Just about the entire world uttered a collective gasp this week, when it was learned that Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt. The most A of Hollywood’s A-list had been a couple since 2004 and married in 2014.
While neither are Jewish, Pitt and Jolie have made their way into many Jewish stories over the past 12 years. Here are the highlights:
Their twins were brought into the world by a Jewish doctor —
on Shabbat — in France!
This fact didn’t escape Jolie’s Jewish obstetrician.
“The delivery was very emotional and exceptional as Ms. Jolie is a superstar, but I think that it happened on Shabbat made it that much more moving,” Dr. Michel Sussman, a former vice president of Nice’s Jewish community, told JTA after the happy day in 2008.
Jolie’s dad really loves Chabad and Israel!
Jolie’s father, Jon Voight, is best known as an Academy Award-winning actor who has starred in movies such as “Midnight Cowboy” and “Coming Home.”
But Voight, a lifelong Catholic, also is a big supporter of the Chabad movement — so much so that he’s hosted the Chabad fundraising telethon at least 18 times since the 1980s.
The actor has studied the works of the revered Lubavitcher rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. In addition, Voight is a staunch advocate for the Jewish state, and appeared in a campaign ad for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year.
Jolie has raised awareness of the “Jewish” breast cancer gene!
The actress made headlines in 2013 when she revealed her decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy.
“I have always told [my children] not to worry, but the truth is I carry a ‘faulty’ gene, BRCA1,” Jolie wrote in the New York Times.
The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are associated with Ashkenazi Jewish genetics — about 1 in 40 people of Ashkenazi descent (as opposed to about 1 in 500 in the general population) are carriers of the gene, which increases their risk of breast or ovarian cancer.
At the time, Jolie noted that Pitt was supportive of the elective surgery, and was a great help during her recovery.
Pitt is obsessed with the Nazis — and has killed them on screen!
It’s safe to say that Pitt has an above-average fascination with the Nazi era. He has starred in three World War II flicks in the past seven years — “Inglourious Basterds” (2009), “Fury” (2014), and “Allied” (set to come out in November).
After acting in “Fury,” he reportedly became “obsessed” with wartime memorabilia, and bought a 1942 motorbike that was used by Nazis during reconnaissance missions for approximately $387,000.
At least Pitt has been the Nazis’ worst nightmares in all three of the films.
JTA Wire Service