We looooove Jewish celebrities. How could we not?! Especially when a celebrity opens up about their Judaism! From relationships to families to the best fashion moments, Jewish celebrities thrived this year. Here are the Almas for best Jewish celebs:
The Best Jewish Celebrity Friendship
Beanie Feldstein, Ben Platt, Molly Gordon, and Noah Galvin. In our movie awards, we talked about how 5779 was Beanie Feldstein’s breakout year. But guess who also broke out? Beanie, Ben, Molly, and Noah.
How do they all know each other? Let’s get into some #jewish #geography: Ben and Molly met in a local theater group when they were kids. Actually, here’s the transcript of them explaining their connections:
Beanie Feldstein: I feel like Molly should take it because Molly was the…
Noah Galvin: The unifying factor.
Feldstein: In the Venn diagram, she’s at the center.
Molly Gordon: When I was 13…
Feldstein: I think you were 12.
Gordon: [Tony Award winner for Dear Evan Hansen] Ben Platt introduced Beanie and I.
Noah Galvin: He is the normal white gay male that usually fills this position.
Gordon: He’s the other gay man that is part of this thruple. He introduced me to Beanie, and I fell just madly in love with her, and always wanted to be closer to her but we weren’t in the same grade and we didn’t go to the same school. So we were really close friends but we just didn’t see each other that much. When I moved to New York, and Beanie was finishing her last years at school. We got to spend so much time together and we became such best friends at that time. She’s just my favorite person in the world. Then, through doing this musical [Alice By Heart], we did a workshop a couple of years ago and I met Noah. They flew us to Aspen, which was very fancy. I saw Noah on a plane like kind of give me the side-eye, and I was like Who is this sassy man, this small gay man? and fell in love with him. He was my first real new best friend that I made in New York, and kind of showed me New York and opened up this beautiful new world to me.
Feldstein: Then Molly introduced us to Noah and we were like [sings a high note] this boy is heaven.
Some highlights of this group’s year: Molly and Ben recorded the catchiest Yom Kippur song in existence, Molly and Noah starred in the off-Broadway production of Alice by Heart, Beanie and Ben are set to star in a movie filmed over 20 years (yes, really), and, oh yeah, Beanie, Molly, and Noah all starred in Booksmart! (Please read this piece in Thrillist: “What It’s Like Playing Mortal Enemies in ‘Booksmart’ for Three Real-Life Best Friends.”)
Anyway: They clearly win best friend group for the year. What we would give to see their group chat!
The Most Endearing Jewish Couple
Zoë Kravitz and Karl Glusman. Jewish actors Zoë Kravitz and Karl Glusman started dating in September 2016, quietly got engaged in February 2018, and got married in June 2019. They’re stylish, prolific on Instagram, loving, and have amazing Halloween costumes. We’re simply obsessed. (Read the definitive timeline of their relationship here.)
Bonus? At their wedding reception, they wore custom matching leather jackets, and this video is truly everything:
The Best Awards Show Look
Selma Blair, Vanity Fair Oscars After Party. This year at the Vanity Fair Oscars party, actress Selma Blair made her first public appearance since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Selma, whose Hebrew name is Bat-Sheva, shared her diagnosis in October 2018. She walked the red carpet for the first time in February 2019, and made a powerful statement by using a cane:
It was a true fashion moment, and one we won’t be forgetting anytime soon. The word “bravery” gets thrown around a lot, as does “badass,” but Selma Blair truly earns both.
The Best Met Gala Outfit
Ezra Miller. The 2019 Met Gala theme was unabashedly Jewish (unlike the 2018 one, themed Catholicism, which Jewish celebrities had more trouble interpreting). The theme — “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” was based on Jewish intellectual Susan Sontag’s famed 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp'” — was a challenge for many (looking at you, Karlie Kloss), but Jewish actor Ezra Miller hit it out of the park.
Miller explained to Vice that his masked look was “this death… like this ultimate transformation that we all have to do at least once. The celebration of camp is almost funereal… It’s almost like it dies as it walks in the room. But I think it consumes the other as well. You know? I think it’s like fire and oxygen.”
And we obviously have runners up: Tracee Ellis Ross, whose gold picture frame look paid tribute to Black artist Lorraine O’Grady, and Diane Von Furstenberg, whose dress honored her Holocaust survivor mother.
The Best Jewish Scrunchie
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Hanukkah Scrunchie. Rabbi Yael Buechler sent RBG a Hanukkah scrunchie, and RBG wrote back that she plans on wearing it year-round. A fashion ICON! A scrunchie ICON!
