The Jewish Celebrities You Were Most Curious About in 2023

Because there's nothing more satisfying than asking Google if a cultural icon is Jewish and being right.

Whipping out a phone and googling “[insert celebrity name] jewish?” is one of the most beloved Jewish pastimes of our modern era. While there are few things that all Jews can agree on, I think it’s safe to say that most of us find it deeply satisfying to claim beloved actors, musicians, comedians, models and more as part of our cultural tradition.

It’s with this in mind that Hey Alma began our long-running weekly series “18 Things,” wherein we offer up 18 facts you should know about a Jewish celebrity. Unsurprisingly, the Hey Alma audience (and readers who end up finding our celebrity coverage via Google) loves it, often catapulting “18 Things” into our most highly trafficked articles each month. Based on the number of clicks per “18 Things” article throughout the year, it seems there were some famous Jews you were curious to learn about more than others.

In chronological order, here are the Jewish celebrities you were searching for the most in 2023:

Lauren London

Lauren London
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Jonah Hill and Kenya Barris’ movie “You People” was released on Netflix in January 2023, starring a bevy of Jewish actors. But only one of them was featured in our second-most clicked “18 Things” article all year: Lauren London. In the movie, Lauren plays Amira Mohammed, the Muslim love interest of Jonah Hill’s Jewish character Ezra.

If you read my rundown of the cringiest Jewish jokes in “You People,” you’ll recall that overall I thought the movie was pretty yikes-inducing — especially for its complete erasure of the fact that people can and do exist as Black and Jewish at the same time. Ironically enough, in real life, Lauren London is in fact a Black Jew. “I’m the little half-Black, half-Jewish girl who was odd and awkward. I try to be myself,” Lauren once said in an interview, describing her identity.

Our favorite Jewish fact about her: Her idol is Barbra Streisand.

Tap here to learn 17 more things about Lauren London!

Kaia Gerber

Kaia Gerber
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why people were searching for Kaia Gerber en masse in February. Maybe it’s because the model, actress and daughter of Cindy Crawford was the cover girl for ELLE Magazine that month. Or maybe it’s because that’s around the time buzz started for “Bottoms,” the queer Emma Seligman movie she starred in which would debut at SXSW the next month. Regardless, in February, our article on Kaia had the third highest traffic of any “18 Things” in one month during 2023.

Our favorite Jewish fact about her: She’s from an interfaith family and does Chrismukkah!

Tap here to learn 17 more things about Kaia Gerber!

Eden Polani

Eden Polani
Photo via @edenpolanii on Instagram

February was also a big month for Jewish model Eden Polani. “On January 31, [Leonardo DiCaprio] was spotted at a party in Los Angeles, which the 19-year-old Israeli was also attending. Due to DiCaprio’s noted penchant for dating women under the age of 25, rumors immediately proliferated that the pair were there together and dating,” Hey Alma staff wrote in our round-up of notable Jewish pop culture moments of 2023.

As Eden was relatively unknown outside of Israel at the time, the public was hungry to learn more about Leo’s potential new babe. And, since our “18 Things” is the top article when you search Eden’s name on Google (thanks, Google!), many came to Hey Alma for answers. Of course, we were happy to provide them. But we were happier when an inside source confirmed to TMZ on Feb. 7 that the 48-year-old Leo and 19-year-old Eden were not an item.

Our favorite Jewish fact about her: Eden apparently turned down an opportunity to walk at New York Fashion Week because it conflicted with Shabbat.

Tap here for 17 more things to know about Eden Polani!

Michael Zegen 

Michael Zegen
Photo by Bruce Glikas/WireImage via Getty Images

In May 2023, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” aired its final episode and seemingly in honor of that, Hey Alma readers wanted to learn more about Michael Zegen, the Jewish actor behind Midge Maisel’s ex-husband Joel. While “Maisel” became somewhat notorious during its run for the numerous non-Jewish actors cast to play Jewish characters (no, Rachel Brosnahan and Tony Shaloub are not Jewish), Zegen was one of a few exceptions.

Though he was born in New Jersey, Zegen has close personal ties to the Holocaust: his maternal grandparents were survivors and his mother was actually born in a displaced persons camp in Austria. “My grandmother, Szoszana, escaped Ukraine just before the Nazis arrived by hiding in the woods. My grandfather, Aaron, escaped to Belarus. He discovered years later that his older brother also survived,” he told the Wall Street Journal in 2019.

Our favorite Jewish fact about him: He’s a fan of a birthday pickle.

Tap here for 17 more things to know about Michael Zegen.

Jonah Hauer-King

Jonah Hauer-King
Photo by Marco Piraccini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

After the release of the live-action “Little Mermaid” on May 26, actor Jonah Hauer-King became part of our world. Shortly after, in June, Hey Alma readers and Googlers alike were seemingly desperate to know if the man behind Prince Eric is Jewish. The answer, of course, is yes! “I’ve always felt quite connected to the second World War because my grandparents are Polish Jews who fled in the 30s to America, which is where my mum grew up,” Jonah once said in an interview for the WWII drama “World on Fire.”

Fittingly, in 2024, Jonah is slated to star in the TV adaptation of the novel “The Tattooist of Auschwitz.”

Our favorite Jewish fact about him: He once instagrammed a Christmas tree with the caption “wtf.”

Tap here to learn 17 more things about Jonah Hauer-King!

Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ariana Greenblatt and Hari Nef

Photos via Getty Images

“Barbie” hit theaters on July 21st and with it came an incredible cast of actors that were mostly up-and-coming or in the process of breaking out — and were mostly Jewish. This included Hari Nef, who has been on the public radar since becoming the first trans model to sign with IMG Models in 2015, as Doctor Barbie; Kingsley Ben-Adir playing Ken; and former Disney child actor Ariana Greenblatt playing Sasha. Consequently, the Hey Alma audience was eager to learn more about these Jews on the rise and clicked on Ariana’s, Kingsley’s and Hari’s respective “18 Things” articles more than any other “18 Things” in July and August.

