How Jewish is Scarlett Johansson?

In an unlikely move, film star Scarlett Johannson has just released an album of Tom Waits songs. Equally unlikely is the possibility that Scarlett is Jewish. So is she?

Against:
Johannson sounds like a very Scandinavian name, and indeed it is — Scarlett’s dad Karsten is Danish. in fact, Scarlett herself has Danish citizenship. Now, Denmark does have a small Jewish community of its own, but Karsten is not one of them. Besides, Scarlett has typically Scandinavian good looks, and no sign of dark ringlets. She even has a half-brother brother called Christian. It’s not looking good.

For:
Despite the fact that Scarlett’s parents met in Denmark, her mother, Melanie Sloan, is an American Jewish woman from the Bronx, no less. In fact, forget the looks. Scarlett was brought up as a proper Jewish girl. In an Israeli TV interview, she said that she identified as Jewish and had been brought up with basic observance of Shabbat and holidays like Chanucah. She even said she had a smattering of Yiddish, noch! She has starred next to Woody Allen, which means she has learned to shrug in the authentic manner. When put to the test, she came up trumps. Tom Cruise attempted to convert her to Scientology, but Scarlett held firm. Afterwards she said: “I wasn’t offered so much as a cookie.” No way to treat a Jewish girl.

Verdict:
This one did not get lost in translation. She is definitely one of ours.

So we say she is 84% Jewish

Last updated: 3:24pm, September 23 2009