9 Stunning Jewish Facts About Marilyn Monroe

It’s often overlooked that Marilyn Monroe’s scandalous relationships with the Kennedys and her drug use were featured in Playboy, a magazine known for its success. However, one thing that is correctly read is that Judaism gave her comfort during the height of her fame, but it’s no question that Monroe’s troubled private life was a constant during that time.

In light of Monroe’s Jewish heritage, I believe it is long overdue to reintroduce her Jewish background into the discussion surrounding her controversial life. Furthermore, as her body was found on August 5th, 1962, this week commemorates the 59th year since her enigmatic passing. In honor of the remarkable Jewish icon, Marilyn Monroe, here are nine astonishing details about her.

Marilyn Monroe participating of the charity banquet of the leaders “Junior Division” of the Jewish organization “United Jewish Appeal” in New York, 1955. pic.twitter.com/5ja00BdzG0

— Paulo Jorge Patrício Furtado (@SlayerOfSouls23) April 5, 2021

What drew Marilyn Monroe to Judaism? She once confided in Susan Strasberg, her acting coach’s daughter, that she felt a deep connection with the Jewish people. “No matter what they do, everyone seems to be against them,” she shared. “Just like me.” Having been raised with evangelical Christian beliefs.

2. She embraced Judaism — but not for the motive you think.

“Jewish nonbeliever.” She described herself as such, but her Jewish identity remained intact even after the strange divorce of the couple. The reason for her conversion to Judaism shortly after her celebrated marriage to Jewish playwright Arthur Miller is only half of the truth.

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3. Monroe adored the importance of family life in Judaism.

In a healthier way, it appeared that Monroe had a genuine connection to Judaism, as confirmed by Taylor’s and Monroe’s public conversions. The curator of the Jewish Museum’s 2015 exhibit, Joanna Robotham, wrote that Monroe’s close family life drew inspiration from the prophetic and ethical ideals of Judaism. Monroe’s conversion to Judaism in 1956, as well as her Jewish wedding officiated by Rabbi Robert Goldburg and Miller, were later mentioned in a letter printed in a 2010 issue of Reform Judaism magazine.

4. She’s got audacity!

After Marilyn Monroe married Arthur Miller, Egypt condemned her for aligning herself with the Zionist movement and the Jewish community by lifting the ban on movies featuring her and inviting her to perform in Egypt shortly after the Jewish couple’s divorce in April 1961. Interestingly, the ban on Jewish actresses was also lifted.

5. She confidently showcased Jewish ceremonial objects in her residence.

A mezuzah, along with a commented siddur from her ex-husband’s synagogue, stayed in her ownership. On her mantelpiece, the actress kept a brass-plate menorah that played her beloved Jewish song, “Hatikvah,” Israel’s national anthem, until her demise. The evidence of her Jewish faith lies in the pudding kugel, despite some disputing the legitimacy of Monroe’s conversion. The mikveh, which is traditionally the concluding stage in the conversion procedure, did not entail immersion.

6. She adored Jewish cuisine!

The Atlanta Jewish Times reported that while spending summers on Monroe Island, Holocaust survivors Lee Strasberg and Paula Strasberg, who are also the acting coaches of Monroe, dug into scrumptious desserts and honey cake from bakeries in New York, devoured salamis from Zabar’s, and enjoyed icebox desserts. They loved indulging in Jewish food, making it an iconic part of their experience.

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7. She shared some hilarious Jewish jokes.

“How amusing! However, are there any other portions of the matzah that you can consume?” Monroe supposedly inquired, following multiple servings of matzah ball soup. There exists a well-known anecdote regarding the initial occasion when Monroe joined Miller’s parents for Shabbat dinner.

8. She acquired the ability to converse in a bit of Yiddish!

Monroe, who spoke Yiddish, came here to do what we wanted. She was also known to occasionally slip “tsuris,” “bubbaleh,” and “oy vey” into her speech. According to Jeffrey Meyers in his book “Goddess and Genius,” I am there with my bare tuches, Monroe once cracked her “calendar nude.” Monroe was so committed to learning some Yiddish and embracing Judaism that she went as far as joining the Miller family.

9. She was a supporter of Zionism.

The bombshell blonde Jewish woman was indeed a Zionist. It was confirmed in a letter discovered from Rabbi Goldburg that she was set to give a pro-Israel speech at the United Jewish Appeal conference in Miami in 1957. However, she later declined the event on behalf of her husband Miller, who was under scrutiny for possible ties to Communists. Nonetheless, she did not decline the event due to pressure from the government.

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