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Famous People Who Converted to Judaism

Updated November 30, 2020 540.0k views55 items

This is a list of notable people who converted to Judaism, with photos. These former Christians who became Jewish converts switched their religion for many different reasons. Some of these converted Jews did so out of deep religious curiosity, belief, and research, while others converted for marriage or other personal reasons.

This list of famous people who decided converting to Judaism was right for them includes both historical figures and current famous figures. Among the well-known converts of recent times are Marilyn Monroe, Ivanka Trump, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Taylor, and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Wedding Crashers star Isla Fischer was initially Methodist, but became Jewish before marrying Sacha Baron Cohen. Tom Arnold converted from Christianity to Judaism in 1990, before marrying Roseanne Barr. The pair have since divorced, but Arnold is still Jewish. 

Which famous people converted to become Jewish? The conversion process is not simple, so these famous actors, athletes, musicians, and celebrities went through a lot to call themselves Hebrews.

  • Marilyn Monroe
    Photo: Alexander Sasha Dejan / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Marilyn Monroe converted from Pentecostal to Judaism when she married Arthur Miller in 1956. The couple divorced in 1961 and she quickly lost interest in the faith.


    • Born: 1926-06-01
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

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  • Zooey Deschanel
    Photo: rocor / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    Zooey Deschanel's father, the cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, was raised as a Quaker. Zooey Deschanel converted to Judaism before her marriage to Jacob Pechenik in 2015. The couple divorced in 2019. 


    • Born: 1980-01-17
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

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  • Isla Fisher
    Photo: Georges Biard / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

    Isla Fisher attended a Methodist college, but she converted to Judaism before marrying Sacha Baron Cohen in 2010. The couple have two daughters together. She took the Hebrew name Ayala when she converted.


    • Born: 1976-02-03
    • Birthplace: Muscat, Oman

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  • Elizabeth Banks
    Photo: Mingle Media TV / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 2.0

    Elizabeth Banks studied the Jewish faith upon marrying Max Handelman in 2003. Though she isn't officially converted, she says, "I feel like I'm as Jewish as I'm ever going to be." Banks and Handelman have two children together.


    • Born: 1974-02-10
    • Birthplace: Pittsfield, Massachusetts, USA

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