We love Jewish celeb moms here at Kveller. How could we not? From Mila Kunis to Gal Gadot, seeing badass Jewish mamas thrive and act as positive role models — and incorporate Judaism and Jewishness into their very public-facing jobs — really makes us, well, kvell.
Throughout 2018, so many famous Jewish moms brought smiles to our faces — no small feat considering how much bad news happened this year. Following is our highly un-scientific but thoroughly thoughtful ranking of the best Jewish celebrity mom moments of the year.
After much rancorous debate, we at Team Kveller decided to limit this list to moms only, so if you’re bummed some of your favorite Jewish parenting-related moments of the year — like Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiating her grandson’s wedding at the Supreme Court, or Barbra Streisand becoming a first-time grandma, or Daniel Craig proudly wearing his adorable Jewish baby — well, that’s why.
Now, without further adieu, we present Kveller’s Top 10 Jewish celebrity mom moments of 2018.
10. Regina Spektor speaks out in support of HIAS
After the horrific shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, we found out that the one of the targets of the shooter’s hate and anti-Semitism was HIAS, the Jewish agency that provides aids to refugees. Over the decades, Jewish families were aided by HIAS in immigrating to the United States — including singer-songwriter Regina Spektor, whose family immigrated from Moscow.
On social media, Spektor shared a powerful message in support of HIAS. “This shooting happened in a Jewish community on Shabbat — and during a baby naming ceremony,” she wrote. “He was angry about HIAS — a Jewish organization that helps refugees resettle. HIAS helped my family and [my husband] Jack’s family come here. They have been helping people for over 130 years. They started with because of the pogroms and mass murders of Jews, but they have since helped many communities at war, and in danger.”
9. Natasha Leggero’s stand-up about converting to Judaism
This year, comedian Natasha Leggero and husband Moshe Kantor released a joint stand-up special on Netflix, The Honeymoon Special, and welcomed their first daughter. After giving birth, Leggero’s jokes about being a new mom were ahh-mazing. But our favorite moment of Leggero’s year? Her bit in the stand-up about converting to Judaism.
Her honesty about conversion, marriage, and pregnancy, is so refreshing, and she talked about how they want to raise their kid Jewish. We love her.
8. Pink explains how she passes on her Jewish identity
In an interview with Reese Witherspoon (it was the year of celebrities interviewing celebrities, after all!), singer Pink explained how she brings her kids — Jameson, 2, and Willow, 7 — on tour. She told a heartwarming story about bringing her daughter to the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin when they were there.
Pink said that Willow very maturely told her, “this could have been us.” And later, Willow told her mom that Berlin was her favorite city because “now everybody’s together and there’s no more wall and there’s no more war and that means everything that’s bad can be good again.”
Pink told Reese, “And I’m just listening to her and I’m like, ‘You’re amazing and you’re totally right: Everything that’s bad can be good again.'”
7. Chelsea Peretti pumping at the Oscars
Chelsea Peretti attended the Academy Awards with her husband, Jordan Peele (who won best Oscar for his screenplay for Get Out). Peretti had given birth seven months earlier — so, as new mamas who breastfeed know, she had to make time for pumping. Throughout the awards season, Peretti had documented her pumping experience: In one Instagram post, she wrote, “pumping at sag awards! forgot part of the pump and had to uber it from home. doing great at being a woman!”
Peretti’s candor online goes far beyond pumping, however. Throughout the year, she used her Twitter presence for activism, particularly advocating against the terrible policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S. border. We’re glad this Jewish mom is speaking out — and making her voice heard.
6. Aline Brosh McKenna advocating for a song on TV about childbirth
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the musical comedy on the CW now in its fourth season, has consistently pushed the boundaries and made some very funny Jewish jokes along the way. Showrunner and Jewish mama Aline Brosh McKenna, alongside her co-creator Rachel Bloom, emphasizes supporting working moms at the show. (She even converted one of the writer’s offices into a nursery for new moms, realizing how difficult it is to return to work after giving birth.)
Brosh McKenna’s leadership — and support for moms — manifests in the show. Particularly in songs like “The Miracle of Birth,” which details, well… let’s say you must watch it for yourself:
5. Gal Gadot shares a memory of her Holocaust survivor grandpa
Gal Gadot’s grandfather, Abraham Weiss, lost his entire family in Auschwitz. He passed away in 2013 at age 85. This year, in advance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Gadot had been searching for a photo herself with her grandfather — no dice. The next morning, however, her assistant messages, “Hi, I found this real sweet video of you and I think your grandpa.”
As Gadot wrote on Instagram, “My grandpa is always with me.. That’s not the first time he pops out of nowhere.. That’s how he used to be.. With his special sense of humor and always there for us. Even though he went thru hell. Lost his ENTIRE family in Auschwitz.. He chose to believe in good. I miss you saba. I love you.”
4. Rashida Jones secretly becomes a new mom!
The 42-year-old black Jewish actress welcomed her first child this August with Jewish musician Ezra Koenig (the frontman of band Vampire Weekend). Jones kept her pregnancy a secret — as well as her relationship! (They have been spotted together, but never confirmed the romance.) The news broke a month after the couple welcomed Isaiah Jones Koenig. Mazel tov to the new parents!
3. Lynda Carter’s Jewish outfit at the Catholicism-themed Met Gala
The Met Gala, the annual fashion ball, had an interesting theme this year: “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” It left us wondering what Jewish celebrities would wear. But no fear: OG Wonder Woman Lynda Carter arrived in the most Jewish look of the night. While Carter herself is not Jewish, she’s a mom to Jewish kids (and her husband, Robert Altman, is a Jew).
She made a clear statement with her outfit: a crown that said “Never Forget” in Hebrew, a Star of David barrette, a dress by Jewish designer Zac Posen, and a handbag by Holocaust survivor Judith Lieber.
2. Mila Kunis shares how her family observes Shabbat
Mila Kunis — mom to Wyatt, 4, and Dimitri, 2 — shared how she and husband Ashton Kutcher celebrate Shabbat. On actor Dax Shepard’s podcast this summer, she told him her Shabbat beliefs.
“I love the idea of — regardless of where we are in the world, regardless of what we’re doing, on Friday night, we take a minute to just acknowledge one another,” Kunis explained, “to acknowledge our children, to acknowledge our family, say I love you, apologize for all the dumb shit that we did, and move on.”
1. Jessica Mulroney at the Royal Wedding
Our top Jewish mom moment has to go to the one and only Jessica Mulroney, the longtime BFF of the newly minted Duchess of Sussex. Regardless of your feelings about the crown, we all can acknowledge the magic of the royal wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Mulroney, a Canadian stylist and Jewish mom of 3, has been close with Markle for a loooong time — so it only makes sense that Mulroney and her kids played a key role at the high-profile affair:
Her twin sons carried Meghan’s veil up the steps of the church — just look at that excitement! — and her daughter was a bridesmaid (alongside Princess Charlotte).
Here’s Jessica, in blue, sitting *right* behind Meghan:
Since the wedding, Mulroney has been Markle’s unofficial stylist for Meghan, playing a behind-the-scenes role in some major style moments.
by Emily Burack, Kveller