The Secret Jewish History of Cher

9 Reasons Why the Entertainer Is Honorary Member of Tribe

Sonny Days Ahead: Legendary entertainer Cher is hitting the road for the first time in eight years.
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Sonny Days Ahead: Legendary entertainer Cher is hitting the road for the first time in eight years.

By Seth Rogovoy

Published January 06, 2014, issue of January 10, 2014.

(page 3 of 3)

6) While her marriage to rock singer and famous heroin addict Gregg Allman was short-lived, it did produce a son named Elijah, as in the Hebrew prophet. Elijah joined the family business; his first guitar was a gift from “Uncle Gene” Simmons.

7) Cher’s early mentors in her film career were Jewish directors Mike Nichols (“Silkwood”) and Peter Bogdanovich (“Mask”), both of whom directed her in award-winning roles that helped establish her as a serious actress. Cher portrayed Jewish women in two dramatic roles: In the 1990 film “Mermaids,” she played Winona Ryder’s Jewish mother, Mrs. Flax, and in the 1999 Franco Zeffirelli movie “Tea with Mussolini,” Cher played the film’s hero, Elsa Morganthal Strauss-Armistan, a young Jewish-American widow and singer who saves a group of expatriate Englishwomen from Italian fascists.

8) In a rare venture into contemporary politics in the 2012 presidential campaign, Cher used her considerable social media presence on Twitter to defend Barack Obama against charges that he was an anti-Israeli Muslim, even quoting Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres to the effect that Obama was a true friend of Israel.

9) Cher kind of looks like my cousin Rachel.

Seth Rogovoy is a longtime contributor to the Forward, where he has recently explored the kabbalistic underpinnings of such pop culture figures as David Bowie, James Bond, and Aerosmith.



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