It turns out that the rock singer who wrote the words “all I really want is some patience/A way to calm the angry voice… I’m relentless and all strung out” on her 1995 hit record “Jagged Little Pill” has a Jewish mother.
Alanis Morissette, 49, was raised Catholic and is now a practicing Buddhist.
But as the featured guest on this week’s season premiere of the PBS celebrity genealogy series “Finding Your Roots,” Morissette explored her Jewish roots in a way she had never done publicly before.
“I think I found out that I was Jewish in my late 20s,” Morissette told the show’s host, Harvard University history professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. “I didn’t know.”
Her mother, Georgia Mary Ann Feuerstein, was born in Hungary in 1950. Her parents, Imre Feuerstein and Nadinia Anna Lauscher/Gulyas, were Holocaust survivors.
As Gates explains, the family’s experience in the Holocaust was so traumatic that they kept their Jewishness a secret for many years.
“I think there was a terror that is in their bones and they were being protective of us and just not wanting antisemitism,” Morissette said. “So they were doing it to protect us, sort of keeping us in the dark around it.”
Her grandparents and their six-year-old daughter fled Hungary in 1956, during the failed revolution against the Communist regime.
In December, Morissette told Today.com that after learning about her Jewish heritage, she has “integrated Chanukah” into her family’s holiday traditions.
She has performed in Israel three times, most recently in 2018.
Jewish Telegraphic Agency