Our favorite Jewish fact about them: They all starred in the “Barbie” movie, which Greta Gerwig wanted to feel like Shabbat.

Tap here for 18 things to know about Kingsley Ben-Adir, here for 18 things to know about Ariana Greenblatt and here for 18 things to know about Hari Nef.

Ebon Moss-Bachrach

Ebon Moss-Bachrach
Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Barbie-mania aside, Hey Alma readers were also feeling “The Bear”-mania in July and looked up Jewish actor Ebon Moss-Bachrach quite a bit. (Sadly for us, Ebon is the only Jewish actor in the main cast of “The Bear” at the moment.) This probably happened for a couple reasons: First, his name sounds like it might be Jewish. (And in fact, it is! According to NameBerry, the name Ebon is a shortened version of the Hebrew name Ebenezer. And Bachrach or Bacharach is a German last name which is sometimes Jewish.) Second, in my personal opinion, Ebon’s character Ritchie had a much more compelling story arc in season two — which debuted on June 22 — earning him Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. And third, he’s a hot Jewish dad, plain and simple.

Our favorite Jewish fact about him: According to Jenni Konner, who cast him in “Girls,” Ebon is “the biggest mensch in the world.”

Tap here for 17 more things to know about Ebon Moss-Bachrach.

Robby Hoffman

Robby Hoffman
Photo via IMDb

In August of this year, former Bachelorette Gabby Windey dropped the bombshell that she’s queer. Then, she immediately followed it up with the second bombshell that she had begun dating Jewish comedian Robby Hoffman. For those in Jewish community, comedy world or both, Robby had already established herself as a brusque, no nonsense comedian who loves to talk about her Jewishness. (In fact, Robby spoke with Hey Alma in February 2023, months before the dating news broke.) However, people who were not privy to those circles (presumably members of Bachelor Nation) likely didn’t know much about her and immediately went to Google. As a result, our article on Robby became the second-most read “18 Things” in August.

Our favorite Jewish fact about her: When 18-year-old Robby came out and told her mom that she had a girlfriend, her mom’s response was, “Does she want to come for Shabbos?’”

Here are 17 more things to know about Robby Hoffman.

Sadie and Sunny Sandler

Sunny and Sadie Sandler on a purple polka dot background
Photo courtesy of Netflix

Sadie and Sunny Sandler were the #1 most searched Jewish celebrities Hey Alma saw all year… by a lot. The clicks started rolling in during the month of September approximately a week after Netflix released “You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah.” In the movie, Sunny starred as Stacy Friedman, a Jewish tween preparing for her bat mitzvah amidst friend drama, and Sadie played her supportive, wise older sister Ronnie. Despite all the recent discourse about nepo babies, Sunny and Sadie absolutely knocked their performances out of the park, authentically capturing the anxiety, awkwardness and triumph of learning how to be a Jewish adult when you’re still just a kid.

If I had to make an educated guess, I’d say that people wanted to learn more about the Sandler sisters for a few reasons. First, people watching “You Are So Not Invited” probably wanted to confirm that the pair are Adam and Jackie Sandler’s real-life kids. (You’d think it’d be kind of obvious based on the fact that they are carbon copies of their parents, but it never hurts to confirm a suspicion!) Second, Sadie and Sunny do not have public online social media presences and their parents have done a good job to keep them out of the public eye for the majority of their childhoods. Thus, for any basic information about Sadie and Sunny, the public needed to come to the experts, aka Hey Alma.

Our favorite Jewish fact about them: The pair had extremely extravagant bat mitzvahs in real life! Sadie’s featured a performance by Adam Levine. Meanwhile, Sunny’s candy-themed party had a performance by Charlie Puth.

Tap here for 17 more things to know about Sadie and Sunny Sandler!

Benny Blanco

benny blanco
Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

2023 was the year of random Jewish celebrity couples (for examples, please see: Robby Hoffman and Gabby Windey and Eric Andre and Emrata), so it only makes sense that we would close out the year with the news that Selena Gomez is dating Jewish music producer Benny Blanco. While speculation that the pair were together started in late November, the confirmation came on Dec. 7 when Gomez started liking posts from a celebrity news account on Instagram which speculated about the relationship. Later that day, she posted a black-and-white photo of herself lying on Blanco’s chest to her Instagram story. Finally, she actually began responding to comments about Blanco, writing, “He is my absolute everything in my heart.” In another comment she defended Benny, saying “He’s still better than anyone I’ve ever been with. Facts.”

In response, our article about Benny from 2021 started driving more traffic, landing it in the top 3 most-read “18 Things” for December.

Our favorite Jewish fact about him: He’s a self-described “neurotic Jew.”

Tap here for 17 more things to know about Benny Blanco.

Noah Kahan

Noah Kahan
Photo by Jacqueline Romano/Getty Images

While there was no one particular moment in 2023 where Hey Alma readers were especially searching for Jewish musician Noah Kahan, his “18 Things” article had the most sustained number of clicks all year. Looking at Kahan’s extremely busy 2023, this absolutely tracks. Noah went on tour during the summer of 2023 (and is actually still touring into 2024), performed on “Saturday Night Live” with host Emma Stone, was nominated for Best New Artist for the 2024 Grammy Awards and released collaborations with Post Malone, Grace Abrams and Kacey Musgraves. This year cemented Kahan as a folk pop icon and it seems like people are only going to continue googling him in the future.

Our favorite Jewish fact about him: Noah has called himself “Jewish Ed Sheeran.”

Tap here for 17 more things to know about Noah Kahan.

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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