How Jewish is Bernie Ecclestone?

You may have read in a certain Sunday tabloid about the alleged antics of Formula 1 president Max Mosley in a Nazi-themed brothel. His colleague Bernie Ecclestone, who controls the commercial side of Formula 1, has stood by him. But could Ecclestone be Jewish?

For
An article in The Times described Ecclestone as a “Jewish businessman”. On what basis? The paper claims that Jewish websites claim him as a Jew. This is correct — a website called www. adherents .com does indeed include Ecclestone in its list of prominent Jews. Ecclestone is small — possibly a genetic thing emanating from his Ashkenazi antecedents. Bernie is sometimes a Jewish name. Also, some Jews like flash cars.

Against
There is no real corroborative evidence for Ecclestone’s kosher credentials. According to the biography written by Terry Lovell, Ecclestone’s parents were married in church. He hails from the hamlet of
South Elmham St Peter in Suffolk — not exactly the heartland. He left school at 16 to work at the local gasworks, which in 1946 would not have been considered a particularly appropriate occupation for a Jewish boy. He married a Catholic Croatian woman, Slavica, and quite possibly has never entered a synagogue in his life.

Verdict
He may well be Jewish, but if so, he has done a wonderful cover-up job.

So we say he is 6% Jewish

Last updated: 4:04pm, September 23 2009