If you were born in the mid-90s or early 2000s, you probably grew up (virtually) alongside Tavi Gevinson. As a teen style icon, writer and editor, Tavi made space for her peers to learn about the world and themselves. But, there’s also so much to learn about Tavi herself.
Here are 18 things to know about Jewish multi-hyphenate Tavi Gevinson.
1. Tavi was born in Chicago to a Jewish family.
2. Tavi’s father Steve was raised in an Orthodox Jewish synagogue and later joined a Reform synagogue. Her mother Berit, originally from Oslo, Norway, was raised Lutheran, and converted to Judaism in 2001.
“Still, the more my mom learned about Judaism, the more she felt at home in the U.S. and the world,” Tavi wrote in Rookie Magazine. “She began taking adult education classes at our synagogue, studying the Torah, learning Biblical Hebrew, analyzing prayers, and singing in a Yiddish song group. When I was four years old, she converted to Judaism.”
Now, Berit gives Torah and cantillation lessons and is her temple’s cantorial assistant.
3. To add to Berit’s list of accomplishments, she has a project called “WEFT and D’RASH – A Thousand Jewish Tapestries.”
“I use the ancient craft of weaving to engage in the centuries-old tradition of making commentaries on Jewish texts and to respond to various aspects of Jewish life,” Berit explained on her site. “With my many midrashic tapestries, I weave my love of Judaism. I hope I can share this affection for its unique wisdom and stories with Jews and non-Jews alike.”
4. Tavi has two sisters, Rivkah and Miriam.
Tavi wrote of their Jewish upbringing, saying, “My sisters and I all went to Hebrew school and had B’not Mitzvah. We did Shabbat at home every Friday night.”
5. In 2008, when Tavi was just 11 years-old, she started her fashion blog “Style Rookie,” which garnered the attention of the the fashion world.
“It is an enthusiastic chronicle of her thoughts on fashion, ranging from reviews of runway shows (on Marc Jacobs’s floral prints: “Nostalgia creeps up on you and puts you in a haze, and this collection did the same thing”) to reflections provoked by her bat mitzvah (“the Nazirites wore just enough to keep them warm”),” The New Yorker wrote in 2010. “There are also more than a hundred photographs of Tavi modelling outfits, most of them taken with a camera set on a tripod in her back yard.”
6. Just a few years later she founded and was the Editor-In-Chief of Rookie Magazine.
“Rookie is not your guide to Being a Teen. It is not a pamphlet on How to Be a Young Woman,” Tavi wrote in the magazine’s first post. “It is, quite simply, a bunch of writing and art we like and believe in.”
7. Tavi gave a TedxTeen Talk in 2012 entitled, “Still figuring it out.”
Check it out:
8. In 2014 she graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School.
9. After high school, Tavi moved to New York to make her Broadway debut in Kenneth Lonergan’s play “This Is Our Youth.”
10. Tavi took on the role of Mary Warren in the 2016 Broadway revival of “The Crucible,” alongside fellow Jewish actress Sophie Okonedo.
11. Though primarily a writer and actress, Tavi has also flexed her singing abilities. Just listen to this duet with musician and artist Seth Bogart:
12. Swipe to see a “menorah” Tavi used once:
13. Tavi has been called the “Queen of the Millennials.”
14. On the one year anniversary of the Tree of Life shooting, Tavi marched with other Jews to protest white nationalism.
15. Ever wonder what Tavi’s apartment looks like? Here’s what it looked like in 2016:
16. When she’s not acting, Tavi still has time for writing… Check out some of her pieces, including an essay reflecting on The New York Times’ “Framing Britney Spears” and a piece about the downfall of Scott Rudin.
17. In Tavi returned to the stage as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme in the revival of Sondheim’s musical “Assassins.”
18. Tavi is currently starring in the reboot of “Gossip Girl” as Kate Keller. Here she is walking around set and answering 73 questions: