Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

‘Officially A Member Of The Family’: Paul Ryan Is Excited To Be A Jew

House Speaker Paul Ryan is embracing his newfound Jewish roots.

Ryan, a practicing Catholic, learned he’s 3% Ashkenazi Jewish during the filming of an upcoming season of PBS’s “Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr,” The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

“You could have knocked him over with a feather and then he was very proud of it,” said Gates, the show’s host.

Former Ryan advisor Dan Senor told Jewish Insider that Ryan called late at night on July 11 to break the news.

“I have something really exciting to tell you,” Ryan said. “I just learned that I’m part Jewish. I’m officially a member of the family!”

Ryan showed support for Israel long before learning he was a member of the tribe, according to the Post. In 2016, in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal, he addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and stressed that the United States needed to give Israel “more than vague assurances that we’ve got their back.”

In January last year, Ryan delivered an impassioned speech on the House floor in defense of a measure calling for the repeal of a U.N. Security Council Resolution condemning Israeli settlements on disputed land.

“I am stunned at what happened last month. Our government abandoned our ally Israel when she needed us the most,” Ryan said at the time.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.