Natalie Portman
/
Religion

Religious

6 May 2015

I think it’s in the safe or something. I don’t know. I haven’t seen it in a while. I mean, Darren actually said to me something when we were in that whole thing that resonated so deeply. I was reading the story of Abraham to my child and talking about, like, not worshipping false idols. And this is literally like gold men. This is lit­er­ally worshipping gold idols — if you worship it. That’s why it’s not displayed on the wall. It’s a false idol.

Natalie Portman said, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter

Natalie Portman
Jewish

29 Oct 2013

The older I get, the more I realize how different it is to be a Jew in a Jewish place as opposed to a Jew in a non-Jewish place. It’s definitely a different feeling in terms of how freely you can be yourself and celebrate your culture and religion. It’s very different being in Israel than in cities that don’t have big Jewish populations, where it can sometimes feel dangerous to be Jewish, and you understand why there is a need for a place where you don’t feel that way. I feel it in lots of places. Pretty much everywhere.

Natalie Portman said, in an interview with The Telegraph

Summary

Portman is a Jew. She speaks Hebrew, was born in Jerusalem, and considers Israel her real home. But she said that she doesn't believe in an afterlife.

Portman is a liberal Democrat--like most of Hollywood--but has a Harvard degree, is well-spoken, and tends to pick reputable causes.

Editorial

Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem, Israel.

Portman is Jewish, from both sides of her family. Some of her ancestors were holocaust victims. Even with this kind of connection, Portman refuses to do Jewish films. She once said:

I've always tried to stay away from playing Jews. I get like 20 Holocaust scripts a month, but I hate the genre.[1]

Even so, Judaism is very important to Portman. She speaks Hebrew[2] and she once expressed her desire to pass along her Jewish heritage, saying:

A priority for me is definitely that I'd like to raise my kids Jewish.[3]

And though she holds dual citizenship in both the United States and Israel, she has said that she feels more at home in Israel.[4]

One wonders if Judaism is really more of a cultural feature of Portman and less of an issue of faith. Her own theology seems to border on atheism. When asked if she believes in an afterlife, she said:

I don't believe in that. I believe this is it.[5]

Hollywood politics via Harvard

Portman is a Harvard-educated Hollywood liberal. She was an outspoken critic of George W. Bush and, in 2004, a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. She said of Bush during that election cycle:

If people are for Bush – the president with the most days of vacation that any president–I think if you really love him, give him a long vacation.[6]

In 2008, Portman initially supported Hillary Clinton,[7] but when Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination, Portman stood behind him.[8]

Portman is a vegan and an animal rights activist.[9] She has been involved with movements to reduce poverty and particularly active in an organization called the Foundation for International Community Assistance, which encourages and provides micro-loans to third-world entrepreneurs.[10]

Portman has also been a champion of gay rights and the rights for gays to marry. She signed an open letter to President Obama, asking him to support gay marriage.[11]

Portman is often spoken highly of, even by politicians and the intellectual elite. She seems to care about society and politics and manages to raise awareness in her incredibly adorable way without regularly annoying the public as just another celebrity activist.

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