Paul Ryan discovers Jewish ancestry

Andy Samberg, Sarah Silverman and Sheryl Sandberg are also slated to appear in the new season of PBS show 'Finding Your Roots.'

By
August 1, 2018 13:08
1 minute read.
Paul Ryan

US Speaker of the House Paul Ryan . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

US Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan discovered something that shocked him when he participated in the PBS series “Finding Your Roots”: his 3% Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.

The news “about knocked his head off, to tell you the truth,” show host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. said during a panel about the show at a Television Critics Association event on Tuesday, according to Deadline.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The fifth season of the show, which explores the ancestry of prominent individuals, is set to return to PBS in January. Ryan is slated to take part in an episode titled Roots in Politics, alongside fellow Republican, Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic Rep.

Tulsi Gabbard.

According to Ryan’s official biography on the House of Representatives website, he is a “fifth-generation Wisconsin native.” Ryan is also a practicing Roman Catholic.

Several prominent figures who have known Jewish heritage are also set to take part in the upcoming season, including actor Andy Samberg, comedian Sarah Silverman (whose sister, Susan, is a rabbi living in Israel) and Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg.

Previous seasons of the show have featured comedian Amy Schumer, actress Scarlett Johansson, actor Paul Rudd and Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders, who all have Jewish ancestry.



“I find it inspiring that our fellow Americans are so determined to explore their own ancestral heritage,” said Gates in a PBS statement on Tuesday, “precisely at a time when immigration has become such a deeply controversial and sensitive matter. Our series demonstrates each week, in vivid detail and with moving storytelling, that a continuing source of strength for our country is the fact that we are a nation of immigrants...

I believe that the more each of us understands about where we came from, about what our ancestors experienced and how those experiences have shaped us – whether we knew about them or not – the more richly we can live our lives.”

Related Content

Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell
August 16, 2018
A singer explores identity in blend of African-American and Yiddish music

By JOSEFIN DOLSTEN/JTA