The "are they Jewish" game
The "are they Jewish" game

He is Jewish, right?

“Did we know Daniel Day-Lewis is Jewish?” I ask my wife as is usual over this and everything else.

Hardly a need for Google. Leslie would know, and she is faster. Very smart. But she can’t be all that smart, I often remind her. Look who she married.

I sure fooled her.

“I’m not sure,” she says. “I think we knew.”

“Well he is. I looked it up.”

But when you look it up, it takes all the fun out of it…and then the business of properly Jewish (mother’s side), as opposed to only the father. Not kosher…but still, Jewish bloodlines.

Never mind. We know what we’re talking about. We’re talking about pride. Who knew?

“Did we know Harrison Ford is Jewish?”

“Of course,” she says.

This, if you ask me, has been going on in American Jewish homes for years…the thrill of being surprised and amazed at who, of all people, is part of the family.

It’s a game played in nearly every Jewish household.

Haym Solomon, a hero in the 1700s of the Revolutionary War, obviously Jewish, but maybe the fascination started with him.

Maybe it started with Sandy Koufax and the day he declined to pitch because it was Rosh Hashanah…or Yom Kippur. I will have to look this up. But later.

But we are still qvelling over him…though not so much over Hank Greenberg. Who was an equally great ballplayer, and also declined to play during the High Holy Days, even before Koufax. But Greenberg is so obvious. We want the ones who are so unexpected – Sean Penn? Father’s side…but still…who knew? (Aside his being a Hollywood lefty.)

Julian Edelman, the sensational wide receiver for the New England Patriots…” I’m not surprised,” she says.

Former soccer great David Beckham. Father’s side. Calls himself, “half-Jewish.” Good enough. More than that, he sticks it in the face of the hooligans.

The ideal American girl-next-door, June Allyson, did we know she was Jewish?

“Yes,” she says…but I had to look it up…just to be positively sure.

Back when Jews were Jews, which is before so many became Bernie Sanders, support for Israel was near-automatic. (Yes, I know the exceptions.)

Do you remember being astonished and thrilled that (in that faraway Biblical Land), there was such a thing as a Jewish Soldier (you must read this) …Jewish generals!

Do you remember, because of it, from Montreal to Brooklyn, walking ten feet tall?

Do you remember this time when the rowdies came after you, for the first time, you were not afraid? Because this time you felt the Israeli Army, Navy and Air Force at your side?

Thus, we adopted Paul Newman as mishpacha, though here, too…father, yes, mother no. But why quibble. He was so convincing as hero Ari ben Canaan in “Exodus.”  Good enough. Even better was Kirk Douglas as Mickey Marcus in “Cast a Giant Shadow…” the true story of an American Jewish soldier who risked and gave his life for the sake of Israel at its founding.

“Is Kirk Douglas Jewish?” Oh yes! Now, at 102, he is the exemplar of a MOVIE STAR, and he is the paradigm of a steadfast heart for his people.

Those were the days when we said – Lauren Bacall is Jewish? Yes indeed, and only later did she open up about the anti-Semitism she faced.

I approximate that about 80 percent of American Jews are, these days, Bernie Sanders. They have sold their birthrights for a bowl of Leftism.
Originally Betty Joan Perske, she typified Elegance… Class…and Bogie flipped for her…as did we all.

Today, that might be Scarlett Johansson.

Why only sports and entertainment? I don’t know.

Check out any endeavor, and there we are…big time. Do I need to mention the Nobel Prize? Google says we’ve won 203 of them; 22. 5 percent.

Given how tiny we are population-wise, that number is astonishing, as is the fact that I am giving out numbers at all. I have learned that it is safer to approximate.

So I approximate that about 80 percent of American Jews are, these days, Bernie Sanders. They have sold their birthrights for a bowl of Leftism. How did this happen? I don’t know. Or maybe I do. But would rather not talk about it at this time. Except to say that along the way, something went terribly wrong. Is Bernie Sanders Jewish? Rather it were not so. Who needs him?

Read Dennis Prager. He says, correctly, that left-wing Jews are a Jewish and American tragedy.  

Is Alexandra Ocasio Cortez Jewish? Suddenly, she says she is…in part. This is no gift.

That’s what it’s come to…the game is fun no more. In fact, we’d rather not know.

Worse, these days we brace ourselves when we find some luminary who may be Jewish.

So seldom does it come out in our favor. What the heck happened?

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.

He is the author of the international book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal” and most recently “News Anchor Sweetheart.” Contemporaries have hailed him “The last Hemingway, a writer without peer, and the conscience of us all.” Engelhard is the recipient of the Ben Hecht Award for Literary Excellence. Website: