Morissette Revealed: Jewish Roots

Canadian Singer Reveals: "I had no Idea how Jewish I was"

As part of a program that traces the roots of the biggest celebrities in the world, the Canadian singer Alanis Morissette reveals in depth about her family's Judaism and reveals that she discovered that her mother was Jewish only at a late age.

(Photo: A.PAES/Shutterstock)

Alanis Morissette is a seven-time Grammy Award-winning Canadian singer who grew up in Canada in a Catholic Christian family. As part of the program "Finding Your Roots" of the PBS network, Morissette revealed that she has Jewish roots, and only found out about it at the age of 28.

The singer's mother, Georgia Mary Ann Feuerstein, was born in Hungary to Jewish Holocaust survivors and together with Morissette's grandmother hid their Jewishness over the years. "They protected us from anti-Semitism, protected us from the darkness around us," said the singer, who was exposed during the episode to deeper Jewish roots. According to Red Cross documents presented to Morissette, her grandfather Imre Feuerstein tried to locate his two brothers in 1949 after he lost contact with them, and according to Yad VaShem documents it turned out that his two brothers died in a labor camp on Russian soil during the war.

"The thought of it shocks me," said Morissette and admitted that she believes that her mother's hiding and disconnection from Judaism allowed her to cope with the great loss. During the episode, the singer also discovered details about her great-grandfather, and heard about evidence that traces of other relatives were lost in the Soviet labor camps. These revelations made Morissette promise that she would make sure to tell her children about this part of her family history.

At the end of the episode, she said that she didn't know how deep her Jewish roots were: "I feel like I've been accepted into a community that I've always been in love with. I've always been in love with Judaism, now I understand why."


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I'm happy for Alanis that she's happy with the discovery. That helps a lot.
another Canadian Jew 04.01.24