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.
Getty Images
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.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(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.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.