-Jewish father.

2. On her mother’s side she is of Sephardic-Iraqi and Israeli Jewish descent.

3. On her father’s side, Jemima is descended from British landed gentry!

4. Jemima’s sisters are also creatives!

Her older sister Domino is a doula and musician (and is married to Penn Badgley!) and her younger sister Lola is an actress and musician.

Here’s Lola’s latest album:

5. Jemima’s childhood friend is Lena Dunham, creator, writer and star of “Girls.”

(Remember that for later…)

6. Jemima received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, where she studied painting.

7. She got into acting when Lena Dunham asked Jemima to be in her first film “Tiny Furniture.”

You can watch the trailer here:

8. Soon after, Jemima began starring in the HBO show “Girls;” and she actually tried to quit the show before season two!

“I remember being in a cab. And Jemima called me. She was like, ‘I have to tell you something. It’s not a big deal. I don’t want you to freak out. I want to quit the show,'” Lena recalled in an interview.

Jemima added, “My sense of who I was and what I wanted was really thin. I really wasn’t sure what the f-ck I was doing.”

We’re so glad you stayed with the show, Jemima!

9. Jemima would be happy to star in a reboot of “Girls” for “the right amount of money.”

However, she’s not sure the show would do as well as the original.

“[The reboot] would definitely get grief,” Jemima said in an interview. “I think Lena made something without fear and she wouldn’t be able to make that today.”

10. Despite her success as an actress, Jemima still considers herself to be, primarily, an artist.

11. And here are some of her fabulous paintings:

12. In 2015, Jemima partnered with the Center for Reproductive Rights to create a PSA about reproductive healthcare. She also used the platform to discuss the abortion she had in college.

You can watch excerpts from the PSA here:

Thank you for sharing your story, Jemima.

13. Jemima is willing to have a “sacrilegious fashion moment.”

14. In 2009, Jemima married lawyer Michael Mosberg.

We do Shabbat sometimes. Mike went to Yeshiva law school,” Jemima said, and went on to call her then-husband a “super-Jew.”

However, the pair separated around 2017. Now, Jemima is dating Australian musician Alex Cameron.

Here they are being very cute:

15. She has two children from her marriage, a daughter named Rafella Israel and a son named Memphis Kirke!

Just look at these little angels:

16. Jemima is available for “birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, weddings, anniversaries and funerals” on Cameo.

We’ll keep this in mind for the next bar mitzvah we attend.

17. One of her favorite TV shows is Netflix’s “Sex Education,” and coincidentally she starred in season three as Headmistress Hope Haddon.

Please enjoy this video of the cast playing “Who’s Who”:



18. Jemima is starring in Hulu’s adaptation of the Sally Rooney novel “Conversations with Friends” as Melissa!

“I did a lot of writing – stream of consciousness – until I could find a link,” Jemima said, describing how she connected to her character.

Check out the trailer below:

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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