The Best New Jewish Model
Iris Apfel. Apfel, the 98-year-old Jewish designer, was officially signed to IMG Models at age 97 this past February. “I’m very excited and very grateful,” Apfel said. “Who would think I would be a 97-year-old cover girl?”
The Best Jewish Halloween Costume
The Haim sisters as the Sanderson sisters. No comment necessary:
The Best Celebrity Seder
Moshe Kasher & Natasha Leggero’s seder. We don’t even want to tell you the lengths we’d have gone to be invited to Mosher Kasher and his wife Natasha Leggero’s Passover seder. Fellow comedians Eric Andre and Joe Mande were on the guest list, donning white kippot and all. A bunch of Jewish comedians in a room for Passover on 4/20 (yes, Passover fell on 4/20) is truly a dream.
The Best Celebrity Sukkah
Alex Borstein. Alex Borstein, who currently stars as Susie in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, had a truly marvelous sukkah this 5779. She shared three Instagram posts of her sukkah. In the first one, she wrote, “Gonna transform this into our sukkah tonight. Gonna eat beneath the stars tonight. Gonna make peace with an angry world. Gonna build a better universe for every girl. #believewomen #sukkot2018 ” Amen, Alex, amen.
The Best Celebrity Bat Mitzvah
Jenny Mollen. Jenny Mollen celebrated her 40th birthday in Israel with husband Jason Biggs (who, contrary to popular belief, is not Jewish). While there, Jenny had a bat mitzvah at the Western Wall, and received a Hebrew name, Mair. She shared a series of Instagrams, natch, from her bat mitzvah — hashtagged #jennysbatmitzvah — and our favorite was the following:
The Best Western Wall Visit
Jennifer Lopez. And while we’re on the subject of Western Wall visits, none other than J-Lo herself took a trip to the holy site this year with fiancé Alex Rodriguez and his family. While her family is not Jewish, that didn’t stop them from praying at the Western Wall.
The Best Jewish Mom (of a Celebrity)
Sandy Rogen. Constantly embarrassing her son Seth Rogen on social media, Sandy Rogen put in serious work to win this award. And if you’re not following her on Twitter, you’re missing out — she just got verified for her savage tweets.
The Best Secret Jewish Baby
Rashida Jones and Ezra Koenig’s baby. This is an award, yes. There’s a whole trend of celebrities hiding their pregnancies, and then releasing the news after. Although their son, Isaiah Jones Koenig, was born in 5778, the news only came out in 5779, thus qualifying this secret baby for an award. Mazels, Rashida and Ezra, on becoming parents! (Read our definitive timeline of Rashida Jones and Ezra Koenig’s relationship here.)
The Cutest Instagram Presence
Benjamin Cohen. Okay, and on the other side of celebrity babies? Ones that are all over Instagram. The cutest, if we had to pick: Andy Cohen’s son, Benjamin. Cohen announced in December 2018 that he was expecting via surrogacy (telling Anderson Cooper during their New Year’s Eve show he was so excited for his “semitic” baby), and welcomed his son in February 2019. Benjamin Cohen is honestly the most stylish baby on Insta. Just look at these overalls:
The Best Pregnancy Announcement
Amy Schumer. Amy Schumer welcomed son Gene with husband in May 2019, but before that, she had simply the best pregnancy announcement. She photoshopped her head, and husband Chris Fischer, onto Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s heads. Voila:
She then directed her followers to journalist and activist Jessica Yellin’s Instagram stories, where Yellin shared Amy’s recommendations for voting. At the very bottom? The text, “I’m pregnant – Amy Schumer.” (See screenshots here.) This was 15 days before the 2018 midterms, so essentially Schumer forced anyone that was reporting on her pregnancy announcement to talk about the midterm elections. And, by linking herself to Meghan Markle, she ensured more coverage. A genius move. And while we’re on the topic of Meghan Markle…
The Best Jewish Angle on Meghan Markle
Jessica Mulroney. Did you think we would miss out on the biggest celebrity news of the year? Of the decade!? While we’ve been looking for the Jewish angle to Meghan Markle ever since this “chai maintenance” t-shirt she wore at some point in her career, the true news of 5779 has been the rise of her Jewish BFF, Jessica Mulroney. After being at the center of the royal wedding in 5778, this year, she’s been in the news for being the rumored godmother to Meghan Markle’s baby, Archie, for being Meghan’s stylist (and Mindy Kaling’s!), and being just genuinely supportive of her best friend.
Breakout Jewish Athlete
Diego Schwartzman. El Peque!! The 27-year-old Argentinian Jewish tennis star truly had a year. He made it to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open, where he played Rafael Nadal (he lost, but let’s not focus on that!). Also his mom is great on Instagram.
The Best Unexpected Collaboration
Barbra Streisand and Ariana Grande. Just go watch.