A Disney Star and a Samoan Fighter


While many critics doubt whether the children of intermarriage will identify as Jewish over the long term, at IFF we constantly run into examples of children from mixed marriages who identify as Jewish.

Two interesting recent examples include:

  • Ashley Tisdale, who was in the hit Disney film High School Musical. According to the Detroit Jewish News:

    Ashley’s Mother, Lisa Morris Tisdale, is Jewish (her father Mike is not), and Ashley identifies as Jewish. Her family attends High Holiday services at a Los Angeles-area synagogue.

  • Cooper Andrews, a 21-year-old stuntman in Atlanta. The son of a Samoan father and a Hungarian Jewish mother, he manages a martial arts team, the Fading Fists, that works in movies, and is a part-time bouncer at a bar in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. His profile was in the Atlanta Jewish Times; unfortunately, it’s not online.
  • In other news, our friend Kathy Kahn, the national director of outreach and membership for the Union of Reform Judaism, will be the scholar-in-residence this weekend (Jan. 19-21) at Suburban Temple – Kol Ami, a Reform synagogue in Beachwood, Ohio. This article in the Cleveland Jewish News details her thoughts on the importance of reaching out to the intermarried.

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