Celebrity jews

Another bite

Melissa Rosenberg

“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part I” is the fourth installment in the “Twilight” movies about a family of vampires. (It opens Friday, Nov. 18.) The film opens with Bella, the lead human character (Kristen Stewart), finally wed to Edward Cullen, a vampire (Robert Pattison). But the birth of their daughter sets the stage for a major battle, pitting Edward and his family against the fearsome vampire council.

Nikki Reed, 23, returns as Cullen family member Rosalie Hale. The screenplay is by Melissa Rosenberg, 49, who wrote the other “Twilight” films based on the books by Stephenie Meyer. Reed and Rosenberg, who both identify as Jewish, are the children of Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers. Rosenberg’s husband of 18 years is Lev Spiro, a TV director.



I’ve long known of the many “Jewish connections” in the family life of singer-actor Harry Belafonte, 84. His second wife, dancer Julie Robinson, to whom he was married from 1958 to 2004, is Jewish. They had daughter (Gina) and a son (David) together. Gina, a former actress, produced the recent HBO documentary “Sing Your Song,” about her father’s role in the civil rights movement. Harry is now married to Pamela Frank, whom I presume is Jewish (but I haven’t confirmed this).

Shari Belafonte, 57, the actress, is Harry’s daughter with his first wife, a black actress and model. Her husband since 1989 is actor Sam Behrens, 61.

Harry Belafonte’s autobiography, “My Song: A Memoir,” has just come out. In it, he discloses for the first time that his parents were of mixed race and that he is “one-quarter” Jewish. His mother was born in Jamaica, the child of a white, Scottish mother and a black father. His father also was born in Jamaica, the child of a black mother and Dutch Jewish father. This is all Harry says about his Jewish grandfather, whom he never met: “a white Dutch Jew who drifted over to the islands after chasing gold and diamonds, with no luck at all.”

Remember Jonathan Lipnicki, the incredibly cute little boy who co-starred in “Jerry Maguire” (1996) and the “Stuart Little” movies? I knew that Lipnicki had a bar mitzvah and recently started acting again after a hiatus of about a decade. Last week, a set of publicity photos of Lipnicki, now 21, appeared showing him shirtless and working out. A serious martial arts student, he is incredibly “ripped” with six-pack abs. He has one tattoo — a large Star of David on his left side.

I can imagine him working out shirtless at a Jewish community center gym and walking over to a girl and saying, “Shalom, want to go out with me?” I imagine her response might be: ”You didn’t have to ask. You had me at shalom.”


Don’t bet on it


Last month, Sir Paul McCartney, 69, wed his longtime girlfriend, American businesswoman Nancy Shevell, 51, in a civil ceremony in England. The day before the ceremony, Shevell and McCartney were spotted attending Yom Kippur services. I knew it was only a matter of time before a tabloid paper would invent a story that Sir Paul was going to convert to Judaism. Not long after the ceremony, such a story appeared and was quickly reposted in other media outlets and noted in the Jewish press.

Trust me: It is 99.9 percent certain this story is invented. Every time a non-Jewish celebrity with some fame goes out with a Jew, a “conversion tale,” citing some anonymous source, appears in a tabloid. But the conversion almost never happens.

Nate Bloom

Nate Bloom writes the "Celebrity Jews" column for J.